Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Comes from the inside.
Not from the outside. Peace, strength
from trusting in Him.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Warm Unspoken Hello

The glint in the eye.
The joy in the surprised face.
And the widest smile.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Microwaved Gluten Free Bean Thread Noodles

This is an easy noodle dish to accompany your stir fried or steamed vegetables or dumplings or any meat dish for that matter.  It takes three ingredients and 10 minutes cooking in the microwave.

It uses Saifun or bean thread noodles from the Asian Store. The noodles are made from mung bean, starch, potato starch and water.  It is a good gluten free noodle dish and serves as another option aside from rice sticks noodles. It is glassy looking and has a slippery texture when cooked. It absorbs easily the soy sauce or other sauce you add to it. The bean thread noodles come in bundles.  I used all three bundles from the packet I bought but you can just use one packet and adjust the amounts of the other ingredients accordingly.

I simplified the preparation of this dish and just relied on the addition of dry minced garlic from a bottle. One can add ginger powder if you wish but the garlic is sufficient.

This is an easy, delicious and highly satisfying dish to prepare.  Perfect accompaniment to any meal, Chinese, American etc. Next time you need a side dish in your meal, try this.

Microwaved Gluten Free Bean Thread Noodles

  • 1- 5.29 oz packet Saifun or Bean Thread Noodles ( three bundles) (from Asian Store)
  • water
  • 2-3  tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2  tsp dry minced garlic (I used McCormick brand)
  • 1/8 tsp ginger powder (optional)
  • black pepper to taste
Place the three bundles of bean thread noodles in a microwave safe bowl.  Add just enough water as to cover the top of the bean thread noodles so that the noodles are submerged.  Microwave for 10 minutes at 100 percent power setting. I used a 1100 watt microwave oven.  You know it is done when the noodles absorb the water and plumped up and get soft and edible.

Add the soy sauce, minced garlic, ginger powder if using and black pepper to the noodles and mix.

Serve with any steamed vegetables or stir fried vegetables.  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Filipino Fried or Grilled Pork Chop

Filipinos love to pair up Sinigang, a soup cooked in tamarind, with fried or grilled pork chop.

During my stay at my sister, Bebeng's house in Los Angeles, I had Sinigang with grilled pork during the celebration of Mama Sol's death and the fried version this past Saturday.

My sister's recipe is very simple using only five ingredients or four if you are grilling. The amounts of the ingredients are to taste. It is very forgiving so relax, it will work.

Shown below are photos I took of her cooking the fried version.

Pork chops are allowed to marinate for an hour (or more).

The pork chops are fried in oil.

My sister Bebeng frying the pork chop while boiling the Sinigang na Hipon this past Saturday. This was supposed to be our detox meal after Las Vegas derailed by the pork chop.

Here is the photo of the mouth watering result.

We love to eat the pork chop with vinegar with chile pepper as a condiment. Shown above is an array of different types of vinegar.

My plate with fried pork chop, rice and shrimp from bowl of Sinigang shown  behind the plate. Heavenly!

Below are photos of my brother in law, Bubut, cooking the pork chops in the grill.

Filipino Fried or Grilled Pork Chop

  • Pork chops
  • Patis or fish sauce
  • Juice of lemon
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Oil (if preparing the fried version)

Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl or large zip lock bag. Marinate for one hour or overnight in the fridge.

If frying, heat the oil in large pan and fry the pork chop without the marinade.

If grilling, cook the pork chop on top of the heated grill turning the pork chop now and then till cook on both sides.

Serve with rice and side of vinegar with chili pepper.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tempura Shrimp Chalupa

I had this chalupa last night towards the end of a wonderful stay at Los Angeles at my sister Bebeng's house. It was prepared by my other sister Menchie who wanted to make a point it would be better than anything I could eat in any Mexican place. Boy is she right!

The crunchiness and flavor of the deep fried tortilla and the tempura coated shrimp with the accompanying vegetables made the chalupa spectacular.

Nothing beats something fried anytime and the deep fried tortilla proves it. It takes the chalupa a notch higher than the non fried shrimp taco which uses just tortilla straight from package. The taco is also amazing but the chalupa is the bomb.

I prefer flour tortilla over corn but one can use either one. Prepared tempura mix was used according to package instructions as the batter to coat the shrimp.

Tempura Shrimp Chalupa

( Recipe courtesy of my sister Menchie)

  • Shrimp
  • Tempura mix from grocery or Asian store
  • 6- inch flour or corn tortillas
  • Lettuce, any kind shredded
  • Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Grilled Anaheim chilis, optional
  • Pico de gallo from chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapenos
  • Crema fresca or sour cream
  • Hot sauce
  • Oil

Prepare the vegetables and set aside.

Fold the tortilla just so to make a pocket with around one inch space at the fold and deep fry in hot oil.

Prepare the tempura batter according to package instructions in a bowl. Add the shrimps to the batter and deep fry in hot oil.

Assemble the chalupa by layering the vegetables and tempura shrimp in the deep fried tortilla. 

Serve with crema fresca or sour cream and hot sauce.

Enjoy like I did. 

When Worried

About this and that
Would it matter in the end?
Let go. Life's too short.

Monday, May 22, 2017

To Win Is To Lose

In obeying laws
our limits seen. Conquer through
His power not ours.

Note: Thoughts gleaned from Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation for today.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sinigang na Hipon (Shrimp Cooked in Tamarind)

Sinigang is the Filipinos' answer to the Chinese Hot and Sour Soup and the Thai's Tom Yum Goong. Sinigang features just like its counterparts an ingredient that imparts the sourness to the soup and usually it is tamarind just like what the Thais use.  The Chinese use vinegar.

Most Filipinos especially those living in the United States have been using packets of tamarind soup mix from the Asian stores. I have used it in a sinigang recipe in a past blogpost.

I have also used frozen tamarind paste from the Asian store in the plant based version of sinigang in a past blogpost. Either sources of tamarind worked for me. My talented sister, Bebeng, who cooked this delicious shrimp version of sinigang used the packet mix for her recipe featured in this post.

Any cut of meat or seafood can be used to prepare sinigang including pork, beef, salmon, milkfish, or shrimp. My sister opted to use large Argentinian shrimp she purchased from the Island Pacific grocery store in Los Angeles.

For the source of hotness in the dish banana peppers were added whole during cooking which can then be opened by the person being served by choice. The saltiness is imparted by the fish sauce or patis both during the cooking process and also as a condiment when eating the dish.

Kangkong or water spinach which is available in Asian stores was used in this recipe but plain spinach or kale can also be used as the green leafy vegetable for this dish. Other vegetables like Daikon radishes, green beans can also be added as well as the usual vegetable ingredients tomatoes and onions.  My sister chose to add lemon grass and ginger in this recipe which I usually do not use. I consider them optional ingredients since they are not usually used by Filipinos in their sinigang.

My sister has a secret ingredient in her sinigang or other fish soup dish. Chicken broth! This contributes added richness without being a distraction. I usually do not use it but you can like she did.

The method of cooking is simple and involves sauteing and boiling processes. No fancy steps. She actually cooked this while frying pork chops a favorite accompanying dish to this iconic delicious Filipino soup.

The tomatoes, onions, ginger are sauted in oil.

The banana peppers and fish sauce are then added to the sauted vegetables.

She adds the stalks of the kangkong, the large unpeeled shrimp, chicken broth, the tamarind or sinigang mix, lemon grass and water.

The mixture is allowed to boil till the kangkong stems and shrimp are cooked.

When the kangkong stems and shrimp are close to being done the kangkong leaves are added.

Sinigang is one of those dishes that leave you fully satisfied and happy during eating it and after. It is one of the Filipinos favorite comfort food and would be yours too.


My sister, Bebeng, lovingly ladles the steaming soup into bowls.

I thank my sister for cooking for me this and other fabulous dishes during my stay at her place. I am also grateful to her family and my other sister, Menchie and her extended family for their hospitality.

My sister Bebeng on the right with daughter, Jona, and husband, Jun.

Left to right myself, Menchie, Bebeng, Chris with Chaz during the party after the Mass for Mama Sol, Menchie's late mother in law.

Menchie, Chris, Bubut, Chris with Chazzie.

Mama Sol's other daughter Queenie with husband and children and son Louie.

Sinigang na Hipon (Shrimp Cooked in Tamarind)

(Recipe courtesy of my sister, Bebeng)
  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and minced (optional)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 whole banana peppers
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, cut into two inch pieces and bundled together with rubber band or string (optional)
  • 2 tbsp patis or fish sauce and more as condiment 
  • 2 dozen large shrimps (Argentinian shrimp was used)
  • 4 stalks or more Kangkong or water spinach, stems and leaves separated
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 2 packets tamarind soup mix
  • Water just enough so liquid part is barely above the solid mixture
Saute the first three ingredients in oil. Then add the rest of the ingredients except the kangkong leaves. Allow the mixture to boil. When the shrimp and kangkong stems are almost done add the kangkong leaves.

Serve with rice and more fish sauce as a condiment.

Being Grounded

It is good to stop
and ponder His Words lest we
get lost in life's maze.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Tales of Three Hats

They went to Vegas
and ate and ate. Forgot their 
diet and gained weight.

Note: My two sisters and myself with our hats in front of John Mulls Meats, Las Vegas.

Friday, May 19, 2017