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 🙂


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.


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.

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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 🙂

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Gourmet Tuyo

and for my first kitchen recipe try, drumroll please…… Gourmet Tuyo!!!

just a backgrounder,  my addiction for tuyo started when i was constantly visiting the hospital last year.  and by constantly meant, it was on a weekly basis.  and during that time,  my husband and i would also frequent Tapa King.  Tapa King?  Tuyo? yes, they serve gourmet tuyo, and with the number of times that we had lunch there, i would always order tuyo!  my husband already came to a point that he didn’t want to bring me there anymore because according to him, “nag Tapa King ka pa, tuyo din naman ang oorderin mo.” well, he had a point. but what can he do, i fell in love… with their tuyo!

i haven’t visited the hospital for quite some time now, although i am already overdue for my follow up test… hmmmm…. which means, no more visit to Tapa King.

lately, i have been craving again for Tuyo so I searched the internet and found some worthy reading blogs which shared different recipes and takes of the gourmet tuyo.  the one that most appealed to me was from this blog, Le Misstache.

so, this morning,  i bought all the ingredients, gathered enough courage (courage daw!!!!) to try the recipe.  i even sterilized my hoarded bottles (a separate blog entry for sterilizing bottles coming soon!)

these are what i bought and prepped in the kitchen 🙂

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minced garlic, chili flakes, rice vinegar, tunsoy lapad tuyo, olive oil

i followed the recipe as shared by Le Misstache.

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i fried the tuyo using corn oil until the scales started to come up from the skin.  i then removed them from the pan, drained them, and set them aside to cool down.

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afterwhich, i carefully removed the head, tail, scales, and the tiny tiny bones of the fried tuyo using my hands (my hands were clean!) it was kind of tedious and brought me to wonder why i even thought of doing this and why not just simply buy bottled gourmet tuyo from the supermarket…

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from the same pan where i fried the tuyo, i just wiped it clean and sauteed the minced garlic and chili flakes in olive oil. i then put back the fillet tuyo, careful not to stir them altogether lest the tuyo might break apart furtherly.  i then put off the fire, let the whole batch cool down and prepared the sterilized bottle for storage.

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i then transferred everything from the pan to the sterilized bottle.  i then poured in the rice vinegar enough to reach the brim of the bottle.

the recipe says that for the whole gourmet tuyo experience to be complete, i have to wait for a week in order for that to happen. however,  i will try to cook it in linguine pasta on Friday when hubby gets home from his provincial assignment.  then i would be able to update you guys how it went.  if it were a blast or an epic fail.