Tag Archives: vegetables

My pickled vegetables recipe

This is just a follow-up on an article about pickling fruits that I did a few weeks ago. You could consider it a series, but honestly, this is the only “pickled recipe” I have that I’m proud of. As mentioned in my first article, I’m really not fond of pickling, but this one is an exception. Aside from the hassle of prepping, I find this recipe easy to make… and it works all the time!

Ingredients:

1. Equal parts of water and vinegar (I usually do 1 ½ C but it really depends on how much vegetables you’re pickling)
2. Sugar (for this recipe, I used 8 tbsp.)
3. Ginger, onions ( julienne or shredding will do)
4. Siling haba, or siling labuyo (no need to cut them, unless you want it to be spicy)
5. Your vegetables (I often use a combination of bittermelon and eggplant)

Ingredients for pickled vegetables
Ingredients for pickled vegetables

You could add a little bit of salt, pepper and garlic on this recipe. Also, if you want it to be fancier, add carrots, raisins and red or green bell peppers. It will look more festive that way.

First, you simmer the water and vinegar. You can add in the sugar but avoid stirring it. Let it simmer for a few minutes or until the acidity of the vinegar evaporates. I hate the raw taste of vinegar in my pickled vegetables.

All vegetables should be blanched. They don’t need to be tender, but make sure that they’re not raw anymore. Put them aside. When everything’s cooled off, combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl then pour the pickling liquid slowly. Make sure that all the ingredients are submerged in liquid. Then transfer it to a clean, air-tight sealed container.

This type of pickled vegetable is good for fried fish and chicharon. And what’s good about this is that it’s not as sensitive as other pickled recipes, where they should be kept in a certain temperature, or else molds and or bacteria will start growing in it. But this recipe needs to be kept in the fridge to keep its freshness and to help it last longer.

This post was written by Rita Salonga.

Let’s go beyond fried food! Here’s a recipe for sinigang na salmon sa miso

Sinigang na salmon sa miso
Sinigang na salmon sa miso

I did have my stint at culinary school, but I feel in my heart that my passion for cooking is genetic. How else would I learn how to cook regular dishes without any supervision or a recipe book in front of me? I rely on both of my sense of taste and sight. My mom always tells me that her mom didn’t teach her neither, it just came naturally. But I do study to learn the basics (what to do and what not to do) and also to acquire further knowledge in cooking and baking. And one thing that I love about cooking is that you discover something new in the kitchen every time you cook.

Not everybody is meant to be the queen of the kitchen, but I know that for most of the people out there, they don’t really have a choice because they’re married or living on their own. Not all of us can afford help, go through a culinary course, or order take out foods every day. That’s why I feel bad when I hear my friends tell me that all they feed their children is fried food. Honestly, it took me a while to perfect the art of cooking fried chicken, but frying is the simplest form of cooking for most of the moms out there.

It will be good if once in a while you’ll feed your love ones something nutritious aside from fried chicken, fried eggs and hotdogs. They need nourishment and it’s about time that you man-up and start familiarizing yourself with different types of cooking.

You don’t need to be a Martha Stewart; Rachael Ray is fine (Rachael Ray did not graduate from any culinary school). Don’t be discouraged when you don’t succeed during your first try. It takes a while, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that the kitchen is not as frightening as it used to be. Here’s one recipe you could try:

Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso

Ingredients for sinigang na salmon sa miso
Ingredients for sinigang na salmon sa miso

Ingredients:
1 kilo of Salmon (whatever part is available in the market will do)
1 pack of Sinigang sa Miso mix
Sili
Onions, ginger
Talbos ng kamote (or, if you prefer, kangkong)
2 cups of water

Usually in sinigang, you just boil the meat and then add the vegetables and the sinigang mix. I find that it tastes better when you sauté it first with onions and tomatoes, but since I’m using fish and Miso mix, I’ll use ginger instead of tomatoes. Ginger is pampatangal ng lansa, so you don’t really need to put a lot. Depending in the part of fish that you’ll use make sure to mix it gently because you don’t want to end up with a mushy fish in your soup. Put at least two cups of water, and if you want it to be more soupy, then you can add more water. Just make sure to taste everything along the way. Then pour in the sinigang mix, plus the vegetables. Wait for it to boil, then it’s done.

Sinigang na isda usually doesn’t take long to cook. You just have to make sure that your vegetables are cooked, and you’re ready to serve your Sinigang. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me here. I’ll try my best to answer all of your queries. Until next time!

 This post was written by Rita Salonga.

A simple recipe for Ginisang Ampalaya (Bittermelon)

My family loves Ampalaya. It’s one of the few vegetables that my sister actually eats. Since she’s a very picky eater, we usually plan our meals around her favorite dishes. Here’s a simple recipe of Ginisang Ampalaya, especially useful now that it’s the Lenten season and some people would prefer eating non-meat dishes.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Ginisang Ampalaya2 small size Ampalaya
5 medium size ripe tomatoes
Garlic and onion
Some fresh shrimps (depends on the size that are available in the market)
Salt, pepper and vinegar to taste

Directions

I boil my Ampalaya for a few minutes just to lessen the taste of bitterness in them. I don’t overdo it because I still want the crispness of vegetable. I then sauté the onions, garlic and tomatoes. I wait till the onions turn translucent before adding in the shrimps. I have pre-cooked shrimps already, but fresh shrimps are always better. Then, add in the Ampalaya, and season it with salt and pepper. You may add water if the tomatoes are not juicy enough. Then before simmering it for a few minutes, I like to add a touch of vinegar in it. Not too much, just a tablespoon or so, to enhance the acidity of the tomatoes. Don’t mix it yet, cover it for a few minutes then it’s done.

This post was written by Rita Salonga.

Noodles with a twist

I try to start my day with only positive thoughts, but there are just some things that really get on my nerves. I heard that my friends who are filming today were fed instant noodles for lunch. Who in their right mind would feed their talents instant noodles, with all the delicious food and the great restaurants available here in Manila? That’s just awful. It makes us look bad… and to think that Filipinos are known to be food lovers and great cooks.

This is not to say that instant noodles are evil in themselves. I usually eat instant myself when I feel too lazy to cook. When I was a kid, I’d always tell my mom to feed me instant noodles for breakfast. But because we need to eat healthy and nutritious food, my mom only allowed us to eat it thrice a month at most, or only when we’re super craving for it.

Now, my instant noodle is not so instant anymore. I often find myself tinkering with it rather than cook it the usual way. At first, putting on eggs would be a treat already. Sometimes, I try to keep the yolk intact like a sunny side up and then break it while eating. You’ll see the soup will turn yellowish because of the yolk’s color. When I’m feeding other people (not guests) and I’m in a hurry, I sometimes scramble the egg. When we’re busy with overtime work and we get hungry in the middle of the night, I just cook instant noodles for them and add vegetables in it, nothing too fancy, just some carrots, celery and if you have cabbage, then that’s it. And don’t forget the eggs 🙂 The hot soup plus the veggies will wake us up and rev up our brains.

Another twist is to spice it up. I love spicy food! I’m a fan of kimchi and I always keep a bottle of kimchi with me in the fridge. I learned from my Korean friends that they add kimchi in their instant noodles. At first I thought it was weird because kimchi has a sour taste to it. But when I tried it, I fell in love with it! The sourness of the kimchi doesn’t overpower the saltiness of the instant noodles. I use the chicken instant noodle kind with my kimchi, since the beef’s broth is too dark and it looks dirty with the red specks from the kimchi. But for my staple instant noodle creation, regardless whether it’s pork, chicken or beef, I add half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and an egg. That’s it, nothing more. I know it’ll be spicy, but when you drink the hot soup, your face turns red and you start to sweat. I love that feeling it gives me.

I know that I shouldn’t get mad with that producer for feeding my friends instant noodles. But for pete’s sake, if they can’t afford to give them a decent meal, they should’ve just told me. I could’ve cooked for them, free of charge. Besides, what are friends for? 🙂

This post was written by Rita Salonga.