Kusina Maria

Food Blog + Food Shop

Category : Recipes

Simple Grilled Pork Belly Recipe

Brown Sugar and Fish Sauce

The Marinade: Brown Sugar and Fish Sauce

One of the easiest and perhaps most common party dishes we get served in our family is grilled pork. It is usually pork liempo or pork belly. But sometimes, the aunts also serve grilled pork ribs, or grilled porkchop. Instead of complicated long marinade recipes with a dozen or so ingredients, my aunt use a very simple marinade mixture.

The ingredients: brown sugar and fish sauce (patis). The combination is a good balanced flavor of sweet and salty that brings out the best flavors of grilled pork. Flavorful but not overpowering.
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Sukiyaki Recipe by Kusina Maria

Sukiyaki by Kusina Maria

Sukiyaki by Kusina Maria

Sukiyaki is a Japanese noodle soup. It is cooked by preparing tender thin slices of beef cooked on a pan-grilled on a skillet, with noodles, tofu and vegetables, and a broth made with dashi, mirin, Japanese soy sauce, and sugar.

Here is my simple Sukiyaki recipe formulated with the help of my aunts.
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Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca by Kusina Maria

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca by Kusina Maria

I love pasta. And I love tomatoes and tomato-based dishes. Needless to say, I love pasta with tomato-based sauces. And one of the first pasta dishes I learned how to make on my own when I was still in college was Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.

Back then I didn’t even know how to make Pomodoro and other basic sauces and tomato dishes. I didn’t even have knife skills but persevered everytime I was asked to cook Puttanesca. I learned how to make Puttanesca using sun-dried tomatoes. However, sun-dried tomatoes are hard to find and that kind of puttanesca is more oil-based than tomato-based so I developed another recipe using a combination of canned stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine. Yes, I love cooking with red wine. 😉

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Seafood Paella

Seafood Paella by Ria Jose

Seafood Paella by Ria Jose

One of Daddy’s favorite dishes is Seafood Paella. When I made it for his birthday, I almost failed because there was just too much seafood that the oven’s heat wasn’t enough to cook the rice.

But I have cooked it twice already. Successfully.

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Ria’s Beef Stew

My Beef Stew at CACS

My Beef Stew at CACS

One of the things that made be weep and bleed during my Basic Skills Course at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies was Beef Stew which we made on Day 12 Beef Fabrication Day. It was the first time I spent hours just cooking.

Center for Asian Culinary Studies

Mise en Place for my Beef Stew at CACS

I volunteered to make the Beef Stew because I was a big fan of beef stew. And my cousins? They looove beef stew. Boy, did I both love and hate the cooking process. Mise en place was a bitch. I had 28 ingredients to prepare. And the cooking part was just pure torture. HOURS and I literally mean HOURS in front of the stove, watching the pot, stirring to make sure the stew didn’t dry out and burn.

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Steak For Noche Buena

Angus Ribeye Steak Grilled to Medium


Our aunts decided to have me and my cousins take charge of the Noche Buena. They made the menu, while we prepared everything on it. It was a steak dinner that they wanted, so that’s what we prepared.

My cousin Tinky was tasked as our purchaser in Manila. She scoured the Salcedo Market to find good quality but affordable Angus Ribeye Steaks. On the 22nd, Kuya Andrew and I did the shopping for the marinate, appetizers, and side dishes.

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