Kulinarya Cooking Club: Filipino Spaghetti ala Mr J

If you look at my childhood photos, you will notice that all of them have one thing in common:

I am always eating in all the shots.

Yep, I had a very happy childhood and I loved eating. I eat anything that my dear mother put infront of me, may that be meat, seafood, vegetables and everything in between. I loved eating too much that one frightful Christmas when I was 9 years old, I became ill after eating green mangoes with bagoong (shrimp paste) from a street vendor, was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with typhoid fever. I got really ill (a week in hospital, vomiting and all) but you know what ? That didn’t stop me from buying more food from the street vendor. But sshh… don’t tell mum.

But I digress.

In most of the photos of me eating, I’m almost always eating spaghetti. The sweet, slightly spicy, salty and oh so delicious Filipino version of spaghetti bolognese – also known to my former 9 year old self as Jollibee Spaghetti. My sister will always order palabok (a local Filipino noodle dish) whereas mine will always be Jollibee Spaghetti, Coke & Peach Mango Pie thanks.

So much so that I carried this “addiction” up to my adulthood (although sometimes I still am the child in the place). So when the Kulinarya gang came up with “Filipino Spaghetti” for the month of October, I couldn’t help but squeal with glee and happiness and much, much gusto. I was like a kid again. I was like that kid again, in pigtails, devouring a plate of Jollibee spaghetti, posing next to Jollibee mascot with a smile from ear to ear.

And yes, Mr J cooked the dish. Because I’m spoiled like that and so blessed to have married such a talented man. This is his recipe, and I’m proud of him.

Filipino Spaghetti ala Mr J

500g pasta linguine
500g minced pork
8 pcs of frankfurts
1 red onion finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
750ml tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
3-4 tbsp of sugar
a dash of chili flakes
Cracked pepper
2 slices of cheddar cheese

  1. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions.
  2. Saute the chopped onion and garlic in a pan for a couple of minutes until soft.
  3. Add the minced pork and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Put in the frankfurts and cook for a few minutes (approx 3-5 mins).
  5. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, sugar, chili flakes, pepper and stir to blend all the flavours.
  6. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins. Note that you can add the cheese any time during the simmering to add thickness to the sauce.
  7. Serve with the cooked pasta and topped with more shredded cheese.

Kulinarya Cooking Club

Kulinarya Cooking Club was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.

If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblog http://kulinaryaclub.wordpress.com/ and leave a comment – we would love to hear from you!


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Kulinarya December: Noche Buena Mechado

Christmas is all about family. In the Philippines, we take one step further and celebrate Christmas pretty much any way we can, any time. Christmas celebrations usually start when we’re in the “-ber” months – September, October, November, December, and drags on until pretty much January and February when the stores change their Christmas decorations to Valentine’s day.

As most Latin and Spanish countries, Christmas Eve is just as important as Christmas day in the Philippines. Families gather together on the 24th of December, prepare an absolutely scrumptious feast, stay up until midnight, open the presents and dig into the food.

Beef Mechado

Our family is an exemption. We’re not the big parties, big gift giving family that is typically Filipino. Rather, our Christmas dinners are usually a dish or two, rice, Coca-Cola (yes, always a mainstay in Filipino dinners), a Goldilocks cake and ice cream. Sometimes as a treat, my dad will buy roast chicken from Andoks or Baliwag, and mum will come home with kilos of fresh, ripe mangoes. We don’t usually give each other gifts, but again dad will usually take us to Divisoria, a wholesale marketplace in the Philippines full of bargains, and he would buy us Barbie dolls and plastic tea pots and cups.

For me, Christmas eve dinner or Noche Buena is all about simple, Filipino food made special by the people you share it with. May it be a fabulous, colourful fiesta ham, or a simple yet fresh plate of grilled fish served with rice cooked in banana leaves – Christmas in the Philippines is what you have and with who you have it with.

My favourite, most special dish from my mum’s repertoire of dishes is mechado. My sisters and I would request this from mum on every birthdays and special occasions, and we would tuck in with so much gusto my heart bursts with each memory. This is my take on Noche Buena, my mother’s Mechado – because this is what Christmas eve is all about.

Mother’s Mechado

Makes approximately 4-5 servings

1 kg gravy beef, cut into large chunks

Olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

3 tbsps soy sauce

2 tsps fish sauce

3 medium sized potatoes, peeled & chopped into large chunks

2 medium sized carrots, peeled & chopped into large chunks

2/3 cup tomato sauce

1/3 cup tasty cheese

1 tbsp raw sugar

1 dried bay leaf

1 medium sized green capsicum

Salt & pepper to taste

1. In a large pan, heat oil and sauté garlic until brown but not burnt. Add onions and tomatoes, and sauté until everything has softened.

2. Add in fish sauce and the beef. Saute everything together and put on lid for a few minutes.

3. Add soy sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and put on lid.

4. Cook meat for approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours, depending on pan size, heat, and heat distribution. I like the meat really tender, almost shredded when cooked through. Ensure the pan doesn’t burn – add about ½ cup water every time the meat gets a bit dry. Don’t worry if you add too much water – it will evaporate really quickly during the 2 hour cooking time.

5. Once meat is almost tender, add the potatoes and carrots. Put on lid and cook for another 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened.

6. Add tomato sauce, tasty cheese, raw sugar and bay leaf. Adjust the taste by adding salt and/or pepper.

7. I prefer crunchy capsicums, so I put these last. Add capsicums once the root vegetables have softened and the taste adjusted, turn off heat, and put on lid. The steam will cook the capsicums but won’t make them soggy or soft.

The Kulinarya Cooking Club comprises of dedicated and hungry food bloggers from all over the world, eager to promote the colours and passion of Filipinos through our food, drinks and hospitality. The Kulinarya Cooking Club is a celebration of Filipino cuisine, culture, history and its people.

Kath – http://www.acupcakeortwo.com/
Trisha – http://sugarlace.com/
Trissa – http://trissalicious.com/
Olive – http://www.latestrecipes.net/
Caroline – http://whenadobometfeijoada.blogspot.com/
Ninette – http://bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com/
Peach- http://www.thepeachkitchen.com/
Althea- http://www.busogsarap.com/
Asha – http://forkspoonnknife.blogspot.com/
Malou – http://www.skiptomalou.net/
Cherrie – http://www.sweetcherriepie.com
Acdee – http://acdee.blogspot.com/
Valerie – http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/
Sheryl – http://crispywaffle.com/
Divina – http://www.sense-serendipity.com/
Anna – http://www.anniesfoodjournal.blogspot.com/
Dahlia – http://www.energychef.blogspot.com/
Joy – http://joyjoycreativeoutlet.blogspot.com/
Maribel – http://www.foodgeek.webs.com/
Jen – http://www.jen-at-work.blogspot.com/
Pia – http://bisayajudkaayo.blogspot.com/
Malaka – http://thegrandinternational.com.
Mimi – http://lapinchecocinera.blogspot.com
Erika – Ivory Hut
Kat – Alonakat
Lala – This Little Piggy Went to the Market
Selfie – http://eats.sefiebee.com/
Connie Veneracion frm Home Cooking Rocks
Oggi from I Can Do That
Katrina Kostik from Lardon My French
Rochelle Ryan from Why Diss
Marica – Cuppy Creme
Diona – Tita Flips
Rowena –Saraplicious/a>
Theodore –
Chef By Day
Gianna – The Empty Fridge
Mireille – Dirty Ice Cream in Your Lunchbox
Marishka – Rishka
Annapet – Moonglow Gardens
Boyet – Reel and Grill
Adora – Adora’s Box
Yaz – Who Ate My Tomato
Marvin – Eat Marvin
Ray – Wok with Ray


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Kulinarya Cooking Club May: Flores de Mayo Sparkling Jasmine Tea

When I think of jasmine, or sampaguita, I think of those kids selling the garlands outside churches or in the streets. I think of those travels back to my Dad’s province, where we visit every year during Holy Week (or Easter) and place garlands to pay our respects to relatives who have passed. I think of the granny who is my Dad’s suki (regular person who you buy products from) when it comes to buying the garland, and I think of the strong, aromatic smell that surrounds the car everytime we buy from Lola Suki.

I must admit: initially, I didn’t like the smell of sampaguita. It reminded me of going to the cemetery, or of dim and depressing times. It was really childish in a way, as I started to “develop my senses” and eventually after years away from the Philippines, I finally found that love for jasmine. My sisters, Mum and I would often finish a meal with a pot of jasmine tea to help digest dinner. Come to think of it, we were obsessed with teas. From Asian teas such as Chinese, chrysanthemum, green, genmaicha and bael tea to the quinessential English teas such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey and Royal Ceylon.

So, in lieu of the genius of Kulinarya Cooking Club’s hosts for May Sefie of Sefie Eats and Connie of Home Cooking Rocks and the theme of Flores de Mayo, I thought I’d make something that pays homage to the beauty and simplicity of the sampaguita.

… and the millions of Filipinos who in some way or other, has had a connection with it. To the kids and Lola Suki, this is for you.

Sparkling Jasmine Iced Tea

Recipe adapted from The Steaming Cup


1 tbsp dried jasmine tea leaves

3/4 cup bowling water

4 tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 cups sparkling water

Lemon slices or mint leaves


1. In a mug, mix the tea leaves with the boiling water. Let the leaves steep for 5 minutes. Strain and discard the tea leaves.

2. Pour the strained jasmine tea mix in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and boil for further 5 minutes, or until the tea has reduced into a thin syrup. Set aside to cool.

3. In a glass, add a few tablespoons of the cooled syrup, 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sparkling water, lemon slices and mint leaves. Add more syrup to taste. Stir and serve.

If you want homemade iced tea with tha strong, pungent, yet refreshing jasmine aroma, then this is for you. I quite like the strongness of the jasmine, however if it’s too much you can decrease the amount of jasmine tea leaves (possibly 1 tsp per glass).

Thanks to our May hosts for a very challenging yet fun theme for Kulinarya Cooking Club, Flores de Mayo.


Kulinarya Cooking Club was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.

If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblogs and leave a comment – we would love to hear from you!


Acdee of Confession Nook

Adora of Adora’s Box

Althea of Busog Sarap

Anna of Second Helpings

Annapet of Moonglow Garden

Asha of Fork-Spoon-Knife

Boyet of Reel and Grill

Caroline of When Adobo Met Feijoada

Cherrie of Sweet Cherrie Pie

Connie of Home Cooking Rocks!

Dahlia of Energetic Chef

Diona of Tita Flips

Divina of Sense and Serendipity

Erika of The Ivory Hut

Gianna of The Empty Fridge

Jen of Jen at Work

Joy of Joy’s Misadventures

Kat of Table Talk

Kath of A Cupcake or Two

Katrina of Lardon My French

Lala of This Little Piggy Went to the Market … and Up the Stairs!

Malaka of The Grand International

Malou of Skip to Malou

Maribel of Foodgeek’s Diary

Marica of Cuppy Creme

Marishka of Marishka’s Site

Mimi of La Pinche Cocinera

Mireille of Dirty Ice Cream In Your Lunch Box

Ninette of Big Bold Beautiful Food

Oggi of I Can Do That!

Olive of Home Cooking and Baking

Peach of The Peach Kitchen

Pia of Inato Lang Filipino Cuisine and More

Rochelle of How About A Cuppa?

Rowena of Saraplicious! Kitchen

Selfie of Selfie Eats

Sheryl of Crispy Waffle

Theodore of Chef By Day!

Trisha of Sugarlace

Trissa of Trissalicious

Valerie of A Canadian Foodie

(members list to be updated for June 2011)

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