Monday, December 23, 2013

Calamansi of My Childhood

It's not like I couldn't get Calamansi in Australia. I have my own tiny tree as a matter of fact.

But never do I harvest them this plenty unless I'm back in the aming sariling bakuran.

Calamansi will always be the scent & taste of my childhood in the province of Laguna.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:San Pablo-Rizal-Liliw Road,Nagcarlan,Philippines

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Mode

Hopefully more posts coming soon...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hakataya Ramen, Sunnybank

If there's one thing Brisbane lack it's a good ramen place that is 'accessible' in every sense of the word.

Taro's Ramen & Cafe in the City has been around for a while but unless you work in town and/or prepared to pay the exorbitant price of parking it is not the 'friendliest' ramen place to visit. But don't get me wrong, I love Taro's. I just can't afford it all the time. I don't work in the City anymore.

And then comes Hakataya! New to the scene but definitely making waves (read: there's almost always a queue). Their ramen is very good and starts from $10 only. Not only that, you can request extra noodles FREE!

But they are imperfect in one sense.
All their branches are in the South (the farthest at Surfers Paradise). I live North of Brisbane. A new one is opening in Indooroopilly in October 2013 but that is that much closer to me.

Hey, Hakataya management...the Northside is the bright side. Come and invest in us too...soon!

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Strawberry Fields, Sunshine Coast

There's nothing like eating fruit in season. Even better if you can pick it yourself.

Strawberry season is currently at its peak. Pick-your-own farms like Strawberry Fields in the Sunshine Coast are now open to visitors until November.

Follow the link for more info about Strawberry Fields:

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Siopao Asado (Filipino Pork Buns)

ALDI had their pork tenderloin in ‘red hot special’ a couple of weeks back. Naturally, for a bargain hunter like me, I bought some even if I didn’t have a dish in mind to cook yet.

Today, I felt like siopao (Pinoy style pork buns). Luckily, I’ve got those tenderloins in the freezer which is the ideal cut to make the filling.

I’m a big fan of Panlasang Pinoy.  He’s so passionate about his food and sharing it to the world that he even includes instructional videos with his recipes (complete with Filipino folk music in the background).

I did not come up with a new recipe for my siopao. I used his. Follow the link below for the recipe details and the video.  Thanks Vanjo!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Foolproof Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

By no means do I claim this to be an original of mine.

But after several failed Yorkshire pudding experiments I finally found one that works every single time.

Follow the link below to the SBS website for the recipe and you'll get a similar result the the one in the photo.

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fresh Pan De Sal Because I Can

There's nothing like fresh 'hot pan de sal'.

It might mean waking up an hour earlier on a Saturday morning but it certainly is very rewarding.

For the recipe, search for 'Dexter's Pan de Sal' on my blog.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Regional Flavours 2013

BlogPress works!

The quality of the photo is sacrificed from time to time but it works!

Went the Regional Flavours event at Southbank on the weekend where I had to the opportunity to see face to face, Adam Liaw, MasterChef Australia's season 2 winner.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Instagram & Blogspot TOGETHER

This is a test post.

The photo above was taken using Instagram on my recent trip to Melbourne

I've downloaded a new app called BlogPress that promises seamless mobile blogging.

I've enjoyed using Instagram too much to the detriment of my blog. My hope, with this app, is to somehow join the two together and thereby update my blog on a more regular basis.

Let's see how we go...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Goto Kind of Day

It’s a goto kind of day. By that I mean I’m indoors. Let me further qualify that. Apart from the occasional heavy lifting (move the washing machine on higher ground and keep it above water, for example) it’s the sort of day you’re stuck in the house. It’s an opportune time to get back into blogging. It’s nearly 10 months since my last post after all.

Queensland is experiencing another major summer storm right this very moment. It been raining non-stop for a week now. People are on the edge but hopeful the events of 2011 won’t be repeated.  We’re pretty blessed to be near the top of the hill but still a sudden surge of water causes our basement to flood.

Goto is the Tagalog word for tripe. It is also the street name for the Pinoy tripe congee (rice porridge with tripe). It’s perfect for a day like today...for me anyway.

I realise that not everyone is a fan of tripe. It’s probably safe to assume that there are lots more haters than lovers of this divisive ingredient. It’s synonymous to rubbish in the English language for a reason.

No matter how much you try tripe is tripe. It will never taste like chicken. But everybody loves chicken. To get around the dilemma of being the solo tripe lover in my household I make a chicken arroz caldo (chicken rice porridge) as a base for my goto. The goto then becomes more like a side dish/a topping/a condiment rather than being the main event....everybody happy.

The recipe below is basically how to make chicken congee and a side dish of tripe.

There are at least 3 types of tripe I’m aware of. There’s the ‘honeycomb’, the ‘towel’ and the ‘book’ descriptive of how they each look like. Be mindful of what you buy as it would determine how long you’re going to cook it for. I used the ‘towel’ for this dish. It’s meatier than the ‘book’ and texturally better than the ‘honeycomb’.

I highly recommend using a pressure cooker (for the tripe – to at least halve the cooking time) and a thick based pot (for the porridge – to avoid sticking to the bottom) for this dish.

I usually make my congee as basic as possible. I allow the diner to finish the dish by dressing it up to suit his/her taste. Apart from goto there are plenty of other additions to the Pinoy congee:
Tokwa’t baboy (deep fried tofu and pork)
Chicharon (deep fried pork rind)
Egg (hard boiled or soft boiled or even fresh)
Century egg
Spring onions
Cooked garlic in oil
Fish sauce
Soy sauce
White pepper/black pepper
And a lot more…

The possibilities are limitless (almost).

Chicken Congee ala Beancounter
2 cups of jasmine rice
1 teaspoon salt
Slivers of ginger
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 dozen chicken wingettes
Peanut oil
At least 6 cups of Chicken stock (more if you want thinner congee)
1. First wash the rice. Mix in the salt and about 1 tablespoon of oil after washing. Straing to get rid of excess water. From experience this helps in breaking down the rice quicker to reach my preferred consistency.
2. In a large stockpot with a thick base (this prevents the rice from sticking and burning quickly) heat up a bit of oil.
3. Sauté the ginger first then the garlic and then the onion.
4. Add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes.
5. Add the rice and stir continuously for about 2 minutes. (If the base of your pot is not thick enough the rice will be sticking to the bottom like crazy. So invest in good pots and pans.)
6. Add half the stock. You’ll notice that as the rice cooks it will absorb the stock. You’ll need to keep adding more stock to achieve the consistency that you like. The rice will soon have enough and will start breaking down. I like my congee almost soup like not overcooked rice. There’s nothing worse than congee with still recognisable rice grains
7. Serve steaming hot with your preferred condiments and the goto of course!

500g tripe (towel/blanket)
Slivers of ginger
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 medium sized onion chopped
Black pepper to taste
Fish sauce to taste
Peanut oil
1. Heat up a bit of oil using a a pressure cooker.
2. Sauté the ginger first then the garlic and then the onion.
3. Add the tripe and cook for a couple of minutes. Add fish sauce and black pepper to taste.
4. Add just enough water to cover the tripe. Pressure cook for about half an hour.
5. Set aside while you finish off cooking the congee.