Chicken Adobo

If you are Filipino, you probably grew up eating adobo. This is a staple in most Filipino homes and each family usually have their own way of preparing it. As I have mentioned before this is flavored by a combination of soy sauce and vinegar. To make this recipe work you need to get the Filipino brand soy sauce, I use Lauriat because this is what my mom and grandma has been using. There are different brands of Filipino soy sauce in the market and you can choose any you like. For the vinegar, you need to use cane vinegar, the most popular Filipino brand in the market is Datu Puti. This is just my own personal taste, you can use any brand cane vinegar you can find.

To make, place 1.5 lb chicken thighs (preferably bone-in) in a pan. To this add 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar, 6-8 cloves smashed, 1 tsp. ground black pepper (you can use black peppercorns) and 2 bay leaves. It is better if you let the chicken marinate for at least one hour. But if you don’t have the time you can just immediately cook this over medium heat. Let it come to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for a couple of minutes before covering and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes. Check your meat after 15 minutes, add about 1/4 cup water if you think it’s drying out. When meat is done, turn off heat and remove chicken from sauce. Get a non-stick frying pan and add a bit of oil. Fry your chicken until nice and brown on both sides. This is entirely optional but I like to add mushrooms to my adobo, so what I do is take a can of drained sliced mushrooms (fresh white mushrooms is better) and cook it in a little oil until brown before adding this to the pan with the chicken and sauce. Let this cook until sauce has thickened a bit, this will only take a few minutes so better watch your pan.

Serve immediately with steamed white rice. This actually taste so much better the day after so make sure you have leftovers.

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Mapo Tofu

Our family loves tofu and this recipe is a favorite. It is relatively easy to prepare, you just need to have the right ingredients. Mapo tofu is a spicy dish originating from the Sichuan Province of China. Sichuan cuisine is known for it’s bold flavors and the use of chilis, spices and of course it’s Sichuan peppers. Authentic mapo tofu uses doubanjiang which is a paste made of fermented broad beans and spices. They use Pixian Douban in particular which is somewhat difficult to get a hold off here in the US. I just substituted toban djan a type of chili bean sauce for this recipe.

To make, add 2 tsp. of sesame oil and 1 tsp. of salt in half a pound of ground beef, mix well and set aside. Prepare a slurry by mixing 1 Tbsp. cornstarch with 2 1/2 Tbsp. of water. Drain your tofu and cut into small cubes. Most recipe call for silken tofu but I prefer to use medium firm because silken tofu tends to fall apart.

Get a wok or a large non-stick pan and heat about 1-2 Tbsp. oil. Add your ground beef and fry until it’s brown and then transfer it to a plate. In the same pan add a little bit more oil and fry 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Toban Djan then add 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 finely chopped scallions (white parts) and 1 Tbsp. of finely chopped ginger. Cook until fragrant and then add 2 tsp. of pepper flakes (you can add more if you want more heat or spice in your food). Then add 2 cups water and let this come to a boil. After which you can slide in your ground beef and tofu. Season with 1 Tbsp. light soy sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes. You can adjust the taste by adding a bit of salt or sugar if it’s too spicy. Slowly pour in your cornstarch slurry and stir until sauce is thickened. Place in bowls and sprinkle some green onions on top. I like to serve mine with some cilantro. Serve with steamed rice.

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Green Tea Noodle Salad

This is another easy recipe that you can whip up for your family. Just like when making a salad, you can add whatever ingredient you like or have on hand.

First, cook your green tea noodle according to the package directions and set aside. Chop and prepare the rest of your ingredients. Drain well a small can of light tuna, slice a half of an avocado, make your egg crepe and slice it into strips, wash and dry a handful of cilantro and cut into small strips one small radish.

Place a mound of green tea noodle on top of some greens (you can use any salad greens, I used kale since that is what I had in the fridge). Carefully arrange all your salad toppings on top of your noodles and sprinkle some furikake.

I did not use any dressing on my salad as I found the furikake added depth and flavor to it already. But you can make a dressing of 1 tbsp. rice vinegar, 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil and 1 tsp sugar for this recipe. Mix this with your noodle before plating. Serves 1.

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