Loco Moco

Loco Moco reminds me of Jollibee’s burger steak sans the fried egg. The recipe is almost exactly the same with the exception of the mushrooms in the gravy and of course the egg.

This dish has been around since the 1940’s. Story goes that it was made by Nancy Inouye, the wife of the owner of Lincoln Grill in Hilo, Hawaii; at the request of some teenagers who wanted something other than the usual sandwich. This is a true and awesome fusion of Asian and Western cuisine. The combination of white rice and burger patties over some brown gravy and fried egg is the quintessential comfort food.

To make this dish you will need 1-1.5 lb ground beef, 1 egg, 1/4-1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko, 1 medium sized finely chopped onion, 1-2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper and 1 tbsp. Knorr liquid seasoning (optional). Place all your ingredients in a bowl and with your hands using food safe gloves mix well to combine.

Divide your meat mixture into six equal parts. Take one portion of your meat and form it into a ball or patty then toss this back and forth in your hands like a baseball. Do this repeatedly about 5-8 times to ensure that there will be no air inside the patty, thus avoiding cracks while cooking. Then flatten it into a disk.

Heat a non-stick pan and add 1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil. Then place your patties and cook for 5-6 minutes on medium to low heat until a nice brown crust is formed. Then flip your patties and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes.

In the same pan, saute 1 medium sized finely chopped onion using 1-2 tbsp. of your pan drippings and cook until translucent. Then add 1 small can of sliced button mushrooms (fresh is ideal) and continue cooking for a few minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of beef broth and let this come to a boil. Season with 1 tbsp. soy sauce and a few shakes of Knorr liquid seasoning or worcestershire sauce. To thicken the sauce, I made a slurry of 1 tbsp. cornstarch diluted in 2-3 tbsp of water. Slowly pour this into your gravy until you get your desired consistency.

To serve, place some steamed white rice in shallow bowls, arrange 2 patties and generously pour some gravy. Top it off with a fried sunny side egg.



Chicken Kare-Kare

Leftover rotisserie chicken in our household often turns to chicken noodle soup or the Filipino style sopas. Sometimes, when the mood strikes I make some kind of pasta dish out of it. Those didn’t quite appeal to me this time.

Kare-Kare was in my menu for the week but I was hesitant to make a new dish since we still have leftover roast chicken. This was where inspiration struck. Making Kare-Kare usually starts with boiling some kind of meat, what is great with this recipe is that your cooking time get’s shortened. You don’t have to wait for the meat to become tender since your chicken is already fully cooked.

I just placed the leftover chicken, bone and all in a medium sized pot and added water until it’s almost covered. Then added 1 onion peeled and cut in half and let this simmer for like 15 minutes. I removed the chicken and cut it into manageable pieces and strained the broth and set these aside.

In a deep pot heat some achuete oil and sauté one diced onion and 2-3 cloves of finely minced garlic. Let this cook until fragrant. Then add about 4-5 cups of your broth and let this come to a boil. Add 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter diluted in some of the broth and stir until dissolved. Season with salt or fish sauce to taste. Add your vegetable starting with the longest to cook, in my case I added the cabbage, yard beans and eggplant in that order. I also made a cornstarch slurry to thicken the broth a bit.

To serve, arrange your chicken pieces in a deep bowl, then add your vegetables before adding your broth or sauce over it. This is typically served with shrimp paste on the side and eaten with steamed white rice.

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Dilis (Crispy Anchovies) Rice Bowl

Rice bowls are fast becoming staples in a lot restaurants here in the US. It gives a modern take in serving traditional dishes.

Creating your rice bowl at home is easy and is also fun way in preparing meals for your family. You can make up your own combination of toppings. My rule is there should be protein as well as vegetable included in the dish. Last to make sure and use colorful ingredients for visual appeal.

Get a bowl and place some cooked rice at the bottom, you can use white, brown, mixed or whatever kind rice you fancy. Then arrange your toppings, for this dish I added some diced avocado and grape tomatoes, a handful of arugula and sliced salted red egg. Then some dried dilis that has been pan fried until brown and crisped. As an after thought I could have added a sunny side egg to round up this dish.

Drizzle some kind of dressing, in my case it’s olive and lemon juice. You can be as creative as you want to be in making rice bowls.