Grab ‘Em By the Balls; Filipino Soup Series, Sweet Porridge-Ginataang Bilo Bilo

Can this election be over already? I’m so ready to decorate, cuddle up with my Netflix and plan the holidays. This is supposed to be the time of year we celebrate being together. PP&B has been highlighting the savory side of things  in our soup series, but  we wanted to take a moment, reflect and add something sweeter, a dish that symbolizes unity.  Ginataang Bilo Bilo is that hug in a bowl we all need right about now. This porridge  is created by cooking rice flour balls (bilo-bilo), jackfruit (langka) and sago pearls (tapioca) in coconut milk (gata). Adding yams or corn are also options. I have fond memories of rolling the rice flour mixture into soft round pillows.  It’s warm, creamy and chewy, perfect for chilly weather. Kawaling Pinoy has a great recipe and beautiful pics.

Sweet Rice Porridge

Sweet Rice Porridge; Ginataang Bilo Bilo



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Ginger Spice & Er’ting Nice; Filipino Soup Series-Tinola

Fall’s here y’all! The temps are going down, sweaters coming out and soon, those lbs start creeping up. But do not fear, the Filipino Soup Series is here! Soup or sabaw  is a great meal option and an ideal way to  prevent those unwanted holiday pounds. “Soup can be a wonderfully delicious way to achieve fullness and get disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals. Vegetable and broth-based soups provide a big bang for their buck because of the high water content mixed with the carbs, fiber and protein from the ingredients. It’s a high-volume meal, so you’ll feel full longer as compared to a dense, low-volume food such as a protein bar, for example, according to Lisa Brown and Jennifer Medina of Brown & Medina Nutrition in New York”. 

Ingredients for Chicken Tinola

Ingredients for Chicken Tinola

Our first post in the series focused on one of my favorite hearty bowls of goodness, Nilaga, a beef based soup, full of cabbage and sprinkled with patis. Today we will feature Lola’s sore throat antidote,  Tinola, a chicken based soup, filled with chunks of sayote and spiced up with fresh ginger. The ingredient that makes this liquid concoction so delicious and nutritious is the sautéed ginger. Spicy, peppery and slightly sweet, this ancient wonder adds another level of fragrance and flavor. Ginger also has several health benefits; improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body, clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including clearing your sinuses which can flare up seasonally or during colder months, anti-inflammatory and it can reduce flatulence. Toots be gone!  Sayote aka chayote, a squash-like-fruit packed with vitamin C, is the other superstar of this meal. They are high in fiber and low in calories. Tinolang Manok (chicken)  is a nice, simple, healthy addition to your souping repertoire. Check out this fun YouTube video and this recipe we borrowed and adjusted from Pickled Plum.

Bowl of Chicken Tinola

Bowl of Chicken Tinola

TINOLANG MANOK (Tinola  Soup with Chicken)

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely sliced into half moon
  • 2 thumb size ginger, peeled and finely sliced into sticks (julienned)
  • 1½ pound chicken thighs
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • 3 small chayote squash, chopped into bite size chunks
  • 2 baby bok choy, sliced in half lengthwise (optional)
  • green chili (optional)
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, add oil, onions and ginger and sautee for 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Make sure onion and ginger cover the bottom of the pot.
  2. Place chicken thighs on top and add fish sauce – do not stir.
  3. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add enough water to just cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 170-175 degrees.
  5. Add chopped chayote squash. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until zucchini is tender.
  6. Add sliced bok choy, cover and cook for 3-5, until tender.
  7. The chicken is ready to eat once the internal temperature reaches 180º.
  8. Serve chicken and vegetables with broth




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Keeping It Fresh; Out Dated vs. Updated


Malaki Box from FlipCrateFoodie

I hate to admit this, but, the other night, I had to throw out some Filipino food because it was too, wait for it, greasy. Ugh, there, I said it. I know, I know, I’m an A-hole. Here I am talking all this garbage about promoting Filipino food and the positive perception of it and I  perpetuate the stereotype by calling it greasy. I could have not mentioned it at all, right? No! Not right. This blog is about changing thangs, changing perceptions and changing what we value. It’s about making choices to do better because we know better in hopes to influence others to do the same.

Here’s what happened. Earlier this week, I made a special trip to the “Filipino Market” to get food for the week, supplies for my new recipe posts and keep the momentum going for this refresh of PP&B. As I strolled around the store I noticed how pleasant it smelled, despite the fact that it’s a Seafood Market. I also noticed the meat and fish looked fresh and there was a lovely large produce section. It was great. Unfortunately, I also noticed the HUGE amount of PROCESSED goodies. There were so so many sections full of sugar laden snacks. They all looked so sweet and addictive, my mouth started to salivate. My liver continued to scream. I managed to stay focused. These high fructose delights were staying on the shelves. Instead, I opted for to-go (point-point) options from “The Grill”.  Pork Adobo, grilled Tilapia, BBQ chicken and Dinuguan made their way onto my ticket order and into my basket.

styrofoam containers 2

Styrofoam Containers

I was so excited to get home, warm up some rice and unpack those crappy yet familiar styrofoam containers of yummy goodness. I made myself a plate and inhaled the oil-soaked food. It wasn’t long after that the reflux started. I did not feel well and I did not have a good night’s sleep. The next morning the reflux had subsided and although I wanted to save myself the trouble of cooking and  not waste the money I had spent the day before, I had a choice to make; do I eat the rest of this food, which made me feel not so great or do I choose better? I compromised and elected to keep the BBQ sticks and tilapia.  I reluctantly threw out the glistening adobo and strong smelling dinuguan

Why was this so hard to admit? Why am I conflicted  and why the am I judging myself so hard?  It’s because I love my culture and criticizing food or specifically the Filipino food experience, albeit, constructive, is often interpreted as negative or inauthentic or dare I say, selling out. Well I’m here to tell you it’s not. You can love love love your Tita’s bibingka and wish she used raw sugar instead of white and a little less of it. Those things can exist simultaneously. Demanding higher quality ingredients, insisting there be thoughtful presentation, superior customer service and applying health conscious cooking techniques is not untraditional or phony. It’s smart and earned and deserved! Commenting on, and improving on, these aspects of home made or fast casual Filipino food will continue to shift the perception of Filipino food from a negative one into a positive one.  That was my struggle. What was I telling myself about Filipino food if I was throwing it out? That it was no good? That we’re no good?  No!  I’m saying that this particular version of Filipino food and service, although convenient and most of the time tasty,  is out-dated. I’m saying that I’d like to support and promote the up-to-date versions.  So from this point forward, Pig Parts & Beer will do our best to focus and popularize that Fresh Filipino Flavor.  We still intend to give props to the old school businesses that have held the Filipino American community down for decades, but we intend to keep it moving and keep it fresh with new interviews, original recipes and inspiring stories from this generation’s innovators, artisans, creators and trail-blazers.

FlipCrate Foodie

FlipCrate Foodie


Glad To Be Back :)

Karena aka PP&B


FYI: We just signed up for FlipCrate Foodie, a monthly subscription to curated Filipino foodie snacks. The great design and innovation were our motivators. We’ll keep ya posted on what we think of the crates themselves.






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