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Cooking is fun – and easy

30 September 2018

Reading posts shared by members of the Domestic Workers Corner (It’s All About Food) is always a pleasant experience. Most members clearly enjoy cooking, and are generous with sharing their own recipes, or cooking tips honed by years of experience.

One post that stood out recently for being extra cheerful, even playful, came from Gen BA Osnilod, who went out of her way to encourage her fellow kitchen habitués to cook garlic chives, which is abundant this time of the year, and cheap.

Said Gen: “Hi, happy blessed morning and Monday to everyone . My name is garlic chives. I’m still in season so you (may want) to choose and include me as one of your dishes. Remember that I’m nutritious, healthy, has a nice smell, easy to prepare and affordable , and and I really love to be cook and paired with, eggs, pork, chicken, fish (dried or fresh) crab meats, scallops and many many more…so enjoy cooking me and I’m sure your Boss will love it too. By the way. Gen really likes to cook me because her employer loves to request and eat me.”

She then posted pictures of a yummy-looking dish of garlic chives topped with fried squid, sliced in a most interesting way. Aside from the cooked dish, Gen also shared pictures of the raw ingredients, and how the squid was cut a certain way so it curls inwards when cooked.

Garlic Chives with Squid
1 bunch of garlic chives , cut to about 3" long
2 medium sized squids
garlic, minced
ginger, sliced thinly
light soy sauce (to taste)
wine (to taste)
dash of shrimp paste (bagoong alamang)

1. Cut open the squids and make criss-cross cuts inside before slicing into about two-inch pieces (see picture)
2. Saute squid with minced garlic and sliced ginger, then season with light soy sauce and wine.
3. Add the garlic chives, then flavor with shrimp paste (replacing salt).

Note: Squid could be substituted with fish balls, pork, eggs, fresh skin tofu, dried shrimps or Chinese sausage.

Another member, Nheng Villa Dita, posted a variety of tasty-looking dishes that she just cooked for her employer’s guests and family, including her version of pork adobo, which she said was a special request from her ward. But the most eye-catching among her specialties was her steamed garlic shrimps.

Steamed Garlic Shrimps 
1 catty fresh shrimps, de-veined and sliced on the back
1 whole head of garlic, crushed
light soy sauce
sugar to taste
salt to taste
olive oil for flavoring
oil for frying
dash of white pepper
spring onion, chopped
small pack of vermicelli or sotanghon

1. Divide minced garlic into two portions. Stir fry half of the portion until brown and exudes aroma, then mix with the other half that’s fresh.
2. Add salt, olive oil, white pepper to the garlic mixture.
3. Wash shrimps and cut off legs, hairy bits and sharp part of the heads. Using a pair of scissors, cut the back part with the shell, then use a sharp knife to continue slitting the back up to the tail. Set aside.
4. Wash and soak vermicelli until soft, then spread on a plate evenly.
5. Arrange shrimps on top of the vermicelli, then spread the garlic mix on their slit backs.
6. Steam shrimps for 5 minutes.
7. Cook oil with light soy sauce and sugar, then quickly pour over the shrimps while hot. Top with chopped spring onions.

A great way to round off the menu for this issue is this spicy chicken recipe from Elemar Jay Barut:

Grilled chicken legs with chili and coriander
Ingredients for marinade:
½ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp coriander (finely chopped)
chopped chili (to taste)

1.) Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
2) Add two pieces chicken legs and marinate for 1 ½ hours
3) Grill for 50 minutes in oven at 180 degrees. Serve hot.

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