Maja Blanca

Maja Blanca

Also known as coconut pudding, maja blanca is a Filipino dessert made from coconut milk, starch and sugar that is usually served during town festivals and special holidays.

Obviously, maja blanca is an adapted version of a traditional Spanish dessert manjar blanco, which is similar to desserts such as blancmange, meaning “white delicacy.”

Its traditional preparation is relatively easy – just coconut milk, cornstarch and sugar. Agar (gulaman in Filipino) can be another substitute for cornstarch.

Other versions include maja maiz that uses corn kernels and butter, thus resulting in distinctive yellow color; squash maja blanca that has squash as main ingredient; and maja de ube that uses ube (purple yam), giving a deep violet color. Read more

Thai red chicken curry

Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Vegetables

You may expect to see a Cantonese Chinese restaurant in almost every village in Belgium, but next to Chinese, you will find a handful of Thai restaurants here as well. We’re lucky to find two Thai restaurants serving very authentically yummy Thai delights near our home.

So here I am, showing my fancy over Thai food again. I admit, next to Italian, I adore Thai cuisine.

I love the strong aromatic, and oftentimes a spicy edge of Thai dishes. Interestingly, you can come to explore all of your taste senses – sour, sweet, salty, bitter, spicy – in even just a single Thai meal!

“What is Thai food? Every country in the world has its own food profile. It reflects its culture, environment, ingenuity and values. In the case of Thailand, these words come to mind: intricacy; attention to detail; texture; color; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavor. Read more

quinoa with leeks and shiitake mushrooms

Quinoa with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

I’ve actually heard about this latest food craze from my health-conscious Filipina friend. Even the UN gave this superfood an international year to commemorate its awesomeness. My friend also swears by it as a great alternative to rice, which we Filipinos can hardly live without.

But since I moved here in Europe, I’ve already started eating rice occasionally, once or twice a week as a matter of fact. I’m now chowing down more on other carbs such as potatoes, pasta, or noodles.

Yet in a few occasions too, I’d just simply eat salad or vegetables. So coming across this new grain (or seed) did give me another healthier option.

Quinoa is originally grown in South America and basically part of staple diet of local Andean population in Peru, Chile and Bolivia for already thousands of years. Read more

Pancit Series – Canton

The term pancit is actually derived from Hokkien Chinese word, pian i sit (便ê食; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: piān-ê-si̍t or Chinese: 便食; pinyin: biàn shí). So obviously, it’s the Chinese who introduced noodles to us and since then we have adopted these into our local cuisine. With over 30 variations of pancit available all over the country, you’ll also never run out of finding these panciterias or shops specializing in noodles.

Interestingly, like rice, we Filipinos can eat pancit at any time of the day. We can chow it down for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Like me, most would eat pancit as it is, but for others, they would even mix it with rice, or with some leftover dish, or simply with dried fish and pickles. Read more

Pancit Series – Bihon Guisado

Pancit is perhaps amongst the easiest Filipino dishes that I can cook while living here in Europe for several years now. For one, it’s very easy to find noodles of different kinds – vermicelli noodles in particular – in most Asian grocery stores.

Pancit is a very traditional and popular cuisine found in majority of Filipino restaurants, and certainly at dinner tables of Filipinos everywhere. Filipina mothers would whip up pancit for family gatherings.

Most especially during birthday celebrations, it has to be sure that the pancit noodles are kept long; for it’s been superstitiously believed that it represents long life and good health. In most Chinese restaurants in the Philippines, they often have “birthday noodles” as part of their special menus. Read more

great taste 2015

Great Taste in 2015: Soups, Pastas & Home Dinners

Since we moved here to Belgium, I’ve actually spent a good deal of time preparing dinners for family and friends at home. Then over spring and summer, I got so hooked in making soups and pasta dishes.

Go meat! A few meat dishes got my attention that I chose to share the recipes here. I always enjoyed preparing this herbed lamb with crushed potatoes; just placing everything in the oven and you get this luscious lamb dish in half a time. Bangkok’s lemongrass chicken stir-fry recipe was pretty interesting. Quite a lot of prep work but it just takes a couple of minutes of cooking everything together in the wok, then you get a delicious Asian curry dish. Then this chicken adobo with merguez was a happy experiment of sort. Read more