SUSHI Bake. It is all the rage these days. Layers of baked sushi rice, mango, kani, Japanese mayonnaise, salmon, cream cheese, tobiko (fish roe) and furikake in a tray, which comes with packs of nori sheets… You eat it by scooping a bite-sized amount of the baked sushi onto a piece of nori and enjoying each mouthful.
Lots of online sellers offer it, but it is best to get a sushi bake from a professional chef who knows the science of food and the building of complementary flavors. If you ask me for a recommendation, I would say get yours from Chef Dino Datu. He makes two of the best sushi bakes in town—Kani Aburi Sushi and Salmon and Scallop Aburi.
Kani Aburi Sushi (Php550) is sushi rice topped with mango slices, crabstick, Kewpie mayo, cream cheese, and tobiko; with two packs of nori sheets.
Salmon and Scallop Aburi (Php850) is an amalgamation of complex flavors that come beautifully together—sushi rice, mango slices, crabstick, Kewpie mayo, cream cheese, tobiko, salmon pieces, and scallops. It also comes with two packs of nori sheets.
You eat sushi bake by scooping a small amount of it onto a sheet of nori. Enjoy the burst of flavors in your mouth.
For orders, call 0917-3116965, giving at least two days’ lead time. Delivery is via Lalamove or similar service, with delivery fee to be shouldered by customer.
The Sinantolan I made using Chef Heny Sison’s recipe
I USED to think that the only edible part of the santol (cotton fruit) is the seed. I would open up a piece of santol by slicing it in half, then spoon out each seed, pop it in my mouth, and try to bite off as much as I could of the succulent white cottony fruit that envelops the seed, repeat the process until all seeds are gone, then shoot the skin straight into the trash can. Yes, I was aware of preserved santol—whole santol, with only the outer skin peeled, and cured in a vinegar-based mixture—but I did not like biting into the inner skin. It’s rough to the bite and sour to the taste, and its sap does not really go away.
But when I ‘discovered’ Sinantolan, or Guinataang Santol, I instantly loved it. No sourness, no sap, perfect with coconut milk, and simply marvelous. Maybe I was lucky I tasted good sinantolan. But then again, Sinantolan in general must be really good.
During the Enhanced Community Quarantine, which was enforced in March and lasted until May before it was shifted to a more relaxed General Community Quarantine, I relied heavily on my own cooking and that of my caregiving assistant. (My husband Raff suffered a second stroke last year, 2019, so I had to get a caregiving assistant to help me take care of him.) I also relied on the Facebook page of our subdivision in Cainta, Rizal, where enterprising homeowners posted food they cooked for sale at reasonable prices. A particular online seller makes really good Sinantolan, and I always order from her whenever she makes it. Curious about this simple but delectable dish, I decided to try making it, and Chef Heny Sison’s recipe came in very handy when she posted it on FB. It turned out really good, if I may say so.
Here, Chef Heny happily shares her recipe with those who want to cook Sinantolan, too.
5 pcs. santol, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
3 Tbsps. Magnolia Nutri-Oil
1 pc. white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 kg. ground chicken
1 pc. green pepper, chopped
1 cup chicken stock or water
4 cups coconut cream
1/4 cup shrimp paste
1 tsp. sugar
5 pcs. siling labuyo, sliced
1. Put the chunks of santol in the food processor. Pulse and process until coarsely chopped.
2. Transfer mixture to a food mill to extract the juice. Discard the juice.
3. Sauté chopped onion and garlic in hot oil. Add ground chicken. Cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add green pepper. Add santol and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Pour in chicken stock or water. Simmer for 3 minutes.
6. Add coconut cream.
7. Add shrimp paste and siling labuyo. Stir and cook over low heat for about an hour or until oil from the coconut cream comes out and the mixture is almost dry.
The Coffee Jelly I made using Chef Eugene Raymundo’s recipe
I HAVE always loved coffee jelly. When cafés were all the rage and fraps lorded it over the ice blended coffee concoctions, I liked mine with coffee jelly. Even in desserts, I loved coffee jelly. This is why I was glad to see my good friend, former FLAVORS Magazine columnist and extremely talented chef Eugene Raymundo, post on FB the coffee jelly that he made. I asked for the recipe (as I did with a lot of other dishes and desserts that he made and posted during the lockdown), and he obliged. So I recently made Eugene’s coffee jelly, chilled it in the ref, and had it for dessert. Yummy! And easy, too!
4 boxes unflavored instant gulaman (Ferna or Sarap Pinoy)
2 Tbsps. instant coffee
1 cup water
1 tetra pack all-purpose cream
1/3 can condensed milk
1. Cook gelatin according to package directions, substituting half of the water with strong coffee (*which is 2 Tbsps. instant coffee dissolved in 1 cup water). Pour into a food keeper or pan, and let cool. Chill until firm.
2. Cut coffee jelly into cubes. Pour dressing over coffee jelly cubes, and chill until ready to serve.
3. To make the dressing, mix all-purpose cream and condensed milk until well-blended.
DID you know that 500 grams of real ube go into every Huve Brioche bread of Pampanga-based chef Sau del Rosario? That balances the 500 grams of buttered dough that makes up the hefty brioche bread, and the ube halaya that goes into it is homemade, too. It’s an awesome proportion of ube and bread that’s guaranteed to satisfy the craving of any ube-loving individual.
The Huve Brioche comes at the heels of Chef Sau’s best-selling Vuco Fye and Heg Fye. He kitchen-tested the recipe several times before finding the perfect balance that pleased him. It is Chef Sau’s take on the popular Ube Cheese Pandesal, and the innovative chef chose the brioche dough to work with since his extensive French cooking background made him very familiar with the said dough. So he kneads the dough, rolls it out into a rectangular shape, tops it with his own ube halaya, rolls it into a log, makes a lot of playful cuts on the dough to make the ube ooze out, curls it into a round pan, and bakes it to golden perfection. Chef Sau calls it “ugly beautiful,” but the truth is that it is beautiful and full of character from all angles.
Just like his other pie, bread and pastry products under his new Pan de Sau Bekeri line, the Huve Brioche got its name from the Kapampangans’ habit of adding “h” to any word that starts with a vowel and of interchangeably pronouncing “p” as “f” and “f” as “p.” Same goes with “v” and “b.”
It is available in Pampanga and in Metro Manila, with scheduled deliveries weekly to meet the growing demand for not just the Huve Brioche but also for the original Vuco Fye and Heg Fye as well as the new Tsokolateh Heg Fye, Henseymada, and Vananah Walnut Tsokolate Vread. To order and inquire about delivery dates and prices, call or text 0917-1928343, email email@example.com, or check out the FB and IG pages of Sau del Rosario.
Chef Sau del Rosario’s Vuco Fye is inarguably the best Buko Pie in town
ARGUMENTS on which is the best Buko Pie in town have stopped. A true winner has been selected—and the winner is Chef Sau del Rosario’s Vuco Fye.
A wonderful piece of golden perfection, Vuco Fye was born during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) or lockdown in Luzon. Bored by the “spare time” that he suddenly found himself with, Chef Sau indulged in baking and came up with two winners—Vuco Fye and Heg Fye. They are actually his interpretations of two classic Pinoy pies, the Buko Pie and the Egg Pie. He tweaked them and made gourmet versions that are to die for.
His Vuco Fye, in particular, is an amazing piece of pastry art, as he layered the fresh meat of seven coconuts in each pie, thus resulting in a tall, full-bodied and luscious pie that measures 7.5 inches in diameter and stands 4.5 inches tall, with custard to keep the coconut meat in place inside the handcrafted crust.
The way it looks, tastes and totally satisfies cravings is like no other Buko Pie in the market. So when he launched it simultaneously with his Heg Fye, with deliveries in his home province Pampanga and scheduled trips to Metro Manila to fulfill overwhelming orders.
Hot off the oven!
Easily the best Buko Pie in town, Chef Sau’s Vuco Fye is the pie that started it all for his new Pan de Sau by Café Fleur line.
All have been given playful names, to which Chef Sau explains, “In Pampanga, we have this habit of adding “h” to any word that starts with a vowel, and Kapampangans interchangeably pronounce “p” as “f” and “f” as “p.” Thus, the name Vuco Fye.”
Next to Vuco Fye (Php795) and Heg Fye (Php695) came Huve Brioche (Php695), Henseymada (Php695), Apple Walnut Cinnamon (Php795), Tsokolateh Heg Fye (Php725), and Vananah Walnut Tsokolateh Vread (Php695). Knowing Chef Sau, there are certainly lots more to come!