Category Archives: rice




Fresh greens lavishly laid on the makeshift shelves, fishes all wriggly from the recent catch (btw, they sell seabass at Suki like it was the most ordinary fish on Earth!), pinkish-bright red meats, quality seafood finds, ready made dishes packed away and very beautiful, ohhh– what a sight to behold! I can live in this wet market twice a week! Lol.

Anyway, I scoured the market for prawns and squid for the paella. All three went straight to my basket. After I’ve accomplished the marketing, I slipped into my apron and started work:)

Well, not really ‘work’. FUN should be it.

Paella for 30 people. Let’s party!

Happy 1st birthday, Athena! And, Yani, please do know that Ninang loves you:)


8 cups arborio rice

10 pcs chicken thighs, chopped

7 pcs prawns

1/2 kilo pacific white clams or halaan

4 sticks chorizo, sliced

19 cups chicken stock

1/4 kilo squid rings, ink and sword removed.

3 red bell pepper, julienned

1 and 1/2 cups green peas

1 head  of garlic, minced

2 onions, minced

10 spears of asparagus, blanched

olive oil

5 tbsps turmeric powder

salt and pepper to taste

10 threads saffron

8 pcs lemon wedges

1 tsp chopped parsley



In  a paellera, brown chicken until half cooked. Remove chicken and set aside. Using the same oil, fry prawns until they turn pink. Set aside as well.

In the same pan, saute garlic, onion, bell pepper, green peas, squid, clams and chorizos. Add chicken and rice. Throw in turmeric and saffron.

Mix well until rice is well coated. Add stock. Cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil. Simmer until rice is cooked. Remove foil.

Garnish with lemon wedges, prawns, blanched asparagus and parsley.


Corned Beef Paella


It was one rainy, gloomy and chilly late afternoon when I had the adrenalin rush  to work around my kitchen and whip up what was to be served for dinner the other night. Jake scored a bottle of white wine and it was to be the missing link to this fantastic dinner dish. Wine, paella with good music at the backdrop equalled two hours of catch up chat with Jake who got busy at work the whole day.

Okay, quite unconventionally, I used corned beef instead of the usual combo of meats and seafoods associated with paella. I thought I’d explore a bit and scour the grocery cabinet for potential ingredients to complete ‘team paella’ for that night. So, shiitake joined, asparagus was in and all the other ingredients just blended well with the rest of my paella ensemble. Ending– the dish was a winner.

Corned beef paella

2 cups arborio uncooked rice

5 cups of water

1 can corned beef

1 can shiitake mushroom, sliced

6 asparagus spheres, stemmed

2 pcs of lemon, wedged

3 tbsps turmeric powder

4 threads, saffron

1 onion, minced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

olive oil

In a paellera, saute onion and garlic. Add corned beef and shiitake mushrooms. Mix in arborio grains and turmeric. Coat well with the corned beef mixture. Add water and simmer until rice is cooked.

Meantime, season asparagus spheres with salt and pepper. Lightly fry in oil until cooked.

Top asparagus and lemon wedges on paella. Serve warm.

Summer Mango-Philly Maki Rolls


Growing up, I’ve always felt excited with the combination of mango and rice. There’s something about mango that makes rice so exciting to eat. Whether in an adobo-mango-rice combo or, say, chicken in mango salsa with rice– or, yeah, just plain mango and rice! Lol. And, to further team up mango with the linamnam of cream cheese plus the stellar taste of kani, avocado and cucumber rolled as one helluvah sushi, come on!,

Tonight, I made some sushi– of mangoes, cucumber slices, cream cheese and kani! 

I have a confession to make, it took an affirmation from an FB contact, Filemon Yumul, for me to use kani confidently. I mean, I’m allergic to crabs, as in I stop breathing as a worst case scenario, how’s that? Filemon says kani is fish and starch combined with crab flavoring. Okay, I’ve heard that before and he just kinda reassured my next 70 years in this lifetime if and when I decide to chow down the kanis, finally. 

Okay, my good friend, Ria Vinzon-Miguel (wife of culinary ‘rockstar’, Chef Carlo Miguel), just messaged me on FB asking about the recipe of this sushi rice. Okay, here goes:

For the sushi rice, you will need:

3 cups uncooked Japanese rice (I used sasashiniku rice, available at SM Hypermarket)

4  cups water

6 tbsps rice vinegar

2 tbsps granulated sugar

2 tsps salt

Wash rice grains until water runs clear. Soak in water for thirty minutes before cooking. Cook over low heat.

 Once cooked, let cool while fluffing rice. Never stir the rice so as not to crush the grains. As much as possible, use the sushi rice right away after cooking and letting it cool. Otherwise, put in a container and cover with a damp cloth to lock in moisture. NEVER refrigerate the sushi rice.

To prepare the rice vinegar mixture of the sushi that you will need for final sprinkling and keeping the rice moist, you will need:

6 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat mixture just until the sugar dissolves (do not let it boil). Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.

Once cooled, sprinkle on sushi rice very gently.

Meantime, slice magoes, peel cucumbers, kani and cream cheese to serve as filling.

Using a Japanese rolling mat, place a nori sheet on top of the mat. Spread a thin layer of sushi rice. Top with mango, cucumber, kani and cream cheese. Roll lightly. Cut into maki roll size. Serve with Kikkoman and wasabi





Rice Mania!


Japanese sasashiniku rice grains

Lately, I have been crazy obsessed with RICE. More specifically, those rice grains used for paella , fried rice and those specialty dishes commonly used in Mexican or Indian cuisine. However, finding some good quality of grains  with a  friendly price tag  was a challenge.

I’ve already  scoured the shelves of Santi’s, Dinelli’s and other gourmet stores for some great finds of grains but only to find their prices too unreasonably exorbitant!

A box of about half a kilo of risotto reis costs about P280, arboryo rice about P800 plus at Terry’s Selection at the Podium.

Being such a grocery rat, I thought I’ve already explored all the big groceries in Metro Manila for some grain finds. Arg, I always ended up empty handed in my quest for those rice grains.

Until one day, I saw this:

I was floored. My, it was a universe of some hard-to-find rice grains!!!!! The  SM Hypermarket’s rice grain selection was crazy fantastic. It was like all the rice agricultural lands of Asia have converged here! Haha!

I could almost smell my basil chicken in coconut milk  on top my warm plate of basmati rice!

Or my baked hoisin ribs on a bed of my vita puro denorado rice..

The very aromatic rice jasmine flower got me imagining my steamed chicken with black mushrooms. I love these grains for it’s very aromatic and tender properties.

Or the malagkit rice for my usual arroz caldo or rice cakes..

The quality, affordability just had me smiling for the next thirty minutes. Finally, I found the rice treasure island! I did not find this selection elsewhere and I was too happy to hoard these grains! Haha!

My greatest grain find was the Japanese sasanishiku. It’s the next best thing when you want to do say, some paella, on a budget without sacrificing quality and taste.

ENDING: This happy dish  of  seafood paella   happened:)

Dampa Forever!


My sister turned a year wiser very recently and decided to mark her natal day by grabbing some great eats made up of baked oysters, crabs, shrimps, etc.

Dampa was to be her ‘party place’. Fantastic!

Dampa destinations have flourished around the metro in the last few years that it made sensation. If my memory serves me right, these dampa places have been around as early as in the 80’s and Roxas boulevard (then Dewey boulevard) has been the original hub since it all began and grew big time.

The concept of dampa or sometimes referred to as a paluto eatery, is that you go to a particular resto (in our case, we went to ChaCha at Julia Vargas Avenue), and will have the option to either personally scour for fresh eats (meat, vegetables or seafoods) at a nearby palengke or ask the restaurant runners to do it for you.

They then cook what has been freshly bought. Next, you are handed a menu that contains plenty of options as to how you want your food cooked  (ihaw, sigang, kilaw, etc). Ahhh, it’s the coolest.

And, FRESH is the operative word here.  I can’t overemphasize how satiating it is to  eat at these dampa places that serve everything fresh and great. Yeah, nothing beats eating anything F-R-E-S-H!

Now, I’m hungry again. Anyway, here goes what we had:

The ‘hot front act’ dish was made of halaan soup with onion leeks.

My family is a crab-loving family. These crabs got amputated in the first ten seconds that it landed on our table!

arroz ala cubana 070

These shrimps were dipped in a special sauce by the resto. Sweet, nutty and malinamnam, the sauce was a hit.

arroz ala cubana 063

Baked oyters in garlic and cheese.

arroz ala cubana 098

Grilled tuna belly. Fat, juicy and smoky, I love this!

arroz ala cubana 114

Baked scallops. A must-try!

Meet my FOODIE mom, Baby. My nephew, Marty, and my daughter, Sam.

My celebrant-sister, Tina and her hubby, Oliver.
My sis-in-law, Michelle with my brother, Jerome and their son, Marty.
The family!
My husband, Jake.
And me looking very, very stuffed by this time!

Paella Valenciana In A Hurry

valenciana ala dominique

valenciana ala dominique

My series on rice continues. My last post featured some fried rice I called ‘fried rice ala dominique’ (named after my daughter Isabel Dominique). I got a coupla emails requesting for more rice twists and recipes.

fried rice ala dominique

fried rice ala dominique

The Fried rice garnered good reviews and I thought of giving it just a bit of some tweaking. This valenciana is similar to the ‘fried rice ala dominique’ (in terms of ingredients and appearance), only more labor-intensive. But hey, don’t worry, this is the ‘quick to make’ version that’s great for harried moms like me.

I used jasmine rice instead of the usual malagkit na bigas. Chorizos and mushrooms were used to replace the usual chicken and prawns.

Oh how I loved biting on the rice that’s been coated with the chicken and ginger flavor. The harmony of flavors and spices just made the dish so satiating.

Yeah, this version is the scaled down and simplified version. Culinary purists might crucify me for simplifying this, but hey, I got things to do while I still want great food— in a snap. Simple but flavor-loaded.

So, here goes:

Paella Valenciana

2  cups jasmine rice

5 cups chicken stock

*Okay fine, if you don’t have chicken stock, use 5 cups of water then add a cube of chicken broth

4 medium-sized shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1  stick chorizo de bilbao, chopped1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 medium-sized red onion, minced

1 large bell pepper, julienned

2 tbsps turmeric powder

1/2 tsp spanish paprika (optional)


chives for garnishing

What to do:

1. Saute garlic, ginger, onion, bell peppers, chorizos and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Add rice, turmeric powder and broth. Give it a quick stir.  Cover until done. Sprinkle with chopped chives before serving.