Pulang itlog at kamatis

It’s been a while. We’re not really missing Filipino food here in Winnipeg. We eat what we want, and it’s like a little slice of the Philippines – like this pulang itlog (translation: red egg) and kamatis (tomatoes).

Got the eggs a dollar a piece from Lucky Supermarket. The tomatoes you can get anywhere.

Pulang itlog is actually salted duck egg. It’s salty, oily, and creamy and mixed with chopped tomatoes, makes a great side salad with some hot steaming rice and fried fish!

Fresh is best

When it comes to seafood, you can’t argue that fresh is best. Especially if it was just caught and was cooked up within the hour!

Being in the prairies of Canada, seafood is usually bought frozen. So imagine our delight when we boarded the banca for our beach day at Real Quezon, and this fish was there … ready to be cooked for our lunch! The locals called it Philippine salmon. Half was grilled, and the other half made it into sinigang, a sour broth.

Scroll down some more and you’ll see us trying to grill the shrimp, which still happened to be alive and kept jumping off the grill!

It was a serious seafood chowdown. No pics of the still live alimango (crab) which we decided to cook at home …

Ode to the dalandan

Buying up dalandan at a roadside stall, en route to Real, Quezon.
Ah, how I missed you, dear dalandan!
You’re not a mandarin with your green hues.
And your sweetness is mixed with a whole lot of tart!
At P10 per kilo, I’ll surely get my fill –
skinned and straight into my mouth,
or all juiced up with my next meal.
(Ok, so my poetry skills leave much to be desired! :) )

Highway Robbery at Mio Cusina

Stick ’em up! This is what I felt like when we had finished our almost P900 meal (for 4 people = P200+/person, and no drinks yet!) at this little hole-in-the-wall in my hometown, Los Banos. But if you’re willing to pay hotel prices for, at best, pretentious small-town dining, you’ll be fine.

Seriously, this place needs to evaluate their pricing. I’ve been feeling pretty good that finally, more decent restaurants are opening up in Los Banos. But Mio Cusina, if it wants to stick around, needs to give more bang for their customers’ buck — lest contend with complaints like mine. I may return to Mio Cusina in a pinch, but I’m not returning any time soon.

(Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have my camera on me at the time and you will need to take my word for it! Though you can do a quick Google, and you’ll see how big their orders are. )


Pricing — this is what we ordered:

2 pumpkin soups = P100 each. Granted, the leaf shaped soup bowl was pretty, but there were only about 5 spoonfuls of soup. You could only dip your spoon in a third of way, and you’d already grazed the bottom of the bowl! It did taste good though, though the soup was very watery (not your usually thick and creamy as you’d expect of a pumpkin soup) and a little heavy on the bacon taste.

= P200 pesos and still 2 very hungry little girls who appetites were further whetted because the next dish was taking a while to come…

1 order of beef salpicao = P260. This was the very first item in the list of beef dishes all of which were in this price range. It was also the first entree to be put on our table … and I swear that I thought there was mistake when we saw 8-10 small bite-sized pieces (a one-peso coin is MUCH bigger!) in the middle of an oily little cast-iron pan. Holy-moly — was there gold inside each of those pieces? Hell no. Taste-wise, it was nothing extraordinary so I wonder why each of those pieces cost roughly P25 each!?

= total now up to P460. Still grumbling tummies.

1 order of dinuguan = approx P200.* I actually liked this dish of pork in a mild coconut blood soup. Let’s call this dish this meal’s saving grace.  

1 order of pansit luglog = P160. This was acceptable pricing for what you get. Though if your ordered this alone, this would be good for one person only, so imagine how big err, small, this serving was! Tastewise, it was again, something that I could’ve gotten at a fraction of a cost elsewhere. 

3 orders of rice = P25 each. We only ordered 3 because we thought that the pansit would be more than enough. We probably should’ve ordered another just to fill up on rice because those itty-bitty portions just don’t cut it!

(* estimated only based on the total we paid. Come on, I was out there to eat, not to blog)

Hurry up and eat! we want to go home! We arrived at Mio at 8:30 pm. When we placed our order, they immediately said, please order what you want because we’re closing soon! I dismissed it. But when they started serving us, at around 9:00 pm, they repeated this again: any last orders?  The clincher: we had barely finished our meal at 9:30 pm when the waitress comes in with our bill  and “Sorry, I hope you don’t mind me coming in with the bill. But please stay a little longer.” Ok, we got the message.


Mio’s Cucina
10395 Lopez Avenue, Los Banos, Laguna
Located behind Community Cable Building along the road leading to UP Los Banos

Yummy chicken teriyaki!

chicken teriyaki

This is one of my favourite dishes! Its simplicity calls for good ingredients, so if you can find some good organic chicken, you won’t regret the extra flavour it imparts.

This Japanese method of cooking is derived from the words teri, which refers to a shine or luster given by the sugar content in the sauce; and yaki , which refers to the cooking method of grilling or broiling.

Here’s a recipe good for 2-3 people.

You need:

  • 2 deboned whole legs of chicken, with thigh (can also be done using chicken breasts but the leg and thighs are so much tastier!)
  • 2 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce (we prefer Kikkoman)
  • 4 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

(modified from this recipe)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Make the teriyaki sauce by combining the sake, soy sauce, mirin and sugar. Set aside. 
  2. You need to debone the chicken legs. On details how to debone, look here:
  3. Heat up your non-stick pan. Fry the skin side of the chicken on medium heat until the skin is browned. (If you don’t have a non-stick pan, add a little vegetable oil. Although the chicken will produce its own oil and you will need to throw some of this away when frying is done.)
  4. Turn the chicken over to fry the other side on low heat. 
  5. Pour the sauce used to marinate chicken in the pan. Steam cook the chicken on low heat until done. 
  6. Simmer until the sauce becomes thick. Turn off the heat. 
  7. Slice the chicken and serve atop steamed rice.
  8. Pour thickened sauce over the chicken. 
  9. Serve with your preferred vegetables and enjoy!

Food Inc.

Food, Inc.So, do YOU know where the ingredients of your meal come from? 

I am once again breaking my silence on this seemingly defunct blog to let you know about this thought provoking and Oscar-nominated movie, Food, Inc.

Jamie Oliver is an advocate for better eating and food education. And I think this movie has the right mix of research and scare tactics to get people talking about where their food comes from. And the answers will jolt you. 

You can find out how our demand for cheap and fast food has changed where ingredients are sourced, how farms have been transformed into factories, and why much of what we believe to be “food” is actually the product of man’s desire to produce more in a small amount of space with a lot of synthetic inputs.

Find out about “notional” tomatoes. 

Discover how contract growers raise their chickens blind, fat and conveyor belted.

Does your beef have E. coli? Most probably. All the better to wash it down with some ammonia.

Learn about the hidden consequences – social and environment costs – to produce our food at such cheap prices. 

You can read more about the issues on the official site here.

If you have high-speed internet, you can watch the movie here: