March 24, 2014

Crunchy Pinipig Polvoron

Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate. ~Anonymous

We made this last Friday. My son skipped his "siesta" (short nap taken in the early afternoon), so I asked him to help me in the kitchen. I introduced him my favorite childhood snack - polvoron. He kept on asking questions while we're making the merienda, like why just mix it all and not cook it, or what's the use of the mold, and why do we have to wrap it individually in cellophane. I really enjoyed our little bonding time because of the conversation we have had! I'm very pleased with my son especially when he said that I'm so slow in wrapping the polvoron. Hahaha! Wow, he's a quick learner! I only told him once the process and he did it very well. Very good job anak!

Pinoy version of polvoron or pulboron (as what we call it) is basically made with toasted flour, powdered milk, sugar, and melted butter or margarine. You can add ground peanuts or cashew nuts, oreos, graham crackers, or in my case pinipig. Explore and experiment! The variations are endless!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine, salted
3/4 cup pinipig or roasted rice puff, toasted

cellophane or papel de hapon (japanese paper), cut into 5x5 inches*
polvoron molds (mine is a small round mold)

*Adjust the size of the wrapper if you have bigger molds

1. Toast the all-purpose flour over medium heat until lightly brown. Stir frequently for even toasting and to avoid burning. You may cook this for about 15-20 minutes.

2. Toast the pinipig until crispy and lightly brown. (sorry, no picture)

3. Combine the toasted flour, pinipig, powdered milk, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Start with 1/2 cup sugar.

4. Using a whisk or your hand (make sure you use disposable gloves), combine the mixture well. Taste test it, add more sugar if needed. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for at least an hour. It is easier to wrap the polvoron if it's chilled.
this is my son, he's the one in-charge of mixing and molding
5. Put some mixture in a plate or flat tray. Press your polvoron molder into the mixture then place it in your pre-cut wrapper. 

6. Individually wrap them. Have a gentle hands when wrapping or else your your polvoron will break or crumble.
6. Store in the refrigerator. It will last up to couple of weeks.

Yield: 47 pieces
Note: if you have bigger polvoron molds, you will produce less.

1. You can also try pounding the pinipig, it's also good.
2. For a more festive look, use different colored wrapper.
3. If you want to make the basic polvoron, just omit the pinipig.
4. If butter or margarine is not available, you may use shortening. I've heard that you can also use vegetable oil, but I haven't tried it yet.
5. If you don't have polvoron molds, you can use your cookie cutter. You have to press the mixture firmly so that the it is packed together. Gently push it so that the polvoron won't break. You may also use mini cupcake or tart mold.

Happy day always,


March 20, 2014

Pinoy Seaweed Salad

“My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.” 
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This salad is made of seaweeds commonly found in the Philippines - "lato" and "guso". I like the combination of the two, lato or sea grapes give a mouth-popping sensation while the guso or eucheuma gives the salad a good crunch. Mangoes make the salad more enjoyable to eat, fresh and sweet. The addition of calamansi in the dressing removes the "lansa" of the seaweeds. And the shallot gives a nice spice on the salad. I will definitely try this again. Honestly, I can taste the sea through this wonderful healthy salad.
The "lato" in the picture are the bigger variety of lato.

150 grams lato or sea grapes 
150 grams guso or eucheuma
1 medium size ripe mango, diced
1 medium size nearly ripe mango (manibalang), diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp white vinegar
3 calamansi, squeezed and seeds removed
1/2 to 1 Tbsp sugar
salt or fish sauce (I used salt)

1. Wash thoroughly the seaweeds (lato and guso). Soaked it first in a bowl for a couple of minutes. Put it in a colander and rinse it with running water.
2. Transfer the guso in another bowl. Pour boiling water over it. Let it soak for 2 minutes then take it out.
3. To make the dressing, combine vinegar, calamansi juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir until sugar and salt dissolved.
4. Put the seaweeds in a bowl, add the mangoes, tomatoes, and shallots. 
5. Pour the dressing and gently mix it.
6. Serve it with fried or grilled fish, pork, or chicken. 

1. Put the dressing before serving. The seaweeds will wilt when you soak it with acidic dressing for too long.
2. Put a little salt or fish sauce in your dressing since the seaweeds are already salty. 
3. You may also try using shrimp paste (alamang) or anchovy sauce (bagoong) as your dressing.
4. Add chopped chilies or chili flakes for an added kick. 

Happy day always,


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