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Welcome to the San Francisco Bay Area. Welcome to My Bay Kitchen!

Growing up in Baguio City, Philippines, I learned most of my cooking from my late mother,  just watching her in the kitchen.  She had no recipe books or cheat sheets, just the skills and knowledge  gained from my grandmother and great grandmother. I honestly believe that the best dishes are probably the ones that are passed on by word of mouth and practice, perfected not by measuring cups or kitchen timers, but by intuition and the pouring of one’s heart into the cooking. I have personally tried each of the recipes in this blog, injecting my own tweaks to make them more healthy and easy to prepare. More

I hope you will enjoy cooking the recipes as well as the story that goes with each of them. Select from the Category drop down menu  or visit this site’s pages by making a selection from the top menu bar. You can also use the search button to look for recipe key words.

Oh, and keep coming back for a second serving!


Creamy Beef Macaroni Soup

889E2E3C-B32D-409A-B644-3D023EDB656F.jpegWhen it’s rainy outside, nothing brings cheer to your dining table than a warm soup.  Not just the usual soup, but creamy beef macaroni soup.  It’s a meal by itself, packed with either ground beef or slices of it, complemented by fresh vegies like carrots and cabbage.  Then you add that enticing creamy flavor by adding milk.  It’s perfect to drive away that dreary feeling of the pouring rain and cold temperature.


1 cup ground or thinly-sliced beef

1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

2 cups sliced cabbage

1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 cups elbow macaroni

1 Chinese sausage, thinly sliced

1 cup evaporated milk

1 beef cube

3 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp. Olive oil



Heat Olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and saute until lightly brown.  Add onions and cook until fragrant.  Add carrots and continue to cook for about three minutes.  Add in beef and stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add sausage slices and cook for another two minutes.  Add water and allow to boil.  Add beef cube.  Add macaroni and cook until the pasta is done.  Add milk and reduce to a simmer.  Cook for another three minutes.  Turn off heat and add cabbage slices.  Serve warm.


A Vegan, Spaghetti Mien

8BEDE64D-4B8B-4AF1-A4C2-B23860D3E542A noodle is a noodle is a noodle. While the wide array of dishes require the use of specific types of noodles — from egg to rice to flour — one can never go wrong in mixing up the ingredients.

In the Philippines and in many Asian countries, noodle dishes, commonly referred to as chow mien, most often use rice or egg noodles.  One can hardly imagine the use of wheat-based pasta in preparing chow mien.

This recipe is basically a chow mien dish, albeit vegetarian, but uses Spaghetti in lieu of rice or egg noodles.


450 grams, Spaghetti noodles, cooked according to package directions

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup sno peas

1 cup buttom mushrooms, sliced in half

1 large carrot, peeled and julienned

1 thumb ginger, peeled and chopped

1 small green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

Ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup chopped green onions for garnish

1/3 cup Sesame oil



In a large pot or pan, heat 1/3 of the Sesame oil.  Add carrots and cook for about two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.  In the same pot, add broccoli and a little water and cook for one minute.  Add in sno peas  and bell pepper and continue cooking for another minute.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Add another 1/3 of the Sesame oil to the pot. Add in the mushrooms, and about half of the teriyaki sauce and continue until the mushrooms become tender.  Remove from heat and set aside. Add the rest of the Sesame oil and the cooked spaghetti.  Add soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper to taste and stir-fry for several minutes,  making sure the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce.  Add in all the cooked vegetables and the remaining teriyaki sauce and continue to stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish the noodles with the green onions.


Black Rice Salad

CE35BFB8-BC75-4917-979E-FD9599551897Today’s my mom’s death anniversary so I thought I’d prepare something out of the ordinary, one that she probably never thought of preparing in her kitchen. (I learned my cooking from her.)

So today, I’m taking a break from my no-rice diet and will prepare some black rice salad.

It’s always a challenge for me in my hometown of Baguio City to find some fresh edamame which is a main ingredient in this salad.  But I found me some frozen edamame from the local supermarket.

That wasn’t the only challenge.  I also couldn’t find walnuts.  But guess what I found: pili nuts which are abundant in the Philippines, especially in the Bicol region.  They taste like walnuts and the honey-roasted ones I got from the supermarket even resemble the appearance of walnuts.

As they say, if there’s a will, there’s a way!



3 cups black rice

1 cup honey-roasted walnuts

6 scallions, thinly sliced

2 cups shelled boiled edamame

2 cups boiled green beans, thinly sliced

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

6 tbsps white vinegar

3 tbsps Muscovado or brown sugar

1/2 cup sesame oil

1/2 cup lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste



Cook black rice according to package instructions.  Spread out on a platter and let cool.  Whisk lemon juice, vinegar, Muscovado then gradually drizzle sesame oil . Season with salt.  Toss rice, walnuts, scallions, edamame, tomatoes, green beans and vinaigrette in a largw bowl.  Season with salt and pepper

Chilled BroCauli Salad

BF72E5A5-C1FB-4DBE-82F3-94F17FF85AEB.jpegWhen one thinks of salads, it is usually about leafy greens topped with some favorite dressing.  But recently, since I went on a no-rice diet, broccoli and cauliflower were my ‘go to’ vegetables to complement my meals.  So I thought why not concoct something using these abundant vegies in Baguio City.

My idea was to grind or grate broccoli and cauliflower florets, then mix them with chopped cilantro, onions, grated cheese muscovado and mayonnaise.  Then to add ‘icing to the cake’ I topped the salad with ground peanuts.

And the rest is history.  Try this recipe for a nice, chilled, crunchy salad. Caution: this could be addicting!

(The broccoli and cauliflower can be grated raw or can be blanched before grinding.  I did the latter)

1 cup grated broccoli florets

1 cup grated  cauliflower

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 tbsps Muscovado (or brown sugar)

1 cup mayonnaise (you can use more to adjust to your taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup ground roasted unsalted peanuts for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients and toss well.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill until ready to eat.  Serve with a topping of ground roasted peanuts.


Pork Humba

F88FC7C8-79F2-431A-B742-A294A809A29C.jpegIs it adobo?  Is it pata tim?  No, it’s pork humba. It is a pork dish popular in the Philippines.  It resembles the appearance of pork adobo, but replicates the sweet taste of pata tim.

The best meat to use is pork shoulder or pork ham, but any pork cut can be used, depending on how lean or fatty you want your humba to be.

Here’s my version:


1 lb. pork shoulder or pork ham, cut into 1 to 2-inch squares

3 cups water

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup Muscovado or brown sugar

1/2 cup dried banana blossoms

1 tbsp whole black peppercorn

Salt to taste

Several bok choy leaves (optional)



Boil the pork pieces in 3 cups water before reducing heat to a simmer.  Cook for about an hour or until the desired tenderness of the meat is achieved. Add soy sauce, sugar, banana blossoms, peppercorn and salt to taste.  When the meat is cooked, turn off heat and add bok choy leaves.  Let stand for a few minutes before serving warm.

Ox Feet Soup, Caribbean Style

6260D1C5-7FA5-4E18-975E-B17AF790EA88.jpegFor the uninitiated, it’s difficult to differentiate between ox and cow meat.  One is almost always mistaken for the other.  But people in the know will tell us that ox is a castrated, adult male cow.  What is often referred to as cow meat comes from adult female cows.

Cows are raised as livestock for their meat. They are also a souce of milk and other daily products like butter and cheese. Meanwhile, the ox is a draft animal. It is used to pull carts, plows, and sleds. It can also be used as a beast of burden for powering traditional agricultural machines like grain grinders or irrigation pumps.

It was only lately that I started cooking ox feet after having tasted it for the first time during a trip to the Caribbean.  I’m used to oxtail, having lived in Hawaii where oxtail soup is a delicacy.

This Caribbean-style ox feet soup is akin to the Filipino bulalo, which uses beef bone marrow as its main ingredient. In fact, some of the ingredients I used are also in bulalo, including carrots, plantains and other spices.  The big difference is the use of cayenne pepper and paprika which gives the ox feet soup a reddish color.


1 lb. ox foot (sliced)

4 plantains, sliced diagonally into bite-sized pieces

1 large onion quartered

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1 tbsp. minced garlic

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. paprika

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 tsp. chopped parsley

Salt to taste

 1 tbsp. Olive oil

1 beef bouillon


Heat a large heavy bottom sauce  pan with Olive oil then add onions. Sauté for about a minute or two. Add garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, bouillon and salt to taste. Stir for another minute then throw in the ox foot. Continue stirring for about 2 minutes, adding a little bit of water if needed. Gently add about 8 -10 cups of water to  the pot, bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 -3 hours. About 20 minutes before it is ready, add plantains and carrots. Cook until carrots and plantains are tender. Add seasoning as needed.  Serve warm, sprinkling the green onions over the soup.

Chilled, Fresh Sayote Fruit Salad

7C6C3C1C-E448-4DC2-82C3-DD516A769F91.jpegI practically grew up with sayote (chayote).  Our family home had a huge backyard where sayote plants grew unattended.  Our meals would frequently include cooked sayote fruit and leaves, usually mixed in chicken or pork dishes and soups.

I always knew that sayote leaves can be eaten almost raw, slightly blanched, and mixed with a dressing of vinegar or shrimp paste, and onions and tomatoes.

But it was only recently that I discovered that the sayote fruit can also be eaten raw and made into a refreshing chilled salad.  It’s great for the hot summer months to complement your meat or fish dishes.


2 medium sayote (chayote) fruits, peeled, cored, washed then julienned

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 small red onion, peeled and sliced into rings

1 large tomato, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup Apple Cider vinegar

1/3 cup muscovado or brown sugar

Ground pepper to taste



In a medium bowl, combine Apple Cider vinegar and muscovado.  Mix well.  In a large bowl, mix sayote, cilantro, tomato.  Pour in dressing and toss well. Add pepper to taste.  Top with onion rings. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.