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Over a hot bowl of Bulalo

Bulalô is beef shank soup that is a very popular food in the Philippines. This stew is made by boiling beef shanks and marrow bones for hours until the fat melts into the clear broth and produces a light colored soup that is made more flavorful by various seasonings. Vegetables add to the flavor and color to the soup. Popular vegetables that go with bulalo are include corn,...

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Puto Kutsinta

We spell it “kutsinta,” “kuchinta” or “cuchinta.” However you spell it, it still refers to the same member of the Filipino kakanin family. Kutsinta is steamed rice cake with a chewy, sticky, jelly-like consistency, a favorite all around snack or merienda among the list of kakanin or native delicacies in the Philippines. It is frequently paired off with puto, or white steamed rice cake. Its main ingredients are...

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Yummy, chewy butchi balls

The more we tried to explain, the more confused she became. My friend finally asked for pen and paper and drew balls with sesame seeds all around then showed it to her. The waitress’ face lighted up and she said “Oh, sesame balls. Yes.” Sink your teeth into one of my all-time Chinese delectable treats—those crunchy-on-the-outside but soft-in-the-inside dough balls called buchi, or sesame balls. Sesame rice balls...

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Authentic Mexican style chicken (and how I ended up hungry)

The fateful first official spoonful of chicken smothered with the sauce I picked sent me into a hot biting shock. It felt like I swallowed a whole colony of red angry ants and tears just fell from my eyes.   THERE are a million ways to cook a chicken, and anyone can do it from the simplest to the most complicated methods of cooking. I recently had the...

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Feasting on Kelaguen

Who is not familiar with the word “kelaguen”? As one of the signature dishes of Chamorro cuisine, you see the word on menus and menu boards in a lot of restaurants in the CNMI. Kelaguen is grilled and chopped chicken, fish, beef, shrimp or other seafood marinated in lemon juice. It’s eaten as a side or main dish. Its recipe has been passed down from generation to generation....

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Pandan-wrapped fried chicken

ONE of the best versions of fried chicken I’ve tried and still can’t stop longing for it every now and then is the fried chicken slices carefully wrapped in packets of pandan leaves. The first time I had it was at an open restaurant at the Old Sukhothai City in northern Thailand. My travel buddy Rolly introduced me to it and the menus listed it as Chicken wrapped...

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Loco Moco

Loco Moco is a classic dish in the Hawaiian cuisine. It is a favorite quick meal option served in most restaurants and fast food diners in the Micronesian Islands. The traditional loco moco dish is a “sloppy yet delicious” pile of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, brown gravy, and a fried egg on top. Some add pasta salad to the mix. Each restaurant has its own...

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Saigon hot soup bowls

If there is one thing that is so widely popular and readily available at restaurants all over Vietnam to satisfy hungry stomachs, turn your attention to the Pho, or those hot bowls of noodle soup or Vietnamese soup. Pho is a very common word in the Vietnamese culinary language. You can grab a hot bowl from the most prestigious restaurants all the way down to the open air,...

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Taste of Thai Roti

  Roti, a paper-thin wheat flour pan-fried bread prepared in roadside food stalls is a very common site everywhere in Thailand. I call it the Thailand pancake because Roti is so similar to a regular pancake or tortillas fried in margarine. Roti is served as a snack and topped with sliced ripe bananas, sweetened condensed milk, white sugar and sometimes dashes of chocolate. I’ve watched street food vendors in...

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Isaw barbeque, anyone?

Isaw is one of the most popular street foods in the Philippines. If you are not popular with the term, it is the intestines of a pig or chicken turned inside out, cleaned and cleaned again and again, boiled then grilled on sticks over hot live coals. It is very popularly sold on the street sides and roadsides across from school campuses and most especially during late in...

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