food review

Food Review: Jang Ga Nae

One of the newest Korean restaurant here in Manila, Jang Ga Nae serves mouth-watering Korean dishes that guests wanted to try in Korea itself. There are salad vinaigrette, kimchi , watered down kimchi pancake, soup, beef short ribs, beef ribs soup and other Korean dish to try out.

I tried out this Korean restaurant with my school friends last Thursday night which was also one of my friends’ birthday. As a treat, she took us here to try Korean dishes and so far, they tasted good, even the soup. I also loved the strawberry smoothie I ordered. Too bad I wasn’t able to taste the kimchi pancake as my stomach was already full. If given the chance to pay another visit at this restaurant, I would love to try another one of their dishes.




Compiled Recipe – Tex-Mex Chili Pasta

Tex-Mex Chili Pasta

* 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
* 500 grams ground beef
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 (227 gram) can tomato sauce
* 2 tbsp chili powder
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1 tsp ground oregano
* ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
* 1 tsp salt
* 500 grams macaroni noodles, uncooked
* 6 cups beef stock or water
* 1 (425-gram) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 (425-gram) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
* sour cream (to serve)
* chopped parsley (to garnish)

1) Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add ground beef and garlic. Cook until meat turns brown. Drain excess fat.

2) Add tomato sauce, spices, salt, macaroni and beef stock. Stir, cover and turn down heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water, ½ cup at a time, if mixture becomes dry.

3) Add beans and simmer for 10 minutes.

4) Transfer to serving dishes. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Drizzle with sour cream and garnish with parsley, if desired.


Compiled Recipe – Chicken Curry Noodles

Chicken Curry Noodles

* 1 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
* 2 tbsp shallots, chopped
* 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
* 1 tsp ginger, minced
* 4 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and pounded
* 2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
* 300 grams chicken breast fillets, cut into 1-inch strips
* 3 tbsp cooking wine
* 300 grams fettuccine noodles, uncooked
* 1 cup canned or fresh coconut milk, divided
* ¼ cup red bell pepper strips
* ¼ cup green bell pepper strips
* 2 tbsp fish sauce

1) Heat oil in a large wok over medium heat. Sauté shallots until translucent.  Add garlic and ginger; sauté until fragrant. Add lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves; sauté for a few seconds.

2) Add chicken and stir fry for 1 minute over medium heat. Add wine and allow liquid to reduce to half, about 30 seconds.

3) Add noodles, 2 cups water and ½ cup coconut milk. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes.

4) Add remaining coconut milk and bell peppers. Season with fish sauce and simmer for 2 more minutes. Serve hot.



Compiled Recipe – Leche Flan Cake

Leche Flan Cake

* 2 ¼ cups sugar, divided
* 1 tsp lemon or calamansi juice
* yolks from 6 large eggs
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup evaporated milk
* 2 ½ cups cake flour
* 1 tbsp baking powder
* ¼ tsp salt
* 6 large eggs, separated
* ½ cup corn oil
* 2 tbsp calamansi juice
* 1 ½ cups sugar, divided
* ½ tsp cream of tartar

1) Pre-heat oven to 350˚F.

2) Make the leche flan: Place 1 cup sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sprinkle lemon or calamansi juice over and mix. Turn heat to medium and let sugar caramelize. Do not mix. Cook until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Swirl pan once or twice. Pour into 2 (8×3-inch) round cake pans. Set aside and let caramel cool completely.

3) Whisk egg yolks, eggs, remaining sugar and evaporated milk in a large mixing bowl, being careful not to create bubbles. Pour mixture over the cooled caramel and let stand. Set aside.

4) Make the chiffon cake: Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add egg yolks, corn oil, ¾ cup water, calamansi juice and ½ cup sugar. Mix well with a whisk.

5) Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in another bowl. Beat by hand or with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until frothy. Gradually add remaining sugar and beat until stiff but not dry, about 7 to 8 minutes.

6) Fold egg-yolk mixture gently into egg-white mixture using a large rubber scraper, being careful not to deflate the egg whites. Pour into the pans over the cooled custard.

7) Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs adhering to it. Cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife gently around the pans and invert the cakes onto serving platters. Serve cold or at room temperature.




Compiled Recipe – Asian Chili Prawns

Asian Chili Prawns

* 2 tbsp canola oil
* 1 tbsp chopped garlic
* 1 tbsp grated ginger
* 2 tbsp chopped red onions
* 2 tsp fish sauce (patis)
* 400 grams prawns, peeled and deveined
* 2 tbsp Thai chili sauce
* ½ cup tomato ketchup
* 1 tbsp brown sugar
* salt and pepper
* 1 small egg
* chopped bird’s eye chilies (siling labuyo), leeks and cilantro (wansoy) leaves , to garnish

1) Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic, ginger and onions for 1 minute. Add fish sauce. Once boiling, add prawns and cook for 1 minute on each side.

2) Add chili sauce, ketchup and sugar; mix well.  Taste then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add up to ¼ cup water to thin out the sauce depending on your preference.

3) Turn off heat, add egg and stir. Garnish with bird’s eye chilies, leeks and cilantro.


Compiled Recipe – Caramelized Fruits a la Mode

Caramelized Fruits a la Mode

* 2 fresh peaches, halved and seeded
* 1 cup grapes, halved and seeded
* ½ pineapple, peeled and sliced into rounds
* 1/3 cup brown sugar, plus more if needed
* vanilla ice cream and nuts

1) Pre-heat a toaster oven or broiler on high. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) Press cut side of peaches, grapes and pineapples onto sugar. Place fruits on prepared baking sheet, sugar side up.

3) Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until sugar is melted and bubbling. Remove from oven and portion among bowls. Top with ice cream and chopped nuts before serving.




Compiled Recipe – Cheese and Pepperoni Lasagna Rolls

Cheese and Pepperoni Lasagna Rolls

* 3 tbsp olive oil
* 2 tbsp chopped white onions
* 2 tbsp minced garlic
* ½ tsp dried basil
* ½ tsp dried oregano
* 1 ½ cups tomato sauce
* 1 tsp sugar
* ½ beef bouillon cube
* salt and pepper
* ½ cup cottage cheese
* ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
* ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
* 1 small egg
* 1 tsp chopped celery
* 2 tsp chopped garlic
* 4 sheets lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions, drained
* 24 pepperoni rounds
* ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
* 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese

1) Pre-heat oven to 350˚F.

2) Make the tomato sauce: Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onions, garlic and dried herbs for 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce, sugar and beef bouillon cube; bring to a slow simmer and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour 1 cup of the mixture into an 8 ½ x 6 ½-inch baking dish. Set the rest of the sauce aside.

3) Make the rolls: Combine cottage cheese, mozzarella , Parmesan, egg, parsley and garlic in a bowl; mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture into 4 portions.

4) Spread each portion evenly on a lasagna sheet and top with 6 pepperoni rounds. Roll lasagna sheet and place each roll, seam side down, in the baking dish with tomato sauce.

5) Pour the rest of the sauce over the rolls then sprinkle with cheese topping. Cover with foil. Bake on the top rack of the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. You can increase the temperature to 400˚F in the last 3 minutes of cooking and remove foil to brown the top a bit more.


Compiled Recipe – Mango Candied Walnut French Toast

Mango Candied Walnut French Toast

* 1 cup sugar
* ¾ cup water
* 1 cup walnuts
* 1 ½ cups milk
* 2 tbsp butter
* 2 tbsp sugar
* ½ tsp ground cinnamon
* ½ tsp salt
* 3 yolks from large eggs
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 10-12 (1-inch) thick slices Monroe bread
* 1 recipe basic French toast custard
* butter (for frying)
* whipped cream (optional)
* 4 large ripe mangoes, sliced thinly
* chocolate hazelnut sauce (to serve)

1) Make the candied walnuts: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Combine sugar and water in a large frying pan over low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium and let cook. Once it turns a light gold, add walnuts and keep swirling pan until mixture is amber in color. Pour mixture onto prepared tray. Separate walnuts with a fork and let cool completely. Store walnuts in an air-tight container until ready to use.

2) Make the custard: Combine milk and butter in a medium saucepan over very low heat. Cook until butter is completely melted. Let cool just until warm to the touch. Mix together sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in yolks and vanilla. Slowly whisk in warm milk-butter mixture.

3) Dip each side of 1 bread slice into custard, about 15 to 20 seconds per side depending on dryness of bread.

4) Place a medium frying pan over medium high heat. Melt butter and fry one side of soaked bread slice for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and fry for 2 more minutes. Repeat with remaining bread.

5) Arrange 2 to 3 French toast slices on a plate. Top with whipped cream, if desired, mango and candied walnuts. Drizzle with chocolate-hazelnut syrup. Serve warm.




Compiled Recipe – Food For The Gods

Food For The Gods

* ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
* 1 cup muscovado sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup all purpose flour
* ¼ tsp salt
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
* 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1) Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line and lightly grease an 8” by 8” pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2) In a mixing bowl, mix butter and sugar. Let cool slightly before beating in eggs. Stir in vanilla extract.

3) Add in flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold flour mixture into butter mixture until just combined. Fold in dates and walnuts until mixed in.

4) Spoon into prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the brownies emerges cleanly, about 25 minutes. Don’t over bake! Let cool to the touch on a wire rack.

5) Lift out from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Lightly grease a knife before cutting into bars. Wrap bars individually in cellophane if desired for gifting.



Compiled Recipe – Tapa, Pako and Salted Egg Salad

Tapa, Pako and Salted Egg Salad

* 250 grams beef sirloin
* 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
* 1 tbsp garlic, minced
* 2 tbsp soy sauce
* ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tsp sugar
* 1 tbsp vinegar
* 1 tbsp papaya seeds
* ¼ cup ripe papaya, chopped
* ¼ cup red onions, chopped
* ¼ cup cilantro (wansoy)
* 1 clove garlic
* 1 ½ tbsp ginger, minced
* 3 tbsp calamansi juice
* 1 tsp honey
* ½ tsp sea salt
* chili flakes, optional (to taste)
* ¼ cup extra virgin oil
* 1 bunch fiddlehead fern (pako), rinsed and spun dry
* 1 cup jicama (singkamas), julienned
* 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
* 3 salted eggs, peeled and sliced
* 1 red radish, sliced thinly
* atchara and a pinch of chili flakes (to serve)

1) Make the tapa: Pound beef with a meat mallet until thin. Marinate beef in chili garlic sauce, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, sugar and vinegar, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

2) Make the papaya dressing: Whiz all ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor or blender. With the motor running, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3) Fry tapa in a pan over medium heat.

4) Place pako in a bowl. Top with singkamas, tomatoes, salted eggs, radish and tapa. Serve with atchara and chili flakes, if desired. Serve with dressing on the side.