Electric Lunchbox #99: Mangoes with Sticky Rice

This is a very delicious dessert typically found in Southeast asian countries. Rice is a staple eaten 3 times a day in that part of the world – plus for dessert/snack too! Mangoes with Sticky Rice is a simple treat but truly memorable and I know that I crave it often, specially when I see ripe, super fragrant, mangoes at the grocery store.

There are several variations of this Sticky Rice in Asia.

In the Philippines where I grew up, my aunts would wrap the rice mixture in banana leaves then tie them up in pairs before boiling it until the rice is done. They would serve these “Suman” as our midday snack, dipped in sugar, topped with ube halaya, or fried and topped with more sugar. There is also Biko, which is sweetened sticky rice and coconut milk, baked in a pan and topped with caramelly coconut jam. Another of my very favorite sweet!

I tried it served as this recipe is, with a side of mangoes and decorated with an orchid flower, in Singapore. 😋

When there are ripe mangoes available, they are THE perfect partner to this simple Sticky Rice dessert. Just make sure the mangoes are perfectly ripe!

To add more ooomph to this already yummy dessert, I added a drizzle of some Coconut Rum just before serving. I personally do not drink alcohol but somehow I love baking with it! As is evidenced by this recipe, and my famous Rum Cake recipe: https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/11/16/electric-lunchbox-bacardi-rum-cake/.

This dessert is something I’d gladly skip lunch or dinner for.

It is easy to make and sure to impress! I hope you try it!

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

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Ingredients:

1 cup sticky rice – I use Botan brand sweet rice🔝

2/3 cup canned coconut milk

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large ripe mangoes, cut from the pit and scooped out

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut rum, more if desired 😉

Procedure:

1. Place measured rice in a fine strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear, running your fingers through it to help in rinsing it.

2. Place rice in a bowl, cover with plenty of water and let soak for 4-12 hours.

3. Drain rice and place in the big bottom bowl of your ELB. Place this bowl, uncovered, in the ELB base.

See the difference in size? The one on the right is straight from the bag and the one on the left is after the rice was soaked overnight.

4. Place 3 ELB cups of water in the base, cover and let steam for about 1 hour, until your lunchbox shuts off.

5. Carefully open the ELB and fluff rice with a fork. Cover loosely and set aside.

6. In a small bowl, combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt.

7. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved.

8. Pour mixture onto the hot rice.

9. Place the bowl back in the ELB, add 1 ELB cup of water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 15 minutes more.

10. Carefully open the ELB and stir the rice. Check to see if rice is done by tasting some. The best part, right? Adjust sweetness if needed by adding more sugar if you like. A reminder though that the mangoes will add sweetness to the dish too.

11. Slice each mango half into thin, lengthwise pieces. ⬇️

12. Mound rice on a serving plate and arrange mango slices around it, or on top of the rice. *I used a small cup to shape the rice into a small dome. Just scoop some rice into a clean, dry cup, level the top while gently packing the rice in. DO NOT pack too much as you want it fluffy, just enough to hold its shape. You could also just scoop some rice onto the plate and top with mangoes. It’ll still be delicious!

13. Pour coconut rum over and serve.

14. Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy every bite!

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.