Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

What attracted me most in this place is the variety of food. Singapore is a small multi cultural country. There are different nationalities so it means collaboration of dishes too. They say food here is mostly spicy and chili is a part of their food intake. But in my case I welcome all types of food except exotic food of course. My Thai colleague then introduced me to their dishes. What happened to me was that my tongue got accustomed to spicy foods and later on its nothing to me. Goodness..spicy food are so good.

Here is one recipe that I fancy a lot. When we dine out, I always see this on the menu..Kung Pao Chicken. One time I ordered this in a hawker stall and I didn’t enjoy it actually, it tasted like sweet and sour. Like I told you before, Im not a fan of it. I find Sweet and Sour dish disturbing for my palate. If I eat this and its kinda sour or more sweet, then my taste bud is ruined. I never like sweet and sour.

But Kung Pao Chicken is a different story in my own adaptation. It has the balance taste of a little sour, a little sweet with some soy sauce and cashew nuts. The first time I made it was a hit with my family. The combination of the ingredients are powerful specially the dried red chill but surprisingly it was not spicy. it is really really good.

Let me share a little of what is Kung Pao Chicken from Wikipedia of course:

Kung Pao chicken (Chinese: 宫保鸡丁), also transcribed as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. Although the dish is found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving. Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine.

Now for the Ingredients:

1 kg boneless chicken sliced into cubes

1 cup cashew nuts

6-8 dried red chilies, seeded and cut into halves

3 tablespoons oil

1 grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp grated garlic

3 stalk scallion, cut into ring

Now for the marinade:

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp light soy sauce + 1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine or mirin

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp ground white pepper

1 tbsp oil

Now for the sauce:

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp dark soya sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup water

I tbsp corn starch


Cut the chicken meat into small cubes, rinse in water, pat dry with paper towels and marinate with the ingredients above for 30 minutes.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat up a wok with one tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken until they are 70% cook. Dish out and set aside. Clean the wok and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until it’s fully heated. Add in the ginger and garlic slices and do a quick stir before adding in the dried red chilies.

Stir fry the dried red chilies until aromatic and smell spicy, then add in the chicken meat. Do a few quick stirs before adding in the cashew nuts. Add the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken meat is nicely coated with the sauce. Add in the scallions, stir to combine well with the chicken, dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.


Its a Hopeful Wednesday and I cooked my daughter’s favorite,a chicken dish with dried red chilies and cashew..Hmmmnnn..this is so nice and when I cant think of anything to cook,I always turn to this one magical dish for all time.Keep on hoping for the best! (Kung Pao Chicken)

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Menudo Sulipena Lasagna

Menudo Sulipena Lasagna

I can’t believe January is almost over and here I am struggling with my headache. As usual when I have it, I am all the more active and constantly moving. So, this lasagna came out because I have headache..oh great…and its that good. I have left over Menudo Sulipena so I decided I wont cook but then I thought to myself, “Would my children want it again for the third time..Hmmnn I don’t think so”. Good thing I remember we have lasagna pasta left over in the cabinet. I just have to make a very nice white sauce to go with it.


left over Menudo Sulipena

5 cups fresh milk

1 1/2 cup cheese combination of cheddar, parmesan, quickmelt

a little nutmeg

4 tbsp flour

4 tbsp butter

ready to bake lasagna pasta around 9 to 12 pcs

How to make the sauce:

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour, stir constantly until it turns yellowish and pastelike. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until it simmer and slightly thickened. Add a little ground nutmeg and stir in the cheese and whisk until melted and it reaches to your desired consistency.

Then I proceeded on arranging my pasta, left over menudo sulipena and white sauce. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 or 180 for 45 minutes.

Menudo Sulipena Lasagna

Oh my goodness.. and it blows me off…how could I pass the day without tasting this magical combination and I bet you too.. Thats why i love cooking and baking. The freedom to explore is so unlimited especially if there are  people who I know would love to eat and enjoy. Lucky for me, I have a husband and two children. Lets eat. Lets giggle. Lets be merry.

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Menudo Sulipena

Menudo Sulipena

This recipe caught my eye in the office while doing some internet browsing…yes I’m guilty of that in a lot of times…ha ha ha! but as always nothing more than food..its all about food. Well, the dish inspired me and I thought why not use chicken this time. This recipe calls for ox tail which Im not sure if my children will have the courage to try. So, I better be safe than sorry, I use the ever favorite of my children..Chicken!!! By the way, I have already posted my Filipino Menudo a year or two ago and if you were wondering whats the difference between the two, the original recipe has liver in it while this one got Spanish Paprika and bell pepper. Filipino cuisine is more than inspired with Spanish/Portuguese food. If you wanna know , there’s a little history and you can find it here: Filipino Fusion Technique. So here we go again… and now for the recipe:


1 kg chicken breast cut into medium to small cubes or which way you want

2 tbsp rice wine

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp olive oil

1 head garlic chopped or grated

1 large white onion chopped

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 large red bell pepper sliced into strips

1/2 tbsp spanish paprika

3/4 cup cubed ham

3/4 cup sliced chorizo

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 1/2  to 2 cups chicken broth or plain water

1/2 cup chick peas

3 tbsp brandy

1/2 tsp salt or more

1/2 tsp pepper or more


Mix chicken cubes, rice wine, cornflour, salt and pepper. Set aside in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Using a big sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp  oil and 1 tbsp butter. Then put the marinated chicken, cook the chicken until the raw look is gone. Set aside.

Using the same sauce pan, add the rest of the oil and butter. Saute garlic and onion together until they smell so good then add tomato paste.

Stir for about 2 minutes. Next, add the sliced bell pepper and paprika. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add chicken, chorizo, ham and tomato sauce, cook for about 3 minutes then add the broth or water. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Then add chickpeas and brandy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.

Kocina De Pinay Menudo Sulipena

Lovely dish and I don’t regret trying this one although I made some changes to fit in my own desire..lol! but that’s me.. and I can’t do anything about it.  I bet this would be nice with some rolls or what else…of course with a mountain of rice. We love rice..but nowadays we eat brown rice..lets go healthy. The original recipe call for ox tail but I used chicken. Also, I marinated the chicken first with rice wine, corn flour, salt and pepper. I learned that when you do this, the chicken is soft and tender and the sauce is nice and thick but not that thick. I also  put tomato paste while sauteing..that way the taste wont be sour. Don’t forget to add more ham and chorizo because that’s what I did. Dont be afraid to use plain water.. and another thing be careful with salt because ham and chorizo has some salt already.

So, cheers to us and let us enjoy the full week ahead. Lets eat. Lets giggle. Lets be merry.

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Filipino Afritada Chicken Pork (Chicken Pork Stew)

Filipino Afritada Chicken Pork (Chicken Pork Stew)

 Our culture and cuisine has a distinct mark of European Style mainly from Spanish  tradition. We have a lot of  Filipino food handed down to us by the Spaniards. My recipe today is one classic Filipino food. Most Filipinos are fond of Afritada and there are ways of cooking it I guess most of us has this family tradition when it comes to food and cooking. When we relocated here in Singapore, I started to embrace and discover the innate characteristic of our cuisine. My desire to know has greatly improved and I discover that every classic recipe has a story to tell. 

Afritada or Stew in Western term  is basically a pork meat cooked with spices and ended up with thick or thin sauce. Filipinos are rice eating people so  broth or sauce is greatly appreciated in the dining table. Later on, a new twist of Afritada came… now we have Chicken Afritada or Chicken Stew. Well, I have my own version and I call it Chicken and Pork Stew.  This is versatile cause we learned to eat this together with rice or bread…and believe me I tried it with pasta and it worked well. Now I thought of having mashed potato on the side… hmmmnnn….crazy huh!
1/2 kg chicken thigh or breast (500 grams)  boneless without skin,cut into medium cubes
1/2 kg pork pork belly ( 500 grams)  cut into medium cubes
separately marinate the meat in the ff seasoning for 6 hours or overnight
a. 1 tbsp light soy sauce
b. 1 tsp rice wine
c. 1 tbsp cornstarch
d. 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
e. 1/2 tsp sugar
set aside in the fridge.

1/4 cup olive oil + 2 tbsp oil

1/2 head  garlic grated
1 large onion chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste dissolved in 3 tbsp water
1 can tomato whole chopped with juice
1/2 cup – 1 cup water
2 PCs medium potato each divided into 8 cubes
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1tsp sugar
1 tsp dried chili flakes 
1/2 tsp paprika 
1/2 tsp oregano
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium green bell pepper, both of them cut into medium cubes

Prepare the meat ahead, marinate them separately using the ingredients above ( first five ingredients) it means you have to prepare 2 sets of the marinate, for chicken and for pork

Set aside in the fridge for at least 6 hours but if you can manage, do it overnight.
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and fry the marinated meat, chicken meat first.
Just fry them until the meat turns white or the raw look fades.
We fry them first in order to seal the natural flavor and tenderness of the meat.
Fry the cubed potatoes for 30 seconds and set aside.
Using the same pan, add 2 tbsp olive oil and saute garlic and onion.Wait until the aroma comes out.
Then add in 3 tbsp tomato paste dissolve in 3 tbsp water. Stir until well mixed and add the fried pork meat.
Add in chopped whole tomato together with its juice. Cover and let it boil then turn the heat to simmering mode and cook for 20 minutes.
Add in the fried chicken meat and cubed potatoes
Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Stir from time time.
Just add 1/2 cup water to 1 cup water little by little or only if you think its necessary.
Add the rest of the seasoning : pepper, salt, sugar, chili flakes, paprika and oregano.
Simmer for another 10 minutes. Then add cubed red and green bell pepper.
Adjust the seasoning accordingly. Cook for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

The red sauce is quite a looker..the smell is captivating and the most important thing with this recipe is that when we cook it, we think about the left over. The taste and texture is well improved if you purposely eat this the next day.

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Welcome to Kocina De Pinay
Come and join me in my blog as I discover the world of Filipino Fusion Cuisine.These are all tried and tested recipes in my kitchen, a fusion of cuisines that intrigues me and my palate.Everything I write, post and share is a product of my exploration, my research, and done in my kitchen. Please Come in. Enjoy and Have a nice stay. You are all welcome.
Caldereta (Filipino Meat Stew)

Caldereta (Filipino Meat Stew)

Place of Origin:Philippines
Region or State:Luzon,Southern Tagalog 
Dish Details
Course Served:Main Course 
Serving Temperature:Hot 
Main Ingredients:Goat shoulders, Corn oil, Onion, Garlic, Carrots, Bell pepper, Potatoes, Chili, Bay leaf, Salt and Pepper, Flour, Liver spread, Tomato paste, Butter, Stock (beef or brown).Variations:Beef,Pork,Chicken
Kaldereta is a popular dish in the Philippines,especially on Luzon island.The common ingredients is goat shoulders with tomato paste and liver spread. Kaldereta is originally a goat stew made with tomato sauce, potatoes, spices, liver spread, olives, bell peppers and hot peppers. Originally adapted from the Spanish during their 300 year occupation of the Philippines.Kaldereta is a favorite Filipino meal served during parties, festivities and other special occasions in the Philippines. It is a Spanish-influenced dish that became to be Filipinos’ favorite and made their own versions. Originally, the main ingredients of this dish includes goat meat, tomato sauce, liver, pepper and cheese.Variations of this dish is with beef, chicken and or pork. Beef Kaldereta is a common dish in the Philippines made with stewing cuts of beef simmered until tender. Another is with chicken or pork because of the price and availability.I grew up witnessing some of my old Uncles who were not professional cooks but they really cook good.
When I was small every gathering consist of all the relatives,be it second or third degree cousins,( including all the neighbors and friends)so I have Uncles and Aunts here and there.A day before the gathering,relatives will come  and will be very busy preparing and cooking.Usually our gatherings would be  a Family Reunion,Birthday or sad to say when someone died,it was like a family reunion too.I would see and get reunited with relatives after months and worst,years of not seeing each other.The family recipe that I remember are Humba,Adobo,Pakbet,Suman,Kalamay,Puto,Inihaw,Embutido,Mechado and my favorite..yes..Kaldereta!But honestly I wont eat if its Mutton or Goat meat..Usually my uncles would cook goat and pork separately because younger generations would not eat goat meat.The thrill of eating Kaldereta is with the sauce,its warm,spicy and very nice with warm rice.
During my experiment days of cooking Kaldereta,I really got amazed because it calls for a lot of ingredients.I remember my Uncle’s Kaldereta without carrots,potatoes and olives and yet it really taste so good.Oh my..I miss the good old days.All my Old Uncles have died the great cooks have gone to their resting place but the memories of good food,laughter and family ties will never be forgotten.We are the younger generations (I thought so)..lately I heard from my sister that two of my nephews have gotten married and  now I have two grandchildren.I cant wait to see them.We have a scheduled vacation next month and I am going to see my grandkids.Here I go again with my freaky 40 syndrome..lol!
Here is my Caldereta Recipe,I remember my trainor chef during culinary training,he told me that Filipino Caldereta is similar to Hungarian Goulash.We cooked Pork Goulash during the training,yes it was good too but the essence of our good old Caldereta comes with the use of Liver Spread as a special ingredient.Filipino Caldereta is a stew with liver pate…yes, liver! but in our country we use Liver’s Spread in can.It is popular in the Philippines and widely used as ingredients in meat dishes.My own recipe has chicken liver which I boiled and then pureed using our blender.In case,youre not a liver fan,then you can use Potted Meat in can or Chicken Liver Pate in can.
500 grams chicken breast sliced or cubes
500 grams pork butt shoulder sliced or cubes
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine
2 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp olive oil(for frying potato)
4 small potatoes sliced
1/4 cup olive oil(for frying meat)
2 tbsp olive oil(for onion and garlic saute)
1 large onion chopped
6 cloves garlic grated
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can whole tomatoes chopped
1 small can of beer
1/4 cup olive oil(for stew)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground pepper
2 pcs bay leaf
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 pcs baby carrots sliced
1/2 cup olives ( optional)
350 grams pureed chicken liver
1 1/2 salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup cubed red bell pepper
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup water optional
Begin by putting the meat both chicken and pork in a bowl
Add light soy sauce,rice wine and corn flour.
Mix properly and marinate for 3 hours.Set aside in the fridge.
Heat a sauce pan,add 2 tbsp olive oil and fry the sliced potatoes for 30 seconds.Set aside.
Using the same sauce pan,add 1/4 cup olive oil and fry the meat by batches slightly brown.Set aside.
Using the same sauce pan,add 2 tbsp olive oil and saute onion,garlic
Wait till the aroma comes out and add tomato paste.
Stir  until well blended for about 2 minutes.
Now add the browned meat,chopped tomatoes in can with juice,1 can of beer and the ff spices:paprika,ground pepper,bay leaf,cinnamon,oregano.
Cover and cook by simmering for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes,add carrots,pureed chicken liver,green olives,potatoes,sugar,salt,chili flakes.Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Lastly,add chickpeas, cubed red bell pepper and grated cheese.
Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the desired consistency.

Hmmm…look at that..the smell is really captivating.The taste as usual is chaos between all the ingredients.Its thick sauce with the flavor of spices,tomatoes and veggies are all combined into one.The result is hot but not spicy and well balanced in everything…but chaos ..really and thats Caldereta’s magic.


We have different ways of enjoying it..weird and funny combinations.Would you love to have it with toast?

Or the old time favorite,with mountain of rice?Seriously,I enjoy these two.My Uncles,they enjoy it with beer,gin or whisky.Keep some and it will last for several days.The longer it last,the flavor becomes intense and wonderful…with you know what..RICE!

The good old Kaldereta,dont worry about the chicken liver.You wont know its there but instead a new taste is developed.The liver contributes a lot with the consistency of the sauce and richness of the flavor.You can omit it or you can be bold and daring… go ahead,try it and enjoy the chaos in your palate.Have a great week to all! Lets eat,lets giggle and lets be merry! 
This is the popular brand of liver spread back home but I dont use it instead I make my own pureed chicken liver which is better because the result has authentic taste.Some even put peanut butter which is also good.I know that many will get scared with this recipe because of liver…aggghhh..but you can always substitute it with potted meat 
This is the popular brand of potted meat in can back home,in case youre not a liver fan then try potted meat,it is also good.Cooking Caldereta without chicken liver or potted meat would be like a Goulash Dish which is delicious too.
Welcome to Kocina De Pinay
Come and join me in my blog as I discover the world of Filipino Fusion Cuisine.These are all tried and tested recipes in my kitchen, a fusion of cuisines that intrigues me and my palate.Everything I write, post and share is a product of my exploration, my research, and done in my kitchen. Please Come in. Enjoy and Have a nice stay. You are all welcome.
Tinolang Manok: Chicken With Gingered Broth

Tinolang Manok: Chicken With Gingered Broth

Tinola in Tagalog or Cebuano or la uya in Ilocano is a soup-based dish served as an appetizer or main entrée in the Philippines.[1]Traditionally, this dish is cooked with chicken, wedges of green papaya, and chili pepper leaves or Bird’s eye chili leaves in broth flavored with ginger, onions and fish sauce. A common variant substitutes pork for chicken, chayote instead of papaya, or moringa leaves known as marungay or malunggay or “kamunggay” (in Cebuano), instead of pepper leaves.[2] However, an all-vegetable broth in Cebu with ‘kamunggay’ in prominence is called “utan kamunggay” or “utan bisayâ”.Tinola, an old dish, was derived from older chicken soups consumed by the Chinese. There are variants of this dish found all over East and Southeast Asia. The dish was also referenced in José Rizal’s first novel, Noli Me Tangere.
Tinola is a dish well loved in the Philippines because of simplicity and taste.Most household back then would cook Tinola to welcome their visitors.It is very common for Filipinos to prepare for visitors.I remember when I was young,my great Uncles and Aunts would slaughter native chicken whenever we visit them.The fact that they do raise chicken in their backyard and Papaya trees are just everywhere, chili plants are also a basic necessity in every houses… this makes Tinolang Manok as the most staple food for everyone.You wont need to buy anything..the simplicity of country life..provincial life wherein the most basic needs are just around the corner.There are fishes in the pond or you live near the sea.There are chicken, eggs, fruits and vegetables….I truly miss those days.Anyway back to Tinola…The combination of chicken with lots of ginger and vegetables such as papaya and chili leaves is such a trademark of Filipino taste.Nowadays,we do a lot of substitution in this dish.We can use Sweet Potato leaves,spinach etc..in lieu of Chili Leaves.Here in Singapore,you wont find Green Papaya easily,so I just use Chayote.
As you know I am back to work so I spend less time in the kitchen.My supportive husband who also would like me to experience another phase in my life has professed his duty to cook while Im out.I am happy with the change and the fact that he dont cook and he is trying is such a joy.This is one recipe that he learned on his own and he does it so well.My daughter loves it too.Well,my son is not fond of green so he would not eat that much although hes trying to like it..I know.
Here is my Husband’s Tinolang Manok:
600 grams chicken thighs slices without skin
2 pcs chayote cut into big or medium chunks
1 bunch or 1 cup chili leaves or spinach or potato leaves
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp rice wine
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup oil
2 tsp grated garlic
1 medium onion slices
2 tbsp grated ginger
5  to 7 cups chicken broth or water
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp pepper
In a bowl,put chicken slices and add 1 tsp grated ginger,2 tsp rice wine and 1 tsp pepper.
Mix them well and marinate for about 30 minutes.Set aside in the fridge.
In a saucepan,heat oil and fry chicken slices until slightly brown.
Set aside .Using the same saucepan,saute onion,garlic and ginger.
Wait till the aroma comes out and put back the chicken.
Add at least 5 cups of water and let it simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes.
The secret for a rich taste is that chicken should be fork tender.This way the broth is richer and tastier.
Next,add fish sauce,salt and pepper.
Add more water if needed or if you think you need more broth….we love broth with our mountain of rice so we add more water or broth..we just adjust the seasoning.
Now you can add papaya or chayote..let it simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the veggies are cooked.
Lastly add the green leaves such as spinach,chayote or chili leaves.
Heat some more for about 3 to 5 minutes.Serve while its hot.

My husband can cook! This is how his Tinolang Manok looks…the taste is such a comfort and its a joy knowing he can cook and he does it so well…I hope he will cook more in the days to come…


The typical Filipino Dish with a very rich history of Filipino hospitality with joy and simplicity in every household.The life and times has changed and still its changing but its always nicer to go back to the same old roots…same old recipe..the tradition and the warmth of the same old people… family, relatives and friends…

Now here’s the good old Adobo, the meat is soft and tender…the taste is kinda strong  and addictive, the combination of soy sauce, vinegar, salt, rice wine  and sugar has made the dish tasty, the distinct taste of chaos in your mouth but it is such a comfort to eat.The use of olive oil and herbs gives a very rich flavor and aroma. Hmmmmnn… never mind the extra weight I will gain… I will eat….! now, pronto!

Gladly shared to:  Totally Tasty Tuesday Slightly Indulgent Tuesday  Show Me What You Got Monday  Handmade Tuesdays  Tuesday’s Table  Hearth and Soul Tuesday  Tuesday Trivia  Tempt My Tummy Tuesday  Youre Gonna Love It Tuesday  Take A Look Tuesday  Time To Shine Tuesday  Tuesday Confessional  All My Bloggy Friends Tuesday  Tasty Tuesdays
Welcome to Kocina De Pinay
Come and join me in my blog as I discover the world of Filipino Fusion Cuisine.These are all tried and tested recipes in my kitchen, a fusion of cuisines that intrigues me and my palate.Everything I write, post and share is a product of my exploration, my research, and done in my kitchen. Please Come in. Enjoy and Have a nice stay. You are all welcome.