Electric Lunchbox #74: Pork Sinigang

Filipino hot and sour soup!

Growing up I remember our cooks boil fresh tamarind until soft and press it through a metal strainer to get the “sour” for this soup. I never had to do that as I always have this packaged “sinigang” mix to use. I think it tastes the same, plus I really do not know where to get fresh tamarind, nor do I have the time to boil and squeeze it. Convenience in semi-home made is precious in our busy lives. It gives me more time to sit and enjoy dinner with my family. ❤️

You can make this with beef too, but I happened to have pork so I used pork. You want the pork to have some fat to make the soup richer and more tasty.

Long green beans

The vegetables I used here are what I remember our soup had, and I LOVE picking out the taro (gabi)! Water spinach is rather hard to find unless I go to an Asian grocery store, and our Tita Naty used spinach when she made it one cold day in Virginia, so I used spinach. Radish, long green beans, onions, and a tomato rounds everything out perfectly. If you want, add 1 or 2 whole long green chili pepper. Do not bruise or cut it. You serve it with the soup, take it out and crush it with some fish sauce in a small saucer, then drizzle it over your soup and rice. Yum! You have yourself a delicious lunch cooked with very little effort. I hope you’ll like this dish!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

155 grams (1/2 cup or so) cubed boneless pork

30 grams (3-4 pieces) long beans, cut into 1.5” pieces

60 grams (1-2 pieces) taro, peeled and cubed

95 grams (1/2) radish, peeled and sliced thinly

30 grams (1 small) tomato, diced

35 grams (1 tablespoon) minced onion

15 grams (a handful) spinach leaves

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 – 1 tablespoon “sinigang mix” (I used 3/4 tablespoon)

1/2 – 1 teaspoon teaspoon beef bouillon powder

3 ELB cups water for the base

Fish sauce, to serve (optional)

If serving with rice:

2 ELB cups rice, rinsed and drained

2 ELB cups water for the rice

Procedure:

1. In the large ELB bowl, place pork, long beans, taro, radish, tomato, onion, spinach , and water

2. Add the “sinigang mix”, bouillon powder, and fish sauce, if using. Stir to mix.

3. Place bowl in the ELB base. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base.

4. If preparing with rice, wash and drain 2 ELB cups of rice and place in the small or medium ELB bowl. Add 2 ELB cups water and place on top of the big bowl if using the small bowl (or on the upper level for the medium bowl).

5. Cover the ELB and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

6. Carefully open the ELB and check the meat and rice for doneness, adding more water to steam longer if necessary.

7. Serve hot and enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox # 67: Green Beans with Beef and Noodles

This is one of our favorite side dish/main dish at home so I decided to make it in the ELB. My husband and my son loves green beans cooked this way – a total winner as I do too!

I also made this recipe so you only have to use one bowl, and everything cooks in there from raw. Easy clean up! More time doing important things!

Cook rice in the top small bowl if you want, but by itself, this dish is quite filling. The noodles give it bulk but you won’t feel heavy.

You can also adjust how soupy you want this to be by adding a little more or less water, but please do not reduce it so much as you need water to cook the noodles. Remember that they absorb water too!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/2 – 3/4 cup green beans, sliced diagonally

1/3 – 1/2 cup ground beef

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon minced, dried onion

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 1/3 cups water

20 – 25 grams rice or cornstarch noodles, broken to fit the ELB bowl.

1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder

1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon fish sauce

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Procedure:

1. Place the green beans, ground beef, garlic powder, onion, tomato paste, water, rice noodles, bouillon powder, soy sauce, fish sauce, and pepper in the big bottom bowl of the ELB.

2. Pour 3 ELB cups water in the base.

3. Place the bowl in the ELB base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

4. Carefully open the ELB and check if the noodles and meat are done.

5. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox # 66: Mabo Tofu, Korean Style

I wanted to make Japanese style mabo dofu but didn’t have some of the ingredients. No problem, I’ll make it Korean style!

You can definitely up the spice on this one if you want by adjusting the amount if gochugaru (red pepper flakes). I want to taste my food with a little spice but I’m not a fan of tasting ONLY hot and spicy 🌶!

If you prepare rice in the little bowl, you’ve got yourself a delicious meal with just a little time spent preparing it.

Hope you like it!

PS: I will post the Japanese style Mabo Dofu once I get all the ingredients I need!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon minced ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon gochugaru (use less (1/4 tsp) if you don’t want it too spicy)

1 teaspoon minced, dried onion

1/3 cup beef broth

1-2 teaspoons gochujang

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/3 cup ground beef

1/2 cup cubed tofu

Chopped green onions, for serving

3 ELB cups water in the base

1. Mix everything but the beef and tofu in the big or medium sized ELB bowl. mix well to blend all the flavors together and dissolve the cornstarch.

2. Add the beef and tofu and grntly stir to mix.

3. Place the bowl in the ELB base. * you can also prepare rice in the small bowl using 2 ELB cups rice, rinsed and drained with2 ELB cups water.

4. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

5. Carefully open ELB, check food for doneness and adjust seasoning to taste.

6. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox # 62: Chili

Cool weather means chili, stews, corn bread, oyster crackers, casseroles, and all sorts of comfort food to me! So I just had to try making them in the ELB!

Of course, I will be posting them here as I get it right. I hope you try them out as the weather changes, to keep your tummy happy and warm!

First up is Chili!

I make it with both ground beef and beans. This recipe is a mixture of several recipes I had been using, that somehow became my staple. Chili is a very forgiving recipe so feel free to add and remove ingredients as you like. However, I encourage you to try it this way the first time you make it. And of course, I hope you’ll like it!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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1/3 – 1/2 cup ground beef

1/3 – 1/2 cup canned beans (mix of black beans, pinto beans and kidney beans)

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped onions

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup canned crushed or diced tomatoes

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 – 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Cayenne pepper, optional, if you want it spicier

Procedure:

1. Mix everything in the big ELB bowl.

2. Set onto the base. Add 3 ELB cups water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

3. Carefully open the ELB and remove the bowl. Stir and correct seasonings.

4. Serve hot with chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and all the fixings you want.

You can also serve this with my Bacon Drippings Cornbread which I’ll post next! Get the recipe here – https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/10/26/electric-lunchbox-63-bacon-grease-cornbread/

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Electric Lunchbox #61: Stuffed Bellpeppers

Stuffed bell peppers, with a Japanese twist. This is how I make our stuffed peppers at home to bake in the oven, but I adapted it to be made in the ELB.

Bull-dog sauce is the sweet, salty sauce served with Tonkatsu or Chicken Katsu when you order it from the restaurant. Mix it with the ketchup and you’ve got an extra delicious layer to this dish!

It was a tight squeeze, but I managed to fit 2 filled peppers in the large ELB bowl. Each was a half of a large bell pepper. Depending on your hunger level, it can be a meal for 1 or 2.

If you prep this the night before, please keep it cold until just before steaming, for safety.

I hope you’ll like it!

*Please note that the word “cup” in any of my electric lunchbox recipe refers to the little ELB cup included with the lunchbox. It holds 40ml.*

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You’ll need the following for the stuffed peppers:

1/3 – 1/2 cup ground beef

1 large egg, beaten

2 tablespoons chopped onions

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon Bull-dog sauce

1/3 – 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

1 large green bell pepper, cut in half crosswise, insides removed (or 2 smaller ones, tops and insides removed)

For topping:

1 – 2 tablespoons Bull-dog sauce

1 – 2 tablespoons ketchup

This is a big green bell pepper, cut in half, seeds and insides removed.

Procedure:

1. In a small bowl, combine beef, egg, onion, 1 tablespoon ketchup, 1 tablespoon Bull-dog sauce, panko, salt, and pepper.

2. Stuff mixture evenly between the green bell peppers.

3. Place the stuffed peppers in the big bottom bowl of the ELB, it will be a snug fit. Push, push!

4. Cover bowl with foil and place in the ELB base. Add 3 ELB cups water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

5. Carefully remove the cover and the foil. Check meat for doneness, adding more time if needed.

* I use this thermometer to check if the ground meat is done, 160F according to the handy chart that’s printed on it. Perfect so I don’t misplace it!*

Bull-dog sauce…and I think I need to buy more ketchup!

6. In a small bowl, combine equal amounts of Bull-dog sauce and ketchup. About 1 tablespoon each is good enough unless you want a lot of sauce.

7. Spoon sauce on top of the stuffed bell peppers and serve hot! Enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #53: Beef with Eggplant

A perfect lunch for tomorrow! Mix the ingredients for the meat and eggplant in the big bowl, place the rice without the water in the top bowl and take to work. Keep cold until ready to cook. Add water to the rice and to the ELB base about an hour or so before you want to eat.

Lunch is hot and ready when you are! If you can’t get to it right away, it’ll be fine as most ELB, if not all, shuts off automatically when the water in the base is gone. It might turn on again when enough condensation reaches the heating element but it will shut off again when the water evaporates. It’s kind of like a “keep hot” function.

Yo can definitely add more spice to this by upping the amount of chili pepper flakes. It’s so good as there’s a medley of flavors going on – salty, sweet, spicy – together with the textures of the meat and eggplant. I sometimes add tofu, sugar snap peas, or mushrooms, if I have them so you can tailor this to your taste.

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

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1/2 cup ground beef

1/2 cup diced eggplant (the small round eggplant is perfect for this! I think they’re called Indian eggplant.)

2 tablespoon chopped onions

2 tablespoon soysauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons chili pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 ELB cups rice

2 ELB cups water

1. Place beef, eggplant, onions, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt , pepper, chili pepper flakes, and cornstarch in the big ELB bowl. Mix together, breaking up the ground beef into little pieces. Place bowl in the ELB base.

2. Place the rice in the smaller ELB bowl. Rinse and drain. Pour in 2 ELB cups water and stir. Place this bowl on top of the bigger bowl.

3. Add 3 ELB cups water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 55 minutes.

4. Carefully remove the ELB cover, use a spoon to break up the ground beef and mix with the sauce.

5. Serve hot with the rice. Enjoy!

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Giniling (Ground Meat With Potatoes, Carrots, And Green Peas)

This is one of those recipes that every family in the Philippines has a unique version of. This particular one is my own version put together with memories of eating it in Bataan as a kid in our aunt’s home, the bakery that used it to stuff pandesal (bread buns) with, and all other places I’ve had it, including the different variations our cooks had when making it over the years at our own home.

I put everything I remember it had together with the quail eggs, if I have it on hand. Otherwise I usually add hard boiled chicken eggs.

This version has tomato sauce instead of a pound of fresh tomatoes as it is easier to make it this way year round.

If I have it, I also add diced bell peppers. Adding both green and red bell peppers also add to the many color of this dish.

Feel free to add more or less of a particular ingredient, remove one that you do not like, and make it your own.

1 pound ground beef (or pork)

1/2 cup to 1 cup water

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 onion, chopped

1 can (8oz) tomato sauce

1/4 cup soysauce

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

1 large carrot, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup green peas

1/2 cup corn

1 tablespoon beef bouillon powder

2 cups water

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Canned quail eggs or boiled eggs, optional

1. Place ground beef in a saucepan or wok with a 1/2 cup to 1 cup water and set over medium high heat. Let it boil the water off and brown the meat.

2. Move the meat to one side of the pan and add the oil. Let it heat up a little then add the garlic. Stir until fragrant then add the onions. Saute until wilted and lightly browned.

3. Add the tomato sauce, soy sauce, potatoes, carrots, raisins, green peas, corn, bouillon powder, water, fish sauce, and pepper. Mix everything together, cover and simmer over medium low heat until potatoes and carrots are done, around 20 minutes.

4. If using boiled eggs, add it now and simmer for another 5 minutes to heat it up. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

5. Serve over hot cooked rice. Enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #39: Penne with Meat sauce

Penne with meat sauce the easy way! If I planned my prep day well, I would have some ground beef browned with onions and garlic in the fridge. That little prep makes it easy to put together little meals in the ELB.

This is one such meal. As usual, easy to prepare, one bowl, and you just basically put everything in and press the steam button! Love my ELB!

*I have not used this lunchbox at work though, as I work in a laboratory and we cannot eat on our work desk (we call them bench). We have a cafeteria in our building, and some seats and tables outdoors, and that’s where everyone eats. I am not sure I want to leave the ELB unattended when it is not close by. However, I have used the ELB a lot at home to prepare small amounts of food, and of course, desserts!*

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1/3 – 1/2 cup cooked ground beef (I just saute in garlic and onions until browned)

3 mushrooms, chopped

1 tablespoon diced celery

1 tablespoon diced onions

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder

3/4 cup penne pasta

120 ml marinara sauce

160 ml water

120 ml water for base

Place the beef, mushrooms, celery, onion, garlic powder in the bottom big bowl. Add in the penne, marinara sauce and 160 ml water. Stir to mix. Cover with foil and set on the base of the ELB.

Place 120 ml water in the base, cover and let steam until done, about 55 minutes.

Carefully open the lunchbox and stir the pasta. Check the doneness of the pasta. Adjust seasoning if needed. Serve hot.

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