Thursday, January 1, 2009


Filipino sweet rice is not only a traditional New Year’s Eve treat; it is an easy-to-make dessert anytime. Malagkit, coconut cream, and monggo are available in Asian supermarkets.

2 cups malagkit or sweet rice
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 (15-ounce) can coconut cream

1 cup monggo or mung beans

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
Using a skillet, caramelize the brown sugar over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, and then add the coconut cream. Reserve 3/4 cup of this mixture.

Add the rice to the brown sugar and coconut mixture. Stir frequently over medium heat until the rice is soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Spread on a cookie sheet.

Boil the mung beans in 1/2 cup water for 5 to 6 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly, and mash until the mixture is smooth.

Combine the mashed mung beans with the reserved brown sugar mixture in a saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Spread on top of the rice and place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the top is a golden brown. Cut into squares and serve with ginger tea.

Yields 18 to 20 squares.

Tip: Malagkit or sweet rice is also known as glutinous rice, sticky rice, sushi rice, Chinese sweet rice, waxy rice, mochi rice, Japanese rice, and pearl rice. Despite its names, this rice is neither sweet nor glutinous. It is a sticky, short-grain rice widely used by Asians.

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Pork Adobo


Filipinos often combine pork with chicken. Experiment with half pork and half boned chicken.

2 pounds pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 whole peppercorn, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste

1 tablespoon raw or brown sugar
8 cups cooked white rice

Sauté the pork and garlic in the vegetable oil for 5 to 6 minutes, or until browned. Add the vinegar, bay leaf, peppercorn, salt, soy sauce, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the pork is tender. Serve over hot, fluffy rice. Yields 8 servings.

Pork Adobo

Onion Garlic Pork Adobo

2 pounds lean pork, cut in 2-inch pieces

1/3 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, mashed

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

1 bay leaf, optional

1/2 cup vinegar, or enough to cover meat

2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

4 to 6 cups cooked white rice

Combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer with the cover slightly ajar until the pork is tender and all liquid evaporates. Be sure the pork is thoroughly cooked. If the meat is still tough or pink, add 1/2 cup hot water and continue simmering. When meat is tender, stir-fry the meat slightly in its own juices until light brown in color. Serve hot, with steamed rice. Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.