Category Archives: Weekend Cook

Pako Salad Recipe (Fern Salad)

I chanced upon fresh pako (fern) at the market today! So I got a few bunches and made a note to myself to seach later for a Pako Salad Recipe. 🙂

But first, some palengke kwento.
pako salad recipe fiddle fern

Fresh pako (edible fern / fiddlehead fern), Php30 for a small bunch

One of the chores that I recently took up is — tada! — going to the palengke (fresh market). I know, I know… I am not very domesticated.

In the past, it was husband who went to the market to buy our weekly supply of fresh meat, fish and veggies. (I’d occasionally tag along.) Then he became too busy with work and too tired to wake up early every Sunday just to do the palengke rounds. So, I pretty much didn’t have any choice. Unless we buy all meat and fish from the supermarket, which if you’re used to palengke-quality fish (most esp.), just don’t measure up.

But yes, I find my new hobby enjoyable, actually. I have my suki fish, chicken and meat stalls. Of course, I buy from the vegetable stall owned by my fellow highlanders. (I’ll remember to take photos with them next time!) Incidentally, I go to Suki Market along Mayon Street in Quezon City. It is a very long drive from where we live, but always worth the trip.

It was the first time I chanced upon pako. And even if I have never tried them before, I quickly grabbed one of the two remaining bunches as they were going very fast (panic!). Never mind if I didn’t know what to do with them. There’s always Google. And Facebook.

As soon as I got home, I asked on Facebook what to do with them. There were lots of suggestions from friends, so I decided to do the simplest: Pako Salad!

Here’s the simplest Pako Salad Recipe I found –
Continue reading Pako Salad Recipe (Fern Salad)

Beer stewed duck recipe | Home Cooking

This is a traditional duck recipe from the Zhejiang Province in China. Our friends there served it to me while visiting them for dinner.

(Read the update at the end of the post.)

Trivia: I craved and ate roast duck for about half of my pregnancy with V. (Lihi is the the word.) So yes, duck is one of my favorite meats. But I rarely eat duck now because after about 6 months of bingeing on duck, I got pre-eclampsia (a condition in pregnancy where the blood pressure is elevated) on the 8th month. Yes, too much duck is bad for your health.

Tao Yuan peking duck recipeTao Yuan’s Peking Duck

Now on to the recipe…


I tagged along in one of husband’s recent business trips to China. As can be expected from a workaholic person, the whole trip was work-work-work-work.

Our most relaxed moments would usually be lunches and dinners with our hosts and suppliers. (Believe me, foot spa and massages in that part of China are not relaxing. ‘Swear.)

Anyway, our hosts invited us for dinner at their lovely home on our last evening. The wife cooked beer-stewed duck. This is a traditional duck recipe in Zhejiang, China. And with the use of a pressure cooker, it’s also become a quick and easy dish.

Hub loves this duck dish and has been telling me about it (gayahin ko daw) even before we got to China.

So now that I’ve tasted it, it’s time to test the duck recipe.

First challenge was to find duck. We live quite far from the Chinese markets (Arranque in Manila or Mayon in Quezon City). I used to buy dressed native chicken at Landmark Supermarket in Trinoma. So I was hoping to at least get some native chicken if I don’t find duck.

But surprise, surprise! I found one last beautiful whole duck at the Fresh Section in Landmark! Whoopee!

So here’s how to do it…


duck recipe  beer stewed duck ingredients

Poor duckie 🙁 ; Cerveza Negra I got at an Ultimate Taste Test event months ago (unopened beer doesn’t expire, right?); Had sesame oil, premium soy sauce and rice wine in my kitchen so I decided to use them.

  • 1 duck (this was over 2 kilos), cut up into pieces (throw in the gizzard, liver and heart if you wish!)
  • 1 bottle of beer (I used Cerveza Negra)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • approx. 3 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced into thin circles
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil + 1 tbsp canola
  • 2 tbsp superior soy sauce (so the label says)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine (michiu)
  • salt to taste

Wash duck pieces and drain thoroughly.

Heat the cooking oils (sesame oil + canola) in the pot of a pressure cooker over high fire. Saute onions, garlic and ginger. Reduce heat to avoid burning the garlic. Add duck pieces and continue sauteing until the duck is lightly browned.

Add the soy sauce, rice wine, five-spice powder and some salt. Keep stirring for about 2 minutes.

Add beer, give the mixture one final stir and put the pressure cooker lid on. Reduce stove fire to medium.

When the pressure cooker starts to “rock”, reduce fire to medium-low. Cook for about 30  20 minutes.

Check if meat is tender enough after 30  20 minutes. Cook more if needed. Adjust taste by adding more salt.

Best served with piping-hot rice on a rainy day!

beer stewed duck recipeI overcooked the duck, went way beyond 40 minutes.

Note: Use pressure cooker with caution. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

UPDATE [5/24/2011]: I cooked this for the second time tonight. I got the pressure-cooking time right this time: 20 minutes over medium fire. Updated the procedure accordingly. Also, I used San Miguel Light this time, which gave a milder flavor and lighter color to the dish. I prefer it over Cerveza Negra.

Salmon belly teriyaki recipe

This salmon belly teriyaki recipe a fluke, an accident that happened during the Christmas break in Baguio. I bought some salmon belly strips which were on buy-1-take-1 sale at the supermarket. I planned on cooking sinigang, but my niece said she wanted it cooked with teriyaki sauce. Her mom (my sis) goes “okay then, salmon belly teriyaki.” So I assumed they knew how to cook it.

Come cooking time… hindi pa pala sila nakaluto ‘nun! *facepalm*

So my niece and I winged it, but it was a success, according to the family (or do they just love us? hehe)

I cooked it again last Sunday for my Mama’s pre-birthday dinner.

salmon belly teriyaki

My salmon belly teriyaki

Ingredients: (Quantities are approximations. As V says, make intelligent guesses! 😉 ) Continue reading Salmon belly teriyaki recipe

Homemade Bangus Sisig Recipe

Here’s a quick, simple idea to cook for lunch this weekend  – homemade bangus sisig.


Since 1999, my family has excluded beef from our diet due to husband’s religious beliefs.

Recently, influenced by articles I have been reading at the Philippine Online Chronicles’ Health and Wellness channel, I’ve been trying to eat more healthily. The spillover effect cascades down to my family, whether they like it or not. teeeheee. 😛

I’m buying more fish and lean chicken now than the usual pork and chicken legs we always used to love. Though Nate is allergic to fish, I discovered that he does not react as badly anymore to white chicken meat.

Anyway… back to the topic.

One day last week, I found my freezer with nothing but bangus fillets and cream dory. And the kids were getting tired of fried fish, baked fish, fried fish, baked fish.

Then… *ting!* the light bulb went: bangus sisig! I’ve never done it, but I’m sure it’s a lot like pork sisig. Google search to the rescue.

And so I discovered that homemade bangus sisig is a whole lot easier and healthier than pork sisig, one of my family’s favorites.

Healthy homemade bangus sisig recipe

Ingredients: Continue reading Homemade Bangus Sisig Recipe

Igado Recipe and Nostalgic Memories

Yesterday, I suddenly missed home and craved for igado –  a comfort food for me. So I decided to whip it up for dinner. I tried to recall mama’s Igado Recipe.

Igado is a classic Ilocano dish that’s a staple during our family gatherings. For me, the best igado recipe is done by my Mama. Hers is always a hit.

pork igado recipe
The pork wasn’t as thinly sliced as it should be. But heck, it was still yummy!

The pork, liver and heart, along with potatoes, carrots and red pepper, are sliced painstakingly into long, thin pieces. If it’s a big family gathering, imagine the kind of production that goes into slicing alone! Kilos and kilos of meat – bloody task indeed.

I grew up in a pig-raising family. My forester-agriculturist Lolo Indong had a full ‘apartment complex’ of eight pigpens at the back of his house in the province. Each pen is as big as a good-sized bedroom, hahaha! But Lolo never raised the pigs for commercial consumption (as far as I can remember). I guess it was just a hobby for him.

The highlight of Lolo’s piggy hobby comes during December. The rest of the year, one pig (or two, depending on the number of guests – apos, balikbayan children – coming home for the holidays) is fattened up and prepared for the table. The sad fate of pigs… 🙁

In Baguio, my parents also raised pigs, though on a smaller scale. Just the same, a pig was always fattened up for Christmas. The slaughter is always scheduled in the early morning of the 23rd. Or the 24th? I don’t remember very well now.

But I remember the house would be abuzz with activity –  dad sharpening knives, an uncle setting up the area near the pen, a wood-fire burning, a huge pot of water boiling on it…  The pigpens were located down a 20-step or so descent from the main house, surrounded by thick bamboo groves. The pigs are agitated, probably feeling the tension in the air.

Once we hear the holiday pig crying, my sisters, cousins and I would gather and watch from above. I’ll spare you the gory details. (Oh well. I know it’s cruel. But how do you think the meats we buy at the market get there? I aspire to be vegetarian… One day. One day…)

The Christmas buffet table, of course, always included the hearty igado… along with Mama’s Christmas Ham… and dinuguan… and dinakdakan… and barbecue… Oh my, what a carnivorous family we are!

Sorry, I got lost in memories. Anyway, here’s the igado recipe done Mama’s way. I hope you enjoy it!

Continue reading Igado Recipe and Nostalgic Memories