Saturday, July 17, 2010

Locomoco Deluxe (sans le Spam)

“Huh? Brah, that doesn’t look like a Locomoco!”
Ah, but it is my friend. It is…and I’ll tell you why.

In this posting of Speaking Penguin, I’m taking what the people of Hawai’i call, “Locomoco” and giving it a Penguin dialect.
Haha! Like I mentioned at the start of this blog, Speaking Penguin is about: using my past cooking experiences, influences from flavors around the world that I have been blessed with being able to experience and putting a spin on the Hawai’i local flavors and Pinoy food that I grew up eating.

If you want, you can call it Pan-Asian-Fusion Cuisine, except for 3 things:
That category is totally played out.
If you haven’t experienced it yet or just haven’t noticed, most of Hawai’i’s flavors are a fusion of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Hawai’ian, Mexican, Portuguese, other Pacific Islanders, American, English, Irish and which ever other immigrants arrived in Hawai’i during the sugarcane/pineapple industry era.
That means the “fusion” of these flavors have been motion well before the 1900s.

As you can see before the term “Pan-Asian-Fusion Cuisine” was ever created the People of Hawai’i have been enjoying the flavors that they have mixed up for a long, long, long time and continue to do so.
So, you can say that I’m not really doing anything new either and yeah, you’re right. But, what I am doing is taking the flavors that have been created; that have become standards, and (as I like saying) “Giving it a new Dialect.”
Let’s get cooking!

And I Quote: He’ah’s da ingidaments, yah. ~ Aunty Maria Lani/ Rap Replinger. (Translated: Here are the ingredients.)
2” thick USDA Prime Top Sirloin Steaks,
Japanese style rice,
Schillings Brown gravy mix,
Ketchup (what ever is your favorite),
Shoyu (Preferably the Aloha brand, but any Japanese Soy Sauce will do.)
Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce,
Olive Oil
Cooking Oil

One of the most important things to do when prepping your steak is to let it sit out, unwrapped, and get to about room temperature.
If it is 102 degrees (like it was today, about 90 in the house) you don’t want your steak sitting 90 degrees. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about 65-75 degrees in the house.
Why, because the last thing you want to do is throw your steaks on a +375 degree fire when the steaks are still at refrigerator temp.
That’s just bad, mmm-kay.
I don’t want to go into details, but trust me…and Alton Brown from the Food Networks –Good Eats…and a millions other cooks.
Let the steaks get to about room temperature and then give them a nice coat of good olive oil, then pepper and salt.
I am a firm believer or not over spicing really good steaks. It totally defeats the purpose of appreciating their quality.
Let the steaks sit for a while.

Start your grill.

Make a pot of rice.
No! You make the rice, don’t get some one else to do it! Hehe…
One of the reasons I like to cook by myself is because everything is timed-out.

For instance:
The steaks are sitting…absorbing the olive oil, oxygen and getting to or maintaining room temperature while you are starting your fire.
As you are making your rice, and getting the other stuff ready, the grill is getting hot.
You see?
All timed-out.

Ok, back to cooking.
Where were we…?

Steaks sitting.
Grill getting hot.
Rice being made.

Ok, afterwards….
Get a small pan or pot that is more than 3 inched deep.
Fill is up with cooking oil deep enough poach your egg(s).
Yes, that’s what I said. We’ll get to why later.
And begin heating it up on simmer.

Prep the mix for your brown gravy, but don’t cook it yet.
Let that sit in the water on the stove.

By the time you’re done with all of this, your fire should be prefect and the steaks are ready to be cook.

Grill your steaks.
How you like your steaks is all up to you. I love having them really rare, especially when they are great quality beef.

Don’t worry about anything else at the moment.
Have a beer or a glass of vino, have some tunes going and chill.
That is of course, if you are like me and cook you steaks about five minutes each side and that’s it. Pretty much all I do then is have a smoke and keep and eye on the clock and the steaks.

Plate the steaks and take them in and cover with foil.
This is important. If you do, you ruin the steak.
Just cover them and leave them alone.

At this point, your rice should be done.

The oil that is sitting on simmer should be brought up to medium.
Start the heat on your brown gravy mix.
Just follow the cooking directions on that and you’ll be fine.
When the gravy is ready, add about:
2 tblspns of ketchup,
2 tblspns of Shoyu,
1 tblspn of Worcestershire Sauce,
And a couple pinches of pepper.
By this point your steaks should have settled and released some of their juices.
Put this juice into the grave.
Oh yeah, baby.
This is the SHIZZLE!!
Taste and make adjustments to your preference.
Remove form the heat.

Bring the heat for your oil up to high.

Plate a serving of rice onto each of the plates and put a couple table spoons of gravy onto the rice.

The oil in your pan/pot should be ready.
Now, one at a time:
Drop an egg into it and poach it, A la Jacques P├ępin.
Give it a pinch of salt and pepper.
With a spoon, take some of the hot oil and douse you egg while you poach it.
When that is done, remove the egg with a slotted spoon and drain the oil for a bit before setting it on the rice.
Repeat as need for however many servings you need, or if you or anyone is like my brother, “3 more eggs please!”
Haha! Heart attack!

Take a steak and plate it with your rice and gravy.

*Now, for the sake of the photo, I sliced and fanned the steak for presentation.
Normally, I ONLY slice the steak when I am ready to eat that piece. To me, the steak retains its juiciness and flavor a lot more.

Drizzle gravy over the plate and steak to preference and serve.

Serve with your favorite salad.
Side rant for those who have grown up in or visited Hawai’i:
I don’t know if anyone noticed, but at some of the restaurants the server says and asks you when you are ordering, “Ok, you have a choice of 2 kind salads, yeah. Mixed or Mac?” This means your salad choice is either mixed greens or macaroni salad.
And seriously, Hawai’i’s Mac salad is DA BOMB! Not to mention, a proper choice when eating a Locomoco. But since we’re speaking Penguin here, eat what ever salad that makes you smile.

Eat & Enjoy
Now, for those that have argued about this not being a Locomoco…here’s what you do.

Break the yoke over your rice.
Take a piece of the egg, yoke and gravy covered rice, and a slice of steak, and stick it in your mouth.
Don’t tell me that is not a Locomoco you not eating there FOOL!!

Oh yeah, you can also eat this with my famous fried rice!

Much Aloha and Enjoy!

Friday, June 25, 2010

This is NOT your Nanay’s (mom’s) Banana Lumpia!!

Come to think of it…it's not my Nanay’s Banana Lumpia either.
That’s right Ma! Your little boy has grown up and I’m making moves of my own.
As I always like quoting Frankie, “I did it myyyyyyyyyy wayyyyyyyy!”

These are (wait for it, wait for it…..),
Banana Cream Cheese Lumpias!!!
YES, YES! That’s what I said, Ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls.
Banana, Cream Cheese. Lumpia.
Alright…take your time, catch your breath…inhale, exhale, inhale and exhale.

* The recipe is slightly different, but the fundamental technique remains the same. Yes, there are just some things you shouldn’t mess with.

Ok people!!
As some of you might already know, making Lumpia or almost any type of “egg roll” thingy is not that easy if you’re a newbie at rolling food. I would think that most Asian people who has a sensible mom, would have found their butts sitting in the kitchen chair the night before some big family shin-dig, rolling a bagillion Lumpias/eggrolls/springrolls/etc.
If you are one of these kids, you can skip most of this and go straight to the recipe and go make yourselves some tasty treats. Unless you want to stay and be entertained :D
For those of you, who haven’t had the opportunity to get your rolling skills on, don’t worry about it too much, because rolling Banana Lumpias is a great way to start.

Unlike most rolls, the ingredients for Banana Cream Cheese Lumpias don’t come pouring out of the sides if you don’t roll them correctly and your wrapper doesn’t end up tearing due to rolling too slow ( the wrapper gets saturated from some ingredients/mixes). The ingredients are very forgiving to amateur rollers and also creates a great combination of yumminess.

1 bunch banana
1 packet of eggroll wrappers (usually found in the freezer of most Asian markets).
1 pint (16 oz.) of cream cheese (which ever your favorite one is,)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 egg (scrambled, you’re going to use this to paste your lumpia closed)

For this batch of Lumpia, I used the Menlo brand of wrappers. Not my favorite, because I prefer the thinner wrappers. Menlo is a little thicker than most eggroll wrappers which take a little longer time to cook and doesn’t become as crisp.
* Make sure the wrappers are thoroughly defrosted before you use them.
For bananas, use Dole or Chiquita. They’re larger and you get 8 lumpias out of 1 banana. (4 lumpias if you make standard Banana Lumpias.)

Set up:

There are 3 things that are important when making food like this:
1) Organize. That way it becomes easier as you are repeating the process.
2) Keep the wrappers from drying up. You can do this by having a damp paper towel covering the wrappers.
3) Have great & helpful company with you or some awesome music to sing along with while you roll.

Here’s how I set things up (check out the picture).
1) Bananas, a cutting board with knife.
2) A plate with wrappers separated and covered with a damp paper towel.
       A) Separate as you go. Separate about 6-8 wrappers from the bunch if you’re rolling by your self. More if you have someone helping you.
       B) Store the rest back in its plastic bag and keep that covers as well.
3) A large ramekin of brown sugar and a tea spoon.
4) The container of cream cheese and a tea spoon.
5) A large ramekin of the scrambled egg.
6) A large round dinner plate to roll on.
7) And a dish to hold the rolled lumpia.

Rolling Directions:

Pay attention now and you’ll see why setting your area up in a organized manner is mucho importante’.

1) Take peeled banana (duh )
    A) …and cut it half.
    B) Take one half and quarter in the long way.
2) Take a wrapper and place in on the large dinner plate. (Here’s where you start referring to the pictures.) The wrapper should be in the diamond position. A corner pointing at you, another to the left, another to the right and another away from you.


3) Place a slice of banana on the bottom quarter of the wrapper of corner A. As depicted in the picture.
    a. Add about 1 ½ teaspoon of cream cheese. Distribute along the length of the banana slice.
    b. Add about a ¼ to ½ a teaspoon of brown sugar.

4) Take corner A of the wrapper and place over the ingredients and tuck it in.


5)  Fold corner B over A.


6) Fold corner C over B.

7) Now firmly but gently roll the bottom towards corner D while making sure that corners B and C stays even.
8) With your finger, dab a bit of the scrambled egg on corner D and close it.
9) Place the lumpia in the dish that you are using to hold the lumpia, make sure that corner D is sitting on the bottom. This will ensure that the corner will stay firm as the egg dries.

There you go! You’re first Lumpia!
Now go repeat steps 1-9 another 29 more times. :D

When you’re done rolling all of that, clean up your mess.

Now…one of the best thing about any kind of eggroll is, is that they can be stored in the freezer till you want to eat them.
How long can you store them you may ask?
Um…a couple months…I think?
So, Yeah! If you not planning on eating all 30 lumpias at that moment, then you should definitely store what you’re not eating away in a Ziploc freezer bag and into the freezer.

Deep-frying Directions:


1) Heat your deep fryer or a frying pan with a enough oil to 350-375 degrees, so that the lumpia can stay submerged beneath surface until it is evenly golden brown.

2) Now place a lumpia in the oil when it is ready. Always be aware (as with ALL deep frying) that every time you put a lumpia in the oil, the oil cools a few degrees. So always wait about 5-7 alligator seconds before you put another lumpia in the oil.

3) When the lumpia is a golden brown, place it in a steel colander to drain the excess oil and cool down for a bit.



Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve and ENJOY.

These Banana Cream Cheese Lumpias are delicious and a great for breakfast, afternoon tea or as dessert.
Great with ice-cream too!

It’s a hit at parties both large and small!
Your kids will love it!
Your husband will take out the garbage without being asked!
Your boyfriend will ask you to marry him!
Your wife/girlfriend will do what ever you want her to do!

…alright, enough of that.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Loco-boy Chicken Jook.

Jook? Juk?  Spelling?

(So sorry, No pictures. I through this recipe together for a friend and decided to post it.)

About 2-3 hrs cooking time.

1/2 chicken w/ skin & bones.
1 1/2 - 2 cups of rice
4 whole clove of garlic
4-6 slices of ginger
1/2 onion
1/4 cup shoyu
1 tblspn white pepper
1 tblspn salt
1/2 onion

Suggested garnish:
Sliced ginger or pickled ginger (Japanese style)
Sliced green onions
Sesame seed oil (Korean style)
White pepper
Kimchee (Korean style)
Boiled chicken or duck egg (Chinese style)
Bonito flakes (Japanese style)
Seaweed flakes (Japanese style)
Corn (Japanese style)

In a 1 gallon pot of hot boiling water

*have a tea pot full of hot water simmering handy to replenish h20 that evaporates from the pot.

*it's good to use chicken with the skin & bones, especially if you cut through the bones to expose the marrow. Lots of flavor and nutrients.

Boil the chicken w/ the ginger, onions (cut into huge chunks), garlic, ginger, shoyu, salt, white pepper.
Boil the heck out of it so that the chicken is easy to remove from the bones. When that happens then that part is done.

Strain your broth into a separate pot or large bowl.
Remove all cooked ingredients from the main pot into the strainer.
Replace the broth back into the main pot.
Bring the broth back up to boiling and add the rice and boil the heck outta that.

As soon as the chicken and other ingredients are cooled off remove everything but the chicken. (Garlic, ginger, bones, cartilage. I like leaving the skin in there). Once you remove everything from the chicken. Shred the chicken and place it into another bowl.

*I like to take the cooked ginger, onions and garlic and mince it to use as a garnish on the finish product. It’s

Your broth and rice should get to the consistency of porridge before you do anything else to. This takes time. If your rice gets too heavy due to absorption and dissipation, add some hot water till you get the right texture.
*of course that is also preferential. I like it a little heavy.

When you get your preferred consistency, stir in the shredded chicken and let it simmer for a bit.

!!Important note!!
It’s easier to add hot water slowly to the broth than it is to remove too much water.

Jook should start off as a mild dish to be garnished when serving.

Mmm! ono.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shoyu Chicken Ramen w' mushrooms.

I believe the word  'Ramin' translates into: Using your imagination.
I could be wrong.
Hehe....but here is what me and my imagination literally cooked up.
Shoyu Chicken from a couple nights before.

A mushroom, parsley and lemon juice salad loosely based on Giada's recipe, made last night.

1 package or your favorite ramen.

Cook you favorite ramen.
Remove the noodles and place in a bowl.
Heat the chicken in the ramen broth.
Put the mushrooms over the noodles.
Once the chicken is heated, place over the mushrooms.
Pour the broth over the chicken and mushrooms.
And, voila!
Instant gourmet ramen!

Shoyu Chicken

If there is one thing that I've learned and live by: is that I will never ever be able to make any dishes the way my mom (or many one else's mom) makes them. But, by that same token, if there is one thing that I learned from my mom about cooking is: "just make 'em taste good, braddah!"
Yeah, my mom talks like that.
And, yes. I do, "make 'em taste good...".
So, with all that said, here is my Shoyu Chicken:

1 dozen chicken thighs w' skin and bones
2 cups brown organic sugar (organic -  being optional)
1 1/2 cup of Aloha Shoyu (soy) Sauce
4 cloves of garlic
3-4 slices of ginger
1 table spoon of pepper corn
2-3 bayleaves

In a big pot. Heat about a table spoon of oil and then brown your chicken.
Don't just throw everything in there. Put as much of the chicken as you can fit in there so you can brown and cook you chicken evenly. Brown both sides and then remove and put into a separate bowl.
Drain oil and repeat process until all your chicken is browned.
Don't worry about the chicken being fully cooked. All you want to do is brown the chicken and the pot and cook off some of the chicken fat. But not all of it.

When all your chicken is browned, put it all back into the pot with the garlic, ginger, peppercorn and bay leaves. Cover it and turn the heat down to medium for about half hour.
This will finish cooking most of your chicken and create a broth at the same time.

After about a half hour, drain the broth and fat into a separate bowl and add the sugar, and shoyu (soy) sauce into the pot.
Don't stir it! Just cover it and leave it alone for about 15-20 minutes.
Bring the heat to a medium-low temperature.

Make a pot of rice.

While you are doing that the broth and chicken fat sitting in the bowl will begin to separate.
Once it's separated, slowly and gently remove the chicken fat from the broth.
This should be a slow process. Take your time.

*note~Shoyu sauce is Japanese soy sauce. 
Hawai'i people love using the Aloha brand shoyu, being that it had a lighter flavor than most of the Japanese shoyu sauces, Chinese soy sauces or any other Asian soy sauce out there.
My favorite shoyu sauce is Kikoman, because of it's richer flavor.
Now you know....

Once you take out all of that chicken fat, put the broth back into the pot.

One of my favorite cooking techniques is making reductions. Which is basically cooking a liquid to the point where most of the H2o is taken out of the sauce. This technique leaves you with a thicker and richer sauce.

So at this point, I remove the cover from the pot and bring the heat up to about medium high and basically watch the sauce boil down. Feel free to carefully turn your chicken over one-by-one to ensure that all the pieces are being cooked evenly in the sauce. You should also use a tea or table spoon, to drizzle the sauce over the top pieces.
This could take about 20 minutes or so.

Make what ever kind of veggies you feel like eating.
For some uncanny reason, when ever I make Shoyu Chicken, I always end up having corn with it. I just happens.

Once you sauce attains a slightly syrupy viscosity, your chicken is done.

This is even better with my famous fried rice:


Green Papya & Pork

OK. I gotta let you know:
I have NO idea what the name of this dish is.
You figure, after years of eating and cooking this dish, I would.
But, no. (I should find out...)
Although, It might be based on a Pinoy(Filipino) dish, something similar that my Nanay(mom) made before....but not exactly.
For now, we'll call it Green Papaya and Pork Stew.
This is one of those recipes that you feed 6-8 people with, or you'll find yourself eating this for about 3 days. Which some of you all can appreciate and agree with me, that soups and stews are so much better the next day or the day after that. Can I get an "Amen!"
All of my ingredient were picked up at Ranch 99. So that makes the shopping part real easy.

1 med-med.large Green Papaya - 11/2 - 2 inch portions. Yes, get rid of the skin and seeds.
2-3 lbs of fatty pork belly - 11/2 - 2 inch portions. Salt and pepper your pork and let it sit for a while.
1 bunch of Chinese long green beans - 2 -3 inch cuts.
2 tomatoes  - sliced thin. These you want disintegrating into nothingness.
1 large onion - sliced thin. These you want disintegrating into nothingness, too.
5 cloves of garlic - peeled whole.
4-5 slices of ginger
2-3 Bay leaves.

*note~ you don't have to follow the recipe to a tee. How much of each item you want to put into the stew is really up to you. But you might want to think about what it is that you want to aim for as far as over all taste goes.
I was focused on the subtle but fragrant sweetness of the The Green Papaya and sweet and saltiness of caramelized pork fat. Doesn't that sound like the bomb-doggity
As Tony would say, "Oh, yeah baby. Come to poppa."

Prep & Rant:
Now, when prepping a stew such of this, you have to really factor in cooking time. Stew of ALL forms cannot be and must not be rushed.
Don't you hate it when you find a recipe that says 4-5 hrs. cooking time. And you're like, "Seriously? Why the hell for?"
I won't leave you in the dark for this one.
When stewing: What you really doing is breaking down the physical structure of the ingredients and turning some of the solid matter into liquid. What you are trying to achieve is a certain flavor, texture and liquid consistency throughout the stew.
This particular stew at the very earliest can be eaten after 2-3 hrs. of cooking.
But again, it is best appreciated the next day (or 2).

So, what I was trying to get at is this: because of the extended cooking time, you should cut everything in larger portions. Or everything will shrink and disintegrate into mush.
Which would be fine, if you were eating through a straw or tube.

Cooking steps:
Heat a huge-ass pot with a couple tablespoons of olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil).
Not too much oil, as you will get a lot when the pork fat melts.
As soon as the oil is really hot, put several pieces  of pork into the pot. Enough to cover most of the surface, but not too much. Bring heat down to medium-high and brown all side. When the pieces are done, remove into a separate bowl and repeat with the remainder of the pork till all of them are done.
Depending on how much pork you actually get, this could take about a half hour.

Now with a pot of just hot oil and pork fat, throw you tomatoes, onions and garlic. Salt and pepper.
Then put your pork over that and cover and turn heat to medium.

Walk away. Have a beer or something. Watch the LA Laker's get their butts kicked by the 8th seed OKC. Have a smoke....something to keep you away from messing with the stew.

After about 20-30 minutes, go and check on your stew.
Has the liquid in the pot built up on it's self? 
If it did. Good going.
If not, then looks like you're going to need to boil some hot water.
*The medium heat should have drawn out the liquids from the tomatoes, onions more from the pork. Some time it needs a little help. By adding in about cup of hot water, this helps to coerce the ingredients to sweat out it liquids. The liquids in the pot at this point should be covering most of the ingredients.

( my best Martin Yan imitation.)
Put in your ginger and bay leaves.
Stir the pot until every thing is turned over.
And then.
Cover the pork with the Chinese long green beans.
Salt and pepper.
And then.
Put the Green Papaya over the green beans.
And then.
Salt and pepper.
And then.
Turn the heat to medium low.
And then.
You cover the pot, and walk away.

Leave it alone for about another half hour.
After about 30 minutes of really slow cooking, you should have a little more liquid in the pot. And your papaya should be starting to look translucent.
Turn the heat down to simmer, and leave the cover just slightly open to release most of the steam. You don't want to build up too much liquid.
*note~ I put in the ginger and bay leaves after the higher heat cooking process, because I don't want those flavors to be so dominant.

Make a pot of rice.

By the time your rice is done. The papaya should be translucent and soft to the touch.
If it's  not. Then it's not ready. Only when the papaya is done is the stew ready to be eaten.
Have some patience and it will be worth it.
I promise.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Quick and Painless...

..and good for you too! ( I think : / )

Fried Rice! 
Who doesn't like fried rice?
Me? I love making fried rice with left-overs from the previous night.
(or the night before that, or the night before get my point.)

Here is  what I threw together for brunch this after noon.

Corn, Peas & Spinach
A couple eggs.

No big deal right?

Take your left over rice, and in the rice pot mix these ingredients in.

Sesame Seed Oil
Shoyu (Soy Sauce)
Garlic Powder
Ginger Powder
Pepper or White Pepper
Salt (optional)

Because I always make fried rice, I didn't measure any of these ingredients and did everything pretty much instinctively.
For the Sesame Seed Oils and Shoyu sauce, I just try to make sure that there is enough to cover all of the rice. And the spices, I just gave a couple pinches of each.

By hand (and even better if you have plastic disposable kitchen gloves) mix your ingredients and break apart all the rice, and make sure the rice is getting evenly covered with your sauces and spices. This should only take a couple minutes.

In your favorite non-stick pan heat up about a couple tbl.spoons of regular cooking oil.

Tangent* In my experience in the kitchen, it is never a good thing to fry food with pure Sesame Seed Oil. Sesame Seed Oil is too thin and heats up too fast, and in my opinion can over dominate the flavor if the dish.

Back to cooking :)
When the oil is hot enough, dump you rice mixture in the pan and just evenly distribute the rice throughout the pan. Once you get a lot of heat activity going on in the pan, turn the heat down to med-high.

At this point, I have reheated my vegetables from the previous night and they are ready to be thrown in the the pan with the rice. Add about a qtr.cup water, turn content over and cover.

Tangent* I try not to stir food while cooking (unless it's soup). To me, stirring items while cooking only abuses the contents and by the time you're done cooking, you end up with mush.

 After about 4-5 minutes, turn you rice and veggies over and then crack a couple eggs into the pan and fold the eggs through the rice and veggies. Turn the heat down to simmer and cover for about 7-10 minutes.

That's it.
Eat and enjoy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Haha! I got you!

This really about the LOCOMOCO!

Although, I remember as a boy, some of those crazy little kids out there who you would catch eating their own boogers. EW!!
Is it like Li hing mui?

Alright, enough of that.

Let me first say that this Hawai’i local favorite is NOT Hawai’ian food. But, it is the kind of food that was born from the Aloha spirit.
It is the simple things in life that give one the most pleasure…and like any thing in this world, too much pleasure can kill you.
The Locomoco will kill me.
How ironic is that?
Death from the Aloha spirit?

So what is it that you are looking at?
What is this simple killing concoction of culinary bliss?
Simply it is:

Hamburger patties of USDA Choice Ground Beef (Costco always has great selections and prices when it comes to beef.)
SPAM. Yes, I said SPAM. (A local favorite of the Hawai’ian Islands since World War II.)
Eggs deep-fried or poached in a small pot of boiling oil.
And, rice. Cooked the Asian way, people.

Step 1
Make a pot of rice.

Step 2
Make your hamburger-patties the way you like it.
I like to add an egg, minced onions and garlic, salt and pepper and various chili-powders to the mix, with a touch of A-1 sauce. MMM!
That sounds pretty freaking good right?
Let it sit off onto the side while you cook the first item.

Step 3
Heat up a medium to large sized pan (Not the non-sticking surface one! You’ll find out why in a bit.), with a light amount of oil. Use medium-high heat.
Slice your SPAM into quarter inch thick slices.
This IS the perfect size to slice SPAM, when you are going to fry it.
Fit as many slices of Spam in the pan and fry until you achieve that crispy pinkish-brown color on both sides. This will leave the inside nice and tender.

HOLD ON! Don’t wash that pan or get another one!

Step 4
Use that same pan to cook you hamburger-patties in.
I’m serious!
Using salty pork fat infused oil to fry hamburger-patties in is the shizzle!!
I guarantee you even Anthony Bourdain would love this.
You won’t regret it, I promise.
Fry your hamburger-patties to what ever state you desire.
I like them medium-rare.

When you’re done with that, put the pan off on to the side.
Trust me.

Just go get a small but deep frying pan (or small pot), fill it with oil and heat up until about 300-350 degrees. Once it gets boiling, turn it down to simmer. We need to keep this hot.

Step 5
Take that pan you used to fry the SAPM and hamburger-patties in and make a Shoyu(soy)-sauce/vinegar/red wine reduction.
That’s what I said. A Shoyu(soy)-sauce/rice-wine vinegar/red wine reduction.
1 quarter to half cup of Shoyu sauce
1 quarter to half cup of rice-wine vinegar
1 quarter to half cup of red wine

Reheat pan on a medium high heat. Put in the liquids and then scrape and stir up everything thoroughly. Turn down to low heat and let it reduce.

Is the rice done yet?
Well, when it’s done, plate a serving of it and put a few slices of SPAM and a hamburger patty beside the rice.

Back to the boiling oil.

Bring the heat buck up to medium-high on that pot of oil.
Now, literally poach (using a slotted spoon and 1 egg at a time) how ever many eggs you like to eat.
Yes, deep-fried eggs.
Does your heart hurt thinking about it?
After each egg is done, lay it on the steaming bed of rice.

Is the Shoyu(soy)-sauce/rice-wine vinegar/red wine reduction done yet?
When it is, pull it.

As you can see, as simple as the item are in them selves, combined, cooked and timed out all together. It’s not as simple as it seems.
After this bout in the kitchen, you’ll end up feeling like a full blown gourmet chef. And believe me, the results are worth it.

Take a table spoon and drizzle your Shoyu(soy)-sauce/rice-wine vinegar/red wine reduction over the plated items,
Pour yourself a glass of your favorite drink,
Grab a table spoon and a fork (Pinoy style), napkin optional…
And go and enjoy your murderously-delicious LocoMoco Deluxe.

USDA Choice Ground Beef
1 quarter to half cup of Shoyu sauce
1 quarter to half cup of rice-wine vinegar
1 quarter to half cup of red wine
Time and skills.

Cheating can be delicious.

Curry Beef Stew

Cheating is wrong! Just look at Tiger!
But, cheating can also be delicious too.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to make a traditional Thai Curry Powder from scratch.
(Although, once upon a time…that was a food fetish of mine.) So I know how long it takes to make it.

With many many years of having closet aspirations of wanting to become a gourmet cook, I once took the time and energy to learn how to cook many great dishes the way they are suppose to be made…as in old school or authentic cooking.
How many of you have that kind of time in the everyday grind of life?
“Not me!”, says the Penguin.
With that in the bag, I’ve learned how to cheat in the kitchen. Taking store bought pre-made pastes and sauces, I perfected the art of: DAMN! THAT’S FREAKIN DELICIOUS!

This stew took 15 minutes to prep and less than an hour to cook.

Step 1
2 lbs. USDA Choice Ground Beef
Dump it in a big-ass (cast iron, if you have it) pot with some olive oil that’s already been heating up, med-high heat while you’re chopping your veggies. Cover and leave alone. You want this to sweat so you’ll have all that fat and juice from the beef.

Step 2
The Trinity or Mirepoix:
Half a bag of baby carrots
A few sticks of celery (diced)
One med. Sized onion (diced)
When your Ground Beef is mostly cooked, dump this in there on top of the beef. DON’T STIR IT!! Because I said so…you’ll see.

Step 3
Now put this stuff in:
Approximate amounts of:
1 tblespn. Garlic powder
1 tblespn. Chili powder
1 tblespn. Cayenne powder
1 tblespn. Paprika
1 teaspn. Pepper
1 teaspn. Salt
2 Bay leaves

DON”T STIR IT YET! I know how much people love doing that shizzle.
Cover it. Let it sit. Go have a smoke or something.
You want to give the veggies some time to sweat and cook as well. This sweating process is where the stock is coming from. Get it? Got it? Good.
Start up a kettle of hot water and then smoke or something for 10-15 minutes.

When you come back, turn (not stir) everything in the pot over and add about:
12 oz of water

Step 4
And then dump this in there.
Approximate amounts of:
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen haricot vert (green beans)
(All from Trader Joe's, they have the best frozen vegetables.)

Cover the pot.

Step 5
Take your 1 box of Golden Curry (found in most Asian markets)
You know how it’s in those candy bar shape? Yeah, take it out and dice it up on your cutting board. 

This will help mix and blend in the pot more evenly. When you done sprinkle it evenly over everything.
And then pour through out the pot:
1 12 oz. can of coconut milk (your favorite brand)
And then, if you have to: Top off the ingredients in your pot with more hot water.

Step 6
Cover the pot and go make a big-ass pot of rice, because this dish will feed a family of six. Or if you’re like us, it will feed us for 3 days (or meals) straight. HAHA!
After you make your rice, go ahead and stir everything in your pot and make sure that all that curry paste is well blended.
Cover, turn off the heat and wait for the rice to finish cooking.

Warning: Even though passing out on the couch after you eat is quite enjoyable, it is bad for your health.


2 lbs. USDA Choice Ground Beef
Half a bag of baby carrots
A few sticks of celery (diced)
One med. Sized onion (diced)
1 box of Golden Curry
1 12 oz. can of coconut milk
Approximate amounts of:
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen haricot vert (green beans)
Approximate amounts of:
1 tblespn. Garlic powder
1 tblespn. Chili powder
1 tblespn. Cayenne powder
1 tblespn. Paprika
1 teaspn. Pepper
1 teaspn. Salt
2 Bay leaves
12 oz of water

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My New Favorite...the Sugar Plum

I've recently discovered this delicious gems by accident.
I was at the Ranch 99 market picking up my  weekly harvest of fresh fruits and saw these sitting there at the end of the stand trying hard not to get noticed.
What is this?
Sugar Plums? I thought those were candies?
Curious by nature, I decided to give Nature's candies a try.
Delicious. Although, not as juicy and most plums, the Sugar Plum has a mild sweetness similar to honey.
I'm not sure if these fruit were at it's ripest, but they were fairly firm; somewhat characteristic of a Black Plum picked a week early from perfection.
Nonetheless, deliciousness to be appreciated.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Speaking Penguin?

"Can you speak some of that penguin?"
It's one of the funniest questions that was ever asked of me.
I think my response was, "WHAT THE HELL?!"
What my friend was asking, was if I could speak pidgin (in reference to being born and raised in Hawai'i).
This has since become an inside joke with us.

Now days...
I think to myself, "It's been a long time since I've moved away from the island where I was born and raised. And I have experienced SO many things in the world."
I still do speak pidgin, but my mouth and heart have learned SO many other languages through the food and culture of many friends and loved ones that I have been blessed to bond with over the years since I had moved away from the Melting Pot of the Pacific to the Melting Pot of the Bay Area.
I've come to the conclusion that the pidgin that I once spoke had transformed into another dialect.
For now,I'm calling it Penguin.
And so, this Penguin's journey continues...

Green Tea or Red Bean IceCream

Why..why not.