Chinese cho ma and clean pork and oyster noodle soup

Ilocos-Grown Pork

My guest cook from China, Lee Zeng Peng, speaks only Mandarin and I don’t speak his language, so the camera comes in handy to record details of the two recipes he is sharing with us.

First step was to find the meat he needed. I brought him to the newly opened Freddo in San Nicolas. Thank goodness, he found the pork! Btw, this local meat shop looks more like a bar, sparkling clean, with no meat visible unless you lean over and see what’s inside the black counter. The tagline reads: proudly Ilocos grown pork.


Next, we went to nearby Robinsons to get bok choy and scallions. He stopped by the seafood section to pick up some oysters.

Shopping for oysters

Here’s the first recipe. He calls it some other name which literally means clean soup. To make things easier, we’ll name it pork and oyster noodle soup. This is going to be the first time I’m having this soup with a rather uncommon combination.

What you’ll need: a bowl of oysters; chopped garlic and potato flour for the oysters; pig’s ham (thigh) and leg; salt, sugar and corn starch for the ham slices (cut into 1 1/2″ x 3/4 pieces); one whole crushed ginger; tung koi (Chinese herb); scallions and fresh noodles.

Clean Soup

How-to: Bring the leg chunks to boil in a potful of water. Add crushed ginger and tung koi (shown in photo 1, second row).  While waiting for the bone soup to simmer, strain oysters and add some chopped ginger. In a separate bowl, mix the pork slices (about 1/3  k) with a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of sugar and about 2 tbsps. of corn starch. When the bones are tender, add in bok choy. Sprinkle oysters with a tbsp. of potato flour, mix and throw in coated oysters a little at a time.  Do the same with the dredged pork. Add in caramelized chopped scallion heads. Serve soup in individual bowls and add noodles.

Voilà, the end result!

Clean Soup

The oysters gave the aromatic soup some depth and character. It was light, yet so tasty, with a well-balanced mingling of contrasting flavors.

Cho ma, the second pork recipe is less intricate. It’s the proportions that will  make the dish either a hit or a miss.

You will be needing: chopped garlic, about 3/4 k pork, soy sauce, an egg and salt and sugar to taste. (This dish has to be somewhat sweetish.) And lastly, potato flour for dredging.

Cho ma (Chinese-style breaded pork)

How-to: Add the garlic, egg, half a teaspoon of salt, more sugar and 1 and 1/2 tbsps. of soy sauce to the pork and mix well.  Sprinkle unto a plate 3 tbsps. of potato flour and coat pork one at a time. Heat oil on high heat and fry the dredged slices until golden brown. The result should be crispy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. Cut into smaller slices before serving.

Cho ma (Chinese-style breaded pork)

Cho ma is good as it it or with hot rice. The hubby likes his sandwiched in bread. Pan de sal to be precise. Kids will surely love this dish, promise.

Xie xie, Zeng!

Dragonfruit and Mooncake
Dragon fruit and mooncake season!

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

Quik-Snack: Street to Table

Goto Vendor

Here’s a quick photo walk from the apartment to Quick-Snack inside the narrow Carvajal St. within the Philippines’ center of commerce — the Manila Chinatown — otherwise known as Binondo.

TsinoyMobile PizzaPedicabFlower StandFruit VendorGalaponPickled Loquats[Pickled loquats from China]Gulay at PayongBok ChoyCarvajal Street

Find Quik-Snack inside this bustling alleyway. True to its name, the not so secret hole-in-the-wall can cook up a spread at the snap of a finger. From the greasy kitchenette to boardrooms, to office tables, to classroom chairs, to escoltas, to hospital rooms, to ballrooms (a reliable someone told me they catered a 1000 Php/head ball dinner with the who’s who in the guest list) — nothing fairytalish really, it’s a way of life in this Tsinoy district.

In nothing flat, I got hot off the pan diok pit he (stuffed shrimps or camaron relleno) and cua chai. I ate two of the pretty large diok pit he in one sitting. You won’t be disappointed with the chunky shrimp meat inside it. I have a ritual with fried food, I mix Jufran banana ketchup with Mother’s Best chili sauce, better than anything!

Quik-Snack Diok Pit HeQuik-Snack Cuachai

Similar to empanadas or pies, cua chai are stuffed with pork and vegetables. The inside of the pastry is a little slimy, yet so yummy! One piece can send you to limbo. Sheesh, I know it’s unhealthy, but best followed with a can of Pepsi. Food-crazy? You’ve got to check out this place.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012