Beef Strips with Ampalaya and Tausi

Like any other kid, I used to loathe ampalaya. I remember telling my parents I will give them perfect grades just for them not to make me eat it anymore. Who would have thought that the bitter gourd will turn out to be my most favorite vegetable after the eggplant?

I like it boiled (the small variety… ‘yung ampalayang ligaw) with bagoong na isda with spiced vinegar as sawsawan or sautéed with egg and chicharon. And this, this is my favorite ampalaya dish. Mixed with beef and flavored with tausi.

Just prepare
2 medium ampalaya, sliced
200 grams beef strips
3 tablespoons of tausi
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
3 cloves of garlic, minced
a small red onion, chopped
1 thumb of ginger, sliced into strips
half a cup of water

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Saute the garlic and onion and when latter wilts, add beef. Cover the pan so the beef will quick quickly and be juicy. Shake the pan vigorously at least twice so the beef will be evenly cooked. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and cover the pan again and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until ampalaya is cooked.

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I like this dish dry, with the liquid fully absorbed by the beef. If you like the dish saucy, just ad another half a cup of water and 1 more tablespoon of  oyster sauce. Easy on the tsausi though. The dish might be too salty if you put too much tausi. Remember, it’s salted soybeans.

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This is best served with white rice. It’s also excellent paired with my other favorite ulam, using my most favorite vegetable– Braised Eggplants with Pork and Shiitake.

Braised Eggplants with Pork and Shiitake

I wanted to make Mapo Tofu, but I couldn’t find any good tofu in Cash and Carry so I made the next best thing… for me, at least. :p

This Braised Eggplants with Pork and Shiitake needs–

4 medium-sized eggplants, cut into 1 1/2 inch lenth
4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
200 grams not-so-lean ground pork
1 red onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves minced
2 stalks of leeks, chopped
1 siling labuyo, chopped
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 pack of Lee Kum Kee spicy garlic sauce
half a cup of water
a few drops of sesame oil
a dash of salt

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Heat the pot/skillet and sauté the garlic, onions and half of the leeks in some oil (I used canola) and when the onions and leeks wilt/garlic turn light grown, mix in the ground pork and sauté until it’s no longer pink. Leave the oil/pork fat and set sautéed pork aside.

Fry the eggplants in oil/pork fat. When it brown and soft, put the pork back and add the mushrooms, spicy garlic sauce, water, oyster sauce and a dash of salt. Mix everything and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

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Once cooked, drizzle with some sesame oil. Plate it and garnish with siling labuyo and leeks. I removed the seeds from the sili because much as I love spicy food, my tolerance isn’t Bicolana-level yet. :p

Of course this dish is best served with a big bowl of white rice. I love pairing this ulam with my other favorite ulam– Beef Amapalaya with Tausi. Check out the next entry for the recipe.

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Grabe. Sobrang good job na good job ako dahil ditto sa Braised Eggplants with Pork and Shiitake. Haha. Don’t mind me. This “buhat ng sariling bangko” hirit is just an inside joke with my friends. :p

Fish Fillet in Ginger Soy Sauce

Ginger is not one of my favorites, except when it’s mixed with soy sauce. It’s especially good with fish.

This is a staple in a lot of Chinese restaurants, and it’s something that I like to cook whenever I grow tired of frying or broiling fish.

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Here are the ingredients-
3 fillets of fish (I used Pangasius here, but use a whole lapu-lapu if available.)
1 thumb of ginger, sliced thinly (Not so thin that I wouldn’t be able to see and remove it. I can’t stand biting it.)
5 cloves of garlic, smashed
5 stalks of green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small red bellpepper, sliced thinly
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of water
almost a teaspoon of brown sugar
a few drops of sesame oil
fried garlic and minced green onions for garnish

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Mix everything, except the fish and sesame oil in a pot and bring into a rolling boil. Put the fillets and cover the pot. Lower the heat, count to 60, turn the fish over, cover the pot, turn off the stove and let the fish cook for another 30 seconds. You don’t want to overcook it. :p

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Plate the fillets. Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with fried garlic and fresh green onions. Best served with white rice. Isang bandehado shempre.

Happy eating!

Lemon & Tuna Pasta

I’m glad to be sharing this recipe with you because it’s been a while since I last cooked. This may be very simple, but at least I’ve started cooking again. Feeling ko tuloy, bumabalik na ako sa normal. :p

For this recipe, I used

250 grams of angel hair pasta (cooked al dente, of course)
1 can of Spanish Style Century Tuna (I like it hot!)
1 cup of sliced button mushrooms
5 tablespoons of capers
a dozen olives, sliced
1 large head of garlic, minced
1 large white onion, chopped
a dash of chili flakes (because I like it really hot!)
juice of 1 lemon (roll the lemon before you cut it to it will be easier to juice)
a pinch of salt (easy on this because the tuna and capers are already salty)
a dash of brown sugar (muscovado is the best)
parmesan cheese (the more, the merrier)

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Just sauté the garlic and onion in the oil from the canned tuna, then mix in the mushrooms, tuna, olives, capers and cooked pasta. Season with lemon juice, sugar, salt and more chili flakes. Top with parmesan and serve with lemon slices for color and paandar purposes. Haha!

I love this with a large glass of ripe mango shake! Yum-oh! I hope you get to like this as much as my friends who have been requesting that I cook a batch large enough to feed an army. 🙂