Fluffy bibingka cake, barbecued chicken strips and genuine souvlaki | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Souvlaki with tzatziki
Souvlaki with tzatziki
Salted egg bibingka cake
Salted egg bibingka cake



There are two renditions to my newfound favorite, bibingka cake made by baker Jayee Ang. The rectangular variant is slathered with butter, sugar, chunks of young coconut and grated cheese. The round one has roughly the same ingredients but instead of coconut meat, it is generously covered with salted egg slivers.

These cakes are fluffy, reminiscent of mamon. The pans lined with banana leaves before baking lend that sweet-smoky charred taste one savors when eating bibingka. And since this bibingka cake is delivered warm, it still has the aroma of the leaves permeating the air as you open the box.

Surprisingly, the cake keeps well and is delicious the day after, served cold straight from the fridge. I find it to be more moist. If you prefer, you can warm it in a toaster oven.

Like my other food finds of late, this is a simple pleasure, a recipe handed down to Jayee by her mother, the late Letty Barredo. “Growing up, all our birthday cakes were homemade by mom,” Jayee said. The bibingka cake, though, was a favorite, since it was served only once or twice a year, during Holy Week and/or Christmas Eve.

Six years ago, Jayee tried baking the cake again, improving on the recipe; her mom was pleased.

If you want a different kind of cake, this bibingka cake is worth a try.

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Chicken barbecue strips

Aren’t we all fans of the Alex III’s chicken barbecue? I discovered that there’s something even better than boneless chicken barbecue—chicken barbecue strips.

Made from boneless chicken breasts or thighs, these strips stayed soft, juicy and tender hours after the shoot. It was delicious, though we had it cold, after it sat in the counter for over three hours. Like all of Alex III’s barbecue meals, this comes with java rice, achara and, of course, its famous peanut sauce.

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Souvlaki with tzatziki
Souvlaki with tzatziki


I have not had souvlaki (small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer) since last year, because good ones come few and far between. To me, not many know how make souvlaki as deliciously as Greek chef Anthony Kouroutsavouris.

His chicken souvlaki is always cooked to perfection—juicy, charred just right and seasoned impeccably, it is wrapped in authentic Greek pita bread with onions and tomatoes. On the side is his tzatziki (dip) made with real Greek yogurt, cucumber, Greek olive oil and dill. It’s a combination that’s tough to beat. It’s one of the most satisfying quick bites I thoroughly enjoy.

You may invite chef Anthony to your homes and have him whip up an authentic Greek feast for you. Welcome summer with a souvlaki bar, complete with all sorts of mezedes (hors d’oeuvre). He even has good ouzo (dry, anise-flavored aperitif).

Here are his chicken souvlaki and tzatziki recipes.

Chicken souvlaki

1 whole chicken cut into cubes for souvlaki (no bones and skin)

1-2 crushed garlic cloves

3 tbsp Greek yogurt

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 red diced tomato

1 green pepper, cut into squares

1 medium onion, cut into squares (cut it into four vertically and then in the middle horizontally)

Marinate the pieces of chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, yogurt and olive oil for 4-5 hours or, for a better result, overnight.

Cut the bell pepper, tomato and onion and salt them a bit. Put the souvlaki on skewers or sticks as follows: chicken, pepper, chicken, tomato, chicken, onion. Cook on the grill or barbecue.

Serve with toasted bread or rice, tzatziki or Greek pitas for souvlaki, and with fried potatoes.

Greek tzatziki

500 g Greek yogurt

1 cucumber (unpeeled and washed)

4 cloves garlic

2 drops vinegar

100 g extra-virgin olive oil

1 small carrot

1 bundle of dill


Freshly ground pepper

Peel the garlic, remove the sprouts inside (if any) and mash it in a mortar with a little salt. Without peeling the cucumbers, cut it in four and remove the seeds. Grate in a coarse grater, add a small amount of salt and strain well. If the cucumber stays wet, the tzatziki will come out watery. Wash the carrot and strain it very well, too.

In a mixer on low speed, combine yogurt, cucumber and the carrot. Add garlic, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and, toward the end, dill. Blend very well. If needed, add more salt. (Caution: Don’t make it too salty.)

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