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Spicy treats

24 November 2018

Chili is always part of any meal that 49-year-old Jhen Li Shen, an administrator of Domestic Workers Corner, serves to her employers who live in Tseung Kwan-o.

 “Hindi sila mapili sa food, but favorite nila yung mga spicy na ulam like yung Korean at Thai kaya pag luto ko laging may chili,” says Jhen.

This native of Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, says she is given a budget of $150 per day for meals, and she is expected to come up with three dishes and soup each time.

The daily challenge does not faze her, as she can calculate in her mind how much each dish she intends to cook will cost.

“Kailangan marunong tayong mag-budget sa pera na binibigay sa atin na pang marketing,” she said.

But this does not mean sacrificing quality for the cost. “Kailangan i-check nating mabuti ang ating nabili, at kung sira na ay huwag nang lutuin pa para hindi tayo masira sa ating amo,” she says.

Her other advice: “Kailangan laging malinis ang ating niluluto, at dapat ay paiba-iba. Hindi lang dapat magbasa ng cook book, dapat ay mag search din sa google ng mga menu. More learning, more knowledge.”

Since she enjoys cooking, Jhen says she plans to set up a “simple” restaurant when she finally goes home for good. She has been planning for this day by checking out simple dishes served in restaurants so she can have a better idea of what she should be cooking.

For now, she is happy enough guiding newly arrived Filipina migrant workers in Hong Kong on what they should serve to please their bosses. Her being an admin in DWC’s “It’s All About Food” page has enabled her to do just this.

“Masaya ako sa group dahil sa simpleng paraan ay nakakatulong kami sa mga first-timer sa abroad, lalo na sa pagluluto ng iba-ibang klase ng Asian at Western dishes. Mas maigi na natuturuan sila nang hindi na sila kailangang gumastos.”


Roasted Duck in Dried Chili and Cashew Nuts
Ingredients:
1/2 roasted duck
fried cashew nuts
basil leaves
sliced ginger and onions
garlic, crushed
dried chili, sliced
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1tsp sugar
Spring onion, sliced
½ cup water

Procedure:
1. Saute ginger, then add garlic and sliced onion.
2. Mix in the sliced roasted duck and keep stirring in high heat until all its juices have been squeezed out
3. Add the light soy sauce, sugar, water and cashew nuts. Mix well.
4. Add the basil leaves and stir some more until everything is cooked through.
5. Serve with a sprinkling of sliced spring onions on top.


Steamed Vietnamese spring rolls 
Ingredients:  
rice paper spring rolls wrappers
¼ lbs minced pork
1 medium sized carrot, minced
1 onion, minced
½ small cabbage, minced



Sauce:
minced shallots
crushed garlic
light soy sauce
sugar
flour dissolved in water for thickening
sliced spring onions



Procedure:
1. In a bowl, mix minced pork, carrots, onion and cabbage.
2. Add the light soy sauce, black pepper and sesame, then mix. Set aside
3. Put 2 tbsp of the ingredients into each rice paper wrapper, then roll and seal.
4. Put all rolled ingredients on a wet towel, then place in a steaming dish. Steam for 15 minutes or until cooked.
5. Arrange spring rolls on a dish and sprinkle with sliced spring onions
6. Serve hot with sauce on the side.


Thai Steamed Squid with Minced Pork (or Fish)
Ingredients:
1 big size fresh squid
For the stuffing:
minced fish or minced pork
minced carrots
minced onion
2 tbsps light soy sauce
sliced spring onions.



For the sauce:
Lime juice
Thai fish sauce
minced shallots
fresh chili
sliced spring onions




Procedure:
1. Gently remove the skin and clean the inner part of the squid, then wash.
2. Mix all the remaining ingredients.
3. Take out the squid’s head and stuff the mixed ingredients inside.
4. Put back the squid head and close with toothpicks.
5. Make slight cuts on the side of the squid, then put in a steamer
6. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked.
7. Remove the sauce from the steaming pot, and put in a bowl. Mix with all the ingredients for the sauce.
8. Put squid on a dish and sprinkle with sliced coriander. Serve with the sauce on the side.

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