I love rice and so does my husband. We try to find different ways to prepare and enjoy this wonderful food. Through time, we found hundreds of recipes, some simple and some exotic, and have enjoyed preparing them. We've found some real winners, which I have published on this blog and some that are not so great, which are in my personal "do not" repeat folder. I have created this site to share those memorable dishes - which are all about this wonderful food called "rice".

Chicken Cooked in Coconut Milk (Manok sa Gata)

The combination of chicken and coconut milk is very popular in the pacific islands.  There are several versions depending on where you look (Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, etc.)  This is one of our favorites at home.  This is even better the next day, if it lasts that long.

1 1/2 lbs of chicken (thighs, legs and breasts)
3/4 cup vinegar
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 inch ginger (minced or paste)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 13oz can coconut milk
3 tblsp sugar
Salt and Pepper
1 tblsp canola or olive oil

In a deep pot or sauce pan, heat the oil.  Add the ginger and garlic and saute for approximately 1 minute. Add the chicken pieces and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the vinegar and chicken broth.  Season with salt and lots of pepper, then add the sugar.  Reach to a boil, then reduce to a low boil.  Cook for 30 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure the liquid does not dry out.  Add the coconut milk and continue to cook in a low boil for another 20-25 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary.  Spoon over rice with a generous amount of the soup.  Enjoy!

Bola-Bola (Sweet and Sour Meatballs)

This is a very beautiful and colorful dish.  It is a great hit with kids and people who are picky about Asian foods.  This also quick and easy to fix and gets a lot of ooohhhs and ahhhhs, plus it taste fabulous.  You can do the quick version by replacing the home made meatballs with pre-made from the grocery store.  I recommend IKEAs. If those are not available, those from the grocery store works, just make sure you do not get the Italian style.  The seasoning does not work with this dish.  If you have time, home made is the best. I used different color bell peppers, but you can use one color if you prefer.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tblsp corn starch
3 tblsp olive or canola oil
3-4 stalks of celery (sliced diagonally)
4 roma tomatoes (cut in quarters)
1 medium onion (sliced)
1 large bell pepper or 1/2 of 3 different colors (cut in strips)
1 lb meatballs (home made or pre-made)

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 tblsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
1 cup olive or canola oil

For meatballs:  combine all the ingredients except for the oil.  Mix well.  Pinch off approximately 1 tblsp and form into a ball in your palm.  Repeat until you have made all the meatballs.  Heat the 1 cup of oil on high in a deep sauce pan. Fry meatballs in batches until brown and done.  Remove from oil and set aside.

In a large pot or dutch oven.  Pour the vinegar, soy sauce, water and sugar.  Allow to simmer until sugar disolves.  Add the meatballs and set temperature to low.   In a separate frying pan, heat 1 tblsp of the oil.  When oil is hot, add onions and celery.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir fry for approximately 2 minutes.  Transfer to pot with meatballs and sauce.  Heat another tblsp of oil in the frying pan.  Add the bell peppers, season with salt and pepper, and stir fry until crisp tender for approximately 2 minutes. Transfer to the pot with the meatballs and sauce.  Heat the last tblsp of oil, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Stir fry until slightly scorched, approximately 1-2 minutes. Transfer to the pot.  Stir the vegetables with the meatball and sauce until all the ingredients are well incorporated.  Increase the heat to allow a low boil.  Place the cornstarch into a small bowl.  Add a little water to make a watery paste.  Make sure the cornstarch and water are mixed well with no lumps.  Pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot directly on the sauce.  Stir well to ensure the cornstarch is well incorporated.  Continue to boil for another 4 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.  Stir occassionally during this process.  Once sauce has thickened, serve over steamed rice and enjoy.  With the sweet and sour sauce, this is great with shrimp fried rice.

Teriyaki Salmon

With the summer brings lots of seafood it seems due to the abundance and heat.  I seem to always want more seafood during this time of year.  Which leads me to researching/finding more recipes that involve seafood. With a busy summer schedule, quick and easy is the key.  Like the five-spice fish fillet, this is another recipe tht is just easy to fix and oh so yummy with rice.  My son loves salmon.  Since it is high with omega3, it is a great fish.   Serve it up with some fried rice and have a great Japanese meal.

1-2 lb salmon fillet with skin.
1/2 cup light soy sauce
3 tblsp sugar
1 tblsp mirin
1 tblsp ginger paste
1 tblsp sake or white wine
1-2 tblsp of olive or canola oil

In a small sauce pan, heat all the ingredients except for the salmon.  Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove the sauce from the heat and allow content to cool. 

In a shallow glass dish, pour the marinade and lay salmon in the shallow pan with the skin side up.  Allow to marinate between 2-4 hours.   After marinading, heat oven to 350 degrrees.  Transfer salmon to baking pan, pour marinade over salmon.  Cover with foil and bake in oven for approximately 15 minutes. 
Brush with marinade occassionally.  Remove the foil cover and set oven to broil with a low setting.  Brush salmon with the oil and allow to broil for another 10 minutes to create a nice brown glaze. Check for doneness.  Salmon should feel firm to the touch.  Serve with fried rice and pickled vegetables.

Five Spice Fish Fillet

Quick and easy and oh so yummy. I made some changes to the original recipe, tried it at home and got a winner.  Try any light white fish (tilapia, cod, mahi-mahi) fillet.

1lb thin fish fillet (tilapia, mahi-mahi, cod or any white fish)
1/2 cup flour
2-3 tsp five-spice powder
3 tblsp canola or olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tblsp brown sugar
1 tblsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper
2 green onion stalks (chopped diagonally)

Place flour in a flat dish, season flour with salt and pepper and set aside.  Rub the five-spice powder on each side of the fish fillet.  Roll fish fillet into the flour and dust off the excess.  Heat the oil in a deep frying pan.  When oil is hot, place the fish fillets into the hot pan without crowding.  Cook each side for approximately 2 minutes until opaque.

In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil; season with pepper.  Pour soy sauce mixture onto fish.  Reduce heat and continue to cook turning fish fillets occassionally to coat.  Continue cooking until sauce thickens and creates a nice glaze on the fish.  Do not allow the glaze to burn.  Transfer fillets to a warm plate and garnish with the chopped green onions.  Serve hot with steamed rice or fried rice.

Afritada (Filipino Pork and Chicken Stew)

Spain occupied the Philippines for over 400 years.  Not surprising then to find foods with a lot of Spanish influence.  Afritada reflects that Spanish influence.  This can be made with just chicken or just pork.  We love the combination at my house since it covers everybody.  My husband loves the pork and my mother loves the chicken. So, you can't go wrong.  I made some changes to make it easier. 


1lb of chicken parts (breast, thighs, wings, etc.)
1lb pork shoulder or butt (cut into chunks)
4 potatoes (cut into chunks)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 cup chicken stock
1-2 bay leaves (1 large or 2 small)
4 carrots (peeled and cut into chunks)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 green bell pepper (cut into bite size chunks)
1 red bell pepper (cut into bite size chunks)
1 20oz can of tomatoes (roughly chopped in food processor)
1 20oz can of stewed tomatoes (roughly chopped in food processor)
1/4 cup canola or olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 small can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed) - optional

In a food processor, roughly chop the canned tomatoes.  Process until you get the texture you want.  Short pulses for some chunks, or longer processing if you want more of a puree.  Do the same with the stewed tomatoes.

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat an 1/8 cup of the oil in high heat.  Add the pork chunks and lightly brown for approximately 3 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Do the same with the chicken, and add that the pork.  In the same pot, add the rest of the oil and the potatoes.  Cook the potatoes for approximately 4 minutes until some of the sides have browned.  Remove the potatoes and set aside.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the chopped onions and the bay leaf to the hot oil in the pot. Cook the onions until they are translucent, approximately 3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and stewed tomatoes.  Continue cooking stirring constantly until tomatoes are heated through.  Add the pork, chicken and potatoes back into the pot.  Continue stirring until all the meat and potatoes are well coated with the tomatoe/onion mixture.  Add the carrots, peas and the chicken broth; continue stirring.  Cover and reduce to medium heat and keep at a low boil.  Keep covered and cook until chicken, pork and potatoes are tender, continue stirring to ensure that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan and burn; this should take approximately 30 minutes.  Season with salt and lots of pepper.  Add the both the red and green bell peppers. If using garbanzo beans add that at this time.  Continue cooking for another 10 minutes to allow peppers to cook but still have a crunch.  Taste for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve hot over steamed rice.