Filipino Flavored Gifts For Your Boo

Sea Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars
Photo: Coastal Home

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

Going “out” on Valentine’s Day can be a lot of pressure. That shit can be bananas. I avoid the headache and settle for tasty take out, Netflix and my boo.

Although I’m over the “going out” part of V-Day, I’m not really above the gift getting. I love me some swag!  If you’re punching yourself trying to figure out WTF to buy for moi or  your hubby or baby’s mamma, life partner,  side- piece, jump-off or whomever, don’t pull your weave out just yet.

Read More

Oodles of Noodles: Celebrate Chinese New Year with Pancit

 

pancit canton filipino noodles

Pancit Canton, Chinese-Filipino Noodles

By Haydee Vicedo

Chinese New Year is just a few days away and there isn’t a more delicious and appropriate dish to serve and eat than pancit.  Filipino cuisine is a combination of many influences, with one of the biggest coming from the most populated country in the world, China. Quick history lesson for those who don’t know, the Chinese entered the Philippines for trade purposes in the 1600′s, bringing with them noodles. Oodles and oodles of noodles. Since Filipinos are such creative folks, we made about eight million (give or take a few million) versions of pancit. It has since become one of the most well-known Filipino dishes in the world, right next to adobo and lumpia. Noodles (or pancit) symbolize “long life” for many folks in the Philippines, thus many households serve a batch during special occasions, including birthdays, (Gregorian calendar) New Year and, of course, Chinese New Year.

Read More

Filipino Pantry Staples; Banana Ketchup

 

Fried Chicken & Banana Ketchup

Fried Chicken & Banana Ketchup

 

by Allan Roman Reyes

I don’t claim to be a  “ketchup aficionado or even think there’s such a title out there, but an early dinner at Max’sRestaurant got  my mind going about a new career, “Condiment Sommelier”.   OK, it wasn’t THAT dramatic, but the flavor of their “banana ketchup” was so memorable that I went a little bananas(get it?). Banana ketchup was created and formulated in the Philippines during World War II because of a tomato shortage. Ingredients consisted of local mashed banana, cane sugar, and native vinegar with “colorants” added to emulate the red pigment of traditional catsup.

Read More

Learn Lumpia, Filipino Cooking Classes, What!

Lumpia Love!

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins

Lumpia is, hands down, the house party favorite. I have never thrown a shin dig and had left over lumpia. It just doesn’t happen.  They are the petite, meaty version of a Chinese egg roll. Lumpiyang Shanghai, its “government” name, are deep fried finger foods stuffed with a delectable blend of ground pork, minced onions, sweet  raisins, chopped garlic, garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper and soy sauce. Eggs bind the raw mixture.

Read More

Grab The New Year By The Balls! Ginataang Bilo Bilo

Tray of Bilo Bilo, Rice Flour Balls

 

By Haydee Vicedo

It’s a new year and it’s cold and chilly in many parts of the country. For me, there’s nothing better than warming up with my cozy Raiders throw blanket, watching Bowl games and chowing down on comfort food. Score! One of my faves is ginataang bilo-biloGinataang translates to “cooked in coconut milk/sauce” and bilo-bilo describe the sticky, glutinous (and delicious) rice balls that sprinkle this sweet porridge. Partnered with earthy sweet potatoes, caramelized plantains, jackfruit slices and chewy tapioca pearls, this creamy, fruity mishmash is a fusion of tropical flavors and hearty textures.

Read More

Polvorons; Filipino Holiday Treats

Polvoron, Filipino Short Bread Cookie

Polvoron, Filipino Short Bread
Photo: Sweet Coconut Bakery

I prefer desserts that are dense, moist and almost devoid of nutritional value. Filipino treats like Suman and Bibingka Cassava were two of those sans sustenance. I looked forward to consuming  both, but I particularly loved peeling the soft steamed, sticky, banana leaf wrapping of Suman. Natures perfect package revealed a tube-like mold of fruity, milky, glued together, coconut rice. Bibingka Cassava, a rich custard pudding cake, was thick and heavy, filled with heavy cream and sugar, topped with shreds of coconut.

Read More