Kulinarya Cooking Club June 2012: Tapsilog. Breakfast of Champions.

This month’s theme for our Kulinarya Cooking Club is “Only in the Philippines”. Tina from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner and I are hosting this month and we wanted to focus on unique dishes that can only be found in the Philippines.

Being a Filipina, I love my rice. Growing up, it would be normal for me to have rice three meals in a day. So I thought it natural for me to chose a rice dish for the theme.

I love rice for breakfast. To make a complete meal, add egg and a meat.

What makes this dish unique to the Philippines is the name. Tapsilog. Filipinos like to abbreviate or replace words with acronyms. Tapsilog comprises of Tapa (Tap) sinangag (si) and itlog (log).

Tapa is cured beef. It’s beef that’s been marinated overnight and in some cases, dried then fried. I like my tapa not dried as it can get tough and chewy when not done right. I left out the drying step.

Sinangag is garlic rice. I love it. It’s rice that has been fried with lots of garlic.

Itlog is egg. An oozy, runny egg is essential for this dish.


For the tapa:

  • 700g thinly sliced beef tenderloin. I used sizzling steak
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 3tbs soy sauce
  • 1tbs mushroom or dark soy sauce
  • Pinch salt

Marinate the beef with the rest of the ingredients. Leave overnight or at least 4 hours.

To cook: in a large frying place the beef and marinade in. Let the beef simmer in the marinade until it dries out. Add some vegetable oil to the pan and gently fry until slightly browned and cooked through,

For the sinangag:

  • 3cups of uncooked rice
  • 1bulb of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Pinch salt

To cook: cook the rice by absorption method. When cooked set aside to cool a bit. You can also use left over rice from the day before. When ready, add a little vegetable oil in a wok and gently fry the garlic till lightly browned. Add the rice and mix thoroughly and add the salt. Turn the heat to low and leave the rice to fry a little and for the garlic to infuse through. Mix every couple of minutes.

Fry the egg to your liking.

Bon appetite,


Kulinarya Cooking Club August-September 2011: Crema De Fruta

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney who are passionate about the Filipino culture and it’s colourful cuisine.  Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family dishes.  By sharing these recipes we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

This month’s theme is : colours of the Philippine flag. Red, white, yellow and blue.


This theme was very challenging.  All colours need to be represented in the dish without using artificial colouring.  We were allowed to use one colour as a prop.  I decided to make crema de fruta.  It had most colours of the flag: red, white and yellow and it is delicious.  It’s a cake topped with custard then covered with fruit.

I’ve made cream de fruta before many years ago. I’ve forgotten how good this tastes.  For the cake, I used my brown sugar sponge. I just used half the recipe, though you can bake the full recipe and freeze one of the cakes.

Recipe for Custard:

  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml cream
  • 6 large egg yolks.
  • 2 rounded tbs cornflour
  • 4 tbs caster sugar
  1. Bring the cream and milk to the boil in a non stick saucepan.
  2. Beat the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar together in a bowl, then gradually whisk in the hot milk and cream.
  3. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.  The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.  Do not let it boil or it may curdle
  4. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.
Fruit topping:
  • 825g can of tropical fruit salad mix in juice or syrup
  • 1 tbs of powdered gelatin
  1. Place the fruit mix into a mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top
  2. Let the gelatin sit for a minute or two then mix.
  3. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute to melt the gelatin.
  4. Set aside to cool a little.
To assemble the cake:
  1. Place the sponge cake in the cake tin you original baked it in so it’s the exact size.
  2. If the cake is taller than the tin, trim off a couple of centimetres off the top.
  3. Carefully pour the cooled custard over the cake.  Smooth with a spoon.
  4. Spoon the fruit mixture on top.
  5. Refrigerate for at least two hours or until the topping has set.

Bon Appetite,




Cooking the books: Momofuku

So, this round of Cooking The Books lunch was Momofuku. The usual group of food bloggers turned up to lunch at the Cooking Space with their dishes in tow. In some case, their dish came in several bags.

Momofuku is the brain child of David Chang, a much celebrated , Michelin Starred Chef.  He has many restaurants and cafes branding the Momofuku name in New York.  Penny chose this book as it was definitely a challenge to cook from. Very different to the one we chose last time. I’m glad this book was chosen as it stretched my culinary skills, though I wasn’t completely happy at the time of cooking.  It was kinda stressful, actually.

Shellie and I teamed up to tackle two desserts. The Fried apple pie and Cereal milk. As we were the only ones providing dessert for the lunch, the pressure was on. Both desserts were about 4 pages each and included ingredients both Shellie and I have never heard of.  Thanks to twitter and google, we manage to get all the ingredients together and we accomplished what we thought was nearly impossible.

We needed  to be organised. Shellie started some components of the dish almost a week before hand and I made the apple pie filling a couple days before. The day before the lunch, Shellie came over and we tackled most of the components so we didn’t have to do much on the day.

 Even Deanna helped out by crunching the corn flakes.

On the day of the feast, everyone brought along their dishes and it all looked and tasted fantastic. Some recipes in the book were complicated while others were easier but consisted of a lot of ingredients.  I think even though some people had some initial problems with their dish of chose, we were all generally happy with how all the dishes turned out.

Take a look at what everyone cooked for the lunch.

Agnes made the infamous Momofuku pork buns

Kat made Marinated hanger steak Ssam witth red kimchi puree and ginger and spring onion sauce

Kat also made brussel sprouts with kimchi and bacon

April made Pork sausage, lemongrass Ssam, grilled with daikon, carrot, herbs and fish sauce vinaigrette

I-Hua and Aaron made roasted rice cakes and pork belly Ssam with mustard seed sauce

I-Hua and Aaron also made Momofuku Ramen

Penny made brick chicken

Thanh made Pan roasted Dry-Aged Rib-eye

After meat filled lunch, we managed to squeeze a little dessert in.

Penny also made blueberry and cream cookies

Cereal Milk with Avocado puree, Chocolate-Hazelnut thing

and Caramelized Cornflakes

Shellie and I decided to serve the cereal milk first as it only need to be assembled and plated. There were mixed reactions to this dish as there were a lot of components and some people didn’t like all of it.  I think the avocado threw some people off and didn’t know if it actually goes with the rest of the dish. Personally, I didn’t mind the cereal milk and the crunchy cornflakes.

Fried Apple Pie with Cinnamon Dust, Miso Butterscotch

and Soured Cream Ice Cream

For our apple pie, we had to deep fry the frozen apple pies. I was really nervous about it as there were holes in the pastry and the thought of deep frying was terrifying.  In the end, it turn out well though I think we may have put too much filling as it was bursting out of the pastry.  The taste was fantastic.  I think I will try this again without all the other components.

As usual, we all  ate too much.  I think we chant that after every lunch we have but why have a feast if we don’t eat till our belly’s burst?

Bon Appetite,


Stars and Moon Bento Cuteness

Oh Dear….  what have I got myself into? Another blogging challenge.  Well, if anything, it stretches my creativeness and and pushes my culinary skills. This time it’s all about bentos. Basically, a bento is a a packed lunch for taking away.

This challenge came about with twitter conversations with Jenni, Tracey, The Daily Spud, Elizabeth and Yuri.  We then brought it Sheri, our resident bento expert.  We aptly hash-tagged our bento related tweets #bentocuteness.  However, as the deadline drew near, new hash tags were being born like #halfassbento and #procrastibento.  For the roundup, please visit Yuri’s blog.

I had it all planned. I wanted to make Deanna’s lunch for Kindergrten (pre-school).  And as usual, I ran of time.  I did make it and photograph it and Deanna did end up taking it to Kinder for her lunch. However, I ran out of time to post it as the deadline was the weekend it was Deanna’s 5th birthday.  But that’s another post.

I’ve never made a bento before so I had to do a little research.  There are so many beautiful bento boxes out there.

Here’s my version.  It’s called “Stars and Moons”

For the sandwiches, I used an empanada press, which I actually have never used to make empanadas but saw it one day, when I was cleaning the back of the cupboard.  Of course, the sandwich can be filled with whatever filling you like.  Deanna likes ham and cheese, so that’s what I put in it.  For a healthy lunch, I included sliced apples and mandarins.  I also like to add a vegetable so  I added carrots which I cut out into stars using a cookie cutter. I also added some cheese triangles.

It may not be the cutest bento box, but it was yummy and healthy.  The best part was that Deanna was excited to bring it to kinder and eat it for lunch because it was something different.

Bon Appetite,


Coconut Rice Pudding with Caramelised Sweet Potato


A challenge has been set. ” #TaytoRiCo. Thinking outside the box.”  What is that, you ask?  @Jmfield, @TangledNoodle and @Dailyspud have created a challenge to come up with a dish that includes potato (Tayto), rice (Ri) and coconut (Co).  
The dish can come in any form and whatever derivative of the 3 main ingredients.  I had so many ideas and didn’t know what to make.  I became inspired by the Autumn weather we are now having. Something warm and comforting.  Unfortunately, the day I decided to make this, the day was sunny and warm.  Oh well, it was delicious to eat, nonetheless.
I decided to make a rice pudding and give it a Asian/Filipino twist.  I had joked around with my twitter friends that it’s not so much of  an “out of the box” idea but more of “sitting on the edge” of it.  

I substituted some of the milk with coconut milk and served with a caramelised sweet potato.  I’ve seen similar rice puddings but have never made it myself before.  The idea of the sweet potato came to me when my mum made kamote cue.  This is a popular Filipino snack where sweet potato is deep fried then caramelised with brown sugar.  I did a healthier version where I simmered in water then caramelised it.  It didn’t come out crunchy and crispy like the original version but I wanted to get a softer texture to go with the rice pudding.

Rice Pudding recipe
1 cup pudding rice (or aborio rice)
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups full fat milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
5 tbs of caster sugar

Caramelised Sweet Potato
1 medium sweet potato, halved then thinly sliced
1 large knob of butter
3 tbs brown sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 170degC (150degC fanforced)
2.  In a 1.5liter capacity oven dish, place all the ingredients for the rice pudding.
3.  Cover dish with foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for a further 35-40 minutes
4.  To make the caramelised sweet potato, pour water into a large frying pan, about 3-5 cm deep.
5.  Simmer the sweet potato until all water has evaporated or until the potato is tender.  If not yet tender, add more water
6.  Add the butter and brown sugar to the potato.
7.  Cook until the sugar has melted and has covered the potato all over.

To serve, place the rice pudding in serving bowls and top with the sweet potato.  Drizzle some of the caramel over the rice.  The rice pudding can be eaten hot or cold.   Hubby suggested cold rice pudding can be eaten with a dollop of your favourite jam.

Bon Appetite,

Hot Dog Cakes. An International Incident.


So this is our first International Incident Party for 2011 and I’m pretty excited.  This month’s theme is Hot dog. Penny from Jeroxie Blog, is again hosting this great monthly event.  If you would like to join, please visit our forum.

I’ve had this vision to create a cake that looks like a hot dog after making my hamburger cupcakes.  I thought that this was the perfect opportunity.  This also ticks off another challenge I set myself that I will conquer all dishes that have intimidated me.  I have always been afraid of making choux pastries.  I love to eat it, Yes.  But to make it, I have been too afraid to just think about it.  I don’t know why I was so afraid of it.  I was quite easy, actually.

Devil’s Food Cake
(I only used one of the cakes.  I froze the other one for use another time)
185g softened butter
1 3/4 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups self raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tsp instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp red food colouring
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk

1.  Preheat oven to 180degC (160 fan forced).  Grease and line two deep 18cm round cake pans.
2.  Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Fold in sifted flours, soda, cocoa and coffee.  Combine the colouring, water and milk and pour into dry ingredients.
3. Bake about 25-30mins.  Turn cakes out onto racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

45g cream cheese
45g butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
Beat the cream cheese and butter in a small bowl until as white as possible.  Gradually beat in sifted icing sugar.

To make the sausages, crumb one of the cakes and add the cream cheese frosting.  Mix thorough till well combined.  Take about 1 heaped tablespoon and shape like a sausage.  Let it sit in refrigerator for an hour to set.

Choux Pastry Buns
80g butter
1 cup water
1 cup plain flour
3 eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 220degC (200 Fan forced).  Prepare two oven trays.
2.  Combine butter with the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Add flour and beat with a wooden spoon over the heat until the mixture comes away from the sides of pan and forms a ball.  Transfer to a small bowl and the beat in the egg with a electric mixer until it becomes glossy.
3.  Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with 1cm plain tube.  Pipe 10cm lengths of the mixture 3cm apart on to the trays.  Bake for 12 mins.  Reduce the temperature to 180degC (160 fan forced) and bake another 10 mins or until they are browned lightly and crisp.  Carefully cut the “buns” in half and remove any soft center.  Bake for another 5 mins or until eclairs are dried out.  Leave to cool.

Pastry Creme Recipe
2 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, split
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup caster sugar
4 tablespoons cornflour

1. Bring milk & vanilla bean to the boil in small saucepan.
2. Discard vanilla.
3. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks, sugar & cornflour in small bowl with electric mixer until thick.
4. With motor operating, gradually bet in hot milk mixture.
5. Return custard mixture to saucepan; stir over heat until mixture boils & thickens.

 To assemble the hot dog, pipe the pastry cream into both halves of the choux pastry.  Take the sausage and sandwich in between the choux pastry buns.  For the ketchup and mustard, I used red and yellow writing gel.

Bon Appetite,

Please check out what everyone else brought to the Hot dog party

Breakfast Taco – An International Incident

This month Penny from Jeroxie – Addictive and Consuming Blog is hosting another International Incident Party.  This time it’s a Tacos Party.  I was excited to hear what this month’s theme was.  I love tacos but I have never made the tortilla from scratch.

I decided  to go for a breakfast taco (though we had it for dinner).  Naturally, egg and bacon went into it.  Hubby made his chilli con carne to go inside the taco.  He makes a large batch and freezes in separate containers.  I’ve included his recipe below.  Hubby also suggested to add Potato Gems in the breakfast taco for the potato element.    I was a bit apprehensive about adding it but I think it works.  It mellows out the spiciness of the chilli.  You can leave this out if you like.  For  freshness, I added a salsa of diced tomato, red capsicum, red onion and cucumber.

I did a bit of research on the web and was surprised how easy it is to make.  Or so I thought…  If you don’t have the right tools, it can be hard work to try to get the dough nice and thin.  I had to use a lot of muscle to get the tortillas thin.

1 cup of masa flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 to 1 cup water
In a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix together until the dough turns into a ball.  Divide into 6 equal size balls, then form into a slightly flat ball
Using a clean plastic bag, place the dough inside and using a rolling pin, flatten as thin as possible.  When it’s as thin as you can get it, carefully remove from the plastic and place in a dry skillet until it bubbles and colours a little on both sides.  Set aside until needed.
When ready to assemble the taco, you need to soft fry the tortilla.  In a pan, add about 2 cups of oil and heat on a medium heat.  Quickly pan fry for 5 seconds on each side.   

·         Onions – 2 chopped into large chunks
·         Garlic – 4 cloves chopped finely
·         Beef mince – 500 – 1000g
·         Salt & Pepper
·         Celery – 4 sticks chopped into large chunks
·         Pepper – 1 chopped into large chunks
·         Carrots – 1 chopped into large chunks
·         Beef Stock – 2 cups
·         Bay Leaves – 4
·         Tomatoes – 1 can
·         Guinness – 1 can
·         HP Sauce – large dollop
·         Tomato Paste – 2 tablespoons
·         Hot Sauce – large dollop
·         Worcestershire Sauce – large dollop
·         Mixed beans – 1 can
·         Mustard Powder – 1 heaped teaspoon
·         Tomatoes – 2 fresh chopped into large chunks
·         Bacon – 2 rashers chopped into large chunks
·         Sausages – chorizo, pork, and/or frankfurters or all, chopped into large chunks
·         Mixed herbs – fresh & dry
·         Brown Sugar – 2 heaped table spoons
·         Paprika – big shake
·         Ground cumin –  big shake
·         Chilli flakes – big shake
·         Fresh Chilli – as much as you can take

1.       Cook bacon & sausages in oven, Whilst cooking…
2.       Fry onions & garlic in a little oil in large pot.
3.       Add mince & cook until brown. Add S&P whilst browning.
4.       Add carrots, celery & pepper. Cook for few mins.
5.       Add liquids: beef stock, Worcestershire, Guinness, tomato paste, hot sauce, HP sauce & canned tomatoes. Add beans & bring to boil then simmer for 10 mins stirring occasionally.
6.       Add mustard powder, fresh tomatoes & cooked sausages & bacon. Stir.
7.       Add herbs, chilli flakes, paprika, cumin seeds, fresh chilli & brown sugar. Stir.
8.       Cook for around 2 hours stirring every 10 minutes or so. Aiming for mixture where only little bit of liquid left.
9.       Can freeze and reheat. Add little more of the liquids & spices when reheating.

To assemble the breakfast taco, spread some of the chilli onto the taco.  Add a runny egg, crispy bacon, potato gems, grated cheese and salsa.
Other Party People who joined us this month…