FOOD HISTORY / RECIPES

                            
KUTSINTA




KUTSINTA -- is an all time favorite Filipino snack or breakfast food originally made from rice flour, sugar, lye water, and achuete (annato) seeds for coloring, served with grated fresh coconut.

The word 'Kutsinta' comes from the Chinese word 'Kueh Tsin Tao'. The word 'Kueh' in Hokkien language means a little cake or cookie for snack, more often steamed than baked. Hokkien originated from a dialect in Southern Fujian, China where most of our early Chinese ancestors came from.

The earliest date known for direct Chinese trade with the Philippines was around the 9th century (at the turn of the Sung and Tang dynasty). Since then kutsinta in its early form has been around. Serving it with grated coconut is a Filipino adaptation later on.

Another Chinese snack that the Chinese merchants introduced at that time was 'kueh putu' (steamed rice cake) which later became our favorite 'puto'. Thus, we have the popular 'puto-kutsinta' snacks served together. As a child, my playmates and I used to sing 'puto-kutsinta, malutong, masarap malata! (a nursery rhyme sung in praise of delicious puto and kutsinta.

Ancient trade with the Chinese was always carried out wholesale with incredibly low price (bagsak presyo!). None of the trading ships came with the aim to conquer or declare war. Instead the Chinese simply harmlessly traded beautiful jars, ceramics and silk with a big friendly smile. And for the hungry customers they introduced their delicious noodle soups (mami, lomi,etc) pansit canton, bihon, sotanghon, pritong tokwa, lumpia, hopia, tikoy, siopao and many, many other things--including puto and kutsinta.

Here is my recipe of kutsinta featured in my Gulay ebook 2.


Ingredients:

2 c flour

1 c sugar
3 c water 
2 tsp lihia (lye water) 
1 tsp achuete water (annato seeds or powder soaked in water)
1-2 tsp vanilla
grated fresh coconut

Procedure:
1. In a mixing bowl, mix together flour and sugar.
2. Slowly pour water, mix well to avoid lumps. Add lye water, achuete water and vanilla. Mix.
3. Pour in molds. Steam for 10 minutes. Serve with grated fresh coconut.

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Binagoongang Santol




BINAGOONGANG SANTOL -- is a favorite Filipino condiment made from grated flesh of santol fruit cooked in thick coconut milk and mixed with 'bagoong' (originally salted fish or shrimp paste). I make my own veggie 'bagoong' which is featured in my Gulay ebook 1. So I'm sharing here with you my binagoongan santol recipe without fish or shrimp.'Bagoong' originated from the favorite Malay condiment called 'Belacan'. Belacan is made from geragao (shrimp) or krill, that has been salted, dried and fermented and is an essential item in Malay cuisine. Malays cannot eat without rice and belacan! Malays also like their belacan fiery hot!When the first and second wave of our Malay ancestors came 5,000 years ago, they settled in the Ilocos, Tagalog and Bicol regions. They introduced belacan which later became the Ilocanos' 'bagoong iloko' (made from fish) and the Tagalogs' 'bagoong alamang' (made from shrimp). Malays also introduced many exotic fruits, one of them being the santol fruit originating from Peninsular Malaysia.'Binagoongang santol' (a variation of belacan) originated in the Bicol region. One of the legendary ten Malay datus who first came settled in Bicol and introduced fiery hot belacan. His descendants introduced binagoongang santol. To this day, taking from the Malay legacy, Ilocanos cannot eat rice without bagoong. And Bicolanos cannot rice without fiery hot ulam (main dish).Here is my recipe of binagoongang santol with veggie 'bagoong'.

Ingredients:
5-6 pcs santol fruit
1 c thick coconut milk (250 ml coconut cream)
salt, chilis

Procedure:
1.Peel santol. Take out seeds. Grate the banakal (flesh).
2. Cook in coconut milk, adding salt and chilis, until banakal is tender and a bit oily. Remove from heat.
3. Add veggie 'bagoong'. Mix well. Preserve in a jar. Serve.

Veggie ‘Bagoong’
(Salted Black Bean Paste)

1 can salted yellow beans (misi), 180g
or salted black beans (tausi), 180g
1 c mashed tofu or tokwa
¼ c tomato paste
2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions
1 c dried sea weeds (nori), strips
2 Tbsp sugar
chilis

1. Blend or mash yellow or black beans. Set aside.
2. Saute leeks or spring onions in oil. Add tomato paste and a little water. Cook very well. Add blended beans, seaweed strips and mashed tofu or tokwa, chilis and sugar. Cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Serve.


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TURONES FILIPINO CON YEMA - - This is just my regular turon made even more delicious by drizzling caramel sauce on top. Turon is a favorite Filipino snack food made from sliced saba bananas rolled in sugar, wrapped in spring roll wrapper with slices of ripe langka (jackfruit) strips, then fried.

The name 'turon' is derived from the Spanish word 'turrones' (sweetened nougats) but the concept of frying saba bananas in sugar is traditionally Indonesian, and the concept of wrapping in lumpia wrapper is traditionally Chinese.

When our early Indonesian ancestors came 7,000 years ago, they brought with them their favorite snack food called Pisang Goreng (similar to our maruya) made from fried 'pisang kepok' (saba bananas), rolled in muscovado sugar, then fried in coconut oil.

When the Chinese came in the 11th century, they brought with them their favorite food called 'lumpia' (fried spring rolls made with mongo bean sprouts or toge). Thus, there was a union of the two foods and the sweetened pisang goreng was then cooked with the crunchy Chinese lumpia touch.

When the Spaniards came in the 15th century, they liked the taste of the crunchy pisang goreng, but for an added European taste, they poured caramel sauce (called yema or yemita) on it before serving. It was a Spanish tradition to always put caramel sauce on custards, cakes and puddings. They named pisang goreng 'turones filipino con yema'. When the Spaniards left, the name 'turon' stuck but it was still crunchy pisang goreng served plain, without the yema.

For the yema sauce, I use my basic butterscotch sauce featured in Gulay ebook 1. You can use any caramel sauce recipe if you want. My recipe for Turones Filipino con Yema is featured in Gulay ebook 3.
 

Basic Butterscotch Sauce:
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 c brown or light brown sugar
1 c water
1/4 c butter
4 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Turon:
5 pcs ripe saba
10 pcs lumpia wrapper
sugar
pieces of langka strips
chopped cashew or peanuts

1. Basic Butterscotch Sauce: Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt thoroughly in a pan. Stir in 1/2 c water mixing until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a separate pan, boil remaining 1/2 c water. Add vanilla. Add cornstarch-sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for one minute. Remove from fire.

3. Add butter. Serve hot or cold.

4. Turon: Peel the bananas. Cut in half. Roll the bananas in sugar. Arrange 2 pieces of halved saba horizontally on lumpia wrapper, ends overlapping. Put pieces of langka strips on top. Roll lumpia wrapper and seal with a little water.

5. Fry until golden brown. Arrange on a platter.

6. Drizzle with basic butter scotch sauce. Sprinkle chopped cashew or peanuts on top. Serve.

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EGGLESS MAYONNAISE



EGGLESS MAYONNAISE-- This is my healthy vegetarian version of mayonnaise, the world's favorite creamy condiment used in salads and sandwiches.


Here in the Philippines, one of the lasting legacies of the Spanish friars aside from the massive brick churches was 'mayonesa' or mayonnaise. They first introduced it to us in the late 17th century together with traditional Mediterranean-inspired Spanish food like olive oil, legumes and nuts, cereals, pasta, bread, cheese and honey. At that time though, 'mayonesa' was served only in the homes of the wealthy mestizos, insulares and peninsulares - -never in the homes of the indios.


Mayonnaise was invented in 1756 by the French chef of the duke of Richeliu. The duke beat the British at port Mahon, a city in Minorca off the northeast coast of Spain.

After the battle, his chef served a victory feast that included a thick creamy sauce made from olive oil, egg yolks, vinegar and seasoning. Traditionally, sauces at that time were made from cream and eggs. But the chef found no cream in the kitchen so he substituted olive oil instead.


The chef named the new sauce 'Mahonnaise' in honor of the duke's victory at Mahon. From there the word 'mayonnaise' was derived from the old French word for egg yolks, 'moyen'.

Here is my eggless mayonnaise recipe (featured in Gulay eBook 1). It may be used in any dish where mayonnaise is required.


Ingredients:
1 block tofu or 4 pcs tokwa
1 small can evaporated milk
1/4 c corn or soya oil
4 tsp vinegar
4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
pepper
mustard (optional)

Procedure: Blend all ingredients together in a blender, gradually adding vinegar. (Mayonnaise gets creamier, the longer it is blended.)


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EGGLESS LECHE FLAN 



LECHE FLAN is a traditional Filipino dessert originally made with eggs, milk and sugar, cooked with arnibal (caramelized sugar). Leche flan was introduced to us by the Spaniards in the 1560’s, along with other best known creamy rich Spanish custards such as tocino del cieloyema or yemita and crema catalana.

Leche Flan dates as far back as ancient Rome when the Romans used egg whites as cement to build huge stone structures. The Romans had a huge surplus of egg yolks so they looked to the Greeks for inspiration on what to do with them. The Greeks had great culinary skills. Together they developed leche flan and other custard recipes served with sugar syrup.

During the fall of the Roman Empire, leche flan survived its heritage and found its way to Spain and then the Philippines as the sweet tasting flan we Filipinos love today. The word ‘flan’ is derived from the Latin word ‘flado’ meaning flat cake and the Spanish word ‘leche’ meaning milk.

When the Spaniards came, they applied the Roman tradition of using egg whites as cement. Some of the oldest church structures here such as the Baclayon church in Bohol (built by the Jesuit priests in 1595) and San Agustin church in Intramuros (built by the Augustinian priests in 1570), used millions of eggs as cement and hundreds of native Filipino forced labor (obras pias) to build. They cut and dragged coral blocks from the sea, using only bamboos in moving and lifting the stones in position.

In fact, all stone structures ever built by the Spaniards were done this way. And the surplus egg yolks were made into leche flan and other delicious egg custards, served to and enjoyed by the Spaniards.

Here is my recipe for eggless leche flan, just as rich and creamy but without the cholesterol and slime of eggs.

Ingredients:
1 big can condensed milk (300 ml)
1 big can evaporated milk (370 ml)
1 stick gulaman (yellow color)
4 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 c water


Syrup:

1 c brown or light brown sugar

1/2 c water

1. Prepare syrup: In a saucepan, boil sugar and water until mixture becomes thick. Pour syrup in leche flan mold (llanera) or baking pan. Set aside.

2. Pour condensed milk and evaporated milk in a pot (preferably cast iron to avoid scorching). Add vanilla. Boil.

3. In a separate pan, boil one stick gulaman in 1 1/2 water. Strain and pour into the boiling milk-vanilla mixture. Stir constantly for a few minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Pour mixture over syrup-lined pan. Allow to set. When cooled, invert pan and serve.

Note: if stick gulaman is not available, use 2 Tbsp seaweed jelly powder (Mr.Gulaman) or agar-agar, yellow or white color. In a separate bowl, gradually sprinkle seaweed jelly powder or agar-agar into 1 c water. Stir constantly until jelly powder is completely dissolved. Pour into the boiling milk-vanilla mixture. Proceed with the rest of the procedure.



GINISANG MONGO 


Ginisang Mongo- -or sauteed mung beans is a very popular Filipino dish, a very common way to cook boiled mongo, also known as 'balatong'.


In the days of our grandmothers and their grandmothers before them, Ginisang Mongo was the standard 'ulam' (main dish) every Friday. The Roman Catholic church, headed by Spanish friars strictly imposed no meat-eating on Fridays as early as the 15th century, as a form of 'penitensya' (or sacrifice) even outside of the Lenten season. The early Filipino people followed the rule and ate mongo beans instead because they knew by cultural knowledge that they replace animal protein.

I grew up following the 'no-meat on Friday tradition' in my grandmother's household. And in the private girls' school where I studied high school, the nuns would not serve meat at the school canteen on Fridays too. Instead they served Ginisang Mongo with fried fish or shrimp.

Mongo Beans originated in India and have been grown since very ancient times. Then they spread to China, Southeast Asia and then eventually to the West. Mongo beans was introduced to us by the Chinese in the 8th century, cooked both as beans and fresh mongo bean sprouts (called ‘toge’). Mongo beans is very easy, in fact the easiest, beans to digest.  Mongo beans are in the legume family of plants, excellent source of protein and dietary fiber. They also contain vitamins A, C and E, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium.

According to Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines, mongo beans are pacifying to the body and the mind. Its best known use is the treatment of poisoning of various types including food, drugs, industrial and environmental (pesticides, heavy metal,etc). Simply always eat a bowl of Ginisang Mongo served with rice, to counteract any type of poisoning.

Here is my vegetarian version of Ginisang Mongo:


Ingredients:
1/4 k mongo

2 pcs tokwa or 1/2 block tofu (diced, fried)

2 c ampalaya leaves (bitter melon or bitter gourd leaves)

1/2 c tomatoes

2 Tbsp spring onions or leeks

salt, seasoning



Procedure:

1. Boil mongo until soft and mushy.


2. In a pan, saute spring onions or leeks in oil. Add tomatoes. Cook well. Add boiled mongo, salt and seasoning. Add enough water. Cover and cook.

3. Add ampalaya leaves. Mix well. simmer for a few minutes. Add fried tofu or tokwa. Remove from heat. Serve.
Note: I'm not a garlic or onion user but if you are, you may want to use them for sauteing.  I use leeks or spring onions instead.



GINATAANG LANGKA


Ginataang Langka is a favorite vegetable dish all over the Philippines specially in the Bicol region and in the south in Mindanao. It is made from green langka cooked in rich coconut milk with lots of chilis. In Muslim Maranao cuisine, big chunks of green langka is cooked with turmeric, grinded coconut meat, chili powder and palapa. Generally this is a fiery dish.

Langka is also known as 'nangka', 'kanun' and 'mit’. It originated in southwestern India 6,000 years ago in the rainforests of present-day Kerala, coastal Karnataka and Maharashtra. Langka played a significant role in Indian agriculture for many centuries. It is called 'panasan' in Sanskrit.

When the Malays came to our shores from Malaysia some 2, 000 years ago, they brought langka with them along with other fruits and vegetables indigenous in Malaysia. They introduced us to cooking langka with coconut milk. They came after the Indonesians and also arrived in boats from South East Asia. They were medium in height, brown-skinned, with flat noses and straight black hair. They drove the Indonesians into the forests and lived in the lowlands.



The Malays were more civilized than the Indonesians. They lived in larger villages. They had government, writing, music, arts, and sciences. They lived by agriculture, fishing, mining and trading. The Filipinos of today come from the Malay race. Thus, there are Muslim Malays in Mindanao, Jolo and Palawan. There are also Christian Malays all over the country. The Malays are the ancestors of tribes like the Igorots, Ifugaos, Bontoks and Tinggians of Luzon. 


Ingredients:

3 c green langka (jackfruit), sliced 

1 c thick coconut milk (coconut cream 250ml) 

1 1/2 c thin coconut milk (coconut cream diluted in water) 

2 Tbsp ginger (sliced) 

2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions 

4 pcs siling pangsigang (green chilis) 

salt 


1. In a pot, put langka, ginger, thin coconut milk, leeks or spring onions and salt. Cover and cook until langka is tender. While langka is cooking, add siling pangsigang. 

2. When langka is cooked, pour thick coconut milk. Mix and cover. Remove from heat. Serve. 





PANSIT MOLO


PANSIT MOLO -- is a dumpling, an adaptation of Cantonese wonton soup that became popular in the town of Molo, Iloilo province. Oddly, it is called 'pansit' but it has no noodles in it!

As early as the Tang dynasty period (6th-8th century), our trade with Chinese merchants already existed. The Chinese came from south China (Yunnan-Canton region) to Sulu, southern Philippines in their ancient sea vessels. However, it was during the Song dynasty period (10-13th century) that the Chinese came more frequently, married Filipina women and settled.

When the Spaniards came in the 15th century, they herded the Chinese people together in a ghetto called 'parian' (today's Chinatown) for fear of a revolt. There were 3 major parians in the country - - in Intramuros, Cebu and Iloilo. Wherever they were herded, the Chinese set up little tea houses for the Chinese traders, serving noodles, dimsum (siopao,siomai) wonton soup, dumplings, congee, little cakes (hopia,buchi) and yum cha (tea). The native Filipinos liked their food. Even the Spaniards became regular customers!

When the Moro (Muslim) pirates from Mindanao raided the Chinese parian in Iloilo, as they were nearing the shore, the Chinese shouted, Molo! Molo! instead of Moro! Moro! because they could not pronounce the letter 'R'. Thus, the place became known as 'Molo' and the dumpling as 'pansit molo'.

Here is my vegetarian version of pansit molo. I make my own molo wrappers as the store-bought ones usually have eggs.

Ingredients: 
Molo Wrapper:
2 c flour
4 Tbsp butter, lard or oil
1/2-3/4 c water
salt
Mix all ingredients to make a soft dough, roll out into 2 inch squares. Save trimmed dough strips. Set aside.

Pansit Molo:
1 1/2 c ground gluten or vegemeat (fried)
2 Tbsp carrots (chopped finely)
2 Tbsp kinchay, kutsay or celery (chopped finely)
2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions (chopped finely)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
salt, seasoning
(soup stock)
2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions
2 Tbsp cream of asparagus powder
soy patis, seasoning or veggie bouillion

1. Mix all pansit molo ingredients in a bowl. Scoop 1 Tbsp mixture into molo wrapper. Fold and seal. Set aside.

2. Prepare soup stock. Saute leeks or spring onions. Add enough water, soy patis or salt. Let boil, adding seasoning, asparagus powder or bouillion. Drop wrapped pansit molo and dough strips. Cook until dough is soft but not soggy. Serve as ulam (main dish) or as merienda (snacks) with biscocho (toasted bread) or galletas (thin round cookies).



CAMOTE QUE



CAMOTE QUE - - is a popular Filipino snack food, a portmanteau of the words 'camote' (sweet potato) and 'barbeque'. In 1565, the Spaniards brought camote to the Philippines from Mexico via the galleon trade but they didn't know that camote could be cooked camote-que style. The native Filipinos cooked the early form of camote-que by roasting camote with the skin over open fire using bamboo skewers.

The use of bamboo skewers for roasting rootcrops was an ancient tradition we learned from our Indonesian ancestors dating back about 7,000 years ago.

After roasting, the camote was dipped into a raw form of muscovado sugar made from sugarcane. Sugarcane was already growing all over Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao long,long before Magellan discovered the Philippines in 1521. By the time the Spaniards came, the early Filipinos were already enjoying a form of delicious and nutritious sweetener called 'pulot' used in their suman and kakanin ( various rice cakes).

When the Spaniards tasted the sweetened roasted camote, they liked it and called it 'camote endulzicada'. Other variations included frying the camote first with fresh coconut oil before dipping into the sweet sauce and putting on the bamboo skewers for easy handling.

When the Americans came at the turn of the century, they coined the word 'camote-que' for the same simple sweetened camote delicacy that they too enjoyed eating. Today, camote remains to be a staple Filipino crop, symbol of high nutrition and extraordinary good taste.

Here is the way I cook my camote-que.


Ingredients:

3 c camote (sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into thick slices

1/2 c sugar, muscovado sugar or crushed panocha

oil for frying

bamboo sticks (skewers)

Procedure:
1. In a frying pan, fry camote until golden brown. Drain and set aside.

2. Remove oil from pan leaving about 2 Tbsp oil. Put back the fried camote pieces into the pan. Add sugar (according to desired sweetness) Cooking over low heat, allow the sugar to melt, mixing slowly so the camote becomes coated with the melted sugar. Remove from fire.

3. Arrange camote pieces in bamboo skewers and serve.



PINAKBET



PINAKBET - - or Pakbet is a healthy vegetable dish known all over the Philippines. It originated in the Northern and Ilocos regions. 'Pinakbet' comes from the Ilocano word "Pinakebbet' which means 'to shrivel' or 'dry up' as what happens when vegetables are steamed. The original pinakbet uses bagoong (fish or shrimp sauce) with vegetables such as ampalaya, talong, okra, sitaw, parda, sigarillas, camote, patani, cadios and bunga ng malunggay. Tagalog version uses kalabasa. 

Ilocanos are of Malay stock, descendants of Indonesian and Malaysian migrants who came to settle more than two thousand years ago on the coastal side of Northwestern Luzon coming from South China Sea. They arrived in boats and each boat accommodated a whole clan called a barangay. They spoke Sanskrit.

When Spanish explorer Juan de Salcedo first came to Vigan in 1572, the Ilocos region was already a very advanced and organized cluster of settlements ruled by datus. Their daily food was rice and healthy 'ulam'. 'Ulam' is a Malay word that means a mixture of vegetables and herbs eaten daily in meals. Pinakbet and Dinengdeng are some variations of the Malays' 'ulam'. Ancient Malays believe that eating 'ulam' would make you look younger even though you are actually aging.

Here is an even healthier version of pinakbet - - without pork, fish or shrimp:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c ampalaya (bitter melon)

1 1/2 c sitaw (string beans)

1 1/2 c kalabasa (squash)

1 1/2 c okra

1 1/2 c talong (eggplant)

1 c tomatoes

2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions

1/2 block tofu or 2 pcs tokwa (cubed,fried)

salt, soy sauce, seasoning

Procedure:
1. Saute leeks or spring onions in oil. Add tomatoes. Cook well.

2. Add ampalaya, sitaw, kalabasa, talong, okra, soy sauce, salt and seasoning. Cover and cook over low heat.

3. When vegetables are tender, remove from heat, add fried tofu or tokwa. Serve.


PUTONG KAMOTENG KAHOY




PUTONG KAMOTENG KAHOY -- is a favorite Filipino snack made from steamed kamoteng kahoy (cassava) and bukayo (sweetened grated coconut). Cassava, also known as manioc, tapioca or yuca was originally grown and eaten as long as 8,000-10,000 years ago in the area now known as Brazil and Paraguay (South America).

During that time, the entire world was ruled by only one emperor (called 'maharaj') with India as the seat of government. India is the cradle of ancient civilization. The emperor ruled the world which was divided into seven islands (now known as the seven continents) and South America was one of them. In the advanced ancient civilizations of South America long before the coming of the European conquerors, cassava was served in earthen pots either boiled or roasted with chutney (pickled fruits or vegetables) or honey. Cassava was known in Sanskrit as 'tarukandah'.

Cassava is an excellent source of carbohydrates and manganese; has twice the amount of calories as potatoes. Manganese helps in maintaining normal blood sugar levels, nerve and brain functions.

Putong Kamoteng Kahoy is one very simple way to cook cassava.


Ingredients:

2 c cassava (grated)



Bukayo: To make bukayo, combine 3 Tbsp fresh coconut (shredded) and 3 Tbsp brown sugar


Procedure:
1. Press grated cassava to remove juice. Set aside.

2. Scoop 1 Tbsp bukayo mixture onto the bottom of a muffin pan or puto molder. Arrange the bukayo in the middle.

3. Scoop 2 Tbsp of pressed grated cassava and put on top of bukayo. Steam. Remove from heat. Let cool. Serve.




ARROZ CALDO


ARROZ CALDO -- or 'Caldo de Arroz' is a Spanish name that literally means 'rice soup' or 'lugaw'. It is also known as 'congee' in many Asian countries which means 'rice porridge' from the ancient Tamil word 'kanji'. The original word comes 
from the Sanskrit root word 'Kaanjika'.

ARROZ CALDO originated in India and have been eaten in many ancient districts like Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka for thousands of years by the very poor people. It spread to China, Indonesia and other Asian countries. It was the Chinese who made Arroz Caldo the very flavorful rice soup dish that we know today, adapted to the tastes of the Spanish colonial settlers in the 1500's who patronized the Chinese restaurants in the Philippines, spiced with kasubha (safflower) from Spain and white pepper from China. The original Chinese arroz caldo makes use of chicken or beef broth and chicken wings.

Here is my chicken-less arroz caldo that is healthy, comforting specially when served very hot and is just as flavorful.


Ingredients:

1 c malagkit (glutinous rice)

1/2 block tofu or 2 pcs tokwa (fried, strips)

2 Tbsp ginger (strips)

2 Tbsp leeks or spring onions

2 Tbsp spring onions (chopped finely for garnishing)

2 Tbsp cream of asparagus powder or 2 pcs veggie bouillon

1 Tbsp kasubha (safflower), for reddish color

salt, black or white pepper

soy patis (or soy sauce), seasoning

calamansi or lemon

1. Boil water in a pot. In a frying pan, saute leeks or spring onions and ginger. Add malagkit rice and soy patis. Stir-fry rice to absorb flavor. Pour mixture into the boiling pot of water. Cover and cook.

2. Continue boiling over low heat until rice becomes soft, adding more water till lugaw consistency. Add salt, black or white pepper, cream of asparagus powder dissolved in a little water or veggie bouillon and seasoning. Simmer for a while.

3. Remove from heat. Add fried tofu or tokwa strips. Garnish with chopped spring onions. Serve very hot with calamansi or lemon juice with soy patis or soy sauce.

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