Exciting new dishes for your family dinner.
Last month, we started this series of recipes from Mama’s Kitchen, a restaurant in Central that features dishes prepared with love by Hong Kong mamas from all parts of the world. We figured that even if we can’t travel currently, we can still take our families on a culinary adventure. This month, head to the Philippines with the founder of the Mama’s Kitchen venture, Imelda Balik, and enjoy these easy Filipino recipes for lunch or dinner – yum!
- 6 frozen buns
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Parsley for garnish
For the meat filling:
- 2 lbs chicken cut into serving pieces
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 8 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp white vinegar
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1½ cups water
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt (optional)
- 1 tsp whole peppercorn
For the vegetables:
- 1 whole thinly sliced carrot
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 whole thinly sliced cucumber
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
For the sauce:
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp mayo
Chicken adobo is one of the most well-known Filipino recipes and this dish is always a winner! Start by preparing your chicken:
- Combine chicken, soy sauce and garlic in a large bowl. Mix well. Marinate the chicken for at least one hour (note: the longer the time, the better!).
- Heat a cooking pot. Pour cooking oil and when the oil is hot enough, pan-fry the marinated chicken for two minutes per side.
- Pour in the remaining marinade, including garlic. Add water. Bring to a boil. Add dried bay leaves and whole peppercorns. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken gets tender.
- Add vinegar. Stir and cook for 10 minutes. Put in the sugar and salt. Stir and turn the heat off.
- Shred the cooked chicken adobo into flakes. Drain the cooked and shredded meat to remove the liquid. Set aside.
Now for the procedure to prepare the buns:
- Take a bamboo steamer and place it in a wide saucepan or pot. Pour water into the pan (about one inch deep) as this is needed while steaming so it doesn’t run dry.
- Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Put a steamer cloth in the steamer and then add the frozen buns.
- Cover the steamer with its lid and steam the buns for approximately five minutes.
- Turn off the stove and leave the buns inside the steamer while you ready your fillings.
For the finishing touches, mix vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add carrots, red cabbage and cucumber to marinate.
To make the sauce, mix the ketchup and mayo in a small bowl. Now put it all together!
- First, brush the ketchup-mayo sauce inside the bun.
- Next, add the shredded chicken adobo and top it off with the marinated vegetables.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and a pinch of parsley for garnish. You may also sprinkle seaweed flakes, if available.
- Put the buns back in the bamboo steamer and serve immediately!
- 10 spring roll wrappers
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
For the filling:
- 1 lb ground pork
- 4 tbsp minced carrot
- 2 tbsp minced onion
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp salt to taste
- Combine all filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. (Sassy Mama tip: At this point, take ¼ teaspoon of the mixture and cook in the microwave for about 10 to 15 seconds. Taste this to make sure your filling is properly seasoned. Adjust seasoning if necessary.)
- Place one wrapper on a flat surface. Add three tablespoons of filling in a horizontal line in the bottom half of your spring roll wrapper. Leave about ½ to 1 inch of space from the bottom edge of the wrapper while placing the filling.
- Use your hands to form the filling into a log shape. Take the bottom edge of the wrapper and fold it over the filling tightly. Fold in the left and right corners, making sure the filling is nicely packed, continue to roll the wrapper upwards making a tight log.
- Dip your finger in water, pat it on the remaining corner and finish rolling the spring rolls, sealing the edge.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, add enough oil for deep-frying and heat to a high temperature.
- When sufficiently hot, carefully add the spring rolls into the oil and cook each batch for about 3 to 4 minutes each batch. They should come out golden with a crispy outside layer.
- Remove them from the oil and place them on a paper towel and rack to remove excess oil. Serve immediately with a chilli sauce.
- 700 gms/1.5 lbs whole fish (cleaned and descaled)
For the Escabeche sauce:
- ½ cup diced fresh tomato
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced onion
- ¼ cup ginger, cut into strips
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt (to taste)
- A pinch of chilli flakes
- Rinse the fish and pat dry using a kitchen towel. Cut two slits across the top on each side, about one inch apart, and season with salt and pepper inside and out.
- Place it on the grill and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, turning it over a few times during cooking to ensure the fish cooks through evenly.
- In a saucepan, sauté the garlic, ginger, onion, fresh tomato and soy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Let it simmer until the sauce thickens while stirring occasionally. Pour the sauce into the fish and serve.
All images courtesy of Imelda Balik via Mama’s Kitchen.