simple poke poke recipe

Simple Poke Poke Recipe

Recently, I’ve been having these strange cravings. I happened to pass by this Poke store near us and was curious -because we dont have Poke Poke here. It looked so summery and cool, the color of mango popping up. Just looking at the photos made me salivate and imagine the taste. I have not had the opportunity to taste it before.

I know it came from Hawaii and I know that several decades ago, there was a mass migration of Ilocanos there. Does it have any relation to the Ilocano Poqui Poqui then? Poqui Poqui is a vegetarian dish of grilled eggplant, mashed and mixed with garlic, eggs, and onions.

So I did some digging, and it turns out, it is the other way around. The Ilocanos who came back from Hawaii named the dish. Our Poqui Poqui came from the Hawaian word “poki” which means to cut up or mash. Which is also where Poke Poke got its name.

The price per bowl was really shocking. About P300 or P400 per bowl would really ruin my daily budget. Then I met a friend from High School and Poke is one among her new offering at her food stands in weekend markets.

She said poke is really easy to make -like our own Kinilaw but with soy sauce or mayonnaise as base. Thankfully, she share her easy tuna poke poke recipe.

Rowena’s Tuna Poke Poke Bowl


-cooked Japanese rice

-tuna -washed, cleaned, and cut into small squares

-Toppings – (Choose at least 3)

  • Kani
  • Mango
  • Kimchi
  • Avocado
  • Grapes
  • Bacon


-Japanese Mayo

-Wasabi Mayo

-Nori Strips

-Black Sesame Seeds


  1. Prepare everything.
  2. Layer everything starting with rice, toppings, mayo, then the nori strips and black sesame seeds.

That’s it! You can prepare everything, have a poke party and get  your visitors to make their own version. Enjoy!

PS: My favorite is the one with mango. Its like eating California Maki in a bowl.

Smoked Milkfish and Bihod Pie with Croutons

Comforting Filipino Appetizer for Special Occasions -Smoked Milkfish and Bihod Pie with Croutons

Filipino appetizer?

If you landed here because you’re looking for a Filipino appetizer for special occasions, this is it! Filipino Appetizers are usually pulutan or “hand food” designed for drinking. So we have our famous sisig, crispy pata, and all sorts of “menudencia” or innards that are either fried, inihaw, or soup such as papaitan.

But this Bihod recipe is actually more of a pre-dinner appetizer, (medyo sosyal!) usually served for special occasions such as Christmas. This is a seafood putok batok recipe, if there’s such a thing, so be careful not to eat too much ha ha!

I’m posting this Filipino Appetizer by Chef Jessie from last years’ cooking class at the Christmas Menu at The Maya Kitchen Culinary Elite Series. This Bihod pie is a superb appetizer for a Filipino Christmas Menu just like as Chef Jessie prepared it but can also be used for other occasions you might have that needs to have a bit of a Filipino Flavor.

Wondering what a bihod is? Bihod is “fish roe” or simply fish eggs in English. There are the different kinds as I have learned. Those caviar types, the ones used for Japanese sushis, and the one we’re talking about here -the more common fish eggs.

Is there a difference between the two? It usually depends on where you get your product from. Let’s use the definitions of both fish roe and caviar to establish a basis for comparison.

Definition of caviar: A delicacy consisting of salt-cured fish roe of the Acipenseridae family.

Definition of fish roe: the fully ripe internal egg masses in the ovaries, or the released external egg masses of fish and certain marine animals.

They’re also supposedly very healthy and rich in Vitamin’s A and D. Or maybe not. Do your research, lol. In any case, they’re definitely very good for the soul.

In Marinduque where I grew up this is called Bihod like in Visayas. In Filipino, it is simply itlog therefore you have itlog ng tuna, etc. For us near the sea, this is hardly a treat. It is a common occurrence for me to get fish with bihod but when I came to Manila, it is very rare for me to find bihod in a fish! I didn’t realize then that a simple fresh fried fish or inihaw with a mass of bihod is so special.

Whenever we go by the beach, there’s usually a manong or two selling their fresh catch and mostly there would be the fish roe tempting anyone to buy for the most delicious treat. (Of course I’d usually feel guilty for eating millions and millions of fish in one seating). ūüėÄ

What I found better in Manila though is that if you’re early enough in the market, you can find blobs of bihod, like really huge! They are sold per kilo and sometimes I feel like my eyes would pop from these special Pinoy delicacies. I’ve only been to the Paco Market and Pasig Market though. im not sure about the other markets. Chef Jessie mentioned sourcing from as far as Rizal and Antipolo.

This bihod pie recipe uses a ring mold. If you don’t have that, you can just use a fresh can you just emptied, remove the covers and use it as a mold – such as hmm, a Maling or a Purefoods can. Be careful though! Use a can opener for a cleaner cut.

Also, choose the best smoked milkfish or tinapa!

The smoked milkfish tasted awesome with bits of the Bangus and bihod. The bihod tasted earthy and different.  I was surprised by how I liked the combination of cream, smoked fish, and bihod. We also got a taste of Chef Jessie‚Äôs famous artisan bread (not in this picture) and it was so good , even without the dip!

Tiger Prawns with Laing

Tiger Prawns With Laing -Ang pina sosyal na laing

Growing up, laing is not one of my most favorite food. I grew up in Marinduque, an island province in Southern Tagalog Region of the Philippines. We have an abundance of gabi – yam leaves, and coconut in our yard. Naturally, this dish is part of our diet almost weekly because it’s free.

My mother used to put either fresh seafood, cheap sardines fish, or balaw – the small shrimps. Sometimes, when she have some extra money, she’d add in cans of sardines (the irony hahaha!).¬† No, really, that’s how it is in the province. I grew up thinking that the canned sardines was somehow more special than the fresh fish.

All that to say that this laing recipe is not really new to me. It’s a common dish in the Southern Tagalog region, with Bicol commonly mentioned as the origin of the dish.

So when Chef Jessie presented it at the Culinary Elite Cooking Class at the Maya Kitchen, I was a bit curious how she will present the laing to become an “elegant” part of her Filipino Christmas Menu since this is just common food for a lot of us.¬†I was not disappointed – the presentation was great! I was also inspired and now, I always think of creative ways of presenting Filipino food in the table. You can definitely add this recipe to your Pinoy Christmas table and your guests will not be disappointed.

Chef Jessie’s Laing was just how we make it with the oil almost separating from the coconut milk. I loved the addition of liempo Рsomething I have not tried before. It brought another layer of creaminess to the laing apart from the sweetish taste of coconut milk. laing na gabi

I wishes it was a bit spicier though – if it was me, I would add about 10 pieces of siling labuyo. On the recipe she only added 5, If I remember correctly. So add chili as you want. One curious thing however, is that Chef Jessie stirred her gabi right after cooking. I grew up cooking it with the admonition to never ever stir the gabi when it is still cooking in the kakang gata (the first part of¬† the coconut milk), or else it will be “itchy” in the mouth. So now I’m wondering if its just an old wives tale, haha!


how to cook sinigang na hipon

How to cook Sinigang na Hipon

How to cook Sinigang na Hipon

It’s been a rainy couple of days and it’s sooo cold! The first day, we were having fun and did a movie marathon for Halloween. But now, one of the kids is not feeling well, my ear ache is back, and the hubby’s back pain is back with a vengeance. Everyone is on edge.¬†Needless to say, any kind of sinigang is a welcome dish today.

Since it’s a #Fridayfast and #nomeatfriday,¬† I decided to share this Sinigang na Hipon Recipe (Shrimp Sinigang Recipe) today.¬† The shrimp makes it extra special!

Nowadays, sinigang is very easy to cook with sinigang mix. When I was a kid, we had to use the real tamarind and we have this giant tamarind in our backyard. My mom would ask me to climb it to get the mature tamarind fruits, and we also use the very young tamarind leaves for the soup. It’s not really different from this¬†Shrimp Sinigang Recipe, except that the first step is to boil the tamarind and mash it after to remove the seeds. The remaining¬† fruit concentrate is then used¬† as the souring agent.

How to cook Sinigang na Hipon (Shrimp Sinigang Recipe)


  • 1 liter water
  • 2 pcs medium tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 pc medium onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 pcs siling pansigang (finger chili)
  • 2 pcs gabi (taro), cut in quarters (optional)
  • 1 pc small radish, sliced on an angle
  • 1 small eggplant cut on angle
  • 4 pcs sitaw, cut into 2 ¬Ĺ inches
  • 1/2 kg prawns, trimmed
  • 1 pack Sinigang Mix small (22 gms) of your preference
  • 2 bundles kangkong, leaves and tender stems picked


  • Bring water to boil and add tomatoes, gabi, onion and siling pansigang. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add hard vegetables such as radish and sitaw and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add shrimp and simmer until it turns pink/ orange (about 1+ minute). Do not over cook.
  • Add sinigang mix.
  • Add Kangkong and turn off heat.
  • Serve immediately.


How to cook sinigang na hipon -Relax lang Mom Filipino Food Blog


Looking for other ways to have sinigang aside from this shrimp sinigang recipe? I have the regular Pork Sinigang but we love Sinigang so much that we have it even in non soup form! Check out my Grilled Sinigang Pork Chops with Sinigang Mix Rub,  and even Sinigang Rice!

tom yum 2 (Medium)

Seafood Tom Yum

For¬† #FridayFast and #NoMeatFriday, I prepared a seafood recipe that is familiar to the Filipino palate yet different. It’s familiar because it’s something like our Sinigang, it’s a sour soup. Different because the Thai ingredients gives this soup a different flavor profile.

Tom Yum is a soup from Thailand and the ingredients are notoriously hard to find. Once I tried to plant kaffir lime leaves which is a main ingredient but sadly, it died before giving me those precious leaves. Galangal is also not available in most market.¬†Locally, this ginger is called Langkawas or luya luyahan and I’m not sure 100% but I think this is available in my home province.¬†Galangal is a kin of ginger, and tastes a bit like lemon grass and I will switch to that in a heartbeat if galangal is not available.

No worries though! Tom Yum is surprisingly easy to make when you have a packet of Tom Yum ready. They’re available in most supermarkets now and using them is more affordable than eating in a Thai restaurant.

Seafood Tom Yum Recipe


  • 1 packet of tom yum ingredients (available in supermarkets)
  • button mushrooms, quartered
  • 400g packet frozen mixed seafood
  • 1/4 kl fresh shrimps
  • 1 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 medium onion quartered


  1. Bring water to a boil and add the add the onion.
  2. Add the chilies, galangal, lemongrass and kaffir leaves to the water or as per the packet instruction. I usually add a siling labuyo or two because the dried chilis in the packet doesn’t seem to do much.
  3. Add mushrooms.
  4. Once boiling add your seafood and coconut milk. Season with patis sauce.
  5. Allow to simmer till seafood is cooked. Do not over boil to avoid over cooking the seafood. Serve hot.


If you find it to be not as sour as you’d like, you may squeeze in a few calamansi after turning off the fire.¬† Another good souring agent is tomatoes and they work great with seafood tom yum.



fish and chips 2 (Medium)

Instant Fish and Chips

I wonder why they call it fish and chips when its actually fish and fries? When I first ordered this in a restaurant I was disappointed because it was not chips but rather french fries. I wonder if they do it differently in England where the dish supposedly originated?

Anyway, this recipe is great to serve to a crowd if you’re looking for something cheap but filling. It’s also a kid friendly recipe so it’s safe to serve for kiddie parties in case there’s someone allergic to chicken.

It’s called Instant Fish and Chips because you just need to buy the ready to cook french fries at the grocery store. Of course you still have to cook it but at least you dont have to peel the potatoes right?

Instant Fish and Chips Recipe


Crispy Fish 

1 pack (3 pc) Dory (or any white fish) cut up
Rice flour, for dredging
Oil for frying

Ingredients for the Batter
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 ‚Äď 1 and 1/2 cups cold water

French Fries

  • 500 ml oil
  • 1/2 kilo ready to cook french fries

Final Instruction:

Whisk together all ingredients for batter, keep cold.
Heat oil to 350 degrees F.
Lightly dredge fish with rice flour.
Coat with batter and deep fry for 7-9 minutes or until cooked through.
Repeat with the rest of the fish, fry in batches.
Drain in paper towels. St aside.
Meanwhile, heat another deep fryer with oil.
Fry ready to make French Fries Drain in paper towels.
Serve with fish while hot.


If possible, fry fish concurrently (“sabay”) with fries so you can serve them both hot. You can serve with ketchup or ketchup and mayonnaise as dip .

sardines pasta 2 (Medium)

Make Spicy Tawilis Sardines with your Pressure Cooker

Have some ready to eat preserved but healthy meal for anyone who’s hungry and needs to eat right now.¬†

Tawilis sardines makes a great Filipino breakfast, you can eat it on its own with mounds of rice, or make it into a spread. You can also use it for a basic Tawilis Pasta. It’s very tasty and healthy.¬†This freshwater sardine, found only in the Taal Lake in Batangas can be eaten from head to tail, and is very high in omega-3 fatty acids.

I have not seen this in a lot of food blogs and I hope my recipe helps! It’s an easy recipe and a unique Philippine cuisine.

This is a simple recipe cooked in the pressure cooker with not a lot of spices. Most of them are available in a regular Filipino Pantry.

How to Make Spicy Tawilis Sardines


  • 2 kilos Tawilis
  • 1 Liter Canola or Corn Oil
  • 3 tbsp salt for brine
  • 7 pcs Laurel Leaves
  • 10 finger chili (Siling Labuyo)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 whole garlic top cut up
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorn
  • 2 carrots cut in circles


  1. Clean Tawilis by removing head and entrails.
  2. Prepare brine by mixing just enough water to cover submerge fish in and salt. Add the fish and leave for 20 minutes. (Brining helps to preserve the integrity of the fish -so it will not fall apart and disintegrate)
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your pressure cooker by adding the carrots at the bottom of the pan. (so the fish will not stick to the bottom)
  4. Add the fish and then the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Turn on your stove to medium then set your timer to an hour after the pressure cooker starts to whistle.


You can pack this in bottles or small containers and leave outside making sure to eat in three days or in your refrigerator for 2 weeks. Make sure that the fish is fully submerged in oil to prevent spoilage. I mostly just throw away the carrots since they end up getting burnt. You can probably lessen the cooking time to 40 minutes but I want the fish a bit on the toasty side, hence an hour. If you’re making this to sell, cook the sardines in bottles and do it like on this gourmet in a bottle bangus sardines post. You can play with this recipe and add onions, pickles, or olives as you wish. You can also use olive oil.