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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Spam Egg and Rice

SPAM is another Filipino breakfast staple, you are not truly Pinoy If you haven’t eaten it once in your life. This meat product has become part and parcel of the Filipino diet and is loved by all regardless of social/economic class. To get a better understanding of how this came about you can refer to my previous blog post. It’s also called luncheon meat by local manufacturers who have produced similar product due to it’s high demand and popularity.

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How do we eat spam then, well usually fried accompanied by bread or rice. I have tried it sandwiched between two slices of white bread, wheat bread and even pandesal. Eaten it with white rice, garlic rice and added to fried rice. Made it into onigirazu and spam musubi. But Filipinos will always go back to their favorite way, which is with egg and rice commonly knows as “spamsilog”.

Eating spam, egg and rice, always transport me back to my childhood when we will have it for breakfast, usually on those lazy Saturday mornings. I did the same when I had kids and served this to my family on weekends or when I am just too lazy to cook.

It’s very simple to make, just cut your spam in however thick you want it then fry in a non-stick pan until browned and crisp outside. I don’t add any oil to the pan since spam is greasy enough. Fry an egg sunny side style. Then place a scoop of rice on your plate and add your spam and egg. We usually eat this with ketchup.

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Breakfast Bowl

I have made several blog post on Rice bowls on this blog, usually Asian or Filipino inspired. Decided to make something different this time using quinoa. I have been substituting quinoa for rice for a healthier option and it’s nutritional value.

This is a meatless breakfast bowl inspired by the dish I had at Cookshop in Chelsea. Simply cook your quinoa according to package directions and place about 1/2-3/4 cup of the cooked quinoa on a wide bowl. Then place a fried egg on top seasoned with pepper and some red pepper flakes. You can then arrange avocado slices around it, some kumato tomatoes tossed in a bit of olive oil and ground pepper, and greens such as baby spinach and some watercress. There are lots of things you can add to you breakfast bowl, some ideas are baby kale, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, cucumber, sliced radish and even meat if you wish.

This is just so quick and simple to prepare and can eat it too for lunch and dinner.

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Papaya with Milk for Breakfast

Papaya is a regular item seen on our breakfast table. This was when I was a child living in the Philippines. Being in the tropics this is almost always available throughout the year.

Nowadays, even if you are no where near the tropics it is relatively easy to find ripe papaya. Asian or Ethnic groceries usually carry these in their produce section.

My dad has his own way of eating papaya, it’s always with a squeeze of calamansi and a sprinkling of sugar. As a child I didn’t really appreciate his method. I prefer mine scooped onto a bowl with milk and sugar added.

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Now that I am an adult, I can now fully appreciate the taste of the sweetness of papaya combined with the tartness of calamansi or lemon. It brightens the taste of the fruit immensely. Simply cut the papaya and scoop out the seeds. Liberally squeeze lemon juice on your papaya and sprinkle with some sugar. Likewise, you can add the lemon and sugar directly on the papaya wedge. I love to eat my papaya chilled so I let this sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before cutting and serving.

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