Chilled Crab Salad in the Philippines

Hot! Hot! Hot! This has been the hottest season since we moved to the Philippines. When the weather is hot for extended days, I am into eating cool food. This week, I prepared one of my favorites, which is chilled crab salad.

Chilled Crab Salad

The ingredients for this particular chilled crab salad are pretty simple and easy to find in Bacolod City supermarkets. I used crab sticks, chopped celery, boiled egg and Virginia Honey Cured Bacon. Fresh crab meat or canned crab meat may be used instead of crab sticks. All the ingredients were purchased at SM Supermarket. The sliced crab sticks and celery were chilled in the freezer a short time before preparing. I boiled several eggs but I only needed one in my chilled crab salad. After boiling, I allowed the egg to cool down before preparing the salad. Next, I fried the Virginia Honey Cured Bacon very crispy. I was then ready to mix the salad.

Prepared Chilled Crab Salad

I added one heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise and mixed the salad by hand. I garnished with Spanish Paprika and I had one kalamansi, or local lime, handy to drizzle the final ingredient before eating.

A Closer Look

If you prefer, crumbling the bacon is fine.

One a hot summer day, a chilled salad is hard to beat for lunch. There are so many other salad options but the chilled crab salad was my choice for lunch.

 

 

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Villa Rosa Beach at Punta Taytay, Bacolod City

Villa Rosa Beach

Villa Rosa Beach is located at Punta Taytay in Barangay Sum-Ag in Bacolod City. We went to Villa Rosa Beach last week and while it is not Boracay, of course, it is a nice place for a day activity. Admission is P20 per head and all day rental for a beach cottage is P100.

Nipa Beach Cottage

The nipa beach cottage is nothing fancy but good enough! Good enough to have some great fun.

A Row of Cottages

Getting Ready for Lunch.

A BBQ grill is included in the day cottage rental.

Kinilaw

Kinilaw is a Filipino raw fish dish that is prepared with vinegar, lime juice, chopped onions, garlic, ginger and chili peppers. We prepared this as one of our dishes at the beach.

Grilled Mullet

Being from Florida, I prefer smoked mullet but grilled mullet also works for me! Locally, this fish is known as tonkan.

A Jug of Tuba

Our Filipino friends enjoy tuba or palm wine. I can say I have tried it but I am not too craZy about it!

Red Horse Beer

Now, we’re talking! Red Horse Beer any day at the beach for me!

Seaweed and Seawall

Shady Area

More Beach

Pavilion

If you are going to Villa Rosa Beach with a large crowd, there are pavilions available for rent. Sounds like a good place for a Birthday Party! A party is a groovy thing.

It was another great day for us in Bacolod during our visit to Villa Rosa Beach. It really is more fun in the Philippines and especially, all around Bacolod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Punta Taytay

In Bacolod City, there is a beach resort located in Barangay Sum-Ag known as Punta Taytay. There are actually several beaches there and Villa Rosa Beach is our favorite.

On the road leading to Punta Taytay is a very large restaurant complex known as “The Viewing Deck.” Each section or restaurant is known by a number. We just happened to stop at Viewing Deck 15 to check it out since this was our first time in this large restaurant complex.

Viewing Deck 15

The photo of the actual building of Viewing Deck 15 did not come out well due to the lighting. It was really a bright, sunny day last Sunday.

Behind Viewing Deck 15 were other restaurants, also numbered, so we decided to take a stroll. A lovely, friendly hostess standing outside Viewing Deck 16 greeted us with a big warm and friendly smile. We decided to go inside and take a look at the menu.

Viewing Deck 16 Bar

All the restaurants at Viewing Deck are native structures and this is the bar area of Viewing Deck 16.

We took a seat in the restaurant that overlooked the sea. Across the way was another one of many Viewing Deck Restaurants.

Another Viewing Deck Restaurant

Without a doubt, night time dining on the sea at Viewing Deck would be nice. Lanterns are used to light up the area when the sun goes down. Of course, there is also electricity. 

Hanging Lanterns

Some expats may not find the menus at Viewing Deck Restaurants very exciting unless they enjoy native Filipino seafood. I enjoy most all the native Filipino food, so I was excited! However, the restaurant we chose, Viewing Deck 16, had grilled pork chops on their menu and I think most Americans would enjoy grilled pork chops! We decided to go the seafood route.

Appetizer

We had to battle the sun in our photo taking but this one is not so bad. My best Filipino friend, Randy, was with us, so we started with an appetizer of Beer na Beer in the one liter bottle. It was about 1pm. The sponsor of the Viewing Deck Restaurants is Asia Brewery, so they do not sell San Miguel Beer Products. Beer na Beer, Manila Beer, Colt 45 and Coors Light is available. Of course, Coors and Coors Light are American beers but they are now brewed in the Philippines by Asia Brewery. 

Sinigang

Sinigang, Filipino soup, was the first dish of our meal. This sinigang had a tamarind base and the meat was lison fish. It also included onions, tomatoes, kangkong or water spinach, long green beans, eggplant and green chili pepper. This sinigang was not overly hot and spicy, as it was just right and A#1!

Grilled Pusit

Up next was grilled pusit, or squid, on bamboo skewers. Very tender which is how I rate a good squid dish. I’ve had some squid dishes that was like chewing on a rubber band but these squid were tender and not very chewy.

Grilled Lison Fish

One of my favorite native fish is Lison. I really enjoy it best deep fried, whole, but grilled well also rocks! Kalmansi, or local lime, kicks up the taste of grilled fish and other dishes. I only ran across two small bones in the Lison, so it was a nice fillet.

Randy and Me

Randy is my best Filipino friend and here we are on the Deck. My lovely wife was busy taking the photos and we never did get a shot of her at Viewing Deck of Punta Taytay!

If you are looking for inexpensive, quality Filipino style seafood, check out the Viewing Deck at Punta Taytay. There are many restaurants to choose from. It has a nice view of the sea and it is on the way to Villa Rosa Beach.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

4th of July in the Philippines and a Submarine

Although the 4th of July is no longer the official Independence Day of the Philippines, it was July 4, 1946 when the Republic of the Philippines was born after their independence from the USA. The 4th of July is still celebrated by many in the Philippines as Filipino-American Friendship Day. Every year, the 4th of July has a special meaning to me since I am an American living in the Philippines. The 4th of July is also my dad’s birthday and he would have been 91 today!

A barbecue and fireworks were always part of our 4th of July celebration when I still lived in America. Today for lunch in the Philippines, I had grilled Buffalo Wings and to celebrate Filipino-American Friendship Day, I used Mama Sita’s brand Buffalo Wings Sauce. Yep, it is a product of the Philippines and let me tell you, Mama Sita’s Buffalo Wing Sauce is hot as hell!

A friend in America once told me that he could not live in the Philippines because he could not eat fish and rice everyday. He was surprised when I told him all the different wonderful restaurants there are in many areas of the Philippines that are serving much more than fish and rice and Bacolod City is no exception. I can also honestly say that I can buy most any food products that I want in one of the three major supermarket chain stores in Bacolod City. My wife, son and I enjoy dining out several times a week on average but we enjoy preparing food at home. After all the 4th of July BBQ, here is a good alternative for a late supper. A shrimp submarine sandwich.

Cole Slaw

Being a Southerner from the USA, I think Cole slaw is a staple with any kind of seafood. It has that special crunch and when served chilled, it is great when eating hot and spicy food. It seems almost everyone has their own recipe for Cole slaw and I won’t bore you with mine but simple ingredients can turn out a nice Cole slaw. Shredded cabbage, non-sweet mayonnaise, vinegar and ground Spanish paprika are my ingredients. Some like sweet Cole slaw so it is not a sin to add a little sugar. The ground Spanish paprika on top gives the Cole slaw a little color.

If you want to order a good Cole slaw while dining out, try Max’s Restaurant. In Bacolod, it is located in SM Mall. I have a special place in my heart for Max’s Restaurant “the house that fried chicken built.” Max’s Restaurant was one of the first restaurants where I dined on my first trip to the Philippines, way back in 1986! Max’s has been around since 1945 when the original owner served fried chicken to American GIs, right after WWII.

Deep Fried Shrimp

The plating may not look all that but hey, I am at home! Anyway, my wife Grace helped me out on this and fried up seven battered shrimp.

Good Bread

If you are going to make a sandwich, good bread is just as important as what you plan to put inside the bread. This particular submarine roll is one I cut from a long loaf of French Bread, which I bought at Cafe Bob’s.

Shrimp Submarine Sandwich

I couldn’t get all seven friend shrimp on the submarine sandwich but five is still a food number. I made my own tarter sauce using mayonnaise, a bit of vinegar, a little kalamansi juice, or local lime juice, and sweet pickle relish. I slathered the inside of the submarine roll with the homemade tartar sauce before adding the shrimp. I sometimes make and use my own cocktail sauce for this type sandwich and when I do, I don’t apply the cocktail sauce to the bread but rather add it on top of the shrimp.

Add the Chilled Cole Slaw

Next comes the added crunch to the submarine sandwich. Cole slaw.

Let’s Eat!

“Let’s eat” is very common to be heard in the Philippines right before eating and this shrimp submarine sandwich is ready to be eaten. It is fine to toast the bread in a toaster oven before building your sandwich and I enjoy doing that at times but not this time. I was hungry and ready to eat. The Cole slaw added enough crunch for me.

Beverage of Choice

Either red wine or an ice cold beer is the beverage of choice with the shrimp submarine sandwich. Tavernello Sangiovese Rubicone may not really be the Number One wine in Italy but it really is a product of Italy and it is available in Bacolod City. San Miguel Pilsen is my favorite beer in the Philippines.

I am wishing everyone a very Happy 4th of July Independence Day and Filipino-American Friendship Day celebration! I hope your day was as fun as ours.

Crayfish

Several days ago, Bacolod Central Market had, what looked like a ton, of crayfish for sale! At P50 a kilo, it was a pretty good buy, too. Crayfish look like baby lobsters, complete with claws. We only buy crayfish if they are still alive and they were at Central Market.

There are a number of different ways to prepare these delicious shell fish, depending on if you like them hot and spicy or mild. Adding red pepper flakes or actual chili peppers to the water when boiling the crayfish will kick them up a notch. Steaming will work, too. Once the crayfish turn red in color, they are ready to eat!

A dip will add to the taste of crayfish. Melted butter is a favorite. I like cocktail sauce, so I make my own using ketchup, wasabi or horseradish and lemon, lime or the local citrus known as kalamansi. Using your imagination to create a dip for crayfish is part of the enjoyment of eating.

A Plate of Crayfish

A plate of Crayfish

If you want to create a festival atmosphere to feed many people, you can have a Crayfish Boil! It is always a big hit among hungry people unless they just don’t like seafood. A large 3-5 gallon pot is needed for the Crayfish Boil. You can add other shellfish, such as clams and/or mussels. A few crabs thrown in will brighten up a few faces.  Other ingredients include corn on the cob, potatoes, smoked sausage, two heads of garlic, bay leaves and 2 or 3 large onion. Be sure to season the water to your taste with herbs and spices before boiling. Boil the garlic, onions, corn and potatoes first before adding the smoked sausage and then the shell fish go in last.

Enjoy!

 

More Food in the Philippines

I love and enjoy everyday in the Philippines. Everyday continues to unfold a new adventure for me.

Weekends are a common time for family and friends to get together, just like anywhere in the world. When that happens, you can be assured of lots of good food to eat! Last Sunday was no exception.

Grilled Bangus Fish

Sun cooked on top and charcoal cooked on the bottom. Hey, this is the Philippines, so you know there is going to be fish.

Nice Grill Marks

Bangus, aka, Milkfish, is a staple in the Bacolod Area.

Bicol Express

Bicol Express is Super Hot! This particular Bicol Express was made with pork liver, heart, lungs and intestines, with many hot chili peppers and coconut milk. It will really get your motor running! Just make sure you have something cold to drink when eating Bicol Express.

Bopis

This Bopis was made with thinly sliced pork, hot chili peppers and coconut milk. A slight variation, as we switched up the recipes on purpose. Bopis is usually made with pork liver, heart, lungs and/or intestines but we decided to make this one lady friendly with the better cuts of meat and with less hot chili peppers, since there were more ladies around than men. We did the Bicol Express with what is normally used to make Bopis. We added sauteed garlic and onions to both dishes. It all worked out! Everyone ate a lot of both and everyone raved! The recipes were asked for, due to the slight variations on the original recipes.

Where's the Beef?

Joke only! I really enjoyed the native food. However, we don’t eat Bopis and Bicol Express everyday or even every week. We do eat a lot of fish and other seafood, a lot of chicken and pork without so much fat.

Philippine Cuisine is diverse and the very same dish can be prepared many different ways, as it differs from region to region and even from family to family in the same region. Check it out the first chance you have.

 


 

 


 

 

Green Shell Mussels

Mussels have long been one of my favorite seafood even before I ever came to the Philippines. I am blessed here in that you can buy a kilo, or 2.2 pounds, of mussels in Bacolod City for less than $2 USD. P50-P70 is the going price at the public market where we shop, depending on what you can bargain them for. Many local people in the Bacolod Area refer to mussels as “Green Shells.”

When steamed or boiled, the green shell mussels have a nice, natural red color.

Green Shell Mussels

These mussels were prepared by boiling them in salt water, taking off the top shell, garnishing them with fried slivers of garlic and grated cheese, and then baking until the cheese melted.

WoW! Now, we are talking. I really enjoyed these mussels, as always.

Mussels and Fries

I don’t  eat much rice on a daily basis, so my wife prepared fries instead. The ketchup with the fries is mixed with wasabi, to kick them up a notch. I also like wasabi as a dip with the mussels. My lovely wife studied Culinary Science in Singapore and she also knows the gadgets to use. She has a cutter to turn out the crinkle cut or waffle style potatoes when doing the French Fries. All this was done in our home, as you just can’t get food this good in a restaurant! My wife also taught me about cooking, although, I must say that I was not a novice before. I have improved!

Mussels are very healthy, so no need to be concerned. Mussels are grittier and chewier than oysters but they are still very good  for you and they make your tum, tum, tummy very happy!

Mussels are actually low in calories and low in fat but rich in protein. Believe It… Or Not? It is true, you can believe it!

Mussels are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Vitamins B, Vitamin C, folate, iron, manganese, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and selenium. Vitamin B-12, especially! Mussels are sounding better all the time.

There are many ways to prepare mussels and you can use them to create many dishes. For me, I like them on the half shell. If I am preparing mussels only for myself, I like to steam them in beer. Beer steamed mussels. Don’t worry, the alcohol in the beer is not in the mussels. Beer is not only for drinking but good to use in steaming seafood. Beer steamed crabs also rock!

Green Shell Mussels are available very cheaply in every area of the Philippines that I have ever visited or where I have lived. Mussels are really an incredible seafood! Great taste, healthy and packed full of nutrients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food in the Philippines

Philippine Cuisine is diverse and I could write a book about it based on my experience in the country. But, I am not going to do that here!

When I first visited the Philippines and lived here as an academic in 1986-1987, I had read and was told that the Philippine food was Chinese, Spanish and Malay influenced. There was a Shakey’s Pizza on Roxas Blvd that I enjoyed very much. It had pizza, spaghetti, draft San Miguel Beer and live rock bands at night. Not exactly Chinese, Spanish and Malay! 

Ma Mon Luk in Quezon City was my favorite Chinese Restaurant. The Aristocrat Restaurant on Roxas Blvd was one of my favorite Filipino restaurants in Manila back in those days. Back to the Future!

I moved to the Bacolod area 3 years ago and the Filipino food here is a little different from the fare in Manila but it is still food. Nowadays, we have Mexican, Thai, Korean, Middle Eastern, German, American style, Italian, Mediterranean and many other locally owned cuisine restaurants. We don’t have a Chili’s Bar and Grill or a Taco Bell or a Burger King. There is McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and KFC.

My wife and I enjoy preparing food at home but we still go out to restaurants several times a week. We thank all those Boyz from Bacolod Food Hunters for telling us about new places to go and eat when dining out. Way to go guys! Two thumbs Up!

I enjoy Japanese food but some of the Japanese restaurants leave a lot to be desired in our area, however, I have not tried them all.

This past week, I took a simple can of Century Tuna in oil and turned it into a nice delight!

I put the canned Century Tuna in the freezer for about 40 minutes to chill . In the mean time, I whipped up a Japanese style Mayonnaise. I used the non-sweet mayonnaise, about two tablespoons. I added one half tablespoon of wasabi paste from the tube, one tablespoon of soy sauce and one half tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. I mixed all together and put in the ref for about 30 minutes to chill. Japanese Mayonnaise.

I don’t really like boiled eggs in tuna salad but you can do that if you like. I opened the can of chilled Century Tuna and drained it especially well in a strainer, as I don’t want oil or much liquid in the tuna when making the tuna salad since it really becomes watery. The less oil left in the tuna, the better!

Tuna Bowl

I like to do things right and be authentic as possible.

One portion of tuna

Japanese Mayonnaise

Waiting to be mixed! The Japanese Mayonnaise and the tuna. I had this last night and munched on Skyflake saltine crackers, as I enjoyed eating the tuna salad. Will this work served over rice? You betcha! If you want to go that route. It will also work on a bed of lettuce and you can add mango slices, too. Now, that is a tropical delight right from the Philippines!

Food in the Philippines can be kicked up a few notches for creative flavor and your meal is only limited by your imagination.

 

 


 

2012 Panaad sa Negros Festival

The Panaad Festival kicked off on Monday, April 9, and will end on Sunday, April 15. The weekend will be the highlights of the Festival but every day is good. We heard the fireworks from our home on the opening night.

Tropical Treasures

There is a little bit of everything at the Panaad Festival. Almost every city, town and municipality in Negros Occidental has an exhibit.

More Tropical Treasures

Food and drink are one of the many pleasures at the Panaad Festival. Luscious fruit, fabulous vegetables, native cuisine and native drinks make an enjoyable experience.

Miami Dolphins??

Not today! Philippine Dolphins at Panaad. 

More Luscious Beauty

It really is more fun in the Philippines!!

Oh, yes! We have some bananas!

There are many types of bananas grown in Negros Occidental and this is one showcase.

Five more days to go in the Panaad Festival. I will be there every day and I will share more. If you have a juicer, blender or food processor, just imagine all the great drinks you can whip up from the fruits and vegetables from the Panaad Festival. The Showcase of Negros Occidental, my home. It is Showtime!

 

 

 

Oysters

One of my favorite foods ever since I lived for years near Apalachicola, Florida has been oysters. The best oysters in the USA come from Apalachicola Bay in Florida, my old hometown area.

Great news! The oysters from Iloilo and Panay Island, readily available in Bacolod City, are every bit as good as the oysters from Apalachicola, Florida. On Lacson Extension, going from Alijis Road, right next to a bridge, you will see a sign that reads, “Talaba.” That is the local language for “oyster.” P150 (pesos) will buy a lot of oysters! That is less than $4 US Dollars.These oysters in Bacolod City come from Iloilo or Panay Island.

My wife, family and friends love oysters and they do not require any special preparation before eating. Steamed, boiled or grilled is fine. I enjoy oysters any way possible, even right out of the shell, but I don’t eat raw oysters any longer. I have a wife and son to think of!

Over the Easter weekend, we had oysters. My wife loves me a lot! She prepared some of the bounty of oysters we bought especially for me.

Cheese and Garlic Oysters

One of the ways I enjoy oysters is having them baked, after steaming, boiling or grilling, for a short period of time after garnishing them with cheese and fried garlic. Just long enough to melt the cheese.

Horseradish is one of my favorite condiments. I use horseradish to make my own cocktail sauce, which is great for seafood. However, with oysters, I like Wasabi, the Japanese horseradish. Louisiana style hot sauce is good, too.

Cheese and Garlic Oysters with Wasabi

For you horseradish lovers, wasabi can be purchased at SM Supermarket and they keep a large supply on hand. It seems many of the Koreans in the area also like wasabi, so no problem. Cafe Bob’s on Lacson sells horseradish from USA and from Germany in their deli grocery section.

Can I see those oysters once more?

Cheese and Garlic Oysters with Wasabi

One lone oyster without the cheese and garlic but I like oysters straight, too!

If wasabi is too sharp for you, a dash of Mama Sita’s hot sauce or Mother’s Best hot sauce will add a little spice for you. Tabasco Sauce will kick it up a few notches higher on the heat index!

No need to be concerned about eating oysters. They are healthy. Oysters have Tyrosine, which is an amino acid, the building block of all proteins that helps regulate mood and stress levels in the brain. Comfort Food! There is very little fat or cholesterol in oysters. Seriously! Oysters are also rich in Zinc, Iron, Calcium and Vitamin A. All good for men and women, too.

I don’t suggest eating raw oysters but they are great boiled, steamed, grilled, broiled and baked.

Oysters Rock!!