Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nilat-ang Baboy/Nilagang Baboy recipe (Pork Stew)

Nilat-ang Baboy/Nilagang Baboy (Pork Stew)
Nilat-ang Baboy (Visayan name) or Nilagang Baboy (Tagalog name) is a native Filipino dish that has been passed on for generations in the Philippines. Our archipelago which is composed of different islands also have different native dishes. Some are cooked the same way or with the same ingredients but are just under a different name. The taste might also vary but it's the same g1 ist. The origin of the dishes however are difficult to ascertain. So I am just going to claim this is how it is being cooked in Cebu. :D


  • 1/2 kilo pork (belly/ribs) cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cabbage (slice)
  • 9 pieces of string green beans (cut into 2-inch sizes)
  • 4 slices of red squash
  • 2 cloves of garlic (sliced)
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 1 tomato (sliced)
  • 1 ginger (sliced) -depends on preference
  • 1 bundle of small pechay
  • 1/2 MSG sachet
  • salt to taste
How to prepare:

  1. Fill 3/4 cooking pot with water.
  2. Add all the pork, squash, string beans, onion, tomato, garlic, and ginger in the pot.
  3. Let it boil for 1 1/2 hr or whenever the pork is tender to perfection.
  4. Water will evaporate during this time. If the pork is still not tender, add water again until it has filled 3/4 of the pot. Continue doing this until meat is tender.
  5. Once meat is tender, Add the cabbage and pechay. 
  6. Season with 1/2 MSG sachet.
  7. Add salt to suit taste.
  8. Wait for it to boil one more time and then serve.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Masterchef Journeys

My first step to educating my taste buds. Y2009.
"Smells could bring a person back clearer than pictures even could." The first time I read this from a book, I couldn't quite agree. I mean, you can't remember someone or something just because of a smell?! That's why we take photographs to immortalize them by. But as I was finishing reading that book, I stumbled upon a smell that immediately reminded me of a dead neighbor. Creepy. It was so distinctive that it gave me a flashback on how he used to go out in his polo, tie, and slacks with his briefcase and that lingering smell when he passes by for work. I did not even realize until then that I was unconsciously getting accustomed to his fragrance. For someone I do not even talk to. Memories that had little significance. And the limited instances we come across that old guy. But in that moment, it was nostalgic.

Even the littlest things shape our current lives. The choices we make. The determination to start something new. The will to carry it out. I am ashamed to say I was never someone who likes to do chores. Kind of a sloth really. Although cooking had always been something that interests me from all of them. How you can whip up something and eat it too. Haha. But at my teens I couldn't really fit it in my busy schedule of school, assignments, internet, and the phone. Hahaha. I vowed that when I get to work and be able to buy proper cooking utensils I will come to start WANTING to cook. But I never thought I would be busy for a whole lot of other things independence can offer. It was a long journey to today.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not some master chef. But that's one of the things I want to be. Apart from all other passions I have, for someone who is a jack of all trade but a master of none. I want to be really good at something for once. The uneducated tongue wanted to be the adept taste buds. The ineptitude of my skill to recognize good food then was astounding. You see, I had lived quite the unhealthy lifestyle. Never wanted to eat anything that I haven't tasted before. Which was mostly pork, fish, and chicken. I was a malnourished type. I keep being shepherded to feeding programs so I can improve my appetite. It never did. Not even vitamins helped. And since I recoil at the sight of vegetables, I become resourceful in substituting junk food as partner for rice. Imagine that? Never would I have thought that someday I will come to love vegetable salads, or kimchi, or just raw cucumber. My life long prayer of good appetite finally came to pass. :D

When I started working, my new found friends did a "food-tervention" because at 21, I haven't eaten a yellow cab pizza. Or something of that sort. Thus my nickname, uneducated tongue. They made it a journey for all of us to familiarize our taste buds with great food, hence, our lunch outs. Where we eat at restaurants every payday whenever our schedules meet. That picture above was the first lunch out I've had that deviated from my normal food choice. Thai cuisine. And to my surprise, it was heavenly! Except for the tofu of course. Haha. It was where I first had tofu. I didn't like it. I still don't like it now. So much for acquired tastes. ^^ The more I eat out, the more I became adventurous in trying something new. We never ate at the same place. And I always try to order something unique. Though there are times it leads to unpalatable dishes, I charged it to experience. Which later on, helped me create better food choices. At a grander scale, it was an expensive route to food education, but it was all worth it. I kept saying I pay for food more than clothes, gadgets, or trips because, it is true. When it comes to food, I become lavish. :D

Then a time finally came when I wanted to make those good food on my own. It's like whenever I eat something good, I keep thinking, can I make this? Will this be easy? Should I try something basic first? That's when I invested in cooking utensils, spices, pots and the like. I started with really basic stuff that doesn't need too much cooking. Like salads, sandwiches, pasta. But now I have tried local dishes and even foreign ones. None yet for baking or anything that needs an oven. Because I don't have an oven. Not yet anyway. Haha. I'm pretty sure I still have a long way from being a great cook. Huh, not even a good one. But I'll get there. No doubt. As they say, change is nature. A part of weakened influence. And it starts, when we DECIDE. ^^