Pako Salad, Photo by Ruben Ortega
Pako (Fern) Salad
Back when we were little children in Marag, Philippines, pako became a staple diet. It was in our dinner table at least once a week. We ate a lot of it so much that we kids 🙂 should have grown into goats 🙂 or hated it after a while. But I have always a vibrant and positive memory of pako.
Gathering pako is an adventure for us youngster. We had to roam a dense growth of greens at the mouth of a forest and try to pick the young furling sprouts of pako. Thank goodness they grow profusely together and therefore picking them one by one was not much of a chore.
Pako can be prepared in plenty of ways, it can be blanched and made into a salad, it can be left fresh as it is as a salad as well or cook and added into various kind of inabraw, an Ilocano way of cooking.
Below is another pako salad recipe.
- 1 large bunch pako (fern)
- 2 salted eggs or hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- sprinkling of salt to taste
Method of Preparation:
- prepare the pako by removing any tough stalk.
- Bring a large pot of boiling water. Blanch the pako by quickly dipping them into the hot water. Leave for a minute and drain.
- Arranged the pako on a serving platter.
- Put the tomatoes and onion on top then garnish with the slices of salted eggs.
- Make a typical Filipino dressing by mixing the vinegar, fish sauce, black pepper, sugar and a very little salt. Stir it in thoroughly for the granules to dissolve.
- Pour the dressing all over the pako.
- Serve immediately.
Labanos, photo by JMorton
Grated Carrot, photo by JMorton
Daikon & Carrot Salad
This is a Japanese recipe called namasu sarada. It is a very refreshing salad and a very easy one to prepare.
This salad is ideal as an accompaniment to meat and fish dishes.
- 1 large daikon radish, peeled and grated
- 2 carrots, medium size, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds
- 1 cup rice vinegar
Method of Preparation:
- Put the grated radish and carrots into separate container. Soak them in cold water for 20 minutes.
- Drain them thoroughly.
- Put them in a bowl and add salt, mix throughly.
- Add the rice vinegar just before serving and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
* This salad can be served as individual portion by dividing into smaller bowls or ramekins.
Chopped Pointed Cabbage – Photo by PH Morton
This recipe is quick and easy to make, no real cooking is involved and yet a very tasty addition to a buffet table. It is also a lovely starter to an everyday meal.
Quick Cabbage & Tuna Salad
3 cups shredded cabbage
1½ cups tuna, flaked
½ cup celery, diced
2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
fleshly ground black pepper
Method of preparation:
Using a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl (or plastic one, lol) combine the shredded cabbage, celery and tuna together. Stir in the mayonnaise. Mix everything thoroughly.
Cover the mixing bowl with cling film or a large plate and leave in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
Finally, arrange a bed of lettuce leaves over a large serving plate, then pile the chilled cabbage over the lettuce and perhaps decorate with some cherry tomatoes.
Wilted Spinach, Photo by JMorton
Wilted Spinach a la Korean
I have seen Korean dramas where the obedient daughter in law making the mother in law tastes her wilted spinach called sigeumchi-namul. I must admit the stringy wilted spinach looked so appetising! And not only that, spinach is a superfood as it contains a multitude of vitamins and minerals.
Below is an easy recipe to follow and enjoy.
- 500g spinach, cleaned and washed
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 stalk green onion, chopped
- 1½ teaspoon soy sauce
- 1½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- Boil 10 cups of water in a large casserole or sauce pan.
- Drop in the spinach into the boiling water and blanch quickly for a minute, stirring continuously using a wooden ladle.
- Remove from heat and drain the spinach using a colander, then rinse in cold water.
- Squeeze into a ball to remove excess water
- Mix the spinach with garlic, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds by hand. Korean dramas show the lady/ladies of the house covering their hands with transparent plastic gloves. (gloves are available in most supermarkets in the West)
- Transfer into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the roasted spinach.
- Serve as a side to rice and meats.
Healthy Fruity Breakfast
Single pear, photo by JMorton
One of our October 2015 harvest of apples
This really healthy fruity breakfast recipe is beloved by the iconic 1930s actress, Mae West.
Apple, Banana & Pear Breakfast
1 large banana, peeled and chopped
1 large pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
200 ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp chopped almonds
In a breakfast bowl, mix the chopped banana, apple and pear together.
Pour in the milk and drizzle in the honey.
Top with sprinkling of the chopped almonds.
Enjoy this fresh breakfast.
Japanese Grilled Avocado Recipe
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 25 ml orange juice
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 125 ml soy sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 avocados
- Wasabi paste (optional)
Method of Preparation:
- Put the miso paste, chilli flakes, orange juice, sugar, mirin, soy sauce and lime juice in a sauce pan and bring to a boil under a high heat, stirring frequently. Heat until it has thickened slightly but not turned into a syrup. Turn off the heat.
- Slice the avocados in half lengthways and remove the stone carefully and leave the flesh in its green outer skin.
- Brush the flesh with the miso & soy sauce from the pan and grill the avocados flesh down for about 3-5 minutes until the char marks are visible.
- Grill again with the skin down.
- Score the flesh several time, neatly (see photo above) and brush with the sauce
- Divide and then pour the rest of the sauce into the centre of the avocados.
Serve with a grilled fish, a bowl of rice, wasabi paste and a small bottle of rice wine.
Potato Salad, photo by JMorton
This recipe is a very quick and easy one to do. Anyone can try it at home. The above is the effort of our very capable chef Stacey. We enjoyed it eaten with tonnes of barbecued meat. 🙂
Stacey used new potatoes which she left unpeeled. Other bigger variety of potatoes may need to be peeled.
Potato Salad Recipe
- 2 lbs new potatoes, unpeeled, cut in half
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped spring onion
- 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped (optional)
- Cover potatoes with water in and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Turn down the heat to low, add the salt, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
- Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and pepper in large bowl. Add potatoes, celery If using), onion and eggs (if using) and toss gently.
- Serve chilled as a side to grilled, roasted or fried meat.
Lato, photo by PH Morton
Lato Salad, Green Caviar
This seaweed is called Lato in the Philippines. It has a scientific name of Caulerpa lentillifera.
It is also known as green caviar for obvious reason that they look like fish roes. Latos are also popular in Malaysia and Okinawa, where they are called umi-budō, which means sea grapes.
This is a real gourmet treat; for the newbies, it might takes a little getting used to. It is because of the soft, succulent popping bulb which is salty and has the smell of the sea. Don’t get me wrong, it is truly delicious.
Lato seaweed is flavoursome as a side to some fried pork or fish with steamed rice for lunch!
To make Lato Salad is easy and quick; the recipe follows below:
A big bunch of Lato seaweeds
2 big tomatoes
3 small onions (Shallots)
Method of Preparation:
- Carefully clean the lato of sand, grits and other debris from the sea.
- Cut the tomatoes in bite size wedges
- Do the same with the shallots.
- Toss the tomatoes and shallots with the lato.
- No need to season as the lato is naturally salty 😉
- Enjoy the freshness of this salad.
Happy eating this salad that taste of the freshness of the sea.
tomatoes and onions, Photo by PH Morton
The weather today at North London is pretty bright, so bright I am tempted to fire up the barbecue again and eat al fresco in the garden.
A great complement for charred 😉 delicious meats from the BarB is something fresh and something full of goodness, that it provides the essential 5 fruits a day.
Below is just the thing. No seasoning required. Just fusion from fresh vegetable creating a fresh explosion of taste.
Spicy Tomato Salsa
6 medium red tomatoes or 1cup cherry tomatoes, chopped finely, try to keep the oozing juices
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped finely
3-4 jalapenos, chopped finely; this would be really hot to remove some of the seeds and use just two if preferred.
1 medium white onion, chopped finely
1 red onion, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 tbsp of finely chopped basil or parsley (or a bit of both)
Method of preparation
There is no need for any seasoning for this salsa. Just mix all the finely chopped ingredients in a serving bowl and let it speak for itself.
Any leftover can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.