Maja Blanca (Philippine Coconut Pudding)

This is one of my mom’s most favorite desserts. Similar to the Hawaiian Haupia, it is made with coconut milk and cornstarch, but with the addition of corn. It is not baked, just cooked over medium heat until thick, then poured into a generously greased pan or bowl. Perfect for when you need something sweet and coconutty real quick!

In the Philippines, the addition of corn is a must. The browned coconut bits is a delicious complement, taste and texture wise, however, if you won’t have time to make the “latik”, some toasted desiccated coconut is an acceptable substitute. You can, of course, skip this all together too, like I do most of the time.

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For “latik”:

2 cups coconut milk

3 tablespoons sugar

For the “maja”:

3/4 Plus 3 tablespoons cup canned sweet corn kernels

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups thin coconut milk

Coconut oil for greasing pan

Prepare the “latik”: Boil coconut milk until oil separates from the solids. Pour off the oil. Add sugar to the solids and cook further until crisp and browned.

Grease an 8 inch square pan with coconut oil and set aside.

Prepare the “maja”: Grind 3/4 cup of corn in a blender and pass through a sieve.

In a saucepan, combine ground corn with cornstarch, sugar, coconut milk, and the remaining 3 tablespoons corn. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spoon. Cool until set. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 2 hours to chill.

Unmold and top with “latik”. Cut into serving sizes and enjoy!

Green Beans With Chicken

This an easy to make dish for weekday nights. You can serve it as a side or as the main dish. My boys like meat so this will only be a side dish tonight!

Try to cook the green bean only briefly so that it retains the crunchy texture that is perfect with the sauce. AND a lot of rice! 😊

1 tablespoon oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

1 chicken breast, cut into thin strips about 1 inch

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces

2 – 3 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

1. Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan. Add garlic and saute until browned. Add onions and saute 5 minutes more, until soft and lightly browned.

2. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with ground pepper. Cook until lightly browned.

3. Add green beans, oyster sauce, and water. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked but green beans are still crisp but cooked, about 5 minutes.

4. Add cornstarch dissolved in water and cook 5 minutes more, until thickened. Adjust seasoning to taste.

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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 #73: Pork Menudo

Menudo is a staple dish in fiestas, birthday parties and everyday lunch and dinner in the Philippines. See my stovetop version and introduction here: https://athomewiththeresa.com/?s=Menudo

I make it a lot at home so, like most of my staple recipes, I decided to make an ELB version.

You can add peas, garbanzo beans, and pork liver if you want.

Like I always say, use my recipes as a guide and add more or less of any ingredient you like or not like. I do encourage you to try it my way at least once though. Then make your adjustment after you taste it.

Hope you’ll try it soon and as always, 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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Ingredients:

200 grams pork, cubed

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 hotdog, cut in half lengthwise and cut into small semi circles

1 tablespoon chopped onions

1 large tomato, diced finely (1/2 -3/4 cup)

1 potato, peeled and diced (about 1/2 cup or so)

5 baby carrots, diced (1/3 cup)

1/4 each of green and red bell peppers, diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon raisins

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon bouillon powder

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

3 ELB cups water in base

Procedure:

1. Season pork with salt and pepper.

2. Place pork, hotdogs, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, carrot, and bell peppers in the large ELB bowl.

3. Mix in tomato paste, fish sauce, raisins, water, bouillon powder, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Stir to mix.

4. Place bowl in the ELB base and add 3 ELB cups of water in the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

5. Carefully open the ELB and check the meat for doneness. Add more water to steam if necessary.

6. Serve hot and enjoy.

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Filipino Menudo

This Menudo recipe is a Filipino dish that makes it’s appearance on everyday lunch and dinner tables to fiestas and special occasions. It is tomato based and has a little sauce that make it perfect with white steamed rice, and LOTS of it!

You can use cubed chicken breasts or pork meat in this dish. I have not tried nor heard of a beef version though. Please let me know if you know of a Filipino menudo recipe made with beef!

When I was a kid, I remember this dish having *chopped liver when served, but I do not really like liver nor is it easy to find where I live now, so I left it out. If you want to add it, of course feel free to. I’m sure it will taste closer to the authentic version my aunts used to cook!

I usually add *sliced hotdogs to this dish too. My son loves hotdogs (I mean, all kids do right?!) so if I have it, it definitely goes in the recipe too. I just didn’t have any on hand this time.

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound pork or chicken breasts, cubed

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Onion, diced

1/2 cup Tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

*1 cup chopped liver, optional

*1 cup sliced hotdogs, optional

1 bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup raisins

Salt and pepper

Procedure:

1. Season cubed chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a wok or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and let cook until lightly browned about 4-5 minutes, without stirring. You want that caramelization as it adds so much flavor to the dish. Give it a quick stir and let sit again until most of it is lightly browned.

3. Remove chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

4. Add another 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat up. Pan fry the potatoes and carrots until lightly browned. Remove to a plate and set aside. *You can skip this step but my Tita Saning who showed me this recipe did it this way, so I am sharing this step too. Kind of like honoring her memory. I miss those times. ❤️

5. Heat up the last tablespoon of oil and saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the onions and saute for about 3-5 minutes, until golden.

6. Add in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, potatoes, and carrots. *If using liver and hot dogs, add them too*

7. Let simmer over medium-low heat until meat and potatoes are done, about 20-25 minutes. Taste, taste!

8. Add the bell peppers, peas, and raisins and simmer until heated through, about 5-10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Serve hot over freshly cooked rice. Fish sauce on the side is optional, but highly recommended! 😋

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Electric Lunchbox #59: Arroz Caldo (Rice Porridge with Chicken)

It’s has gotten a bit cooler the past week here so I started making soups and other cold weather recipes for the ELB. All of a sudden this week is HOT! Oh well! I’ll still be sharing this Filipino recipe with you anyway, to have if, and when, you need it.

Arroz Caldo literally means “hot rice”. It’s the Philippine version of rice porridge, okayu, juk, congee…it is the food we eat when we’re sick, when you do not WANT to but HAVE to eat, when your stomach isn’t happy, or just when it’s cold outside and you want something to warm your hands and tummy.

The most basic ingredients are rice and water, with salt or fish sauce to taste. This version is cooked with garlic, ginger, onions, and chicken, dressed up before serving with boiled eggs, fried garlic, and spring onions. A squeeze of “calamansi” – Philippine lemon, completes the flavor profile of this dish. Yummy!!

Calamansi in my garden.

Feel free to use less rice if you want a more soupy Arroz Caldo. Or simply add some hot water to thin it out if it is already cooked and is too thick for your taste.

Hope you’ll try this comforting food soon as the weather turns cooler, fingers crossed!

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

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Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 ELB cup white glutinous rice (“malagkit”)

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

1 teaspoon dried minced onion

175 grams diced chicken breasts

1 teaspoon fish sauce, plus more to taste

Dash of ground pepper

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1-2 raw eggs

Chopped green onions and fried garlic, for topping

Lemon juice, or calamansi, to serve

This is the store bought fried garlic that I use. And the glutinous rice called “malagkit” in the Philippines.

Procedure:

1. Place the rice, garlic, ginger, onion, chicken, fish sauce, pepper, and chicken broth in the big ELB bowl.

2. Place the bowl in the ELB base, add 3 ELB cups water in the base.

3. Place the raw eggs in the little nesting bowl (or the middle layer egg holder for the Jumbo).

4. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

5. Open the lunchbox carefully and check if chicken and rice are done. Adjust the consistency by adding some broth or water if needed. Adjust seasonings to taste too.

6. Top with the boiled egg, fried garlic, and green onions. Serve with lemon slices or calamansi.

7. Enjoy

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Puto Calasiao (Steamed Rice Cake)

This is my version of a very famous steamed rice cake that is available in Pangasinan Province, in the Philippines. Note that I’m not claiming it is authentic, it probably is far from that.

I never really tried the real ones, but heard how delicious it is. I had been trying to make it for a long time now and so far this version is the best, is soft and chewy specially when warm.

I’m still trying to get a perfect texture for rice based puto, so the testing still continues. If you try this recipe, and are familiar with the real ones, your comments/input would be greatly appreciated.

Makes 34 (2 inch) pieces

1/2 cup glutinous rice (“malagkit”)

1 cup uncooked rice

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

1 cup water

oil, for molds

Grated coconut, for serving

1. Combine both uncooked and malagkit rice in a container. Add water and soak for at least 3 hours to overnight. Drain and reserve the rice water.

2. In a blender, transfer the rice into the jug and pulse, adding one tablespoon of rice water at a time until the mixture is similar to a pancake batter.

3. Mix in sugar and yeast. Combine until well incorporated. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Stir the mixture before steaming to make sure everything is well blended. Prepare steamer and make sure the water in it is boiling.

5. Grease each puto mold with oil. Pour mixture and steam for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Serve with toasted grated coconut.

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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