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.




Sambal Belacan

When hubby and I lived in Malaysia,  one of the things that was really harnessed in us are our palates.  I personally think that most of Malaysia’s exotic and surprisingly delicious dishes require an acquired taste.  They simply grow into you and eventually, you just realized you are already hooked by it.

One of those which got me and my husband really hooked into are the different sambal concoctions in Malaysia.  Sambal is a Malaysian condiment which is primarily made of chilis.  It varies depending on the other ingredients that one add into the chilis.

Of all the sambals which hubby and I have tasted,  there was one distinct variety that really stood out.  It was made of chili boh (chili paste), kalamansi juice, onion, and tamarind juice.  Our landlady who also owned a restaurant was the one who unselfishly shared her recipe for her own Sambal Belacan.  Belacan by the way is a block of fermented shrimp which is also the base of all the sauces and condiments in Malaysia.  It literally stinks and is not for those who abhor stinky food.  Well, as for hubby and me,  the smell simply just grew into us that whenever I would smell it from our neighbors then,  it was simply divine!!!

When we came back here in Manila,  it was a sad reality that we had to face — NO MORE SAMBAL BELACAN.  And for the last 4 years (that long!!!),  we have not had sambal belacan.  So you can just pretty much imagine my happiness when I found the basic ingredients for Aunty’s Sambal Belacan when I dropped by a supermarket  last week.  Without any hesitation that I might have forgotten about the recipe (I did not write it down!),  I immediately bought the ingredients:


Tamarind Paste, Natural Chili Sauce, Belacan

And so, presenting to you (drumroll please!!!!!)…… I have not forgotten the recipe!!! The moment I tasted it, oh boy did it bring so much memories from our Malaysian sojourn, I suddenly missed our friends and adoptive parents there 🙂


In case you’re interested for the recipe, here it is:

Sambal Belacan ala Aunty Liam 🙂

2 tablespoonfuls of Belacan (roast in pan until the “aroma” comes off)
1/2 cup of the chili sauce
1/2 cup of kalamansi juice
1/4 kg of onions (sliced)
4 tablespoonfuls of tamarind juice

Process all the ingredients together until it becomes smooth.  Enjoy with any fried dish that you have.  You can also use it as a dip for green mangoes!



Gourmet Tuyo Pasta


This is a delayed post.  I was supposed to write about this last Saturday but something family related emergency happened which led from one thing to another and I ended up grieving…. hmmmm…

I just thought now that if I write about (not the cause of my grief) the verdict which my husband handed over the gourmet tuyo I made last week,  it might at least lessen whatever pain I am going through now.

I know, you are more interested in asking about my pain (huh?!?) but it does not fall into any categories in my kitchen misadventures so I hope you will understand.

Back to the gourmet tuyo,  I decided to cook it last Friday for dinner even if it was just 3 days old from the time I made it.  The blogs which I read clearly stated that for one to really enjoy the fullness of the gourmet tuyo, it has to at least be kept for 1 week prior to consuming it.  Anyway,  I tried to break the rules.

And so, I prepped all the needed ingredients.  I browsed the internet for pasta with tuyo recipes and found a few, tweaked a few, mixed and matched a few, and finally, I came up with my own version.

Most of the recipes call for parmesan cheese.  However, I am not a fan of parmesan cheese so I skipped it.  Besides, I didn’t have it in my pantry, I think it’s a more realistic alibi?  Some called for mushrooms, capers, and olives;  but,  I didn’t want to smother my gourmet tuyo with other ingredients.  I really wanted the tuyo to stand out so that I would know if it was that good.

I added fresh tomatoes though and bell peppers just for texture and additional flavors which will just complement the tuyo and will not overwhelm it.

So here is the finished dish.  By the way, I used linguine pasta.

2016-05-27 19.07.26

Husband’s verdict?  “Masarap! Hindi maalat yung tuyo, tamang tama lang, and hindi malansa.  Masarap baby, masarap!” Yeah, yeah, I know he is my husband, but to tell you honestly,  my husband is my worst critic – remember, we had our marriage vows, “…for better (days) or for worse (criticisms???)…..”

Here’s the recipe.  Feel free to tweak and modify it according to your taste buds!

Linguine con Gourmet Tuyo

1 bottle of gourmet tuyo (240 ml)
250 grams linguine (you may use any other pasta)
2 medium size onions (i prefer the white ones but you may use the red ones), chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium size bell pepper (green, yellow, or red), cubed
2 medium sized tomatoes (you may use cherry tomatoes), deseeded and cubed
1 tbsp dried basil leaves
chili flakes (depends on your palate)
salt and pepper
lemon wedges (optional)
parmesan cheese (optional, at least for me)

  1. Cook pasta per package directions.
  2. Saute the chopped onions in olive oil until it becomes translucent
  3. Add in the tomatoes and bell pepper, do not overcook
  4. Pour entire contents of the gourmet tuyo
  5. Add in the dried basil leaves and the chili flakes
  6. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Toss in the cooked pasta
  8. Serve with lots of love! Squeeze in a wedge of lemon just to put some contrast with the other flavors 🙂

2016-05-27 18.54.39 (1)


Spicy & Garlicky Tofu

I was never a fan of tofu  or tokwa while growing up.   Maybe because my Mom never cooked any tofu based meal at home.  My only rare encounters with tofu was having taho for breakfast whenever I would spend my summers in Manila. Beyond that, I had no other affinity with Tofu.

But, things change, people change, and so did I.  My relationship with tofu began when hubby and I lived in Malaysia.  Apart from having a daily dose of chili-based dishes,  hubby and I constantly crossed paths with tofu-based dishes.  And so, I got familiarized with the different types of tofu… the very soft ones that simply melts in your mouth, the in-between ones, and the firm ones.  Finally, I gave in and began to embrace the art of cooking and eating tofu.

When we returned here in Manila,  my affair with the Tofu never ended.  I even attended a vegetarian cooking class where the main source of protein for the faux-meat dishes was tofu.

For my lunch today,  this is what I cooked. Spicy & Garlicky Stir-Fried Tofu.  It is my husband who taught me how to cook this.  It’s really a fast & furious (because of the chili!) stir-fry dish.



1 block of firm tofu, cubed

8 cloves of garlic, minced (you may add or reduce the garlic depending on your palate)

5 green chilies, sliced (you may also add more or reduce)

cooking oil


Simply fry the cubed tofu until golden brown.  Remove from pan, drain excess oil and set aside.

In the same pan,  saute minced garlic and green chili until cooked.

Add in the fried tofu and season with salt.

It is a good appetizer or side dish but I always eat it as a main dish together with steamed rice 🙂

It’s a yum for me!