Togue guisado with lechon kawali (mung bean sprouts stir fry with crisp roasted pork)

Togue (mung bean sprouts) is among the cheapest vegetables available all year ’round in many Southeast Asian countries, and at least one version of the very basic stir fried mung bean sprouts can be found in every region of every Southeast Asian nation.

In the Philippines, we have the ubiquitous togue guisado, literally, sauteed mung bean sprouts, but the name may be a misnomer because only the aromatics are in fact sauteed and the togue is stir fried with the sauteed aromatics afterward. Other vegetables like sliced green beans and julienned carrots are sometimes added both for color and texture. The non-vegetable ingredient may be shrimp, pork or tofu, or a combination of two or all of them.

In this version of togue guisado, I added lechon kawali. The lechon kawali needs to be cooked and cut before cooking the togue. Click here for instructions on how to cook lechon kawali without frying.

The seasoning is basically a combination of patis and soy sauce because both give an added depth to saltiness that plain salt just can’t provide. Why not one or the other? First, because they have different flavors and it would be such a pity not to have both in the dish. Second, for that wonderful color. Patis alone leaves the togue too pale after cooking; soy sauce without patis makes the ┬ásprouts too dark. So, I use a combination. »

How to cook: Spicy mung bean sprouts and tofu

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A variation of the chili eggplants. The same spice paste is used but this dish has more crisp to it. The fried tofu cubes add body and volume to the dish; the mung bean sprouts add a lightness and sweetness that is as refreshing as a sunny tropical day.For best results, do not overcook the mung bean sprouts. They are … »

How to cook: Lumpiang togue (spring rolls with mung bean sprouts filling)

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This brings back memories of warm afternoons on the steps of the U.P. Law Library. There was this ambulant vendor who would come by almost everyday just as it was time for the traditional mid-afternoon merienda (snack) and we students would be pointing at one another as to whose turn it was to treat the rest to a lumpia … »

How to cook: Pad Thai noodles

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Nine out of every ten people I know would define Pad Thai noodles as a spicy noodle dish made with shrimps, mung bean sprouts and ground peanuts. But shrimps, mung bean sprouts and peanuts are not really the ingredients that define the Pad Thai noodle dish. The sauce makes the dish and it is called Pad Thai sauce. It isn't … »

How to cook: Korean scallion pancake (pajeon, p’ajon or pa jun)

Korean scallion pancake (pajeon, p'ajon or pa jun)

It all started with the Korean scallion and seafood pancake (haemul pajeon) that we had at a Korean restaurant in Shangri-La Plaza last year. I was intrigued by the unique texture of the pancake and when I chanced upon a bag of Korean pancake mix (buchimgae) in an Oriental food shop in Cartimer, I grabbed one.I was … »

How to make: Vietnamese spring rolls

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We never go to a Vietnamese restaurant without ordering spring rolls. Between Pho Hoa and Pho Bac, I prefer the latter's spring rolls. Apart from that though, my vote goes to Pho Hoa all the way. It's always been my dream to make Vietnamese spring rolls at home but it wasn't easy getting hold of rice spring roll wrappers. … »

How to cook: Japchae (jabchae, chapchae or chapchee), a Korean noodle dish

Japchae (jabchae, chapchae or chapchee), a Korean noodle dish

From the various recipes of japchae that I have read, spinach appears to be a traditional ingredient. But my first japchae experience not only included spinach but some yellow beans and string beans as well. Ergo, I figured it wouldn't really hurt to play a little with the combination of vegetables. My version of japchae … »

Togue (mung bean sprouts)

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Mung bean sprouts, or togue in Filipino, is one of the cheapest vegetables in the local market. Probably one of the reasons for the cheap price is that togue is easy to cultivate. The mung beans, or mongo, sprout from two to five days. I know this for a fact because it was a popular science project in grade school. Planting … »