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Google recipes, then improve on them

04 July 2018

By Rodelia Villar

With the advent of technology, there is almost no excuse for not knowing how to cook.
Whatever food stuff you have in your refrigerator could be turned into something edible, if not wonderful, by simply using Google search. Try searching for that favorite dish that  you want to cook, or putting in a key ingredient, and see how many ways there are of turning it into a delectable concoction.
An alternative is to join Facebook pages where dishes are shared, such as the Domestic Workers Corner (It’s All About Food), and simply post a question on what you want to cook. Members of the group can even be consulted on what you can whip up with the  limited budget given you by your employer.
The DWC group is administered by a pool of talented cooks like Gloria Prudencio, who often amazes members on her versatility on just about any aspect of cooking – from preparation to plating food for her employers.
Prudencio’s secret is her willingness to try new ways of cooking dishes, and to do this, she uses the internet. She either uses the recipe provided on Google search, or vary it slightly, before preparing and presenting the dish in her unique and creative style.
With help from Google, YouTube or Facebook, there is no limit to what she, or anybody, can come up with.
Here are some of the recipes Prudencio has put together from her online searches:

Beef and Brocolli Stir-fry

2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch, divided in two
1/4 tsp table salt
3/4 pound uncooked lean trimmed sirloin beef, thinly sliced against the grain
2 tsp canola oil
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
5 cups uncooked broccoli, florets (about a 12 oz bag)
1 tbsp fresh ginger root, minced
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup(s) water
1/4 cup(s) low sodium soy sauce
1 cup beef broth

1) On a plate, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch and salt; add beef and toss to coat.
2) Heat oil in a large nonstick wok or large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and stir-fry until lightly browned and cooked through (about 4 minutes), then transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
3) Add 1/2 cup broth to same pan; stir to loosen any bits of food on the pan’s bottom.
4) Add broccoli; cover and cook, tossing occasionally and sprinkling with a tablespoon water if needed, until broccoli is almost crisp-tender (about 3 minutes).
5) Uncover pan and add ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes; stir-fry until fragrant, (about 1 minute).
6) In a cup, stir together water, soy sauce, remaining 1/2 cup broth and remaining 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch until blended; stir into pan.
7) Reduce heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly (about 1 minute).
8) Return beef and accumulated juices to the pan; toss to coat. Serve.
(Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving)

Yong Tau Foo

Filling ingredients:
400 grams minced pork
400 grams fish meat
3 pcs shitake mushrooms, soaked and cut into small pieces
2-3 sprigs of coriander or spring onion
1/2 of a small bitter gourd (ampalaya), cut in 1-cm thickness and with seeds removed
5 pcs red chilli without the seeds
5 pcs green chilli, without seeds
5 pcs ladies finger (okra), without seeds
5 pcs tofu puff, cut into half
1 small eggplant, cut into 2 cm thickness and divided into half
10-20 grams of salted fish
1 tbsp castor sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
pinch of salt
dash of white pepper
vegetables of your choice

Gravy ingredients
1 ½ tbsp fermented black beans
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsps oyster sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch diluted in 2 tbsp water
1 -1 1/2 cups of water

(All quantities above is for reference and actual amount will depend on your family’s size and preferences).

1) Blend all the filling ingredients until fine, using a food processor. If you do not have a food processor, you can also use a knife to chop until fine.
2) Using a spoon or a knife, take some of the filling and stuff into each of the vegetable’s cavity. Make sure the fillings are full and firm.
3) In a pot of hot oil, deep fry the vegetable until they are slightly soft and the meat is cooked. Drain and set aside.
Note: It is advisable that your deep frying be done in stages according to each type of vegetable. Different vegetables have different cooking times. From the longest to shortest cooking time: bean curd (tokwa), bitter gourd, egg plant, chilli and ladies finger. Because of the braising that will be done later, the meat is considered cooked after about 3-4 minutes.
4) In a pot or a wok, pour about 2 tbsp of cooking oil, then sauté garlic until fragrant.
5) Add the fermented black beans, then pour in enough water to cover the Yong Tau Foo (start with 1 cup, then gradually add).
6) Add oyster sauce and sugar, then bring to boil.
7) Add the deep fried Yong Tau Foo, then let simmer for about 10 minutes.
8) Transfer the braised Yong Tau Foo to a serving plate.
9) Add corn starch solution to the gravy, and when the sauce thickens and becomes transparent, turn off heat.
10) Drizzle gravy on top of  the Yong Tau Foo before serving

Fried Pompano
1 pc pompano (about 2 lb), clean and gutted
1 pc lemon, cut in half
½ tbsp. kosher salt
1½ cup canola oil

1) Make diagonal cuts on both side of pompano, then squeeze lemon juice on both sides of the fish
2) Sprinkle salt all over the fish. Let it stand for 10-15 minutes.
3) Heat the canola oil in a pan. When the oil gets hot, fry the fish on each side until it is golden brown or turns crispy (about 8 minutes).
4) Remove fish from the pan, then put on a dish with paper towel on top to soak in the oil.
5) Serve with your favorite dip.

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