Kalbi (Korean Beef Short Ribs)

I’ve been craving some Korean barbecue for a while. As much as I love Korean Barbecue I don’t love the long lines I have to endure to get it. I’ve decided to make my own homemade Kalbi. I had a stopover in Korea a few years ago in Incheon and I stumbled upon a big Korean Barbecue restaurant. I regret now that I didn’t document my experience with photos but I do remember how tender the meat was. I’ve tried to replicate that experience over the years and found that most recipes call for pears, some apples. After some reading I discovered that Kiwi is rich in the enzyme Actinidin which is a very potent meat tenderizer. It breaks down tough protein and once I switched to using Kiwi I was finally able to relive my Korean Barbecue experience again some years ago. Now I don’t have to fly to Korea to do so. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. One thing I highly recommend is patience.. lots of it as waiting 3 days for that marinade to really get in the meat is truly worth it!

Kalbi Recipe

  • 3 lbs Korean Beef Short Ribs (I got mine from Costco, also available in Korean Supermarkets)
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup white onion (cubed)
  • 1 Kiwi (peeled and cubed)
  • 1 TBSP black Sesame Oil
  • Togarashi (this is optional and to taste, or you can use chili flakes or Korean chili powder)


  1. Wash your meat thoroughly to get rid of bone shards left in the meat during the slicing process. Pat dry.
  2. Rub the brown sugar in the meat. Spread evenly. Set meat aside.
  3. Blend all remaining ingredients together until smooth.
  4. Place the meat and the blended marinade in a big freezer bag. Massage and move the meat around to distribute marinade evenly.
  5. Marinate in the fridge overnight (preferably 3 days to give the marinade a chance to tenderize the meat and to let the flavor really steep.
  6. Grill meat for about 4 minutes per side, watch carefully as brown sugar and soy sauce can burn really quickly.
  7. Serve with rice and kimchi.

And that’s it! Now take a bite!



Kamote Roll (Sweet Potato Lumpia)

“Kamote” or sweet potato is a well-loved root crop in the Philippines. It is often seen in many provinces. It costs less than rice to grow and relatively easy to propagate. Too easy in fact that they often grow in ditches and dikes without needing a farmer’s hand. I guess you could call that organic?

It’s such a popular snack ingredient that it is a perfect embodiment of Filipino Merienda. Deep fried in caramelized sugar and skewered in barbecue sticks. This blank canvass of an ingredient is sure fun to work with. It can be used in sweet dishes like “Binignit” or in a savory application like sweet potato fries or sweet potato soup.

Oftentimes, because of it’s abundance “Kamote” in the philippines can be associated with impoverished areas where it is used in place of rice. There is even a special food combination “Kamote and Bagoong” (sweet potato and fish paste) that is oftentimes dinner on many tables.

We Filipinos can be too apologetic of our food. We believe that simple things aren’t noteworthy and I am here to prove otherwise. This recipe is a fun mix of deep fried kamote and lumpia as a dessert or snack!

Kamote Roll (Sweet Potato Lumpia)


450g boiled sweet potato flesh (peeled)

3 Tablespoons condensed Milk

6 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lumpia Wrappers (available in frozen section of asian markets)


Sesame Seeds for garnishing

IMG_58431.Boil about 450g of sweet potatoes for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Peel and set aside to cool.



IMG_58522. Mash sweet potatoes with fork (small lumps are okay, small chunks add to the texture). Add condensed milk and vanilla essence and fold until fully incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 mins.


IMG_58583. Prepare cinnamon-sugar coating by mixing the two together. Set aside.




IMG_58594. On a clean work surface separate lumpia wrapper. Scoop 3 Tbsp of sweet potato mixture on the sugar and start rolling to coat the mixture. While rolling start forming the mixture into a log shape and place in the center of the wrapper and form into an egg roll shape. Seal with water.

IMG_58605. Fry the rolls for 3-5 minutes or just enough until the crust browns and the sugar starts to caramelize. Keep moving the rolls so as not to burn them and to distribute the hot oil evenly.


6. Serve while hot and garnish with sesame seeds, a drizzle of chocolate sauce or dessicated coconut. It’s also good a la mode!










Take a bite!


Pan-fried Marinated Milkfish

Milkfish or “Bangus” is a popular fish in the Philippines. Very much so that it earned the title of the Philippine’s National Fish. It is an integral part of the Filipino seafood cuisine as it is very abundant and can be found anywhere in the country. Milkfish farming in the Philippines is also a huge industry that contributes greatly to the country’s economy and growth as well as provide jobs. It is even a good starting business for budding entrepreneurs. From farming, canning, import as well as it being a big part of the major seafood being consumed in the country itself. It is no doubt any newcomer to Filipino food must get to know this fish well.

There are numerous ways to prepare Milkfish. It can be grilled with some aromatic stuffing in a banana leaf, cooked in a clear soup or stuffed with meat and deep fried. My favorite way is to debone it (Milkfish is extremely bony) and smoke it.

But sometimes (okay most of the time) I’m too lazy to fire up the smoker. So, this recipe is a quick, no fuss version of one of my favorite seafood..

Pan- Fried Marinated Milkfish


1 whole Milkfish butterflied and deboned

Salt and Pepper

1 lemon (Squeezed)

2 cloves garlic (sliced)

Smoked Paprika

Cooking oil


  1. BangusTo marinate place fish in a shallow dish. Squeeze lemon juice first then season with salt and pepper and smoked paprika. Be generous on the salt specially on the skin side. Scatter garlic slivers on top of the fish then cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.


2.Heat a large skillet with cooking oil enough for shallow frying. I have a 10 inch pan and I used about 1/4 cup. I have a thermometer and I heated up my oil to up to 350ºF.

IMG_58213. Lay the fish skin-side down first, (To avoid spatter you can dredge with a small amount of flour and lay the fish away from you instead of towards you when you set it down the hot oil.)


Cooking Tips:

This can be marinated overnight wrapped in plastic and placed in the fridge.

When using paprika be careful not to put too much. Paprika has a strong woodsy taste. You can use any kind you like but I prefer smoked. I recommend using La Chinata.







I cooked my fish for about 8 minutes on the skin side and 5 minutes on the flesh side. Your cooking time may be different depending on the size and thickness of your fish. I recommend cooking the fish on it’s skin longer so that the skin crisps up. You will be able to see the translucent flesh turn white from the side. When the flesh is white about 2/3 of the way, you can flip your fish using a fish turner.

Here is the finished product:


Of course you have to eat it with white rice!

My favorite part is the fatty belly and the crispy, smokey skin!


Take a bite!

Herbs and Balsamic Chicken Adobo

Herbs and Balsamic Chicken Adobo

Herbs and Balsamic Chicken Adobo

So I figured what better way to start beyond adobo but to literally go beyond the regular adobo recipe?

This recipe has a little twist from your typical soy sauce-vinegar combo. It’s full of aromatics with a milder taste. It’s like chicken candy, if there ever was one.

Here’s how I made it:


3 Tbsp olive oil

5 pcs chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)

1 whole head garlic (crush with knife, leave skin on)

1 tsp whole black peppercorns

2 pcs bay leaves

1 tsp herbs de provencal (dried)

1 sprig fresh rosemary

4 Tbsp light soy sauce

4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 cups water

Optional Ingredients:

Splash of white wine

1/2 tsp chili flakes



11. Heat up olive oil and drop crushed garlic just before the oil starts to smoke. Sauté for about 2 minutes. Keep moving your garlic so it doesn’t burn!



22. Take the garlic off the heat and set aside.




33. In the same pan sear the chicken skin side down first for about 2-3 minutes on each side.




4 Your chicken should look like this.




64. Add back the garlic, rosemary, bay leaf, peppercorns, chili flakes (optional), herbs de provencal, soy sauce and balsamic. You can also add the thyme here. I added mine 5 minutes before I took the dish off the heat just because I wanted to keep my thyme green.

7 A splash of wine gives it a kick, but this is optional. Any of your favorite white will do but dry white is better. If you decide to put more than a splash, you can cut the water later to about 1.5 cups.



5. Cover your chicken for about 5 minutes, bring your flame to medium heat.




86. Add the water, then bring the chicken back to a boil and cover. Simmer one medium-low heat for about 30-40 minutes. Half- way through the cooking time about 15-2o minutes in, flip your chicken skin side down. Flip it back into position in another 15-20.


I added my thyme right about 5 minutes before my chicken was ready. I basted my chicken with the sauce during this time as well. I do like my sauce on the dry than watery side so I did wait til there was little to no liquid left.


Here is the finished product:







This dish is good to pair with steamed white rice. Wanna know my favorite part?


10Remember the whole crushed garlic we left braising in the liquid? I recommend eating it with the meat and the rice or to smear onto fresh toasted french bread.



Welcome fellow foodies!

You’ve come to the right place if you want to learn how to cook Filipino food. But is there really anything else beyond Adobo, Lumpia or Pancit?

My passion for food and Filipino background gave birth to this blog as I realize the more I talk to people about Filipino food, more often than not no one knows there is much more to see, learn and taste beyond Adobo!

I am determined to share my fondest memories of the food, life and festivities of the Filipino culture — and then some.