Tuesday, March 27, 2018



 Fish balls evoke so many happy memories for me. It is a part of my childhood, a treat for us. It became my go-to and super affordable yet gratifying snack in college. In our fundraising activity for our college organization (UP DevSoc), we sold fish balls, and the sales were beyond our expectations.
In this post, I'm sharing my homemade fish ball recipe. Why homemade? Because I'm more conscious now of what's in my food and what goes in my body. Homemade fish ball is healthier than the commercially produced ones. You can add veggies without your little ones noticing it. The sauces included here are the same sauces that we used in our fundraising activity in college.  I prefer combining these 2 dipping sauces for my fish balls.
Happy cooking!
Homemade Fish Ball


500 grams fish fillet (tilapia or cream dory or any white fish)

1 inch pc. Ginger, peeled

4 cups potatoes, diced

1 pc. Carrot, diced

1 whole garlic, minced

1 large egg, beaten

1 ½ cups cornstarch

½ cup cassava flour or all-purpose flour

¾ tsp. salt

¾ tsp. pepper

8 cups fish stock

Vegetable oil or canola oil for deep frying




1.       Poach the fish fillet in salted water with the ginger. Reserve the broth.

2.       Once cooked, flake the fish to make about 3-4 cups of flaked fish.

3.       In a separate pot, boil potatoes and carrot until soft. Reserve the broth.

4.       Place the flaked fish, potatoes, carrot, garlic and egg in a food processor (or blender). Puree until smooth.

5.       Transfer to a bowl and add the cornstarch and flour; mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

6.       Form into 1-inch balls. Simmer in fish stock (or use the combined reserved broth from the fish & potatoes/carrot) until opaque. Drain.

7.       To serve, deep-fry in oil until golden brown. (Freeze uncooked balls until ready to cook).








4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red onion, minced

4 pcs. Siling Labuyo (red chilies), minced

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

¼ cup water

3 tbsps. Soy sauce

½ cup + 2 tbsps. Vinegar

½ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. salt




1.       Combine all ingredients. Mix well until sugar is completely dissolved.









4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red onion, minced

4 Siling Labuyo (red chilies) or you may add more depending on your preference

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp. salt

¼ cup vinegar

2 tsps. Cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsps. Water




1.       Combine all ingredients except the cornstarch.

2.       Let it boil uncovered for 5 minutes. Thicken with cornstarch. Serve hot.



Sunday, March 18, 2018


Royal Bibingka has always been my favorite since childhood. This is what I've always looked for during Christmas season. I wanted to eat it even if it's not Christmas time. So I thought of making my homemade version; and it was a huge hit with my family and relatives. My son always request for this one. He could gobble up 3 slices in one sitting.

Making a Filipino Christmas staple available all-year round! Enjoy!

3 large eggs
¾ cup + 2 tbsps. Granulated sugar
2 cups All-purpose flour
4 tsps. Baking powder
1 ¼ cups coconut milk
½ cup grated cheese (quickmelt or queso de bola)
2 salted eggs, sliced
3 tbsps. Butter or margarine
Banana leaves, wilted or non-stick baking paper
1.       Preheat oven at 350°F.
2.       Using a hand or stand mixer (medium high), beat eggs until light and creamy (2-3 minutes).
3.       Add the ¾ cup sugar gradually beating well after each addition.
4.       Sift flour and baking powder together (3x).
5.       Beat dry ingredients alternately with coconut milk.
6.       Pour batter into 2 9” layer cake pans that have been greased and lined with banana leaves or non-stick baking paper.
7.       Bake for 10 minutes.
8.       Take out pans and brush with butter/margarine and top with cheese, sliced salted eggs, and sugar (1 tbsp.).
9.       Bake for 20 minutes more.
10.   When done, brush again with butter/margarine and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
11.   Serve with freshly grated coconut.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Arroz Caldo and Tokwa't Baboy

I'm sharing more comfort food recipes for this rainy season. I used to have this regularly either as breakfast, lunch, merienda or dinner. My Mama would always choose pork's cheeks for the Tokwa't Baboy (more cartilage & Papa's request), but I opted for pork liempo or belly since it's always available (leaner, I think).

May these recipes bring you comfort in this cold and wet weather. Enjoy!




1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 inch ginger, thinly sliced

2 tablespoon spring onion, chopped

1 tablespoon fish sauce or patis

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ kilo chicken, chopped

1 cup uncooked and washed rice

8 ½ cups chicken stock

2 hard boiled eggs, shells removed




1.       Heat up oil in a big pot. Saute garlic, onion and ginger for a minute.
2.       Add in the chicken, fish sauce and pepper. Brown the chicken pieces    for  7 minutes.
3.       Mix in the rice, until the grains are fully coated with oil.
4.       Pour in the chicken stock. Stir occasionally. Cook until the rice is soft (it may take 45 minutes).
5.       Season with salt and pepper.
6.       Garnish with sliced hard-boiled egg, chopped spring onion and toasted garlic.
Ingredients for the dressing:
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup water
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 red chilies, sliced
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
For the meat
¼ kilo pork liempo, sliced 1 inch thick
2 ½ cups water
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 laurel leaf
1 pack of tokwa (250 grams)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup cooking oil for frying
1.       Boil pork liempo in water with garlic, laurel leaf, salt and pepper.   Cook the pork until tender (might take 45 minutes). Set aside.
2.       Slice the tokwa into 4 big cubes. Fry the tokwa until crispy. Cut the cooked tokwa into cubes.
3.       Combine together the pork and tokwa. Drizzle the dressing on top. Mix well.       


Pansit Molo

Because of the rainy weather and sick mode, I decided to cook a comfort food, such as Pancit Molo. I always think of my mom whenever I get sick. I often times cook from memory. It has a soothing effect. My Mama would always cook this dish every New Year's Eve and whenever we would get tired of the taste of Tinola and Nilaga.  I'd like to share my mom's recipe of Pancit Molo, which I tweaked a bit. I added grated carrots in the filling, so I could make my son eat vegetable. Whenever I cook one of my Mama's recipes, I feel that she's just right beside me.
Passing on my Mama's legacy to my son, and this turns out to be one of Joaqui's most requested dishes.

Homemade Wanton Wrapper
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2-4 tablespoons water
Make a well in flour, drop in eggs and 2 tablespoons water. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Roll out floured board till paper thin. Cut into “3 x 3” squares. Set aside.
Note:  You may use the ready made molo wrappers available in the market.
¼ kilo ground pork
¼ kilo ground chicken
1 medium carrot, grated
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons spring onion, chopped
½ teaspoon liquid seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 large egg
Note: You may use ½ kilo pure ground pork, if ground chicken is not available.
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons spring onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon toasted garlic chips
1.       Mix thoroughly the ingredients for the filling. Wrap in wanton wrappers.  Set aside.
2.       Saute garlic and onion in hot oil. Add the carrots and cook for 2 minutes.
3.       Pour in chicken stock and drop the stuffed wrapper into the broth.
4.       Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let boil for 15 minutes.
5.       Serve hot garnished with chopped spring onions and toasted garlic chips.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Whenever we would visit Laguna, we would never fail to buy pasalubong, specifically Espasol. I would always reserve a stack of espasol just for me. Hehehe. I've been meaning to try this recipe for quite some time already. It's worth the wait and effort. It may seem daunting, but it's really quite easy to make.
Sharing with you a recipe that I have tweaked, I hope you enjoy cooking it. No need to head to the south just to have a piece of this Pinoy delicacy.



Makes 20-25 pieces depending on the size

Preparation Time: 20 to 25 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 to 30 minutes



2 ¼ cups glutinous rice flour

1 ½ cups coconut milk

¾ cup sugar

¾ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded young coconut (buko)



1.       Toast the rice flour in a wok until lightly browned. Cool. Set aside ¾ cup.

2.       In a saucepan, combine coconut milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmering. Add vanilla and salt. Stir in buko

3.       Add toasted rice flour all at once and stir continuously until very thick and dry, about 15 minutes.

4.       Remove from fire. Sprinkle the toasted flour, which was set aside, on a baking sheet.

5.       Transfer the cooked mixture to the baking sheet. Flatten into a sheet ¼-inch thick then cut into cylinders. You can also shape it by hand.

6.       Roll the cut cylinders in more toasted flour.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Baked Ziti with Italian Meatballs in Tomato Cream Sauce

During the long weekend, I wanted to cook something different. I got inspired from what I ate in different restaurants and from my favorite cooking shows. It may seems daunting because of the many steps involved, but people could easily follow it. Here is my creation:

For the Italian Meatballs
1/2 Kilo Ground Round
1/4 Kilo Ground Pork
1 Medium White Onion, finely chopped
3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup Bread Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Fresh Milk
1 Teaspoon Liquid Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1  400 grams Penne Pasta
5 liters Water
1 Teaspoon Salt

Tomato Cream Sauce
1 400 grams Crushed Tomatoes
1 250 grams Three Cheese Spaghetti Sauce ( I used Clara Ole)
1/2 cup All-Purpose Cream
1 Medium White Onion, finely chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 Teaspoon Parmesan Cheese
 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil

Cheese Topping
1 cup grated Quickmelt Cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions (al dente). Set aside.
  2. For the Italian meatballs, mix all ingredients together. Form meatballs according to your desired size. I used a medium ice cream scooper to make my meatballs all of the same size.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (Or you can use an oven toaster, no need to preheat it)
  4. For the Tomato Cream Sauce - Heat a large frying pan on medium-high fire. Once hot, add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, pan-fry the meatballs until brown on all sides. Set aside.
  5. Heat a medium-sized pot (medium fire). Add olive oil. Saute onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and spaghetti sauce to the pot. Mix in the pepper, salt and Italian Seasoning. Simmer (covered) for 10 minutes with low heat.
  6. Add the cooked Italian Meatballs. Stir in the parmesan cheese and all-purpose cream. Cook for 3-5 minutes while continuously stirring.
  7. In a large baking dish, spread a thin layer of the tomato cream sauce. Mix the pasta and tomato cream sauce with meatballs. Top with the quickmelt cheese and parmesan cheese. Bake for 12 minutes (350 degrees Fahrenheit) or until cheese is melted.
Happy eating!

Trivia: Ziti is long, narrow hose-like tubes sized smaller than rigatoni but larger than mezzani.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dark Chocolate Champorado

These past few days, I have been looking forward to cooking and eating comfort food. Comfort food is like recovery food for me. So I'd like to share this recipe - Dark Chocolate Champorado. It's an upgrade of our childhood favorite breakfast. 

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes 
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes


1 cup Glutinous Rice/Malagkit
3 cups Water
1 Piece Round Pure Tablea de Cacao
3/4 cup Dark Chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt)
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Milk (optional)
Chocolate curls for topping (optional)


  1. Fill saucepan with water. Cook glutinous rice, stirring constantly until the rice is transparent in color and gooey in texture. You may add water if needed. 
  2. Add Tablea, dark chocolate, white sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until the chocolate has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Serve in bowls, topped with chocolate curls and milk, if desired. 

Serves 2-3 persons.