Corned Beef Hash Pandesal

I really wanted to make the corned beef pandesal we had at Starbucks in Manila. It’s something that we regularly get, when we were there for a visit two years ago. But I unfortunately don’t have any canned corned beef which is what most Filipinos use. All I had was a can of corned beef hash, so this would have to make do.

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It did turn out pretty well since the filling is drier compared to sautéed corned beef. I just scooped it out straight out of the can, no need to reheat or cook since it will bake with the dough anyway.

To make, prepare the dough using this pandesal recipe I posted before. Then divide and cut the rolled dough into 14 pieces (I was able to make 15 rolls with this recipe, it’s better to divide the dough into 14 for a nice even number). Roll to flatten into rounds and place a tablespoon of corned beef hash in the middle, gather the edges and crimp to close. Shape into a roll and dust with bread crumbs. Place in a parchment lined baking tray seam side down. Once all the dough is filled. Cover tray with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 375 F.

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When the dough has been rested, place the tray in oven and bake for about 20 minutes until it’s nice and brown. Serve hot.

We love having it for breakfast.

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Korean Grandma Toast

We were planning to bring our girls to Korea after their college graduation. But with this pandemic that’s happening around the world, I don’t think we will be traveling anytime in the foreseeable future. So to make the most of our current situation, I thought to bring a little bit of Korea to our home instead. Grandma toast is a very popular street food item in Korea. Locals have said that they usually grab this as breakfast on the go. It can come in different varieties or what you put as add ons.

To make, you will need the following: a quarter of a cabbage thinly shredded, a small carrot jullienned (cut into matchstick pieces), 2 eggs, butter, 2 pieces ham slices, 2 pieces American cheddar cheese and 4 sliced white bread. This recipe makes two sandwiches. Note: save about 1/2 cup of shredded cabbage and carrots to be used later once you assemble your sandwich. Also it’s important that you shred your cabbage really thin, use a mandolin if you have one.

First, prepare your toast by melting a tablespoon of butter in a non-stick pan. Then place your bread and cook until golden brown on both sides. You need to add another tablespoon of butter once you flip it to cook the other side. Continue cooking it this way until you have used up all 4 bread slices. Set aside and keep warm.

Place your shredded cabbage, jullienned carrots and 2 beaten eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Get a non-stick pan and place over medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of butter and swirl around your pan. Pour half of your vegetable mixture and cook for a couple of minutes or until the bottom is set. Then flip and cook the other side until browned and eggs are not runny. You may need to add more butter as you are cooking it. It may also take longer to cook if your omelet is thick. So make sure to lower your heat to avoid burning it. When your omelet is done sprinkle some sugar (I use a scant teaspoon), then top with a sliced cheese and a piece of ham.

To assemble, place your omelet with the cheese and ham slices on one of the toasted bread. Then add some shredded cabbage and carrots that you have set side on top. Squeeze some ketchup before topping with the other bread slice. Serve immediately !

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Pandesal

It’s has really been awhile since I last made pandesal, 2009 to be exact. (photo below are the ones I made back then). I wasn’t motivated enough I guess, since it really takes time and effort to make yeast bread. But yesterday I was ready and raring to make a batch after watching bakers in Europe make artisan breads. I for one feel it’s more rewarding and magical to bake bread rather than cake. Plus, our supply of bread is dwindling fast so I really need to make some for our family. This lockdown also gives me more than enough time now to make our own pandesal.

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To make, place 1 1/3 cup lukewarm water in a mixing bowl, then add 1 packet active dry yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes until bubbles form on top.

To it add 2 cups all purpose flour, 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or shortening, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 cup sugar. If using a stand mixer use your paddle attachment to combine everything together. Note: it will be runny like pancake batter.

Then switch into a dough hook and gradually add 2 cups all purpose flour. You may add up to about 1/2 cup more flour is it’s still too sticky. Knead for about 8-10 minutes until dough feels soft and smooth. Then form into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with film wrap or kitchen towel. Place in a dark and warm area in your kitchen and proof for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until dough is double in size. The time will all depend on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen.

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Punch the dough and knead for a couple of minutes on a work surface that has been lightly dusted with flour. Divide dough into two and form into logs. Using a pastry cutter, slice your dough at an angle about 2 inch thick. Then roll or dust with breadcrumbs and arrange on a baking tray lined with parchment or baking paper. Let it proof again for about 20 minutes. Bake in a 375F oven for about 20-25 minutes or until nice and brown.

Serve hot.

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Japanese (Morinaga) Hotcakes from a Mix

I have been tempted several times to get the Morinaga hotcakes mix whenever I am at HMart. I have heard good reviews about it and two weeks ago, I finally gave in and bought one packet home.

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Hotcakes not pancakes you say, yes there is a difference in Japan according to Japan today. Japanese hotcakes as explained by Morinaga who is the number one producer of this mix in Japan, uses more sugar and is cooked with milk. Thereby producing a fluffier and sweeter cake that is usually eaten as a treat or snack.

This mix has small four packets inside. Take one and empty it on a bowl. Add one egg and 1/2 cup of milk. Using a wire whisk beat the batter in one direction for about 30 seconds. It’s important not to over beat it.

Get a non-stick pan and place on medium heat. Lightly grease your pan with butter or vegetable oil. Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto your pan and cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbles form on top. Flip the pancakes and cook for another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. You can lower the heat if you think the pan is getting too hot. This makes 4 pancakes.

Serve with a pat of butter and some maple or pancake syrup.

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Sixth Anniversary Longganisa Fried Rice

It has been six years since I made my very first post. This blog has evolved from just featuring bento lunch creations I made for my girls to documenting family recipes that I have learned from my Lola (grandmother), mom and aunts. This has not only accomplished my wish to record such recipes so I may pass it on to my girls. It has also led them learning and having the passion for cooking.

To celebrate, I made longganisa fried rice. I didn’t want to have a sweetish kind of fried rice so I opted to use Lucban longganisa. You may use whatever kind you want, it’s just a matter of preference.

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This recipe is just for one serving.

To make, remove the meat of two longganisa from it’s casing. Using your knife or fingers break up the meat.

Heat a non-stick pan and add your meat. Cook until browned and crisp to your liking. No need to add oil since your longganisa will release fat as you fry it. I removed excess grease by blotting my pan with paper towel as I was cooking or you can drain it. Place about 1 – 2 cups cooked white rice preferably cold, stir until everything is well combined and heated through. Add some chopped cilantro, toss and remove from heat. I didn’t add any more seasoning since the longganisa is salty enough for me. But you can season to suit your taste.

To serve, place in a bowl and top with a sunny side egg. You can also sprinkle some garlic crisp like what I did.

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Figs on Toast

I am always on the hunt for breakfast ideas. Specifically, what I can put on toast. I love bread and can eat it morning, noon and night. I am quite adventurous when it comes to bread fillings or toppings and love to create different flavor combinations.

This toast is an example, it’s sweet and salty at every bite. Making sure you have good quality bread ensures a good toast. I like hearty whole grain breads when making open face sandwiches or toast. It can hold up anything you put on it a lot better than white bread.

For this I used a rustic whole grain bread I got from Whole Foods. Slice and toast your bread. Spread some cream cheese then pile on several slices of figs. Then drizzle with honey and last you can spinkle a bit of sea salt.

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Spam Breakfast Bowl

You can never have too much Spam. This does not mean though that we have it on a regular basis. We have Spam as a treat or when we want to have something in a hurry. I sometimes call it as my emergency food, when I am too lazy to make dinner.

I have mentioned that we love our Spam with rice. This dish is just an upgraded version of Spam and Rice in my opinion.

To make, slice your Spam into your desired thickness. Fry your spam using a non-stick pan so that you need not use any oil. I like my spam to be brown and crisp around the edges. Then make a sunny side up egg and set this aside. To assemble, place about a quarter cup of rice or more onto a bowl. Arrange a few pieces of spam, some sliced avocado, your egg and shredded roasted seaweed. Drizzle your egg with a combination of soy sauce and sesame oil before serving.

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Ogura Toast

Ogura toast is a Nagoya specialty. It’s a staple in most coffee shops and is popularly served as part of what they call a “morning set”. It’s a breakfast special where your coffee comes with an egg and toast at no additional cost. It has become so popular that convenience stores nowadays sell ogura-an bread and it’s now mostly available everywhere.

So what is Ogura toast ? It’s thickly sliced bread that has been toasted with ogura-an a kind of sweetened red bean paste, usually served with butter or whipped cream either on top or on the side. You can either make your own or buy pre-made ones which is available in big Asian store chains. There several brands to choose from my favorite is the Morinaga Ogura-an.

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To make, you will need to use shokupan or thick Japanese Milk bread that has been toasted. Place a couple of tablespoons of ogura-an on a small dish and some softened butter or even whipped cream. This is a good breakfast alternative if you are tired of eating jam and toast. It’s also makes for a good snack or something to go with your afternoon tea.

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Oatmeal with Latik (Coco Jam)

Serving a healthy breakfast need not be boring. You can jazz up your oatmeal by adding coco jam or latik as sweetener. While shopping at H-Mart I happen to see a few bottles of Coconut Jam on display in the Filipino sweets section. What first caught my eye was it’s beautiful packaging, I can still see in my eyes the latik of my childhood encased in a ghastly plastic container. I don’t remember the brand though but we seem to always have a jar at home.

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To make, prepare your coconut jam by melting it over a double boiler for best results. Do not attempt to heat it in a microwave, I learned that the hard way. I also added about a teaspoon of milk to the 3 Tbsp. of coconut jam I used. I find that adding milk gave it a smoother texture. Set aside.

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Cook your oatmeal per package directions. You can choose whatever kind you like, I prefer the quick cooking Irish rolled oats. I also used half water and half milk as cooking liquid. When done, spoon your oatmeal onto bowls. Garnish with banana slices. I added some unsweetened toasted coconut for an added crunch before drizzling the latik on top. The coconut not only goes well with it but gives it a tropical flavor. I find that you don’t need a lot to sweeten your oatmeal, a little goes a long way. It also gave such a depth of flavor and surely tastes better than brown sugar or honey.

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Homemade Tocino

This has unintentionally become a breakfast series. I first started with a beef tapa recipe. It’s a meat dish that has become a Filipino breakfast staple because of the popularity of Tapsilog a coined term for Tapa, Sinangag (garlic fried rice) and itlog (fried egg). This then led to the many silog combinations such as Longsilog where long stands for longanisa (Filipino sausage); Tocilog – Toci is Tocino (a sweet savory cured meat usually made of pork); and spamsilog for spam the canned meat.

I made two versions of Tocino the first one only uses salt and sugar, while the other has pineapple juice as its sweetener.

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For the first recipe. I used about a pound of pork butt that has been sliced thinly. Then I seasoned both sides of the meat with a combination of 3 Tbsp. kosher salt and 4-6 Tbsp. sugar. The proportion is that there should be more sugar than salt. Place in sealed plastic container and refrigerate for up to three days to cure.

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The second recipe, I used about 1.2 lbs of thinly sliced pork butt. This is then marinated in the following: 2 Tbs kosher salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup pineapple juice and 1 tsp pepper. You will note that I didn’t add any garlic as most recipes found online calls for. I find this unnecessary because typical tocino shouldn’t taste garlicky. Again place in a sealed plastic container and let cure in the fridge for around 3 days.

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Traditional tocino is reddish in color because of the addition of prague powder or curing salt. To add color to my tocino I used annatto oil to fry my meat. When frying make sure to use medium to low heat as the meat readily burns because of the sugar content of the marinade. Cook until browned and not burnt on both sides.

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