Friday, November 23, 2007

Traditional breakfast in the Philippines

A favourite traditional breakfast in the Philippines consists of garlic fried rice, fried or scrambled eggs, and a choice of breakfast meat: beef tapa (like a fried beef jerky), pork tocino (caramelised pork), longaniza (breakfast sausage), dried salty, smoked fish, tinned sardines, sauteed corned beef, or crispy pork adobo, often with Western-style baked beans, sliced tomatoes and a local pickle (achara) on the side. Alternatively, a cheese-topped breakfast pastry called an ensaimada (a colonial relative of the Mallorcan ensaimada) is also eaten, usually with hot chocolate, as is pan de sal (Philippine breakfast roll) filled with a buffalo milk white cheese, and local barako coffee. Finally, there is champurrado, a local sweet chocolate sticky rice porridge, often served with a side dish of crisp-fried sun-dried fish (danggit or tuyo) -- an unusual, though authentically Filipino combination.

Ingredients :

2 1/2 stk margarine
1 cup sugar
9 x egg yolks
1 whl egg
2 pkt dry yeast dissolved in
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
6 cup bread flour
golden raisins
melted butter
parmesan cheese

Method :
Have margarine and eggs at room temperature. Dissolve the yeast in water. Cream margarine and eggs until fluffy. Add the dissolved yeast, milk and salt.

Add flour. Knead until dough no longer sticks to your hands. Add more flour if necessary.

Let rise 2-3 hours in a warm place until double in bulk. Punch down. Divide dough into 4 equal part and form each part into a long roll. Cut off pieces the size of an egg. Roll each piece into an thin oblong and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese and a few golden raisins. Roll into a coil and place in greased muffin tins. Let rise, covered until 3 times in bulk.

Bake at 350 degrees. Remove from tins and brush top with melted butter and roll in a mixture of 1 cup sugar and 2 T. parmesan cheese.

NOTES : These are somewhat labor intensive, but worth every bite.
Makes lots and lots. Freeze for later enjoyment!!

Vegetarian Lumpia from the Philippines
Ingredients :

1 package lumpia skins, from an asian specialty store
10 carrots, chopped small
4 leeks, well cleaned,and chopped small
6 shallots or 2 onions, chopped small
sesame oil, dark (or regular oil, but sesame is better)
salt (try 1 tsp)
Chinese duck sauce or plum sauce (for dipping)

Method :

Saute chopped carrots, leeks, shallots and salt in sesame oil til the carrots are tender and soft.

Use the lumpia skins at either full size or 1/4 size (by cutting larger skins into four squares).

Moisten a lumpia skin in water and roll the vegetable mixture into the skin.

Repeat with the remaining skins.

Bake at 375 on a lightly oiled baking sheet for approx 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned- keep an eye on them, as ovens vary.

Serve hot with plum or duck sauce.

Chicken Adobo

Ingredients :

3 lbs chicken thighs, cut into serving pieces
4 fluid ounces white vinegar
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup peppercorns, crushed
1 teaspoon brown sugar
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves

Method :

Combine all ingredients in a pan, cover, and marinate for one to three hours.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Uncover the pan and allow to simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the chicken is lightly brown.

Serve with white rice.

Achara (Pickled Papaya)

Ingredients :

1 papaya
1 red bell pepper, julliened
1 green bell pepper, julliened
1 medium carrot, julliened, could also be cut in decorative florets
5 shallots, sliced thinly crosswise
1 large garlic clove, sliced thinly crosswise
1 inch gingerroot, julliened
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
Pickling Solution
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Method :

Peel the papaya and discard seeds. Shred using a vegetable grater or a cheese grater with bigger holes.

Put the shredded papaya in a bowl, sprinkle with the teaspoon of salt and toss. Let sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then squeeze by the handfuls, discarding the juice.

In a sauce pan - mix together the pickling solution and bring to boil stirring until sugar and salt are completely dissolved.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Put everything in a bowl and pour the cooled pickling solution on top and mix well.
Refrigerate, covered or transfer into jars and let cure for a day or so before serving.


Crusty Pan De Sal

Ingredients :

1 tablespoon shortening
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 cup water
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
5 cups sifted flour

Method :

Combine shortening, sugar, salt and boiling water in a large mixing bowl.

Cool to lukewarm.

Add warm water and sprinkle in dry yeast.

Stir until dissolved.

Let stand for 5 minutes.

Add flour gradually and turn out on a lighlty floured board.

Knead until smooth and elastic.

Place in a greased bowl and brush with shortening.

Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size- about 1- 1 1/2 hour.

Punch down and turn out on a lighlty floured board.

Divide dough into 24 equal parts and shape into ovals.

Roll lightly in bread crumbs.

Place on greased cookie sheet.
(spread 6 inches apart).

Cover, let rise in warm place, free from draft, until light- about 1 hour.

Bake at 425 degrees, for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Traditional Indonesian Breakfast Recipes

There are obviously regional variations accross the vast island populations that comprise Indonesia. Influences come from China, Malaya, Singapore and of course the western world. In some regions the cuisine will tend to be generally sweeter with much coconut milk used, in some more fiery with greater use of chillies and in other more emphasis on the fragrant. The common breakfast dishes found in most parts of Indonesia would include Nasi Goreng - basically a rice dish flavoured with mild curry, vegetables, soy sauce and chicken or prawns. This can be topped with a fried egg and sliced cucumber and then called Istimewa.
Toasted breads, pancakes and omelettes in various forms, eggs and of course fruits will also feature almost everywhere.

Nasi Goreng Istimewa

Fried rice is actually a breakfast dish in Indonesia. It is often made from the boiled rice, which may have been left over from the previous nights meal. To make it 'istimewa' or special, a lightly fired egg, some cucumber slices and kerupuk (prawn crackers) are served on top of the rice.

4 cups cooled cooked rice
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 medium onion
1 tsp chilli
2 tbsp oil

Slice the onion lengthwise, heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, chilli and shrimp paste until the onion is soft. Add the rice and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly while constantly turning until every grain is coated. Then add the soya sauce and mix again until the colour is even throughout.
The rice should have taken on a nice orange-red tinge from the chilli powder. Cooked meat or prawns can be added with the soya sauce. Onion crisps (Goreng Bawang) are often used as a garnish.

Prawn and Corn Fritters

4-6 servings – 20-30 fritters
1 cup small prawns. Head and tail removed
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup bean sprouts
½ cup leeks, cut into 2cm pieces
1 onion thinly sliced
1 red chilli thinly sliced
½ cup corn kernels
1 cup water
oil for frying

Combine all ingredients and a cup of warm water.
Mix thoroughly with a spoon until all ingredients are really well combined (about 1 minute). If the mixture is too thick add more water.
The mixture should be thick enough in order to spoon it into hot oil for deep-frying. Deep fry until golden brown.
Best serve hot with chilli sauce, satay sauce or ketchup.

Sheer Korma
This is a traditional Muslim festive breakfast. A sweet breakfast made with vermicelli, sugar & milk and flavoured with cardamom, almonds, saffron, raisons and rose water. It is traditionally served on Eid day (both Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha) to the household after they come back from Eid prayers. It is then served throughout the day to all well wishers and guests who come to celebrate Eid..

1 pack vermicelli
8 pints fresh milk
1 cup sugar
20 whole cardamom pods
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 cup chopped almonds, cashews and pistachios
½ cup fresh cream
½ teaspoon saffron strands
3 tablespoons charoli nuts
½ cup raisins
½ teaspoon rose water
1 tablespoon butter

Fry the vermicelli in the butter until well browned but not burnt and all the butter is dried. Add in ¼ cup sugar and continue cooking. Add in the milk cup by cup, stirring constantly, and bring to the boil.
Add in the raisins, whole cardamom, and 1/2 cup slivered almonds, cashews and pistachios, and the remaining sugar. Reduce the heat and thicken the sheer korma to three-strand consistency, letting the milk boil until it is reduced by half
The vermicelli must be very soft by now. Quickly add in the rose water, charoli and fresh cream and let simmer covered for 10 minutes. Garnish with the saffron strands and powdered cardamom, and serve immediately.

Soufflé omelettes are spectacular dishes, yet they are disarmingly simple to prepare. The Indonesian spicing of this dish, and the coconut milk which is so typical of that cuisine, make this a meal to remember. Serve it with a couple of salads of your choice.
Serves 2

Ingredients:1 cm Root ginger peeled and grated
1 Clove of garlic; crushed
Sesame oil
75 g Chinese cabbage, shredded
75 g Small button mushrooms, sliced
50 g Sweetcorn
50 g Mange-tout
1 Fresh chilli, de-seeded and chopped
40 g Dry-roasted peanuts, ground
150 ml Thin coconut milk
3 Eggs; separated
Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

Soften the ginger and garlic in the oil for 2-3 minutes and then toss in the prepared vegetables. Stir until heated through and well coated with the oil, then add the ground peanuts. Stir well. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then mix in the beaten egg yolks and stir thoroughly. Season to taste.

Fold in the stiffly beaten whites and pour the mixture into a large, well-oiled, heavy frying pan. Cook over a very gentle heat for 8-10 minutes until puffed and beginning to set. Brown under a hot grill for a minute or two to finish the cooking, and serve immediately garnished with fresh coriander leaves. Cut into wedges for each serving.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Traditional Vietnamese Breakfast Dishes

When you're talking about breakfast in Vietnam, you're probably talking about one of three things: pho, sticky rice or some sort of French bread.

Pho (pronounced "fuh") is soup with rice or wheat based noodles that's flavored with a meat such as chicken, pork or beef. Fresh ingredients are added to the soup or act as a topping for the soup. These ingredients may include any combination of the following: preserved cabbage, chopped chilies, roasted peanuts, shallots, bean sprouts, cilantro, basil, lime, Vietnamese parsley and garlic. A fish or chile sauce is almost always served with the soup. Pho makes occasional appearances at other meals as a starter course.

In many rural areas, sticky rice or xoi rules the breakfast table. Often the rice is steamed with brown sugar and mung beans. The rice is then wrapped in coconut or bamboo leaves.

In the late 1800's, the French took over every Vietnamese city they could get their wily hands on. The result of decades of French rule - as it applies to breakfast - is the abundance of French-influenced breads that are still widely consumed in Vietnam. French bread is available in most restaurants. It's common in metropolitan areas to see women carrying burlap bags full of baguettes on their heads to sell on the street. It's even easy to find a good crepe in fancier restaurants.

Fruit is often served as or with breakfast. Mango and dragon fruit - a unique regional fruit from the cactus family - are particularly prevalent.

Beef noodle soup (pho bo)
Makes 8 satisfying bowls

For the broth:
2 medium yellow onions (about 1 pound total)
4-inch piece ginger (about 4 ounces)
5-6 pounds beef soup bones (marrow and knuckle bones)
5 star anise (40 star points total)
6 whole cloves
3-inch cinnamon stick
1 pound piece of beef chuck, rump, brisket or cross rib roast, cut into 2-by-4-inch pieces (weight after trimming)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 ounce (1-inch chunk) yellow rock sugar (duong phen; see Note)

For the bowls:
1 1/2-2 pounds small (1/8-inch wide) dried or fresh banh pho noodles ("rice sticks'' or Thai chantaboon)
1/2 pound raw eye of round, sirloin, London broil or tri-tip steak, thinly sliced across the grain (1/16 inch thick; freeze for 15 minutes to make it easier to slice)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced paper-thin, left to soak for 30 minutes in a bowl of cold water
3 or 4 scallions, green part only, cut into thin rings
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (ngo)
Ground black pepper

Optional garnishes arranged on a plate and placed at the table:
Sprigs of spearmint (hung lui) and Asian/Thai basil (hung que)
Leaves of thorny cilantro (ngo gai)
Bean sprouts (about 1/2 pound)
Red hot chiles (such as Thai bird or dragon), thinly sliced
Lime wedges

Prepare the broth:

Char onion and ginger. Use an open flame on grill or gas stove. Place onions and ginger on cooking grate and let skin burn. (If using stove, turn on exhaust fan and open a window.) After about 15 minutes, they will soften and become sweetly fragrant. Use tongs to occasionally rotate them and to grab and discard any flyaway onion skin. You do not have to blacken entire surface, just enough to slightly cook onion and ginger.

Let cool. Under warm water, remove charred onion skin; trim and discard blackened parts of root or stem ends. If ginger skin is puckered and blistered, smash ginger with flat side of knife to loosen flesh from skin. Otherwise, use sharp paring knife to remove skin, running ginger under warm water to wash off blackened bits. Set aside.

Parboil bones. Place bones in stockpot (minimum 12-quart capacity) and cover with cold water. Over high heat, bring to boil. Boil vigorously 2 to 3 minutes to allow impurities to be released. Dump bones and water into sink and rinse bones with warm water. Quickly scrub stockpot to remove any residue. Return bones to pot.

Simmer broth. Add 6 quarts water to pot, bring to boil over high heat, then lower flame to gently simmer. Use ladle to skim any scum that rises to surface. Add remaining broth ingredients and cook 1 1/2 hours. Boneless meat should be slightly chewy but not tough. When it is cooked to your liking, remove it and place in bowl of cold water for 10 minutes; this prevents the meat from drying up and turning dark as it cools. Drain the meat; cool, then refrigerate. Allow broth to continue cooking; in total, the broth should simmer 3 hours.

Strain broth through fine strainer. If desired, remove any bits of gelatinous tendon from bones to add to your pho bowl. Store tendon with cooked beef. Discard solids.

Use ladle to skim as much fat from top of broth as you like. (Cool it and refrigerate it overnight to make this task easier; reheat befofe continuing.) Taste and adjust flavor with additional salt, fish sauce and yellow rock sugar. The broth should taste slightly too strong because the noodles and other ingredients are not salted. (If you've gone too far, add water to dilute.) Makes about 4 quarts.

Assemble bowls: The key is to be organized and have everything ready to go. Thinly slice cooked meat. For best results, make sure it's cold.

Heat broth and ready noodles. To ensure good timing, reheat broth over medium flame as you're assembling bowls. If you're using dried noodles, cover with hot tap water and soak 15-20 minutes, until softened and opaque white. Drain in colander. For fresh rice noodles, just untangle and briefly rinse in a colander with cold water.

Blanch noodles. Fill 3- or 4-quart saucepan with water and bring to boil. For each bowl, use long-handle strainer to blanch a portion of noodles. As soon as noodles have collapsed and lost their stiffness (10-20 seconds), pull strainer from water, letting water drain back into saucepan. Empty noodles into bowls. Noodles should occupy 1/4 to 1/3 of bowl; the latter is for noodle lovers, while the former is for those who prize broth.
If desired, after blanching noodles, blanch bean sprouts for 30 seconds in same saucepan. They should slightly wilt but retain some crunch. Drain and add to the garnish plate.

Add other ingredients. Place slices of cooked meat, raw meat and tendon (if using) atop noodles. (If your cooked meat is not at room temperature, blanch slices for few seconds in hot water from above.) Garnish with onion, scallion and chopped cilantro. Finish with black pepper.

Ladle in broth and serve. Bring broth to rolling boil. Check seasoning. Ladle broth into each bowl, distributing hot liquid evenly so as to cook raw beef and warm other ingredients. Serve with garnish plate.

Note: Yellow rock sugar (a.k.a. lump sugar) is sold in one-pound boxes at Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. Break up large chunks with hammer.

Variations: If you want to replicate the splendorous options available at pho shops, head to the butcher counter at a Vietnamese or Chinese market. There you'll find white cords of gan (beef tendon) and thin pieces of nam (outside flank, not flank steak). While tendon requires no preparation prior to cooking, nam should be rolled and tied with string for easy handling. Simmer it and the beef tendon in the cooking broth for two hours, or until chewy-tender.

Peanut Sticky Rice

2 cups glutinous rice (sometimes sold as sweet or sticky rice; other rices won't work for this dish)
1 cup raw peanuts
1 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 Tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping:
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 Tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
sugar - to taste
In separate pans, soak the raw peanuts and rice overnight in warm water. Drain both in the morning.

In a large sauce pan, combine 1 cup of water and the coconut milk with the rice, peanuts, oil and salt. Bring mixture to a rolling boil. Immedietly reduce heat to low and stir. Cover and continue to cook on low for 20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed - stirring occasionally.

Fluff rice once with a fork before serving.

Place equal amounts of rice in four serving bowls. Top with shredded coconut, peanut pieces, sesame seeds and sugar.

In Vietnam, this dish is very popular for breakfast in rural areas where the finished rice is often wrapped in coconut or bamboo leaves.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Traditional Korean Breakfast Dishes

Korea has a great tradition of breakfast. Centuries ago, Korea barely recognized a lunchtime meal. It was a snack at best. The result was that both breakfast and dinner were grand meals often consisting of several courses.

Today, breakfast is still a large meal. A traditional breakfast of Korea consists of rice, a fermented cabbage dish called kimchi, beef and/or fish, a soup made of either beef ribs or pork intestines (tripe) and often a selection of breads and pastries.

Kimchi is a spicy and very pungent condiment that is served with almost every meal in Korea. It's made by fermenting various vegetables such as cabbage, turnips, onions and radishes with a range of spices such as red pepper powder, garlic and ginger. Homemade kimchi is often placed in tightly sealed jars and buried in the ground for four days or more to ferment.


Ingredients :

1 Large Chinese cabbage
1/2 cup Sea salt
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
5 Spring onions, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
5 cm Fresh ginger, grated
3 teaspoons Chopped fresh chili
1 tablespoon Caster sugar
2 1/2 cups Cold water

Method :

Cut the cabbage in half, then into large bite-sized pieces.

Place a layer of cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Continue with layers of cabbage and salt, finishing with a salt layer.

Cover with a dinner plate that will fit as snugly as possible over the top of the cabbage.

Weigh down the plate with cans or a small brick and leave the bowl in a cool place for 5 days.

Remove the weights and plate, pour off any liquid, then rinse the cabbage well under cold running water.

Squeeze out any excess water and combine the cabbage with the cayenne pepper, spring onion, garlic, ginger, chili and sugar.

Mix well to combine before spooning the cabbage into a large sterilized jar.

Pour the water over the top and seal with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 days before eating.

Note : Kim Chi is an accompaniment eaten with Korean main meals and with steamed rice. For an authentic flavor, use 3 tablespoons of chili. Bottled chopped chili can be used instead of fresh chili.

Bean Pancakes Recipe
(Bindae Duk)

Ingredients : Makes about 20

1 cup Mung dhal (dried mung beans halves without skin)
1 cup Water
2 Eggs, beaten
125 g Pork mince
1 Small onion, finely chopped
1 Spring onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup Fresh bean sprouts, chopped
1/2 cup KimChi or shredded white Chinese cabbage
2 tablespoons Sesame oil

Method :

Wash mung dhal and soak in cold water overnight.

Rinse and drain well.

Then put into container of electric blender with 1 cup water.

Blend until smooth.

Pour into a bowl, add all other ingredients and mix well.

Heat a griddle or heavy frying pan and drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture on the hot surface.

Cook until golden brown underneath, turn and cook other side.

Serve hot or cold.

Sesame Seed Sauce Recipe
(Cho Kanjang)

Serve this sauce with cooked or raw vegetables. It may be made and kept for a few days, or longer in the refrigerator.

Ingredients :

1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Vinegar
3 tablespoons Light soy sauce
4 tablespoons Sesame seeds

Method :

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until they are a toast-brown color.

Crush with mortar and pestle or in an electric blender.

Mix in sugar, vinegar and soy sauce.

Store in a bottle and serve with hot or cold vegetables or as a sauce for meat.

Beef Stew Recipe
(Yukkae Jang Kuk)

Ingredients : Serves 6

1 kg Skirt or flank steak
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
24 Spring onions, sliced
1 teaspoon Sugar
125 g Rice vermicelli
2 tablespoons Sesame oil
2 teaspoons Chili powder (or to taste)
2 Eggs, lightly beaten

Method :

Put whole piece of steak into a saucepan with salt, pepper and just enough water to cover.

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until steak is very tender.

Allow to cool, then shred with fingers into fibers.

Return to the pot, add spring onions and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes, then drain.

Add to simmering pot.

Mix sesame oil and chili powder together and add to stew.

The rich red oil will float on top.

Drizzle the beaten eggs into the bubbling stew, stirring so that it cooks in shreds.

Serve with hot white rice.