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From “My Mother’s Philippine Recipes” Cookbook
3 cups labong (fresh or canned), cut into thin 2-inch strips
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ pound pork shoulder, sliced into 2-inch long strips (or use ground pork)
½ pound fresh shrimps, peeled, heads and tails removed
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons crushed peanuts
Place the bamboo shoots in a medium-sized stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the bamboo shoots are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the shoots and arrange on a serving platter. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, garlic and pork for 5 to 6 minutes until the meat is nearly cooked.
Add the shrimps and stir to combine the ingredients. Continue cooking until the shrimps turn pink and are completely cooked. Spoon this mixture over the bamboo shoots on the serving platter. Set aside.
In the same skillet, add the soy sauce and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vinegar, salt, pepper and blend the ingredients well.
Sprinkle the soy sauce mixture and peanuts over the Ensaladang Labong. Serve warm or chilled as an appetizer, side dish, or main dish.
Cook’s comments: Fresh bamboo looks like a large, long slab and roundish in shape, and can be purchased in Asian markets. It should be blanched and cooked as soon as it is harvested to maintain its sweetness. When fresh bamboo is not available, I use the canned variety.
pork belly (liempo in the Philippines) whole slab - 2 pounds
sea salt - 1 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
vegetable or corn oil - 1/2 cup
achara or sweet green papaya pickles - for serving (recipe on previous blog post)
lechon sauce - for serving (bottled is found in Asian markets or online sources)
boiled rice - for serving
Place whole slab of pork belly in a deep stockpot. Fill with enough water to cover the pork. Add salt and black pepper to the meat and liquid. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. When the liquid boils, lower heat to a simmer. Cook this amount of 2 lbs. for one hour till pork is tender at the sides and no more pink parts are visible.
When boiled pork is cooked, drain the liquid. Transfer the pork to an oven roasting pan which has a wire rack. Place the pork on the rack. Roast in the oven at 250 F for two hours (for 2 lbs. of pork belly). The pork should be slightly brown at the end of cooking.
Transfer cooked pork slab on a flat tray and allow to air dry for 1 to 2 hours.
To cook crisp pork pieces of lechon kawali: over medium high heat, add oil in a large skillet. Oil should be hot enough in about 3 to 4 minutes. If taking the temperature with a thermometer, oil should be about 350F. Chop the pork pieces into 2-inch square cubes. Deep fry in the oil till the pork skin looks golden brown and has blisters. Cook the pieces for about 8 minutes till crisp.
Serve while the pork belly pieces or lechon kawali are piping hot and crispy with a side of "lechon sauce" (bottled or homemade). Serve with rice and homemade 'achara' (green papaya pickles).
Cathedral Windows Gelatin
From “How to Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks”
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 boxes red gelatin
2 boxes green gelatin
½ cup cubed peaches, fresh or canned
For the white gelatin:
4 (¼-ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
Prepare the red and green gelatin separately, according to package directions, and refrigerate overnight.
To make the white gelatin, mix the unflavored gelatin with boiling water in a medium bowl. Blend well until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Mix in the condensed milk and stir well to incorporate into the gelatin.
Add the heavy cream and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool for about 30 minutes, but do not let it become too firm.
To assemble the dessert, cut the red and green gelatin into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large gelatin mold, about 9 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep. Use any round, square or rectangular-shaped mold preferred.
Add the peaches and mix into the colored solid gelatin cubes.
Pour the white gelatin mixture over the cubes of colored gelatin and peaches.
Cover the dessert mold with plastic wrap, sealing tightly around the edges. Refrigerate overnight until firm. When ready to serve, invert the container over a festive platter and carefully unmold the gelatin.
Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey is a journalist and author of the “How to Cook Philippine Desserts: Cakes and Snacks” Cookbook. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and blogs about Filipino home cooking on her site AsianInAmericaMag.com.
More articles from Elizabeth Ann Quirino