My Bistek with Potatoes


Bistek.  Does it really mean Beef Steak in Filipino?  I don’t know, but anyway, here is my version of the Pinoy Bistek.

What you need:

For the one I cooked last night (in the photo), I actually used left over frozen steak that’s probably about 700 grams or so.  You may use any beef cut, rump is usually used.

juice of 1/4 to 1/2 of a fresh lemon

about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of soy sauce depending on the amount of beef you have and if you want more sauce


onions, sliced in rings

What I did:

  1.  Combine lemon and soy sauce in a bowl.
  2. Cut your beef in your desired size.  Usually the beef is slice thinly but this time I just cut the beef in finger sized strips because I know the beef I am using is tender.  Marinate this in the lemon and soy sauce mixture and set aside.
  3. Boil your potatoes (skin on or off is up to you as long as your potatoes have been washed).  When tender enough, drain, cool down and slice thinly.
  4. In a pan, put some oil and fry your potatoes until both sides of each potato are golden and crispy-ish.  Drain and place them on your serving dish.
  5. In the same pan, add oil if needed and fry your onion.  I want my onions half cooked but most people like theirs fully cooked so cook until you are happy enough.  Place the onions on your serving dish, next to the potatoes.
  6. In the same and again, add oil if needed, fry your beef (leave the marinade in the bowl) but only until they are no longer red.  Frying for too long might make your beef tough.  Place the beef on your serving dish, next to the onions.
  7. Pour the marinade on the pan and boil.  After it is boiling, pour on top of your beef.
  8. Serve with rice.



Our family’s basic Cauliflower Rice


Picture to follow, couldn’t take a good one!

What you need:

a head of cauliflower, leaves and stalks removed

1-2 pieces of garlic, minced

2-3 tablespoons coconut oil


salt to taste

What you need to do:

  1. Process your cauliflower florettes in a food processor until they resemble grains.
  2. Saute your garlic in the coconut oil.
  3. Add the cauliflower grains.
  4. Stir fry for a few minutes.
  5. Add the chives and mix, add salt (if you want to add pepper do so) to taste.
  6. Serve.  We love this with anything fried on the side.



Turon (Banana Fritter)


Craving for something sweet and yum?  Turon it is!

What you need:

Saba (plantain bananas), each one cut in half lengthwise

spring roll wrappers

brown sugar

about 2-3 cups cooking oil depending on your pan and how much you are cooking

What you need to do:

  1.  Get one of your spring roll wrappers.  Sprinkle some brown sugar in the middle.  Lay one slice of banana on it, and then sprinkle some more brown sugar on top of your banana.  Turn over the sides of the wrapper onto the banana and roll, like you would for a spring roll.  Some would use water to seal the edge, I don’t bother.  Just lay it on a plate with the end edge under so it doesn’t open up
  2. With the oil in your pan, turn on the heat to medium.  When the oil is hot, sprinkle brown sugar on the oil.  Just eyeball how much you need to put.  Remember, this sugar will coat your turon later.
  3. The brown sugar would dissolve in the oil and start to float.  When that happens, gently put your wrapped bananas in the oil and cook, turning over every so often to coat each one with the caramel, and continue cooking until they look crispy.
  4. Drain and serve.

Mock Langos


So what is langos?  Langos is a Hungarian food that we have had the privilege of having in one of the night markets here in Ipswich.  We loved it but since the market is quite a distance from our home, plus we end up buying things there and spending too much, I have decided to make our own.   The bread is supposed to be crispy outside and chewy inside but I don’t mind using something thinner.  Loved loved loved it and it’s such a treat to eat so here is my Mock Langos recipe:

What you need:

a packet or two of your favourite wrap

oil for deep frying

sour cream

fresh garlic, minced

grated cheese

optional:  fresh tomatoes, diced

fresh onions, diced

fresh rockets or normal spinach leaves, or a pack of mixed salad leaves

What you need to do:

  1.  Mix garlic with your sour cream and set aside.
  2. Deep fry your wrap and drain.  Set aside.
  3. To assemble:  Spread the garlic sour cream on the wrap.  Add the cheese.  You can stop here if you want because this basic langos.  But to make it even more interesting, add tomatoes, onions, and your leaves.  Add what you want!
  4. Cut in 4 wedges and serve.
  5. Serve some more :).  Yum!



Ube Crinkle Cookie Recipe

ube crinkle cookie

Haven’t heard of Ube Crinkle Cookies until middle of last year when I saw a recipe and made some for my husband.  He LOVED them and it was a lovely change from the usual chocolate crinkle cookies, and not as sweet.  I don’t own the recipe and I am merely reproducing the recipe below for easy reference, which originally came from the following link:

I didn’t really need to change anything from the ingredients except for the size of the spoon I used to make the cookies.  I MEASURED  1 1/2 TABLESPOON  of the dough instead of 1 1/2 teaspoon.  I wanted my cookies a bit bigger, so it depends on your preference.

I reckon in the future there will be further variations of the crinkle cookies.  Maybe a Nutella one?  But I shudder from the thought of how sweet that would be so at the moment, the chocolate and ube varieties are good enough for me.

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup ube jam / halaya (I used Ube Jam from Mountain Maid Training Center)
  • 1 teaspoon ube flavoring (I used the McCormick Ube Flavor)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Assemble team dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
  3. Add in ube jam and ube flavoring then gradually add in the dry ingredients.
  4. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Using a .25 oz (1 1/2 teaspoon) ice cream scoop, roll the cookie dough into balls and coat with powdered sugar. NOTE: As I have said, I used 1 1/2 TABLESPOON here – Maricris
  6. Bake at 350F for 7 minutes or until done.


Cookies are okay to store at room temp for a week.

Duck Cooked in Turbo Broiler


Just recently, frozen whole size 21 ducks were on half price at Coles for $11.00 (or $11.50 can’t remember exactly how much) so I got one to cook for the family.

There are various recipes for cooking duck but I wanted an easy one.  I have always cooked chicken in turbo broiler so I thought, why not duck?  I found a recipe online and here is the link:

but I decided to tweak some of the instructions to suit my personal preference.  It turned out very well (which was good otherwise we would have had to get take away for dinner).  Here is how I cooked my duck.

What you need:

size 21 duck, THAWED, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon salt

dash of ground pepper

optional:     1 onion, 6-8 pieces garlic, 2 tablespoons paprika


What I did:

Run a sharp knife on the breast part of your duck to make some shallow straight cuts (but not through the fat — this is similar to what you would do to the skin of pork before roasting), place in a bowl and set aside.

Basically, if you don’t have the onion, garlic and paprika, you can just sprinkle salt and pepper on your duck and rub some inside its cavity.  If you have onion, garlic and paprika, put them altogether with the salt and pepper in a food processor and process.  If the mixture looks dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it looks quite pasty.  Do not make it too runny.  Rub this mixture all over the duck and inside its cavity.

Truss your duck.  I used the method of trussing chicken found provided by the same site where I found the recipe:

It was surprisingly easy to do.  Sprinkle a bit more salt on the outside of the duck.

If you have time, return the duck and cover with a cling wrap, refrigerate for an hour.  If you don’t have the time, proceed to cooking — I personally think it would be okay.  I placed the duck (breast side UP) in my turbo broiler, set it to the highest temperature which was 250 deg C for 45 minutes.  After 45 minutes, I turned the duck over and cooked it for another 45 minutes.  If your turbo broiler works the same as mine, your duck would be ready.  If you are in doubt, cook a few more minutes.

Serve with potatoes and/or carrots or for most Asians, with rice.

Homemade Tikoy 


So how did I make my tikoy?  I have been meaning to write down my recipe but because of a million other things I need to do, that was pushed down the list and well, forgotten.  But this time, I decided I should.  I don’t need to wait for Chinese New Year to have some, and same with you.  So here it is.

What you need:

2 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour

1 cup plain white sugar

3/4 packed cup brown sugar

1 3/4 cup water

What you need to do:

Spray some oil on a 6 inch round cake pan and set aside. I used this size as this fits my steamer.

In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients with a whisk, making sure there are no lumps left. Pour the mixture in the prepared pan.

Place the cake pan in a steamer. Lay a piece of cloth on top of the steamer, taking care that it doesn’t touch the mixture (and that the edges of your cloth are not too close to the fire under the steamer — I used a hand towel folded in half for this) before covering with the lid.  Steam for 1 hour or until firm (depending on how tall your pan is as the inside is the last to set and you don’t see it — my initial attempt just took 45 minutes because my pan was wider but it was quite soft still in the centre).  Let it cool.

Hold the pan slightly sideways and loosen the sides gently (just poke a bit with a knife and you will see it coming off the sides by itself, like a gelatin), and turn over onto a plate.  Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.

To serve, slice to your preferred size, dip onto beaten egg and shallow fry in oil both sides. Another way is to wrap each slice in spring roll wrappers and then fry until crispy. Serve warm.


Cinnamon Rolls with Buttery Glaze



These past couple of days my husband and I have been seeing cinnamon rolls being made on various Food Network shows.  These made us silently think and crave for cinnamon rolls and so today I have decided to surprise my husband and daughter by making a batch of my own recipe, which I haven’t done for quite some time.  The weather is perfect… a bit chilly, and they would go well with coffee (tea for my baby girl).

I have posted my recipe a long time ago but I thought I’d reproduce them below and include some of the revisions I have also added in them before.  In my previous recipe, I used just the normal glaze (icing sugar + milk + salt) recipe but I wanted some butter flavour today so I made a buttery glaze.

Ingredients for the rolls:

2 3/4 cups plain flour, divided into 2 1/4 and 1/2 cups

3 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 foil pack of Tandaco dry yeast (about 7 grams dry yeast if you don’t have this brand)

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup milk (skim is fine if that is what you have like me)

35 grams butter

1 extra large sized egg

For the filling:

85 grams butter, melted in a small saucepan

5 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

raisins (optional)

chopped pecans (optional)

For the buttery glaze:

about 1/4 – 1/2 cup softened butter

about 1/2 – 1 cup icing mixture (note, I just used icing mixture and not pure icing sugar — you can use that if that’s what you have)

pinch of salt

about 2 tablespoons milk or as needed


First, make the dough.  In a bowl, mix together your 2 1/4 cup of plain flour, sugar, salt and yeast and set this mixture aside.

In a small saucepan in lowest heat, warm up the water, milk and butter together until the temperature reaches about 40 deg C (should only be warm and NOT HOT — if the temperature gets higher than this, turn off heat and wait until temperature gets back down to 40 degrees).  Pour this onto the flour mixture while mixing using the hook attachment of your mixer.  Add the egg and the reserved 1/2 cup of flour a little at a time and only as needed; you will see whether you need to add all or only some of the 1/2 cup flour, or perhaps even a bit more IF your dough still looks a bit too sticky which sometimes happens, depending on the size of the egg you use.  Mix until the dough looks elastic; some of it would still be sticking to the side of the bowl but not as much as when you started mixing.  I did use all of my 1/2 cup of flour.  Take out the dough, and on a lightly floured surface (your kitchen countertop usually), knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it should feel smooth and soft, adding flour as necessary — do not knead too much.  Shape into a ball.  Spray some oil in the same bowl you used earlier, and place your dough in it and let rest for 10 minutes (after all that kneading both you and the dough need some rest!).

While resting the dough, prepare your filling.  In a small saucepan (you can use the same saucepan you used earlier 🙂 Melt the butter in low heat and set aside.  In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

Spray a round baking pan with oil.  Cut long strips of foil and form into a 1 inch tall wall around the inside of your pan to prevent browning on the sides while baking later.  Set this pan aside.

Take your dough and cut into two.   Shape one of the dough into a cylinder about 5-6 inches long. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to make a flat rectangle measuring about 10 inches long about 5 inches wide (long side closer to you) — it does NOT have to be a perfect rectangle.  Brush about a third of your melted butter on top.  Sprinkle your sugar/cinnamon mixture, and add raisins and/or pecans if you are using them.  Roll the dough by tucking the bottom edge in and gently but firmly rolling, until it forms a long log.  Cut the log into about 1 inch thick rolls.  (Alternatively, you can just slice the rectangle into 1 inch wide strips and then roll each up.  Depends on what is more comfortable for you.)  Do the same to the other dough that you left behind and you will make about 22 – 24 rolls in all.

Place each cut up rolls onto your prepared pan, with about 1 inch space in between each of them to allow for rising. Turn on your oven to 180 degrees and set the timer for 2 minutes.  When 2 minutes is finished, turn your oven off.  This just warms up the oven perfectly for proofing your dough.

Brush the remaining melted butter generously on top of each of the rolls.  Loosely cover with aluminium foil and place your pan in your pre-warmed oven for 1 1/2 hours after which the rolls would have doubled in size.  Take them out of the oven and preheat the oven to 170 deg C fan forced.  After preheating your oven, put the tray of rolls in and bake.  After 15 minutes loosely cover with the same foil you used earlier and continue baking for a further 5 minutes.

To make the glaze, just mix together your softened butter (start with the 1/4 cup) and icing mixture (start with 1/2 cup) and salt and milk.  Add the ingredients as needed until desired taste and consistency and until you have enough icing to put on top of the rolls.  Set aside.

Spread on top of the rolls immediately after they are finished baking.  Yum.



After rising and before baking

Garlic Parmesan Fried Chicken


I know they look quite ugly but these chicken wings taste amazing!  Those bits of stuff on top are garlic bits with parsley.  When they are put together, lipsmacking flavour comes out. Promise.

What you need:

9 pieces large chicken wings, separated into drumettes, flats and tips

1/2 cup plain flour

1 1/2 teapoons salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

about 1/3 – 1/2 cup butter

about 6 large pieces of garlic, minced

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1-2 tablespoons dried parsley (fresh is best but I didn’t have them today)

What you need to do:

Mix together in a large container the flour, salt, paprika and garlic powder.  Make sure they are thoroughly combined so everything (especially the salt) is evenly distributed.

Put the chicken pieces a few pieces at a time into the flour mixture, put the lid on and shake until they are all coated.  Do the same with the rest of your chicken.

Fry in hot oil and then drain (I cook about 10 minutes each side to make sure they are cooked through, as my wings are huge).  After draining, place the chicken pieces in a container with a lid.

In a separate pan, melt butter.  Add garlic and cook for awhile (do not burn).  Add the parmesan and parsley. At this point, you decide if your sauce needs more butter or is just saucy enough.  I started with 1/4 cup butter and added some more until I liked how it looked.  Mix together and continue cooking for about 1 minute.   Pour this sauce onto your fried chicken, put the lid on and shake to cover all pieces.

Serve.  Yum.


My Buffalo Wings using Tabasco




What you need:

about 7 – 9 pieces large chicken wings, separated into drumettes, flats and tips

1/2 cup plain flour

1 1/2 teapoons salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup Tabasco

What you need to do:

Mix together in a large container the flour, salt, paprika and garlic powder.  Make sure they are thoroughly combined so everything (especially the salt) is evenly distributed.

Put the chicken pieces a few pieces at a time into the flour mixture, put the lid on and shake, shake, shake until they are all coated.  Do the same with the rest of your chicken.  Just double the amount of your flour mixture if you want to cook more chicken.

Fry in hot oil for about 10-15 minutes each side and then drain (I cook about 12 minutes each side to make sure they are cooked through, as my wings are huge).

Mix together the melted butter and Tabasco.  Pour this sauce onto your fried chicken.

Best served with blue cheese dip, but mayonnaise or plain sour cream will have to do if that’s all you have.  Check out my blue cheese dip recipe below.  My daughter makes the dip and just replaces the other ingredients with what we have in the fridge.  Last night she used Japanese Mayonnaise, Camembert and Cheese Spread as we ran out of Blue Cheese and normal mayonnaise.  Still worked well!

Blue Cheese Dip:

75 grams blue cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, crushed

celery and carrots to serve

What you need to do:

Mix together the cheese, sour cream, mayo and garlic in a food processor until creamy.

The buffalo wings go very nicely with the celery and carrots with the dip.  Addicting. Oh and yeah, also good with rice and beer or Coke.