Philippine Comfort Food
Legacy of the OIld Sultanates

To many Fillipinos, no major party or celebration is complete without Kare-Kare.

Cooking Asian dishes with fresh ginger


Kare-Kare signifies a stew made with oxtails, vegetables and peanut gravy. Sometimes, the meat may include trip,e or also goat or chicken.  Frequently it is just oxtail, as in this recipe, from a Filipina friend.

Kare-Kare is now considered a national dish of the Philippines.  It has its origins in the South of the country, and is a heritage from the period before the arrival of the Spaniards.  It does, however, hail from the old Suntanates from around Sulo, so it probably has Malay or Southeast Asian origins. Continue reading

Litchi Ice Cream

Yang Gwei-fei’s Favorite
A Nondairy Version

“Eunuchs gallop up in continuous succession,

“Bearing delicacies for the Imperial kitchen.” — Tu Fu

Using litchi fruit to make nondairy litchi ice cream

Litchi Fruit in Syrup

Here is a simple nondairy ice cream featuring Litchi fruit, the favorite of the Honorable  Concubine, Yang Gwei-fei, favorite of the Tang Dynasty emperor. Continue reading

Burmese (Myanmar) Cuisine

Where China Meets India
Crossroads of Asia

“The staple food is plain boiled rice, piled up in a heap on a large platter.” — Shway Yoe [1]

Classical Burma/Myanmar sculpture

Kneeling Buddha, Burma/Myanmar,
19th century

Burma, or Myanmar, lies in a critical space between China and India.  This ancient land, home of many nationalities, seems destined to play a pivotal role in trade and investment between her two big neighbors,.

Burmese author, Thant Myint-U, grandson of diplomat U Thant, predicts that with current governmental changes now occurring, the country can emerge as the new crossroads of Asia. [2]

Burmese cuisine is rich and varied, shows influences from Continue reading

Coconut Milk

A Tropical Secret
Not Just for Candy Bars

“Coconuts are probably the most valuable fruit of the tropics.” — Kathie Webber [1]

The Coconut is a staple food throughout the tropical regions of the world. If you cook Southeast Asian dishes, you no doubt already use Coconut and Coconut Milk in making a number of dishes. [2,3]

Coconut Palm

Coconut Palm

Coconut Milk is used in making curries, as well as sauces, soups, and as ingredients in a number of dishes in several Pacific Rim countries.

In recent years, some concerns have surfaced about possible health risks connected with Coconut, especially with the nature of the oil it contains.  On the other hand, there are reports that there may be a number of health benefits involved, ranging from cancer prevention to treatment of dementia. Continue reading


The Honorable Concubine’s Favorite Fruit
First Food Shipped by Refrigerated Transport

“Eunuchs gallop up in continuous succession,
“Bearing delicacies for the Imperial kitchens.”
Tu Fu, “Ballad of Lovely Women” [1]

It was the eighth century.  The eunuchs were Imperial couriers, a kind of Chinese Pony Express.

Their saddlebags were crammed full of Continue reading