Guinataang Pinakbet

Guinataang Pinakbet

EVER tried pinakbet cooked in gata (coconut milk)? I grew up eating pinakbet because my late Gua-kong (maternal grandfather) settled in Tayug, Pangasinan, and we kids always spent our summer vacations there. Our late cook, Manang Huling, also hailed from there and therefore often cooked pinakbet for our meals. In the course of my career in the publishing industry, specializing in food, I would learn about the many variations of pinakbetIlocano pinakbet (ampalaya, squash, okra, eggplant, string beans and siling pansigang, cooked with bagoong na isda); Pinakbet Tagalog (vegetables cooked in bagoong alamang or shrimp paste, and topped with lechon or chicharon); Bulacan pinakbet; Pinakbet Bisaya, etc. But I have never encountered pinakbet cooked in coconut milk…

… until the other day, when my caregiving assistant Belen Carasaquit and I were discussing what other vegetable dishes she could prepare besides the Ginisang Ampalaya and Tortang Talong that I always ask her to make so I do not have to cook so often. She mentioned “pinakbet na may gata,” and my attention was totally caught.

So, this morning, after feeding my husband Raff and then having late breakfast, we finally made Guinataang Pinakbet—and here it is.

2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pc. small onion, sliced
3 slices ginger, julienned
1 cup water
1 segment squash, peeled and cut into bite sizes
2 pcs. small eggplants, cut into bite sizes
5 pcs. string beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
10 pcs. okra, halved
1 pc. small ampalaya (bittergourd), halved, seeds scraped and sliced
1 cup gata (coconut milk)
4 pcs. dried flying fish (or other types of dried fish)

1. Heat oil in pan. Sauté garlic, onion and ginger.
2. Pour in water and let boil.
3. Add squash, eggplants, string beans and okra. Let boil.
4. Add ampalaya.
5. Pour in gata. Mix up vegetables.
6. Top with dried fish. Cover and allow to cook for a few minutes.

Posted in Recipes, Vegetables Tagged , , , , ,

Awesome Pastries
from Fleur de Lys Patisserie

Fleur de Lys Patisserie’s best-sellers, clockwise from top left: Butter Walnut Cookies, Chocolate Florentines, Volcano Chocolate Crinkles, and Mini French Brownies

IF you’re looking for delicious pastries to gift family and friends with on special occasions or to simply enjoy with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a tall glass of milk tea, check out what Fleur de Lys Patisserie has to offer.

Created by multi-talented pastry chef Jackie Ang Po, the impressive lineup includes soft and moist oval-shaped Mini French Brownies (Php218 for 15 pieces, and Php318 for 25 pieces), Butter Walnut Cookies (Php218 for 15 pieces, and Php318 for 25 pieces), thin and crisp Chocolate Florentines coated generously with chocolate on one side (Php228 for 15 pieces and Php328 for 25 pieces), and Volcano Chocolate Crinkles (Php258 for 1 dozen).

Mini French Brownies

Butter Walnut Cookies

Chocolate Florentines

Volcano Crinkles

These four were the patisserie’s best-sellers last Christmas.

Also available at Fleur de Lys Patisserie are crisp and light Ube Lengua de Gato (Php228 per container), Vintage Sylvannas (Php250 for 6 pieces, and Php500 for 12 pieces), and Butter Loaf (Php298 for plain Butter Loaf, Php338 for Butter Loaf with Queso de Bola, and Php338 for Ube Butter Loaf with Queso de Bola).

If you have not tried them, it might be time for you to do so.


(Fleur de Lys Patisserie by Chef Jackie Ang Po is located at 305 Tomas Morato Ave., Quezon City; with telephone number (02) 8372-0631.)


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Cravings’ Chocolate Caramel Cake:
Enjoy a Slice with Coffee

Cravings’ Chocolate Caramel Cake

NOTHING beats the pleasure of eating a slice of moist chocolate cake with sips of coffee at a leisurely pace on a quiet Saturday afternoon. So, how about a slice of that Chocolate Caramel Cake from Cravings that you have been craving for?

A Cravings original since 1989, Chocolate Caramel Cake combines two awesome stuff—chocolate and caramel—in a two-layer moist dark chocolate cake smothered with caramel icing and piped with thin, swirling strokes of chocolate icing. Easy to slice through and not too sweet, it is a standard by which other chocolate cakes will be measured.

Enjoy a slice of Chocolate Caramel Cake with a cup of hot, strong coffee

Cravings’ Chocolate Caramel Cake was one of my birthday cakes last December (2019), courtesy of The Cravings Group and publicist Redge Jimenez-Lopez, and I loved having a slice with a cup of hot, strong coffee. It also impressed guests who came to the house to visit me and my husband Raff last Christmas season.

No matter how many different variations the chocolate cake has, a lot of which have even been formulated by some of the best pastry chefs in the country, Cravings’ Chocolate Caramel Cake is definitely one of the best!


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Cebuano Faves at Cucina This January

LOVE Cebuano food? Then you’d love the Cebuano food promotion that is taking place at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s all-day dining destination, Cucina, from January 11 to 23, 2020, as part of the restaurant’s mission to showcase the regional cuisines of the country.

Lechon de Cebu



Nilarang na Pagi

Mango de Cebu Pizza

Cucina’s kitchen team, led by Executive Chef Alisdair Bletcher, will be featuring select dishes from Cebu as part of the daily lunch and dinner buffet spread. These include Sinuglaw (grilled pork belly and fish ceviche), Paklay (pork, beef and goat innards), Humba (braised pork belly with tausi and dried banana blossoms), Nilarang na Pagi (stingray in coconut milk), Ginabot (chicharon) and Cucina’s own take on the puso (cooked rice in woven coconut leaves). The chefs also feature the Philippine mango, which is one of Cebu’s treasured by-products, in a seasonal dessert pizza.

For inquiries and reservations, call (+632) 7720.


(Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is located at Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.)

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Angelo Comsti Launches
‘Also Filipino’ Cookbook

‘Also Filipino’ is an important book on Philippine regional cuisine

IN an effort to introduce lesser known regional dishes to the general public and make them not just appreciate and enjoy them but preserve them, too, food writer, stylist, cookbook author and former magazine editor Angelo Comsti recently launched his fifth cookbook, Also Filipino: 75 Regional Dishes I Never Had Growing Up.

Published by RPD Publications, Also Filipino features 75 regional dishes which the author discovered from his travels to 22 provinces, “from up north in the land-locked towns of Ilocos Norte to down south in Tawi-Tawi, where the food closely resembles those from neighboring countries.”

Signing books during the launch…

While growing up, Comsti knew little about Filipino cuisine. The food served at home more or less determined his idea of what Filipino cuisine was. But eventually he got introduced to different variations of adobo and sinigang, kakanins, noodles and sweets from his visits to friends’ homes, from restaurants, and from his travels to different parts of the country.

He then decided to scour the provinces for more hidden gems and succeeded in gathering the 75 regional dishes that he included in his latest cookbook, Also Filipino.

‘Also Filipino’ author Angelo Comsti

An important book on Philippine regional cuisines, Also Filipino introduces readers to such dishes as Pancit Puso of Cavite, Kinalas of Camarines Sur, Kiyuning of Lanao del Sur, Ngohiong of Cebu, Sinuwan of Albay, Kinunot na Tinapa of Sorsogon, Tinuom of Iloilo, Chicken Halang-Halang of Zamboanga del Norte, Bule Baluga of Pampanga, Pinatisang Baboy of Bulacan, and Linubak of Bicol.

Priced at P1,795, Also Filipino is available through It is Southeast Asia’s first independent online bookstore specializing in food and wine.

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