Chicken and Bottle Gourd Soup



I looked around for the English translation of this commonly used vegetable in the Philippines which we call “upo” and  almost identified it as winter melon.  Apparently, the winter melon is  “kundol” back home.  This vegetable pictured above is a bottle gourd.  It’s a light and delicately flavored vegetable we often use sauted with pork and shrimps or dried fish. 

A Chinese friend of mine said that a winter melon is a good vegetable to “…keep you cool when you’re heaty” and I found that description to be so accurate.  Just like the winter melon, which is actually a gourd and not a melon, “upo” makes a great soup in the summer or the tropics and perhaps does lower your body temperature, though I have no proof of that.

Continue reading “Chicken and Bottle Gourd Soup”

Daikon Raddish Pickle



If you haven’t tried the Daikon Raddish, you’re missing something.  It’s a root vegetable that’s also called a Japanese raddish, Chinese raddish and Satsuma raddish.  Filipinos call it labanos.

This is more commonly sauteed with garlic, onions and tomatoes  or cooked with sinigang.  I hope this won’t freak anyone out, but we also mix in some beef spleen along with the saute.  It’s delicious!  Continue reading “Daikon Raddish Pickle”

Squash Curry



Got gout?  Here’s something you can eat that won’t do you harm.  It’s a Squash Curry that we normally would prepare with pork and/or shrimps.  It’s just as tasty without the meat and quite healthy.  Turmeric is a main ingredient in curry powder and is widely known to be good for gout.  I didn’t use any fish sauce here, but you can if you want to. Continue reading “Squash Curry”

Cap Cai



Sounds almost like an expletive, doesn’t it?  “Cap Cai this, you!!!!” … excuse the weird sense of humor….

I made this dish to go with my siopao buns which, unfortunately, didn’t look worthy enough to be photographed. I thought a light vegetable dish would be a nice pairing with the sweetish buns.  It was perfect. Continue reading “Cap Cai”

Guinisang Sitaw (Sauteed Asian Long Beans)


Look at that sensuous steam rising from my pot of sauteed long beans!  I took the photo while it was cooking because the colors were still so vibrant….but the steam muted the colors just a little bit. Oh well.

This is a sauteed, all-in-one dish of Asian long beans, what we Filipinos call sitaw. Sauteeing (guisado) a little meat with vegetables is a standard way of cooking everyday Filipino foods.  You start with a hot wok, a little oil then throw in the mashed garlic and cook till they’re almost brown; follow with the onions till they’re translucent; the pre-boiled meat which is usually pork and/or shrimps; fish sauce; tomatoes, if the dish requires it; the broth or shrimp juice then finally, whatever vegetable you have on hand that day.  It’s a quick and healthy way to prepare a meal and is also the basic way to start a variety of dishes including the popular pancit and vegetable lumpia. Continue reading “Guinisang Sitaw (Sauteed Asian Long Beans)”

Cauliflower and Cheese

Cauliflower – another vegetable I’m not exactly crazy about. Call it the lily-livered cousin of a broccoli….judging solely on its color that is.  In fact, this vegetable is from the same family, Brassicaceae, as the broccoli. Despite its lack of coloration, it is a vegetable packed with vitamins and minerals that are all good for you.

Here’s a rather common and simple way of enjoying cauliflower on the dinner table.  This is my own even simpler version of the recipe, minus the white sauce.

Continue reading “Cauliflower and Cheese”