Friday, July 31, 2009

Orange-Mango Fresh Chiffon Cake

When we were in high school, my friends (Sybil, Rhea, Marjo, Maan and Yvette) thought how fun it would be to bake a cake together in celebration of my birthday. And so we did, or at least we tried. Somehow, something went wrong and we came up with a very hard, inedible chunk shaped like a doll (we had a molder) which we ate anyway. I guess it was pretty traumatic for me that since then, I shun the thought of even trying to bake a cake, especially if it`s chiffon cake. Somehow I thought that the process is just so complicated that I`d always end up with the same result as last time.

Which is why, when I was looking around the ABC Cooking Studio (at the Shizuoka Station) and someone came and asked if I wanted to take the 1 day (1 recipe) free lesson, I grabbed the chance and chose the Chiffon cake recipe. Perhaps, as a way to exorcise the trauma that I had over making chiffon cakes.

Rad dropped by the studio from his work to give his moral support and to document the whole thing.

This is good for 2 big cup chiffon cakes.

Ingredients for Chiffon Cake:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 15 g. sugar (1 tbsp)
  • 40 g. orange marmalade
  • 30ml salad oil
  • 30 ml 100% Orange Juice
  • 60g flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 egg whites
  • 25 g sugar


Separate the egg yolk and the egg whites into two bowls. Beat the egg yolks and 15 g sugar to a certain consistency (my teacher said until it looks kinda like mayo).Add marmalade and beat. Then add salad oil, beat, then add orange juice, mix well. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and beat well.

Beat the egg whites and sugar but put half the sugar first then add the remaining sugar after the first half has been integrated well with the egg whites. Be careful not to beat this mixture too much.

Mix the egg white and sugar mixture into the first mixture and this time, mix only using a spatula. Mix gently in a J-like motion. Once the two mixtures are folded well, pour into baking pan or paper cups and bake at a preheated oven at 170C for 23 mins.

Ingredients for the Cream:
  • 85 g Fresh cream
  • 15 g (1 tbsp) plain yoghurt
  • 70 g mango
  • 30 g marmalade


Beat cream and yoghurt together. Beat in marmalade and half of the mango until desired consistency is achieved. Then mix the remaining mango using a spatula. This will give some color streaks to the cream.

Putting it all together, scoop a spoonful of the chiffon and squeeze the cream into the cake. You can put back the cake that you scooped out as a "hat" to the cream. Garnish with a slice or two of orange, a mint leaf and caster sugar.

For those who can make chiffon cake so easily, please feel free to correct me if I may have inadvertently written the wrong directions. I just copied the ingredients and wrote the directions from memory with my brain`s automatic editing.

Efficiency, politeness and full customer satisfaction guaranteed are the very characteristics of almost all Japanese services I have ever experienced. It was no different when it came to cooking school. And so after the lesson, if only I had the money then, I really would have enrolled myself in all the courses. Perhaps when time and our budget (it is really expensive) would really permit to take advantage of all of these, I will.

My cake actually looked like the one in the homepage but it turned out like that (the first picture) because we were only able to take a shot when we got home. And so we took the cake home, and just when we were about to dig in, I found out that Rad is not really a big fan of chiffon cakes. Oh well, Ken is, so it is justified. Plus, of course, my chiffon cake trauma has been exorcised. And, yep, the cake was very delicious! Not so sweet but just right to make you want for more! Mangantayon!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cheese Tonkatsu - Pork Cutlets

Rad`s favorite Japanese dish is Tonkatsu (豚カツ). Ton (豚)means pork and katsu (カツ) is the Katakana for "cut", thus, the name.

We have always bought our tonkatsu from our neighbor Bento store who made such a mean tonkatsu bento and at the Hotto Motto along with "kare". He had always seemed so content with just buying it whenever he feels the craving that I have never went on to make one for him myself. I was supposed to surprise him with a tonkatsu bento for his trip to Nagano tomorrow but I couldn`t wait so we had it for dinner tonight. My taste buds are shouting for cheese so tonkatsu with cheese it is.

  • Pork Chops (pork loin or fillet)
  • Cheese
  • pepper
  • salt
  • flour
  • egg, beaten
  • bread crumbs, "panko"

Prepare the flour, egg and bread crumps in three separate dishes or containers. Cut the pork at the side to create a pocket to insert the cheese in. Sprinkle pepper on the inside of the cutlet then insert the cheese. Put pepper and/or salt on the cutlet. Coat the cutlet lightly with flour then dip in beaten egg. Finally coat the pork with panko or breadcrumbs and pat it lightly. Heat the oil and wait for it to be about 150-160C before putting the pork. Cook one side till they are golden brown then turn to cook the other side. Serve with your favorite sauce (steak sauce, ketchup, etc.) and some vegetables (usually fresh shredded cabbage).

Be careful not to make the oil too hot or it might cook or even burn the coating immediately and end up with the pork not cooked at all. The amount of pepper or salt depends on personal tastes so you can just pepper it or go easy.

So, Mangantayon!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Potatoes with Spam and Pineapples

It is not a gratin, although I was thinking of making one before everything evolved into this. Thus the uncreative title... oh well at least it`s not Potatoes with spam and pineapple and pepper with white sauce - which, just about summarizes the whole recipe.

  • 2 medium-sized Potatoes, peeled, sliced, boiled
  • spam, sliced to bits
  • pineapple chunks
  • red bell pepper
  • white sauce
  • pepper
  • butter

Put the boiled potato slices in the baking pan, brush a little butter over it and sprinkle enough pepper. Sprinkle spam tidbits then arranged the red peppers and pineapples. Pour white sauce over the layers. Broil for 8-10 mins.

I was so lazy to make my own white sauce so I just opened a packet of Rumic white sauce powder and dissolved it in milk and boiled to desired consistency.

Rad said he didn`t want gratin but just plain spam with rice but he managed take big bites of it anyway. Mangantayon!

An Ilocano Dish on a Rainy Night

It has been raining all week in Shizuoka. Kinda reminds me of typhoon season in the Philippines, in Ilocos, which, by the way, was just ravaged by the recent typhoon. At home, while the patter of the rain lulls everyone to sleep, our stomachs automatically churn and get ready for the traditional Ilocano rainy day dinner or lunch --- monggo inabraw - that`s mungbean cooked in bagoong (fish paste) soup base. It is the Ilocano version of stew.

Inabraw Ingredients:
  • about 4-5 handfuls of monggo/mung beans (whole or ground)
  • bagoong or fish paste (katsuo shokara - かつお塩辛)
  • garlic
  • onion
  • vegetable oil
  • some veggies or greens (spinach, sliced eggplant, etc.)
  • shrimp cubes

Soak the mung beans for at least an hour to loosen the seed coat. Soaking will reduce the length of time of boiling the beans to rid of their seed coats. Removing the seed coat is basically just straining the seeds off the mixture since they will automatically float. You can opt not to soak but you have to boil it for a long time (perhaps more than 45 minutes) then remove the seed coats while it boils.

Once the seed coat is removed, boil the beans till they are soft or till they practically disintegrates (you won`t see whole beans). Then add 3-4 teaspoon of fishpaste, depending on how salty you`d like it to be. The Japanese fish paste is less salty. If you use the true-blue Iluko Bagoong a tablespoon is enough. Boil further till the taste of the fish paste has sank in. I like to put 1 Knorr shrimp cube into the mix for added flavor.

In a separate skillet, put oil, saute garlic and onion till the onion is golden but not burned. If you want to put in some meat or fish, this would be the best time to mix them. then ladle the boiled beans into the skillet. Stir. Put the vegetables last making sure that they are not overcooked.

Instead of mixing fried fish into the stew, we just had our fried milkfish as it is.

And although it was raining, Rad requested for some milk shake.
Avocado Milk Shake Ingredients:
  • 2 small avocados
  • 2-3 brown sugar (depends on taste)
  • about 1 glass of milk
  • ice

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend till frothy.

And so, Mangantayon!


Bought some tiger shrimps so cheaply last week and Rad wanted it buttered. I search far and wide in the internet for some simple shrimp recipe till I saturated my brain with different recipes that I just kinda mixed everything together. In the process, I added one word to my vocabulary and that is, SCAMPI, a word of Italian origin, which means (for cooking noobs like me), a dish of shrimp or prawns, typically sautéed in garlic and butterand often topped with bread crumbs. I hope I didn`t scamp the scampi (pardon the pun...I just couldn`t help it).

  • Shrimp (shelled and deveined)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • green chilis
  • spring onions
  • salt and pepper

Heat butter in skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic 1 or 2 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add shrimp, spring onions, and lemon juice; cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Do not overcook. Add salt and pepper before serving. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.

I added the green chilis because I wanted some greens in it but my Uncle said, it should taste a lot better with capers or cilantro and the onions can be omitted. He also said to mix the olive oil with butter first before putting in the garlic. All that for next time. Mangantayon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chicken and Pineapple Kebab

I got the inspiration from Jenn of Bread plus Butter this Monday with her Grilled Shrimp Skewers plus I love anything with pineapples! Trouble is, I have used up all the shrimps for the scampi and the only meat in my fridge is, chicken... But my taste buds are craving for something with pineapple and thus, the chicken pineapple kebab.

I tried Jenny`s recipe for the marinade and that turned out quite well. They were tasty as can be although I am sure it is not the same if you grill over charcoal and not the grill function in the microwave or the stove which is too even for my taste. And it looked too dry too. I want my food especially the meat to look juicy. I thought melting cheese over it but didn`t have cheese that time. Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Peppered Pork and Gingered Red Pepper

Tomorrow is Marine Day or Ocean Day or Umi no Hi (海の日), a National Holiday. Although we do not necessarily abide by national holidays at the lab, I have decided not to take advantage of the holiday and that this be the last entry for this week and to seriously continue on the paper that I am supposed to be writing. Oh how I wish blogging could earn me that degree!

This was our dinner tonight. I am always on the lookout for easy to make recipes and this one I found from The Australian Women`s Weekly’s Cooking for Two recipe book.

Peppered Pork Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons drained green peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 pork butterfly steaks
  • 1 tablespoon oil


Combine peppercorns and sugar in bowl, rub over oth sides of steaks, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat oil in pan, add pork, cook until browned and tender. This recipe can be prepared a day ahead.

The pork called for a side dish of gingered red pepper.

Gingered Red Pepper Ingredients:

  • 20g butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons honey


Heat butter in pan, add ginger and pepper, cook, stirring, until pepper is just soft; stir in honey. This recipe must be made before serving.

Since I don’t have whole green peppercorns, I used the common ground pepper and two porkchops. For the gingered pepper, I made about 1 tablespoon of grated ginger and I used all of it anyway.

The whole meal also called for a recipe for Chinese cabbage but since I don’t have that in my supply, I steamed some spinach again but served it without the bonito shavings.

First, I tasted the porkchops, and I told Rad that they're a bit bland. But he was ahead of me because he ate both the pork and the red pepper simultaneously. And it really was good! The combination of the sweet and ginger-spicy red pepper plus the peppered pork was so delicious and the steamed spinach was a the perfect neutralizer. It was so good, dinner was a flash. Or we really were that hungry. Mangantayon!

Spinach with Katsuobushi

We love to eat meat and when we do, I always try to balance it with some veggies. This is our favorite side salad. It`s spinach (ほうれん草) with bonito shavings or katsuobushi (鰹節).


  • Spinach
  • Katsuobushi
  • 1-3 tsp Soy sauce


Cut and wash the leaves then steam or boil the. Take care not to overcook the leaves. They must still have the bright green color in them. Drain and pour a bit of soysauce then top it with the katsuobushi. You can also add sesame seeds if you want.

I am always on the lookout for some "kamote" (Ipomoea batatas) tops or “kangkong” (Ipomoea aquatica), sometimes called “swamp cabbage” at the supermarket for my side salad but this is not Ilocos or the Philippines so, we make do with the spinach. Mangantayon!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Carrot Cake

Tonight, while waiting for Rad to come home from his photowalk in Tokyo (the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk), I decided to declutter my kitchen by getting rid of all the bread and cake flours teehehehe. So, I baked, again…

First, I baked the carrot cake. Another recipe from Ate Lou. It is basically the same as the banana cake except that you use carrots instead and add cinnamon.


  • 1-2 medium sized carrots (grated)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar (or more if you want it sweeter)
  • 1 cup margarine/butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg*
  • Some raisins or dried fruit bits


Mix the sugar and butter. Add the eggs. Stir or beat well. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add all the ingredients together with the grated carrots. Mix well. Stir in the vanilla essence. Bake at 170degrees Celsius for 35-40 minutes.

I just added the nutmeg, used brown sugar (well semi-brown) and folded in some dried fruits.

I cooked it into two loaf pans but the mixture can be cooked in only one. So I got 2 thin loaves of carrot cake or bread or whatever you want to call it. It is delicious. Rad said he is going to die.

And then, while chatting with some friends, I managed to go on and knead another batch of dough for the soft honey bread. But, I left it to rise in the ref and will bake it tomorrow for breakfast.

And after a long night, we decided to eat our dinner….Mangantayon!

Yakiniku (焼き肉)

Our missionary friend, Ginger, is having her 2-months vacation in the US and while there, we volunteered to check on her garden once in a while and make sure that they don’t burn in the summer sun. Rad is most happy with the idea that we get to go to Kusanagi at least once a week because it would mean that he gets to visit his favorite yakinikuya san by the train station. So last Thursday, after 4 days of no rain, we went.

The pictures here are quite blurry but it was intended to be that way as we were trying out the Lensbaby. Here you can see me with a 1.5-liter bottle of orange juice. We stopped by to buy some tan (たん) yakiniku (that’s tongue), Rad's favorite. I think the Japanese we passed by thought how strange we gaijins were when they saw us eating and glugging our way to Ginger`s house. If you ever pass by Shizuoka City, drop by the Kusanagi (草薙)station and get yourself some yakiniku. They are quite cheap(by Japanese standards) for something so good! So mangantayon! 食べましょう!

Soft Honey Dinner Buns

After a week full of sweets (cakes and cookies), I started getting worried of our sugar and cholesterol level. I wanted to bake something, which doesn’t require a cup of sugar or lots of butter. Even if I was using zero-cholesterol, 50%-off calorie-butter. And I am seriously trying not to include eggs in our food. And so as my Sis at Cells, Orange, suggested, I ventured to the world of baking bread. And my, is she right! It is indeed very exhilarating and more fulfilling!

This soft honey dinner buns recipe is from It is very easy and they have a step-by-step illustrated procedure. It only cooks for 15 minutes tops, plus, it involves no eggs and instead of shortening, I just put an additional 2 tablespoons of butter. I used raisins, sesame seeds and cheese as filling or topping. And they are best served hot.

I have always bought this kind of bread from the supermarket because both Rad and I love the soft texture and they are really very nice for breakfast sandwiches (despite its name). I`ll do it again tomorrow and perhaps I will be able to come out with nicer shapes. Mangantayon!

Paksiw na Tilapia

For the past two months, we have been regularly buying Philippine foods from Asia Yaosho via the internet. Sometimes the local supermarket have fresh tilapia but at a 900 Yen (~450PhP) price, I would rather wait till I get home to the Philippines. Fortunately, Yaosho has frozen tilapia imported, not from the Philippines, but from Taiwan. But tilapia is tilapia. We also bought milkfish and had last week but in our hunger, we weren’t able to take any photos.

“Paksiw” is a Filipino culinary term for something cooked in vinegar. In Ilocos, we sometimes call it “Liningta” which means “boiled”. This recipe is so common with so many varieties already but I always do mine using what my parents have thought us. It was only recently that I “perfected” it. I think. When I say “perfected”, it means that it is already worthy of praise from my father who cooks this so perfectly. It would have been better if I used Ilocano Vinegar (the black one) and lined my pot with banana leaves.


  • 1 Tilapia/Bangus
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ginger
  • salt (about 1 tsp)
  • black pepper
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 50 mL vinegar
  • water (about half or so of the amount of vinegar used)
  • Optional:
  • chili peppers
  • eggplants


This is as idiot-proof as it can get. Just mix all the ingredients together, cover the pot and bring to a boil then simmer at low fire till about half or more of the liquid disappears. Do not stir. You can put in the veggies when it is almost done to preserve their color. I used about 2-inch ginger. My mother said, the more garlic and ginger you put the better it will be.

So what did I do wrong in my past attempts? I was so impatient on getting it done that I always put the stove on high. Teheheheh. I guess "liningta" requires some "anus" (patience). So, mangantayon!

Breakfast Skillet

We almost always skip breakfast so when we eventually drag our bodies from the futon, we are so hungry that I don’t even have that much energy to venture in the kitchen and prepare something. I always have a bread though and often times it would just be different kinds of toast plus coffee or orange juice. Recently, I had that much time and energy to actually make something for brunch.

I liked For-the-love-of-cooking recipes because the ingredients have pictures and the process are so simply written that even a kitchen noob like me can follow. So for this time, I went ahead and did the Breakfast Skillet. I am sure the original recipe tastes good but, I modified it a bit to fit whatever I had in my ref.


  • 1 bunch of mushroom
  • 4-5 small potatoes (they call it finger potatoes)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • garlic
  • pepper
  • salt
  • cheese
  • bacon, fried and cut to bits
  • left-over Spam, cut to bits

--- no green onions and eggs


I followed the procedure in the original recipe, except that, when I put the sautéed veggies in the plate, I sprinkled the cheese over it then the bacon and left-over spam and put it in the oven and baked till the cheese melted.

In summary: Fry bacon and spam. Sautee veggies, put in dish, sprinkle cheese then the meat, bake till cheese melts.

It was a filling dish that we didn’t even have to eat rice. I omitted the egg because we have been eating a lot of cakes lately and my cholesterol is already screaming. I was so happy because Rad said, “Your cooking tastes different.” This from the man who said that all my recipes tasted the same! Mangantayon!

Banana Cake

For two months since April, we lived without a microwave and a refrigerator (broken except the freezer). It meant that whatever I cook, we had to eat everything lest it will go to waste. I wasn`t in a hurry to buy since it was spring and the weather is still cool enough to preserve food for at most two days. Besides, it would mean that I have to prepare my Japanese prowess again to arrange for their disposal which, by the way, would take about 10 000 yen (~5 000 PhP) for both machines. Buying wouldn’t be practical too as we only have less than a year left here in Shizuoka. So I waited and it brought good things!

More than two weeks ago, I got a very nice, big, pre-loved Toshiba Microwave Oven, from Kate`s friend, Ina, who is leaving Japan and a student in our lab went back to China and I volunteered to inherit her refrigerator, yatta!

I was very excited during that week and had already researched on the goodies that I will make. Easy to make and "idiot-proof" goodies, that is. Banana cake marks my first venture to the world of baking cakes.

I dunno if there is a universal recipe for banana cake. I checked out other recipes on the net and it seems that the difference is only in terms of proportions of the ingredients and well whatever the cook would fancy to add. For my first cake however, I got the recipe from my friend in Hamamatsu, Ate Lou Kato.


  • 2-3 Bananas (mashed)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • vanilla essence


Mix the sugar and margarine. Add the eggs. Stir or beat well. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add all the ingredients together with the mashed banana. Mix well. Stir in the vanilla essence. Bake at 170degrees Celsius for 35-40 minutes.

My take on it:

I did everything her recipe indicated, except that at the time, I couldn`t find baking soda at the store. So I omitted it and doubled the baking powder instead.

Because there was no baking soda, the color is lighter. It is also more compact than we were used to eating but I loved it. And so did Rad and some friends at the lab apparently because, it was gone in a flash. I guess, I just discovered that feeling that they say you get when you bake your first cake!

Then high with my success, I went ahead and baked another one the following day. This time, I put some almonds and chocolate chips. I threw caution to the wind and went ahead with another experiment. I divided the batter into two. The other batter, I mixed with 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa. I poured the white batter first then the one with cocoa and topped it with the rest of the white batter. I really wanted to duplicate what Connie at HomeCooking Rocks did but the batter was more viscous.

And so, Mangantayon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Welcome to My Food Blog


It seems that no matter how busy I get, there is always time left for internet browsing, chatting, facebook, multiply, friendster, plurk, twitter and the endless networking sites that are sprouting these days, not to mention the addictive apps that go with them.... And so instead of just clicking away, I have decided to make, yet again, another blog despite not updating my other blogs.

The word "Taraon" and "makan" are both Ilocano words which literally mean "food".... "kdpy" on the other hand, is an acronym for "Ken Dadduma Pay", which is the Ilocano version of the Tagalog "atbp" --- "At iBa Pa", and/or "And others" in English or perhaps even the Latin "et cetera.."

I am a wanna-be, trying-hard and well sometimes, even a copy-cat COOK. Yup, this will be a food blog, and more of course. At the moment, I am giving my hardest to train myself to be more domesticated for my Rad and my Ken. So far, the training has been going well despite failures and "trial-and-error" but I am getting there, I hope. Rad and I share photography as a hobby and thus, my experiments in the kitchen, whether they are a success or not will still get their share of the limelight here.

So here you will see recipes I have found, shared to me by friends and eventually tried. My latest projects, interests and whatever comes my way in my quest for being the best for my family.

And so, Mangantayon!