Pasta con Tinapa ala Lala

It’s been a while since the last time I posted another of my kitchen (mis)adventures. I have been busy with my part-time homeschooling teaching job (yes! I’m back to teaching, yey!!!). I have also been busy searching and sourcing for a steady supplier of dried herring (tuyo). Recently, I’ve been seeing in food bazaars this bottled Tinapa (smoked roundscad fish, or more popularly known as galunggong) and an idea popped into my crazy mind – hmmmm… why not eh?!?

A few weeks back, while I was in Batangas City market, I found a stall selling fresh tinapa and I bought a kilo. I made a few jars and gave each of my friend and my sister who happens to be critical when it comes to food tasting my products. They both said that it was good and that it can do well in the market should I pursue in bottling the tinapa and sell them later on. 🙂 Hubby also liked the taste although he had some suggestions.

Another friend of mine also suggested adding lemon in the concoction and it started my creative juices flowing… and to make the long story short, I was able to come up with new variants which included lemon in the recipe. I still am not selling the bottled tinapa since I am still into testing them into different type of meals which it will suit best. The straightforward viand to steamed rice with tomatoes on the side, and of course, my favorite, cooking them with pasta and that’s what I did today.


Variants come in Zesty Lemon, Spicy Lemon, Mildly Spiced (not in photo), and Original (not in photo)


Here’s the recipe anyway:

300 grams spaghetti (you may also use penne)
1 bottle of garlic tinapa (i used my own “brand”)
1 medium sized bell pepper, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced (the bottled tinapa has garlic bits already and you may use them)
1 medium sized onion, sliced finely
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 cup water from the boiled pasta
grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta as directed in the package. Reserve 1/4 cup of the water from the boiling pasta before draining.
In a heated pan, pour the oil from the jar and saute the onion and the garlic until the aroma comes off.
Add in the flaked smoked tinapa from the bottle (you may opt to pour in the rest of the contents of the jar which include the lemon slice, the garlic bits and chili flakes). Stir for a while, then add in the bell peppers.
Pour the water from the boiled pasta and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the water has evaporated a bit.
Season with salt and pepper.
Toss in the cooked pasta.
Serve with sprinkled parmesan cheese.
You may also squeeze a small lemon wedge for a more tangy flavor.




because I miss Kikiam (Que-kiam) a lot….

A chinese dish made of ground pork, shrimps, and veggies wrapped in beancurd sheets (tawpe), steamed, then fried. Sounds easy, right???

I fell in love with Kikiam during my teaching stint in Binondo, Manila.  The only one that really  left a good taste on my palate was the one from Salazar bakery.  According to the staff, it’s the matriarch of the family that’s in charge in making their delish kikiam.

When hubby and I moved to Malaysia, they also have their own version of kikiam which they call Lobak  (five-spice meat roll), but my palate still longed for the one from Salazar.

Unfortunately, when we returned here in Manila, Salazar stopped selling their kikiam, and I was told that the matriarch had stopped making them 😦

I have tried other varieties of kikiam sold within Binondo and the one closest to the taste of Salazar’s was from Excelente in Quiapo.  But still, (I know, I have loyalty issues)… I would still long for that Salazar kikiam.

Until, just recently, I have decided, why not try to find a recipe online which might be closest to the taste of Salazar’s. Why not, eh???  So I searched and after comparing different websites sharing their versions of the kikiam,  I decided I would try the one of Market Manila’s.

I first had to find the tawpe (beancurd sheet) since it’s kind of hard to find in the nearby supermarkets, unless I would go directly to Binondo where the chances of me finding one would be high.

I was fortunate to find two packets of tawpe in Metro Supermarket the other day and boy was I happy.  Couldn’t find the water chestnuts though so I skipped using them (some recipes don’t use them).

So last night, I finally made my first attempt of a homemade kikiam.  The result?  It’s good, delicious, the 5-spice powder can be hinted but not overpowering and the minced veggies give the whole thing this lovely texture to the  palate.  I only have problems approximating kosher salt, so it turned out a bit bland compared to that from Salazar’s… well, there’s always the first time.

If you like to get the recipe, just head on to Market Manila’s website 🙂


I steamed them first, cooled, then kept in the fridge before frying the next morning


our breakfast for this morning.. the background photo is  a plate of fried tikoy wrapped in lumpia wrapper (delicious!!!)


Tofu Binagoongan

Hubby and I am trying to slowly shy away from pork  lately and replaces pork with tofu everytime there is a need for it in a recipe.

For my dinner tonight,  I checked the fridge and guess what I saw???? Of course, TOFU, hahaha!!!  I have a good supplier of firm, quality tofu.  And since I am craving for binagoongan, I thought of giving it a twist by using tofu instead of pork.


Here’s the recipe:


2 blocks of firm tofu, cubed, fried, set aside

2 pcs of medium sized onion, sliced

2 pcs of medium sized tomatoes, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsps cooking oil

1/2 cup bagoong (I used my sister’s sauteed shrimp)

splash of rice vinegar (or any type of vinegar of your choice)

sugar to taste (depends on your palate and tolerance for sweetness)

green chili sliced

How to:

  1. Saute the onion, garlic, chili, and tomatoes in the cooking oil until the onions become translucent, the tomatoes cooked, the chili soft, and the aroma of the garlic diffuses.
  2. Add in the bagoong, splash of vinegar, and sugar. Saute for additional 3 to 5 minutes (the bagoong has been pre-cooked).
  3. Add in the fried cubed tofu.
  4. Cook for additional 1 or 2 minutes.
  5. Serve with rice.


It’s Fast, Furiously appetizing (at least for me!), and on the Healthier side 🙂


No Eggs. No Dairy. But Very Delish Banana Bread I have ever made!

Well, I guess the title of this article gave it all away. Need I say more???

I’m not a banana the fruit person but I loooooovvvveeee banana breads.  Last week, I bought a bunch of bananas just to perk me up.  It does takes my blues away 🙂

Anyway, since there are quite a plenty of the bananas,  and they’re turning overripe already,  I decided to make a banana bread.  However,  I didn’t have any eggs in the fridge so I searched the net for any egg-less banana bread recipe.  Of course, the internet did not fail me… there were numerous of the recipes, especially those designed for vegans.

And so, I baked! And it turned out to be the best banana bread I have ever baked!!! Yey!!! It’s cheap and delish at the same time!!!



Here’s the recipe, which I copied from one of the forums in Fresh Loaf Website :

  • 1/2 cup shortening or canola oil, or butter etc. (I used olive oil)
  • 1 cup white sugar (I just used a scant 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe mashed bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan. (This can be made in any size pan or muffin tins just adjust the baking time)
  2. In a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar and add vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking soda and salt. Blend in the mashed bananas. Stir in the chocplate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until it tests done with a toothpick.




Baked Bangus (Milkfish)

I bought a pre-packed Bangus back fillet last week without really giving much thought on what to do about it.  I just thought that it would be nice to have a bangus dish sans those tiny bones that really deter me from eating bangus. Besides, husband and I have decided to go back to eating veggies and fish so I guess that triggered the impulse to buy.

This morning, I decided to cook the Bangus. I decided to just bake it since I am kind of lazy thinking of the recipes that a bangus fillet would go well with.

Husband was so impressed with the outcome and I’m glad that even without exact measurements, I was able to nail it, yey!!!

So, here’s the recipe:

500 gms bangus back fillet

kalamansi juice (around 6 small pcs)

2 tomatoes, cubed

1 medium size onion, chopped 

ginger, chopped finely (about 2 thumbsize)

soy sauce (about 2 tbsp)



dried rosemary

olive oil (just a drizzle, optional)

wedge of lemon (optional)

How to:

Pre-heat the oven at 175 C

Pat dry the bangus fillet and place on an ovenproof dish, flesh facing up.

Rub with the soya sauce, salt, pepper, and dried rosemary leaves.

In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil.

Spread the mixture on the bangus evenly. Drizzle with olive oil. If you have a wedge of lemon, place it at the center of the dish.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Shrimp Scampi (I did it My Way…)

Wow, it’s been quite some time since the last time I posted a dish here :). I have been busy filleting and bottling my gourmet tuyo. Yes, I have decided to slowly give it a push to have an extra income.

Anyway,  I bought shrimp the other day with the thought of making a Lemony Shrimp Scampi Pasta dish.  However,  laziness took over me and I forgot about it.

While checking the fridge earlier, I saw the shrimp I bought and just thought of making shrimp scampi instead. I researched for the recipe which is actually simple. But, I don’t have white wine, only Xiaoxing Wine (Chinese Cooking Wine). I did have butter and lots of garlic, and I also saw a small packet of pineapple tidbits and some red chilies 🙂

So, instead of following the classic shrimp scampi recipe, I just whipped up my own 🙂 and it didn’t fail my taste buds at all.

The Kitchen Misfit’s Shrimp Scampi

500 gms shrimps, deveined
1 head garlic, minced
3 tbsps butter
red chilies, chopped
1/3 cup pineapple tidbits
1/8 cup Xiaoxing wine
salt & pepper
1 tsp chopped cilantro

  1. Heat butter with a little oil in pan. Adding oil to the butter will prevent the butter from burning in the pan.
  2. Saute the garlic and chili until fragrant.
  3. Add in the shrimp, Xiaoxing wine, and pineapple tidbits. Cook them just long enough that the shrimps turn pink all over.
  4. Add the salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
  5. Garnish with the chopped cilantro before serving.

Serve with steamed rice and Malaysian sambal as dipping sauce.


Pork Binagoongan

My sister brought 2 containers of her home cooked Bagoong (Sautéed Shrimp Paste) for sampling last weekend.

I know she’s my sister and you would say that I’m biased but her own version of sautéed shrimp paste is really delicious. Not too sweet nor salty. I would have preferred a spicy one though just for that kick on one’s palate 🙂 Even hubby who has a discriminate palate was convinced that compared to the store bought sautéed shrimp, my sister’s is the one that really passed his standard 🙂

Sister said that it goes very well with Kare Kare, Pinakbet, Pork Binagoongan, Bagoong Fried Rice, or as is.  I have only tried cooking Pork Binagoongan so that is what I made for tonight’s rainy day and cold weather dinner.  This version is inspired by Kris Aquino’s recipe.

Here’s the recipe

1 200 ml jar of Sauteed Shrimp paste (my sister’s)
2 tbsp cooking oil
400 grams liempo, sliced into bite-size pieces
4 medium sized onion, chopped
1 head garlic, minced
4 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1 thumb size ginger, minced
green chilis, chopped***
bird’s eye chilis, chopped***
cracked peppercorns
crushed bay leaves
1/8 cup vinegar
1 tsp sugar

***chilis are optional and depend on your tolerance for them.

Boil the pork pieces with the minced ginger and 1/3 of the chopped onions. When the broth has reduced to about 1/4 of its original amount and the pork becomes tender, strain the broth and scoop the meat into a separate container. Set aside the broth as well.

In a pan, saute the onions, garlic and tomatoes until the onions become transluscent, the garlic has diffused its aroma and the tomatoes tender.

Add in the chilis, meat pieces, crushed bay leaves, sugar, and cracked peppercorn. Leave for about 3 minutes. Add in entire contents of the Bagoong jar. Mix well.

Before adding the broth, pour the vinegar but do not mix. Once the aroma of the vinegar has evaporated, add in the remaining broth and let it simmer until almost dry.

Serve with hot steaming rice 🙂