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AFF Taiwan: Lu Rou Fan 滷肉飯

I have a confession: I’m obsessed with Taiwan as a country. The entertainment industry (I’m guilty of following all the current talk shows and my favourite is Kang Xi Lai Le 康熙來了), the food, the culture in general; but I have never been to this country! I think that one day when I finally set foot there I’ll probably cry tears of happiness. Not joking. I’ll definitely be stalking a few celebrities, and visit all the night markets that has appeared on TV. And most of all, I’ll definitely put on a few kilos with the growing list of food I want to eat in Taiwan.

But since this month’s Asian Food Fest is covering Taiwanese Cuisine, it’s a perfect opportunity for me to at least try my hand on some of these recipes. With Taiwanese cuisine, I can tell you that I do have to throw the Paleo diet out the window. After all, it’s all about rice, noodles, and even their ‘xiao chi’ is mostly gluten or grain based. Once in a while won’t hurt I guess. Not that I’m been super strict lately anyway as I’ve been eating out a little more often due to my workload.

But anyway, the number 1 dish I wanted to try was the super sinful Lu Rou Fan 滷肉飯 (Roughly translated to Minced Pork Rice). It’s one of the most talked about dish on talk shows and everyone seems to have their favourite. As I understand there are 2 types of Lu Rou Fan, one with very finely minced fatty pork, and the other type with diced pork belly. Knowing me, of course I prefer the latter. Just check this out:

This is Pork Heaven!

Lu Rou Fan is considered comfort food and is available pretty much everywhere. It can be enjoyed anytime of the day really and I’d say this makes for a perfect after party supper (not that I’m advocating having supper, or partying, for that matter). At its simplest form, it’s just meat over rice, although eggs are commonly added. Some places serve this with green vegetables, some with Japanese pickled daikon. But there’s no denying that this will please any porcine lover. Well it most definitely pleased me. Over and over again. I love cooking a huge portion for one. Hehe.

Cooking this is relatively easy, and I opted for the lazy method with my trusty Philips Pressure Cooker so the cooking time was significantly reduced. But I have typed out both lazy and traditional methods for you.

My Guilty Pleasure.


Lu Rou Fan (Recipe adapted from Lady and Pups)

500g of skin-on pork belly, cut into small dices (think of dicing thick-cut bacons)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
40g Rock Sugar
1/4 cup good soy sauce (I used a mixture of liquid aminos and dark soy, you might want to adjust the ratio depending on how dark your soy sauce is)
1/4 cup (45 grams) of Chinese rice wine
1 small stick of cinnamon
1 tsp of ground white pepper
1/4 tsp of five spice powder
1/2 cup of fried shallots (store-bought or homemade)
2 cups (710 grams) of water
5 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled

 

Pressure Cooker Method:

Dump everything except for the eggs into the pot and cook with pressure on for 30minutes. Release pressure and add hardboiled eggs, cook uncovered until the sauce thickens and reduced significantly. Season to taste.

 

Stove Top Method:

Heat non-stick pan and add pork belly (no oil needed, it’s fatty enough!) to cook for a few minutes until the fat is starting to render. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, then add soy sauce, rock sugar, cinnamon, rice wine, white pepper, fried shallots. Mix everything together and then finally add water and bring to a simmer. Cook for around 1 and 1/2 hour to 2 hours on medium-low heat until the sauce is thickened slightly and the pork is starting to get quite tender. Add hard-boiled egg and cook for 10-15 minutes further until the sauce is nicely gelatinous. You may need to add water during the cooking process if the liquid is reducing too fast.

Serve the Lu Rou over rice garnished with greens of your choice, and watch it disappear!

Come to mama! My Chinese zodiac is Boar so the Irony is not lost on me.

Meltingly tender pork, the aroma of 5 spice, savoury sweet sticky gravy, with perfectly cook eggs (I like my egg yolk just set or slightly runny). I served mine with some homemade pickled daikon for that extra bit of piquancy. Mmmm that was such a perfect meal.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest #10 Aug 2014 : Taiwan hosted by travelling-foodies.

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Kronenbourg 1664’s Rooftop BBQ Party at Stratosphere, The Roof

[ADV]

It sure has been a long time since I last attended an event just for fun. Life has gotten so hectic lately, I think I do need to take a break really soon. And when the invitation for the Kronenbourg 1664’s Rooftop BBQ Party came, I didn’t hesitate with my RSVP. After all, I have not seen the girls from Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers for months!

Gotta love the constant flow of Kronenbourg 1664!
Kronenbourg is a relatively new in Malaysia, having brought in by Carlsberg Malaysia back in December 2010 to expand its portfolio of beers. Starting off with just the lager variant first, the brand received acceptance in the Malaysian market and it was no surprise that the Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc wheat beer variant (which proved to be a really popular with the girls) was launched a couple of months later in June 2011.

The new uniform is rather classy too.

Since the launch, Kronenbourg 1664 has been exposing Malaysian consumers to the French way of life namely – food, fashion and enjoyment. This has been communicated through a series of consumer and media engagements including Kronenbourg 1664’s signature event L’Aperitif Fashion which is like a Malaysian version of Project Runway, being the official beer of the BMW WTA Open and STYLO, a series of wonderful fine dining food pairings, and most recently their Cinq à Sept campaign which is all about having good work/ life balance.

Stressed? You are definitely not alone!

In today’s fast paced life, and especially if you life and work in the big cities like Kuala Lumpur, you’re very likely to experience some form of stress. For examples: traffic jams, long working hours, dealing with bosses, or even personal stress with spouses or family members, the list goes on. To give you a little break from all these stressors of life, Kronenbourg 1664 has come up with ‘Taste the French Way of Life’ which is a brand new thematic campaign aimed at giving you and your friends some enjoyable, memorable yet simple experiences.

The Party kicked off right at 6pm, perfect for those working the OL lifestyle.

The French are known to really enjoy their life, while (a lot of urban) us Malaysians on the other hand are generally quite career and work-driven, striving from morning till late evening to make a good living for themselves and their family. It’s not in my place to compare the cultures but it is indeed important to strike a nice balance in life. For me, I’m quite lucky to be actually working my dream job, but even that gets tiring at times. In any case, this campaign is definitely exciting and there will be a series of events (each with different theme) to make us really look forward to Fridays.

To kick off the series, Carlsberg Malaysia threw a Rooftop BBQ party at Stratosphere, The Roof, First Avenue Bandar Utama on 8 August 2014. Beer, BBQ, Entertainment, complete with a gorgeous view of KL Skyline, what’s not to love? I arrived nice and early joining Tim and Jiayeen for some ice-cold Kronenbourg 1664 (Blanc for me, of course) and just lounged on the sofa watching the sunset, while catching up with our lives.

Outfit of the evening is a bit of flower power mixed rock chick. Wasn’t the smartest choice of accessory as the feathers kept flying around!

There were a few activities lined up including a photowall (which you’ll see later) and some games for us too.

Hammer time?

Chefs busy preparing the BBQ, and the smell was intoxicating!

Caught in action!

The MC also kept us entertained with his jokes, and interacted frequently with us to get us “in the mood”. We even get to massage our friends’ shoulders! Boy I needed that.

Henrik J. Andersen, Managing Director of Carlsberg Malaysia nwent up on stage for a short speech and the launch gambit which involved his using the gas gun (which you will see quite frequently in PLAY) to blow away all your worries.

Group pic! Some of us even got a bit of a beer shower. Hilarious fun.

Stephanie and Kate joined us a little later and it was indeed nice to hang out with these lovely ladies. We utilised the photowall of course, and went around taking plenty of photos.

Having fun as usual.

Oooh, green hair!

Yummy Roast Lamb.

Oh… the food! There were BBQ chicken wings, sausages, roast lamb, pasta, potato wedges and even marshmallows along with a whole lot more dishes were in the buffet line.

Joey and Jyin!

Nowadays, whenever I’m at an event, I almost always know the band. And Joey is a talented keyboardist/singer I have had the pleasure to work with in the past occasions, often when her partner in crime is away so it was actually my first time watching Jyin sing! And remember I mentioned that I rarely attend any event just for fun?

This is a typical Busman’s Holiday.

Henrik managed to convince me to go up for a song (it doesn’t take much, really) and I dedicated “Can’t Take My Eyes off You” as I found out that is actually the unofficial Carlsberg theme song.

The MC hosted a few games too, giving out cool prizes like a Kronenbourg 1664 mini fridge to the winners!

A poi fire dancer enthralled the crowd.

We were blessed with lovely weather and everyone was enjoying themselves with all that exciting activities, beer, and food.

I enjoyed myself tremendously at the Rooftop BBQ party and I think they really covered the bases for a good BBQ. The venue is classy with great ambience, food was pretty good, and of course the drinks were ice-cold. Complete with the entertainment and good company, all the ingredients necessary for a memorable party. It was a perfect Friday evening!

Can’t wait to see what else they have in store for consumers and I’m looking forward to attend Kronenbourg 1664’s “Taste The French Way of Life” upcoming events especially the big finale party on 5 December!

MAKE SURE YOU SAVE THESE DATES:
22 Aug 2014 – Darts Night. It’s time to get your game face on!
5 Sep 2014– Movie Night. Kronenbourg 1664 promises that you’ll be at the edge of your seats
19 Sep 2014 – Dining in the Dark. It’s time to get those taste-buds tingling with anticipation
3 Oct 2014 – Comedy Night. Like they say, laughter is the best medicine
17 Oct 2014 – Food Fest & Art Escapade. The time has come to ignite those senses
31 Oct 2014 – Broadway show. Kick-up those heels and sing along because this is going to be a show to remember!
5 Dec 2014 – Kronenbourg 1664 Year-End party. Billed to be the most fun you’ll have this year!

As the above are all consumer events, find out how you can attend by heading over to http://www.facebook.com/KronenbourgMY

By the way, Kronenbourg 1664 is also giving out some Handheld Monopods for you selfie addicts out there! Simply purchase a Kronenbourg 1664 beer tower, or two buckets or six full pints of Kronenbourg 1664 at participating outlets and you’ll get one (while stocks last of course). This giveaway is run in conjunction with the ‘Taste the French Way of Life’ campaign to reward you with the right tool to capture your special moments!

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Liposonix: The Follow Up

Several months ago, I’ve mentioned that I went for a Liposonix treatment with Dr Alice Michael. To rehash your memory, it’s a targeted fat reduction treatment designed for those who has that stubborn inch of fat to lose. It’s perfect for those who are already living a pretty healthy lifestyle but just want to drop a dress size. Read about how it works, as well as my treatment experience here.

Well, I’ve also mentioned once or twice that I’ve lost a bit of weight lately. I haven’t exactly changed my diet, but I have been quite busy the last few months with my shows, and as a result I didn’t have much time to think about food. My meals were mostly Paleo, but sometimes subjected to the event/function I was working at. I’ll admit to skipping a meal or two because I was too busy (not intentionally, I promise) and sometimes have no appetite for the same reason. But I definitely have not been starving myself.

Exercise wise, my shows are often quite physical because I’m always dancing and jumping around the stage. Apart from that I live a pretty sedentary lifestyle outside of work (though mostly because I needed to rest between gigs). From time to time when I’m motivated, I’d do some squats/planking while watching shows on my iPad (but that never last more than 5 minutes, haha).

Anyway, I’ve gone for a follow up review last month at Ageless Medispa. It was a quick one as they just needed to weigh and measure me. While I know that the result would be quite positive, it was still a shock to realise that I have lost almost 5kg in the last 3 months. This is overall weight loss, of course, because I’ve gone a full dress size smaller, even though my treatment area was just my abdomen.

The measurements are a bit confusing to read. Basically upper ab: From 86cm to 70cm, lower ab: From 89cm to 82cm.

If they had measured my hips they would probably be shocked to find out I’ve lost 2 inches there too. This is not a good thing however, because I now require cushion whenever I sit. Better do more squats to build the gluts!

So here’s a before/after photo:

Plump vs Tighter abs

I’ve tried to crop it as close as possible, but I guess you can tell that my abdomen is now almost flat. Also, I can no longer wear that pair of white shorts, they just fall right off! All that’s left for me to do is to keep up the exercise to tighten my muscles. I am more confident when wearing cropped tops and it’s been a joy doing an overhaul of my wardrobe. Best still, there were some dresses that no longer fit 3 months ago, and now I can wear them again. *Happy Dance*

I’d say that Liposonix definitely has been helpful for my weight loss journey. My upper abdomen especially. My body fat percentage has also gone down to 21% (pretty good for female non athletes) and my muscle mass is 35.9% (amazing considering I don’t exercise…much). Thank you Solta Medical and Dr Alice Michael for my transformation!

For enquiries and appointment with Dr Alice Michael, please contact:

Ageless Medispa
257 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur
https://www.facebook.com/Dr.AliceTotalWellnessCenter
http://www.aliceantiaging.com/

For more information about Liposonix, click on http://solta.valeantonline.com/brands/liposonix

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Philips AirFryer: A review

I have talked about the Philips AirFryer in a few posts, namely here, here and here. Today I’d like to share a bit of a detailed review on this time-saver. Better yet, I shall share with you the interesting dishes I’ve cooked using the AirFryer. But before that, an image of my new love in the kitchen.

Philips AirFryer

It’s about the size of a big rice cooker, and it sits right next to my microwave without taking too much space. Better than having an portable oven! My oven is not getting much actions lately, poor thing.

There are many things you can cook using the Philips Airfryer. I’ve covered some of the more interesting ones. The first recipe I cooked was a small batch of Fried Adobo Wings. And the next day, I followed up with a killer: Siew Yoke.

Perfect crackling on the Siew Yoke.

The Siew Yoke was prepared the traditionally way with boiling, air-drying for few hours, then poking holes over all the skin. The marination is just salt, pepper, 5 spice powder, and I applied some lemon juice and salt mixture several times. The skin is pat dry before air-frying for about 50 minutes.

Absolutely thrilled with the results! Now it’s much easier to fulfill my cravings for Siew Yoke.

The next day I made something completely different. It’s my favourite type of breakfast:

Ratatouille Baked Eggs

I prepared the Ratatouille separately. Spoon a generous portion into the ceramic dish, top with some almond meal, an egg, some cheese and generous sprinkling of chili and air-fried for about 10 minutes. Runny yolk, melted cheese, perfection.

Bacon Wrapped Zucchini and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms.

Just putting a simple lunch together with these ingredients. It was fun!

Of course, I wanted to do some more basic recipes such as homemade fries. This pleases the Irishman because it meant going out to get some potatoes (something that doesn’t happen anymore in this household).

Perfect Crispy Fries. Definitely much healthier!

With fries, you need to first cut the potatoes into desirable shape, soak in water for 30 minutes, pat dry, and then just airfry for about 30 minutes. I coated mine with a tablespoon of olive oil and some smoked paprika. Frank was happy with the results (I tried a couple, to be honest, and they were good).

Airfryer Grill Pan

This is the special accessory you can get for the Airfryer separately. You can see that it has pierced surface which allows the Rapid air flow to cook the food evenly. It is also non-stick, which allows for easy cleaning. This is perfect for grill fish, steak, and vegetables. For the next 2 dishes I used the Grill pan. That’s right, I was in a the mood for some fish dishes.

Air-grilled Salmon, with Cauliflower Puree.

I must say I was impressed with how juicy the salmon was. I cooked this for 5 minutes, which means the inside was no longer raw, but still pretty succulent and tasty so I’m willing to look past the fact it was slightly overcooked for my liking.

Air-grilled Barramundi on a bed of Coleslaw.

Last but definitely not the least, a lovely piece of Barramundi. This one I had to cook for a little longer, about 10 minutes to make sure it’s definitely cooked through. Once again the fish retained it juices and this was a joy to eat!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does it work, exactly?

Think of it as a mini powerful oven, with precise temperature control. The rapid air circulating technology quickly heat up the food. And because it’s small, the temperature will stay constant even if you pull out the ‘drawer’ to check on the food. It has the ability to crisp up food just a deep fryer, just without the oil.

So, no oil at all?

Most of the time, yes. But if you were to cook something that’s breaded, or if you like to cook homemade fries, it’s recommended you use a tiny amount of oil (generally not more than one tablespoon) to help the process along. It’s fabulous for meat that already contains some fat, like chicken wings, salmon etc.

How is it different than conventional oven then?

First, it is much quicker to heat up, and it also cooks the food quicker too. A small batch of Chicken wings takes no more than 12 minutes to achieve perfect golden crust.

Do I need to preheat the airfryer?
It is optional, but if you do want to, preheating takes about 3 minutes. I often just left it on and go away to do something else until it beeps, then add the food.

Is it easy to clean?

You only need the normal dish washing sponge to clean the basket. Sometimes when there’s stubborn remnants of food, just fill up with water until it covers the metal basket, and then airfry on 180C for 10 minutes. It will soften the stubborn bits.

Feel free to send me some more questions so I can update the FAQs as needed.

For more information please check out Philips Malaysia’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PhilipsHomeLiving.my?fref=ts

If you also own a Philips Airfryer and like to find out what else you can cook with it, do check out this group too Masak-Masak with Philips Airfryer and this facebook page: I love Philips Airfryer.

Happy Cooking!

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AFF Philippines: Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette)

When I was researching for Philippine cuisine, I was deeply intrigued by this dish called Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette). A dish combining 2 of my favourite things: Eggplant and Egg; of course I had to try it! I wonder how come I’ve never thought of doing that myself, but nevermind as now this dish is in my life, I will never let it go.

In Philippines, Tortang Talong is a very popular breakfast dish and it’s pretty economical as well. At the basic form, it’s just Eggplant with Egg seasoned with Salt and Pepper. Some do opt for ground meat or other vegetables in their versions. I have gone for some onion and chili to suit my taste. Plus the chili does give it a lovely colour contrast. Usually, this is enjoyed with white rice and banana ketchup. But to make it fully Paleo, I served it with some lettuce instead. To see the recipe for Banana Ketchup which I’ve posted recently, click here.

Tortang Talong

Eggplant, preferably the Asian/Japanese variety
1 Egg (add more if using more eggplants)
Salt and pepper
1 Red Chili
Quarter Onion, finely diced

First we’ll need to char the eggplant. There are few ways of doing this. You can either grill it over the stove top until all the surface area is charred, then cool the eggplant, and peel off the skin. You could also use an oven broiler. But if you have a Philip Airfryer, it gets even easier! Just airfry it in 200C for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the eggplant.

Tada! Let’s get the eggplant naked!

Nice and naked! Haha

Beat the egg on a bowl and mix with cut chili and onion (feel free to cook the onion beforehand for extra sweetness). Place the eggplant on top ensuring that it is fully coated with the eggwash. Mash or flatten the eggplant. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat some oil in a frying pan. Slide the eggplant to the pan and start frying it. You can use the eggplant’s stem to lift it up and check to see if the other side is already cooked. If the bottom of the eggplant has set and is cooked, flip it over to cook the other side. Fry until it has set and has turned a lovely golden brown.

Transfer to the plate and enjoy while hot! To be truly Pinoy, eat it with banana ketchup as your condiment.

Aerial View.

As expected, the texture is both fluffy and silky, and I love the simplicity of the flavours, enhanced by the delicious banana ketchup. Can’t wait to make it again! Frank isn’t really a huge fan of Eggplant but he enjoyed this dish too.

Yummy!

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – Philippines hosted by The Sweet Spot.

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Calling all Singer-Songwriters, Rockstars etc: Project Aloft Star

Want to win US$10,000, perform at Aloft hotels and a chance to be on MTV? Don’t look any further and submit your original song ASAP!

Designed for the next generation traveller in mind, Aloft® Hotels today announced the debut of the Asia Pacific edition of Project Aloft Star, in collaboration with MTV. The music talent discovery competition aims to identify and support the hottest emerging music artists from China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

From now until August 24, 2014, unsigned bands and artists are invited to showcase their talents by uploading an original video showcasing their music to www.mtvasia.com/projectaloftstar for the chance to be named Asia’s first Project Aloft Star winner. Three winners will ultimately be chosen – as the Asia Pacific edition of Project Aloft Star will feature three key contest clusters covering major Asia Pacific markets: China, India and the third contest cluster consisting of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Shortlisted entries will have the opportunity of a lifetime to perform at the finals in late September in front of a panel of judges held in their respective clusters. The winner from each cluster will receive US $10,000 cash and a chance to be featured on MTV. What a brilliant opportunity!

“Music is in the DNA of the Aloft brand and we are thrilled to kick-off Asia Pacific’s first Project Aloft Star competition to identify the latest emerging music artists in the region. Project Aloft Star has been hugely successful with five editions in North America; and this year we are very proud to have Asia Pacific’s very own edition to discover the region’s immense potential pool of talent,” said Vincent Ong, Senior Brand Director, Asia Pacific Brand Management, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

“We are also excited to partner with MTV Asia who shares our same passion for live music, pop culture and design-led initiatives. This synergistic collaboration allows Aloft Hotels and MTV Asia to amplify the discovery of great new music experiences across Asia Pacific,” continued Ong.

In a previous collaboration last year, Aloft Hotels and MTV jointly launched a digital platform that helped promote local up-and-coming music talents that have performed at the Live at Aloft Hotels showcase at Aloft Hotels W XYZ bars across Asia. This was aimed at providing an enhanced Aloft Hotels guest experience for millennial travelers with live music access while on-the-go. I have personally performed there for a few months and you can even see my profile on MTV Asia’s website right here. I have plenty to thank Aloft for. :)

“Building on the success of our earlier collaboration with Aloft Hotels,Live at Aloft Hotels, Amplified by MTV, we are thrilled to expand our collaboration and help amplify Project Aloft Star in Asia,” said Paras Sharma, Vice President, MTV and Comedy Central Brands and Digital Media, Viacom International Media Networks. “It’s testament to the on-going synergy between our brands as we continue to promote and reflect local cultural tastes and musical talents. We can’t wait to see who will surface from Project Aloft Star!”

Public Voting Contest

From August 25 to September 14, 2014, the public can vote for their favourite videos from a panel of curated entries posted online. 40% of public voting will determine which entries get to perform at the finals for each cluster and the remaining 60% will be determined by MTV. Fans in each cluster who cast their votes will stand a chance to win a three day, two night all-expense paid trip for two to Seoul, South Korea and accommodation at the Aloft Seoul Gangnam hotel, slated to open on October 1, 2014.

For more information head over to www.mtvasia.com/projectaloftstar.

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AFF Philippines: Banana Ketchup

Even though I have quite a few Philippino friends, strangely I’ve never been introduced to the cuisine. Now that I think about it, I don’t even know whether there are good restaurants in Melbourne serving Philippine cuisine. Luckily, Mr Google has proven to be useful in this research and I’ve been learning tons about this cuisine. Of course, it’s not enough to just read about it. Tasting is paramount. And once of the most intriguing thing I wanted to try was Banana Ketchup. It’s totally unique to the country as an alternative to Tomato Ketchup.

The tomato ketchup was brought in by the Americans, but during World War II, there was a tomato shortage. This very clever lady Maria Orosa apparently created the banana version because there are always plenty of bananas in Asia. And soon this became a hit and til this day, many still prefer the banana version over tomato. It’s used in almost everything: burgers, omelettes, fries, meat marinade, even spaghetti!

As you know, making things from scratch is very much my thing (ditch the bottled stuff, you know) and I found a couple of recipes online which are easy to follow. In the end I chose Andrea Nguyen’s version because I have everything except for the annatto seed, which is actually optional just to add some colour to the ketchup. Some people choose to add red food colouring, but I don’t have a problem with yellowish ketchup as long as it tastes good! So here’s how I made my banana ketchup, Paleo-style.

Banana Ketchup

Recipe adapted from VietWorldKitchen

Olive Oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, mined
5 Chili Padi, chopped
1 generous tablespoon tomato paste
2 large ripe bananas, mashed (net 9 oz / 270 gr)
1/2 cup (120 ml) apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1 tablespoon Honey
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 Cloves
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Liquid Aminos
1 bay leaf

Heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and chile, stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is orange red and the tomato is no longer visible.

Add the mashed bananas, stir to combine well. Then add the vinegar, water, sugar, pepper, clove, salt, liquid aminos, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, partially covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until thick like—ketchup! Remove from the heat, cool for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf and cloves.

Use a mini food processor or blender to puree the mixture. Taste and add water to thin, sugar to sweeten, or vinegar to tartness. Transfer to a jar and use, or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Done!

I’m glad I gave this a go because it’s so delicious! Now I understand why it’s so popular. Similar to tomato ketchup, it has the sweetness and tang, but there’s an extra aroma from the bananas and the addition of spice is such a brilliant idea. I made Frank try a bit and he’s now hooked. I think I might not need to replenish that Heinz ketchup anytime soon, as long as I keep buying bananas.

Next recipe post would be another Philippine dish which goes extremely well with the Banana Ketchup, so stay tuned!

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – Philippines hosted by The Sweet Spot.

 

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