Monthly Archives: October 2010

Scrambled Egg With Burong Mustasa


The first time I caught a glimpse of  burong mustasa (pickled mustard greens)was during a trip to Gapan, Nueva Ecija many years back. My folks just loved driving away weekends visiting towns that sold scrumptious, exclusively native and inexpensive chow goodies. We would get these burong mustasa  sold in the markets for us to bring home to Manila. This fare is quite famous in the northern part of Luzon, spanning Bulacan to Tarlac. Ahh, super sarap!

Apart from the great taste, it is nutritional in that these mustard greens are proven to be loaded with health benefits saving us from certain diseases like respiratory disorders, gout, etc.

My Tita who shuttles from Pamapanga to Manila at least twice a week just sent me two big packs of these pickled mustards.

Pickled mustard or locally known as burong mustasa, is made by immersing these mustard leaves in rice water and coarse salt for a couple of days.

Anyway, I did not have the patience to wait it out for days. Thanks to tita for just handing me over these packs.

So what did I do? I just chopped about 3 buro leaves and mixed it with two slightly beaten eggs and added about 2 pinches of coarse salt. My mom does it by sauteing garlic and onion first before throwing in chopped burong mustasa and mixing in the egg before it hits the pan for scarambling. Definitely, a good option, too.

However, I like the mustard greens a bit raw and exclusive to egg only– yeah, date silang dalawa lang!

Cooked it on low heat stirring the egg mixture continously. Ahh, it went well with my tapa for breakfast. Happiness!


Garlic Tapa


It was half past ten in the morning. The fantastic aroma from the skillet was beginning to fill up the kitchen while the baunan was atop the counter, ready to catch the day’s baon. The baon was garlic tapa with sliced tomatoes, ahh, a major comfort food in the Yrastorza batcave– now and always.

So, who was the lucky member of the household to tuck in a savory tapa into the lunchbox? Not hubby Jake and certainly, not little Sam. Whoelse but Janine, our trusted kitchen help. Yup, I cooked for her. She’s been a very efficient all-around house aid and whipping up some garlic tapa was a little price to pay. She brought it to my daughter’s school while she waited it out until Sam’s dismissal time.

Our tapa isn’t the sweet style or anything close to that. It is the garlic-pepper ridden kind. Frankly, I am not a fan of marinades that mask beef’s wonderful flavor. I don’t like coating it with sugar nor pineaple juice that deprives me from tasting the almost nude taste of beef.

I like garlic. Lots of garlic. Lightly toasted but never overly done as it yields a quite offensive bitter taste. And, cane vinegar should be a good acid to bring out beef’s great flavor. Beef, vinegar  and garlic together should be the bomb.

The choice cut, thickness and overall qulality of beef meat is as crucial as what seasoning goes into the tapa. I like the sukiyaki or the breakfast cut that allows me to pare down cooking time into half because of its thinness. Cooks fast, engaging to eat and usually reasonably priced.

Oh well. Time to wear that apron and do this garlic tapa!

1/4 kilo beef, breakfast or sukiyaki cut

1/4 cup cane vinegar

1 whole head of garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste


1 large tomato, sliced

3 tbsps cup green onions, chopped


Combine all ingredients and let sit for 30 minutes.

Fry beef with the garlic and vinegar marinade on medium heat until desired doneness id achieved.

Serve with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with chopped green onions.

Chicken Relleno


You don’t wanna cram for your potluck contribution come this holiday season. NOW is the best time to ready your recipe for your Christmas parties at home, too. Thought I’d share with you my favorite chicken  relleno recipe.

It’s pretty easy to make contrary to the perception that one has to slave herself in the kitchen to be able to do this–NOT!

Well, Merry Christmas!

1 whole chicken, about 1.5 kilos, deboned

1/2  kilo ground pork

1 pack sweet ham, finely diced

3/4 cup pickle relish

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

1 box cheddar cheese, grated

1/4 cup  cream of mushroom soup (powdered)

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 large onion, roughly minced

1 large red bell pepper, minced

2 sliced white bread (tasty), cut into small pcs

1/2 cup raisins, chopped

1/2 cup chopped flat parsley for garnish

salt and pepper to taste


Debone chicken or ask your  butcher to do it for you. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the filling:

Mix all the remaining ingredients.

Stuff the chicken with the mixed ingredients.

Preheat oven at 350C. Bake for an hour or until chicken is cooked.

Let stand for twenty minutes. Sprinkle with parsley for garnishing.

Serve with the chicken dripping on the side.

Asian Chicken with Shiitake and Green Beans


One of the most popular species in the mushroom family, the shiitake mushroom has remained to be a favorite ingredient in a lot of Asian cookery. Its wonderful texture, excellent flavor and health benefits are just but few reasons why it is a preferred choice by foodies all over the world.

Originating from the Japanese word shii mushroom which describes the Japanese tree Castanopsis cuspidata that gives the dead logs on which shiitake mushrooms come from, these dark-colored mushrooms have been proven to contain medicinal properties. Studies show that steady use of these mushrooms may reduce the risk of cardiac disorders, certain types of cancer, allergies and promotes good blood circulation.

Given these nutritional facts about shiitake mushroom, it has become a favorite ingredient in a lot of food stores that advocate health and wellness. It’s even become a substitute for meat! Why, the taste of shiitake is said to be four to ten times more flavorful than the other type of mushrooms like button, Portobello or pearl mushrooms.

The flexible characteristic of the shiitake transcends from being just a second-fiddle ingredient to being the main ingredient in certain dishes. There was even a restaurant that once served adobo made out of shiitake mushrooms!  No wonder, it’s been around for centuries now.

2 whole breast fillets, skinned and sliced into bite-size pieces

5 pcs shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 whole head of garlic, minced

1 medium onion, minced

2 pcs thumb-sized ginger, sliced

4 pcs green beans, cut 1 inch-long

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

3 tbsps sesame oil

1/2 cup canola oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp chili sauce (optional)


Season Chicken with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a skillet, saute ginger, garlic and onion. Add chicken and stir-fry until chicken is cooked (about 5 minutes).

Add hoisin and chili sauce. Stir until chicken pieces are well coated with hoisin sauce. Toss in mushrooms and green beans. Cook until green beans are medium-well in doneness. Serve hot.

Sardines And Portobello Mushrooms On Whole Wheat Pasta


It was already 30 minutes past the hour of eleven in the morning today and I was still undecided what magic to do in the kitchen. Scouring the pantry, I saw a pack of whole wheat pasta and some few pieces of portobello mushrooms in the ref.

I thought it would be lovely to pair them off and seal the flavors with a hefty serving of mackerel sardines. Ahh, Sunday special– sardines and portobello mushrooms on whole wheat pasta.

Lately, I have been fancying on light coated pasta noodles. Something in the mold of aglio olio, at the most, a good plate of arabiatta. Today’s pasta was a cross between alio oglio and herbed pasta with two major add-ons– sardines and my latest mushroom craze, portobello. The symphony of flavors courtesy of the garlic, sardines, mushrooms and the nuttiness of the whole wheat pasta just melted in my mouth like anything.

Agaricus bosporus or commonly known as portobello mushrooms are one of the most consumed mushrooms in the world. The woodsy, fresh taste it yields loads the dishes its extra oomph.

Oddly though, my kitchen help insisted that these mushrooms were something they considered “pest” in the provincial  barrios along with basil leaves (which, according to her, were their pigs’ favorite food!), tarragon leaves, scalops (which they sold for a measly fifty pesos per SACK!) and baby potatoes and corn. All certified quasi-gourmet ingredients in the metro na inapak apakan lang nila! (that they just stepped on!).

Healthy, scrumptious and extremely easy to make– I guarantee you– there will be no leftovers. Now, is that good or bad?

Sardines and portobello mushrooms on whole wheat pasta

1/2 kilo whole wheat spaghetti

5 pcs sardines in olive oil

5 pcs medium-sized portobello mushrooms, sliced

2 whole heads of garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup parsley, coarsely chopped

Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup olive oil


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and sprinkle with oil to avoid sticking of the noodles. Set aside.

In a skillet, saute garlic, mushrooms and sardines. Add salt, pepper and parsley. Toss in pasta. Season some more if necessary.

Top with parmesan cheese. Serve with your favorite toast.

Ye Dang!


It was my first time to try Ye Dang Korean restaurant today and was I enthused to try EVERYTHING that was laid on our dining table. Thanks to my NFF (newly-found friend), Mariel Lee, for taking me there and advancing her delish birthday treat for me!

Not only did I feast on great Korean food but also had a wonderful time with all the chit chats that went with it.

Okay, what did we pluck out from the menu? For starters we had the Korean appetizers. Kimchi was on top of my list.

Strangely, the first few years that I have been trying this dish, I wasn’t sure if I really liked it. I mean, fermented pickled cabbage with all the Korean spices just did not tickle my fancy. I thought the strong taste plus the out of this world flavor just turned me off! But the Koreans are crazy about this! They even have a kimchi-flavored pizza!

Fast forward to today, the tart, mildly-sour and spicy flavor of  kimchi finally made me a convert. I’ve developed a strong liking for it— no, a LOVING for it!

The other appetizers included the spiced raddish slices–

The fishcake that I so liked–

Not to forget my fave Korean dilis in sweet and spicy blend–

And, the bean sprouts that I gobbled up like I do with lapid’s chicharon! Hahaha! So addicting!

Yes! And, we’ve only just begun!

The appetizers came with a bunch of iceberg lettuce and sesame  leaves. The leaves were supposed to be wrappers for the starters and the main dishes. The concept just got me excited. I made several of these wraps one of which was this:

I raved about the rawness of the leaves that made perfect combination with the filling. The sesame leaves rendered a nutty-crunchy taste and texture that left me going for seconds.

The novelty in the dining experience here was in the fact that we were given the choice of having our food cooked before us, yes, on our table (similar to shabu-shabu) or in the kitchen.

The cooking on the spot began with a flaming-hot bunch of charcoal–

I couldn’t look away from the charcoal because of two things: curiosity and hunger. Arg, bring it on!

Finally, the dak-kui (grilled chicken) and the kalbi (sweet beef ribs) were on board!

My eyes were as big as my plate when our serving  of  kalbi jim (beef shortribs stew)  was laid before me. I was actually settled with KIMCHI restaurant’s beef stew already until this came along.

Fall off the bones and totally scrumptious– this was today’s dining superstar, hands down.

The chapchae tasted okay but my top pick in this category remains to be the version of Sorabol which we used to frequent in Greenbelt.

On the whole, I was more than delighted swinging by this Korean restaurant. The ambience, food and feel totally felt Korean!  I swore to return with a bigger appetite and more friends to bring.

Meralco Ave., Ortigas
Mandaluyong City
(02) 636-1461