Spare ribs, photo by Mae Mercado-Sanguer
Spicy Spare Ribs in Banana Ketchup
Banana ketchup has a very distinct taste. It is sweet and spicy.
Apparently this condiment was created during the second world war by a Filipina food technologist, Maria Y. Oroza.
This came about because there was a shortage of tomatoes but there was an abundance of bananas.
What does Maria have to do to assuage hungry tummies wanting sauce for their less than appetising meagre repast. Eureka! Banana ketchup!
Not before long, Mafran was mass producing the product and the rest is history.
Banana ketchup is not just a condiment for the dinner table. It has become a major ingredients in many a Filipino recipes such as in Filipinised Spaghetti Bolognese, omelette, etc.
Below is a spare rib recipe, which by the way can be made from beef or pork. To maximise the taste, it is advisable to leave the ribs to marinate overnight.
- 2½ lbs beef or pork spare ribs
- 1 can Sprite or 7Up
- Oil for frying
- 1 cup Banana Ketchup
- 4 cloves garlic, minced to a paste
- 3 tbsp butter or margarine
- 2 bird’s eye chillies (labuyo), chopped finely
- 2 onions, chopped finely
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
Method of Preparation:
- Wash the ribs and let it drain. Rub them with salt and then set aside for 15 minutes.
- Put the ribs in a large bowl and Pour the Sprite or 7Up over. Leave to marinate for half and hour.
- Using a mixing bowl, put together the banana ketchup, garlic, butter or margarine, chillies, onions, black pepper, bay leaf and caster sugar. Give it a thorough mix.
- Pour this to the marinating ribs in Sprite. Give it a good stir to cover the meat completely.
- Cover the bowl of ribs with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or deep-fryer.
- Scrape off the juices and sauces from the ribs and carefully lower into the hot oil. Fry them in batches.
- Cook until golden all over.
- Pour the marinade into a pan and heat until bubbling hot.
- Serve this as a sauce for the ribs.
- Enjoy with some salad and boiled rice a la Filipino style. 🙂
Chow mein, photo by JMorton
Chow Mein with Seasonal Vegetables
Today is my son, James’s birthday.
There is Asian tradition to serve noodles on birthdays for long life. Added to this, I saw in a Korean drama that one must eat the first spoonful or chopstick-ful of noodles without chewing or biting on to the strands so that one life span is not cut short. 🙂
James said that he might choke on the noodles if he swallowed them whole. 🙂 He’s got a point but I told him I have got my mobile phone ready to call an ambulance and while waiting for them to arrive, I will give him the Heimlich manoeuvre.
To report, he was fine and had a good time at his birthday dinner.
- 500g egg noodle (miki)
- 4 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 carrot, peeled, julliened
- 125 g bean sprouts
- 1/2 green bell pepper, julliened
- 1/2 Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
- 125 g baby corn, cut into thin strips
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sherry
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp sesame oil
Method of Preparation:
- Prepare the noodles. Cook it according to the packet’s instruction. Drain and run it under cool water to prevent it from cooking further. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil using a large pan or better yet a wok over high heat.
- Stir in the onions and then the carrots and baby corn. Fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the bell pepper, cabbage, bean-sprouts and the noodles.
- Tip in the soy sauce, sherry, salt, sugar, cornflour and sesame oil.
- Stir-fry until the seasoning has been mixed in thoroughly.
Serve hot! Enjoy!
Baked beans, chips and nuggets, photo by JMorton
Homemade Baked Beans Recipe
It is very rewarding, and not to mention delicious, to make your own dinner, especially if it is an old family favourite like the baked beans.
This is the important bit: soak the beans overnight. Apparently this is to remove the phytic acid that beans contain which would make them more digestible. I’ve always thought the soaking process was just to make them softer, ergo, would make them cook faster.
But apparently beans contain anti-nutrients, the phytic acid, and this can cause heartburn, indigestion, flatulence and reflux. Ensure to discard the dirty soaking water afterwards.
Of course you can also get cans of beans in the supermarket, which is ready to cook.
- 400g dried haricot or cannellini beans or two cans of ‘cooked beans”
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 150g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- Soak the beans overnight. Drain them, place in a large casserole pan, cover the beans with water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Keep removing any scum that gather on top.
- Cook for about 45 minutes-1 hour until tender, then remove from the heat and leave to drain in a colander for half an hour.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onions and garlic.
- Stir in the pancetta or bacon and cook for 6-8 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and 400ml water, then tip in the beans. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1½-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick sauce and tender beans.
- If you are using canned beans, start from No 3. 🙂
Chopped Pointed Cabbage – Photo by PH Morton
Bacon Cabbage Soup Recipe
This is a lovely one-dish meal, best served with buttered slices of bread. Just right for a lazy weekend, especially in this colder weather.
- 1/2 Pointed cabbage or Napa cabbage, sliced thinly
- 4 rashers of bacon, cut into inch-size
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 vegetable or chicken bouillon dissolved in 3 cups warm water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
- fish sauce or salt
- 3 boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
Method of Preparation:
- Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil, add the bacon and cook until starting to crisp.
- Stir in the cabbage. Allow the cabbage to soak in the bacon-flavoured oil.
- Pour in the warm water.
- Season with a bit of fish sauce or salt according to taste.
- Remove from heat before the cabbage leaves are over-cooked.
- Serve with the boiled eggs, each should be cut in half.