Congee, My Comfort Food

Whenever I don’t feel good, I usually prefer to eat rice congee, also called as rice porridge, or lugaw in Filipino.

rice congee topped with rousong (dried pork floss) and soy sauce

Rice congee is my comfort food. I know most people would say chicken soup is best to eat when you are not . I prefer it over chicken soup. Come to think of it, chicken soup is not even on my top 3 food that I eat when I’m not feeling well.

I felt like I was coming down with something and I didn’t have any appetite to eat anything. So I had asked Chris to make me some congee. I always find myself eating congee when I can’t eat anything else.

Congee is good because it’s a clean food when it comes to how simple the ingredients are: rice and water. It can’t get any simpler than that. What you add to it are based on preference and there are a lot to choose from. Even I have so many different preferences when it comes to my rice congee.

There are many different types of congee and/or rice porridge. This one is just a simple congee.

The rice was boiled with 3 parts water ratio compared to the rice. So with 1 cup of uncooked rice boiled with 3 cups of water. No salt added or any seasoning when it was cooked. You can add chicken bouillon and ginger too. But with this one in the picture, the congee was made simple. Once it’s cooked, then that’s when I add seasoning. My go to seasoning and toppings for my congee is soy sauce and the Chinese dried pork floss, also called rousong. I sometimes like adding century egg too. Sometimes you can also add a bit of lime juice, a sprinkle of onion chives, and dab of fish sauce. You can always switch between soy sauce and fish sauce. But if you don’t like the color on your congee, you can always use salt.

ASL 05.13.2020 (Clearwater, FL)

Spam Musubi – Novice Level

I made spam musubi for Chris’s bento box.

This is actually not the first time we made spam musubi. Chris has made this for me a couple of time. But this is the first time I made it on my own. I had to improvised as I used the snack size seaweed for this, instead of cutting the big one to several lengthwise seaweeds. Even though I have a pack of full sheet sushi nori / seaweed, I want to save it for when we make sushi. The oriental store that we normally go to is temporarily closed due to this pandemic. That’s why I want to be very frugal with my ingredients without jeopardizing the flavor. However, I did see that I can buy sushi nori at Amazon. You can buy almost everything from Amazon! LOL

These were delicious! Not bad for a novice.

I wish the beaches were open and that the pandemic is over. As these are great to have for a beach picnic.

Onigiri – Made with Love

My first onigiri! Truly made with love.

I made some of my own home made onigiri. I googled a bit of what ingredients are commonly used to make onigiri. But I didn’t follow any recipe to make this one. So far I would say it tastes good. These are my first batch. For sure I’ll make more in the future.

I made the onigiri for Chris to bring as his lunch box. I made the ones above for my mom. See below for the ones that I made for Chris. Look at what I packed him for lunch!

scrambled eggs, heart-shaped seaweed, and red hotdogs
onigiri

He finished them all and said that they were delicious! ūüėÄ

ASL 04.15.2020 (Clearwater, FL)

Sunday Lunch 10.27.19

We started the morning with going to church and headed over to the oriental store after. We were able to get the already cooked crispy fried pork and coconut shrimp at the oriental store.  Then, we brought it home.   Once home I cooked some delicious fried rice with the left over rice we had from the night before.

Crispy Fried Pork; aka:  Lechon Kawali

Coconut Shrimp

Homemade Fried Rice

I’m usually not good at plating, but doesn’t it look visually appetizing? ¬†I love the combination of colors on this plate.

The fried rice turned out to be a hit. Both my husband and my mom loved it!  Yes, I love it too!

ASL 10.27.2019 (Clearwater, FL)

Photos
Website: aineephotography        Instagram:     aineephotography    happyfoodtrips

Chicken Tinola with Spinach

Tinolang Manok (Chicken Tinola) is a very well known Filipino comfort food. It is pinoy’s very own version of chicken soup. You won’t find any noodle in this delicious soup. With the chicken and the ginger being the constant ingredient in this soup, some of the ingredients can actually be interchanged or substituted. For example, green papaya or chayote (sayote in Filipino). Or between moringa leaves (malunggay) or chili leaves. Some would say the recipe or ingredients added are based on taste. But in truth, majority would say that it’s based on availability – it’s what’s available growing in the backyard.

Living in the US, it’s hard to find moringa leaves. I was able to plant one eventually in our backyard, but it’s still not ready for harvest soon. I can also try to ask some of my Filipino friends at church for some, but I’m shy to ask sometimes. An elder at church once actually advised me that I can use spinach instead of moringa leaves. I was skeptic at first. Until she cooked my husband and I a whole pot of chicken tinola. She had told us that she had put in spinach. It tasted really good. Ever since that day, we started making chicken tinola with spinach.

We just recently made some with chayote and spinach, and it was delicious and comforting, as always.

ASL 06.25.2019 (Clearwater, FL)

Photos
Website: aineephotography                     Instagram:     aineephotography       happyfoodtrips

Just Cooked My Uncle’s Humba Recipe

If you’ve ever met a Filipino, then you’ve probably been able to eat adobo. Although adobo is a common dish in the Philippines, there are actually so many different versions. ¬†Pork adobo, chicken adobo, pork adobo with dried fish, pork adobo with potato, then adobo with lots of sauce with little to no sauce left at all. ¬† There are just too many to enumerate.

My Uncle Dodong’s adobo signature is one that many people would call as¬†humba. ¬†It’s salty, savory and sweet. It doesn’t have that much sauce but the sauce is super caramelized that even with just a little bit on rice, packs a lot of delicious savory flavor.

I recenly saw a photo that my Auntie Aida posted in Facebook.  So I immediately, asked if I can get the recipe so that I can try if I can recreate it here.  She sent me the recipe within in less than a day.  So with the pork in the freezer, and the ingredients, that I already had on hand, I cooked humba.

humba3.jpg

I was so speechless that I was actually able to make it. ¬†I think if my Uncle in the Philippines tastes this then he’ll be proud. ¬†It was really good that I had to stop myself from eating more than 2 cups of rice!

Photos 
Website:  aineephotography                           Instagram:  aineephotography

Useful Tips When Eating Crab Legs at Home

It’s usually messy to eat crab legs. ¬†But that’s not the reason why I prefer eating it at home. ¬†I love eating crabs. But I particularly like eating crabs with steamed rice. ¬†Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of places in the area that serves crabs with rice. ¬†Thus, eating at home is still the best option when eating crabs.

Hubby knows how much I love crabs.  But he also knows how much of a mess I make while eating crab legs.  So he usually sets up the table in a way that it will be quick and easy to clean after eating.  I wanted to share these useful tips if you ever decide having crab legs at home.

Useful tips when eating crabs or crab legs at home:  

  • Newspaper – Cover the table with about 2 layers of newspapers or packing paper
    • This will be helpful for any spillage and keeping the table underneath clean
  • Paper Plates – use of paper plates are useful and keep an extra plate for all the shells
    • Disposable paper plates make it easy to discard or to “dispose” after eating (pun intended! *wink*)¬†
  • Plastic Bag – collect all shells and anything part of the crabs that are not edible and to be thrown away in a bag that you can seal. Seal the waste inside a plastic bag before throwing it in the trash can, to ensure that the smell doesn’t leak out. ¬†Another helpful way is to keep this sealed bag in the freezer until it’s close to the time when your garbage or trash will be collected by the garbage truck. ¬†This will help with ensuring there won’t be any bad smell lingering inside or even outside your house. ¬†

These are just some of the tips that we’ve learned from our own personal experience. ¬†Let me know if you were able to use any of the tips. Or better yet, if you have some tips of your own, please feel free to share them.

There is one tip I do want to leave you with — make sure you wash your hands then make sure to eat your crabs with only your hands, with no utensils or silverware. ¬†That includes eating rice with your hands too! *wink* It is more delicious to eat it that way! Mmm… sarap!

ASL 03.08.2019 (Clearwater, FL)

Photos 
Website:  aineephotography                           Instagram:  aineephotography

Chicken BBQ Marinated in Sprite

chicken-1

Chicken Barbeque (Filipino Style)

Before grilling, we marinated 4 chicken leg quarters with the following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 lemon – squeeze all the juice out
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • a drizzle of salt
  • 1/4 cup banana ketchup (yes, banana not tomato)
  • 3 cups of sprite (yes, the soda!)

Let it sit overnight in the fridge then grill the following day.

chicken-2

Eat with rice and dip in spicy soy sauce vinegar.

Spicy soy sauce and vinegar (dipping sauce):

  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoon sugarcane vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chili pepper – or – use fresh chili pressed against into sauce using fork.

You can also drizzle the dripping sauce on the white rice.

ASL 03.04.2019 (Clearwater, FL)

Photos 
Website:  aineephotography                           Instagram:  aineephotography