Kat Tiu got into baking because she enjoyed eating sweets but couldn’t find ones prepared the way she liked them.
Her cinnamon rolls are expertly made from her own kitchen and they even remind you of a very well-known brand, though hers have a distinct quality. They’re soft yet doughy, and the cinnamon pronounced and fragrant yet not overpowering. They smell slightly woody and sweetly aromatic. Overall, they are sweetened to perfection and go well with coffee or tea. They’re evenly sized and clean (tel. 0917-5855838, @brightbowlhappybites on Instagram).
When my son Diego craves for ramen, I order from Uma Uma Delivery, which has simplified the process and made it as easy as calling for a burger delivery. Diego usually orders Uma Uma Ramen’s tonkotsu broth, chashu, black fungus, spring onions, spicy miso and egg.
The noodles arrive in a perfect state. We remove the eggs and the toppings and set those aside. We bring the broth to a boil. We transfer the ramen noodles to a bowl. (Do not dump them into the boiling broth.) When the soup is hot enough, we pour a third of it on the noodle (leaving the rest of the liquid to warm), and with chopsticks, work through the noodles to separate them Then we add the soup and garnish it with the toppings.
I long for chashu don or Japanese-style braised pork belly. Uma Uma’s version is thinly sliced and torched for a smoky, charred flavor. It is served over sticky Japanese rice, with onions and spring onions and sweet yaki sauce on the side.
I love how the chashu don remains unchanged even after it has been in the fridge and reheated. Chashu don is what I define as comfort food at its finest. It is easy to eat and satisfying. Just remember to remove the chopped onions if you’re not eating the chashu don right away (tel. 86383011).
Trina Hernandez of Wobbly Pan makes delightful palmeras de hojaldre. Hers are flaky, fresh, buttery, sugar-crumbed and addicting.
Like croissants, palmeras de hojaldre consist of multiple layers of dough and butter. It takes Hernandez three to four days to complete the process of making the leaf-shaped pastry by hand.She suggested serving the palmeras dipped in coffee or hot chocolate. I like it with either or even just on its own.
Hernandez also makes an old-fashioned cocido, reminiscent of Sunday family lunches in the past (tel. 0945-4128964; @wobblypan on Instagram).
When it comes to premium fish balls and cakes, my favorite squid balls, lobster balls, fish tofu and fish cakes are made by Big Thumb. Theirs are done the Singapore way—airy, springy, bouncy. They taste clean and leave no fishy aftertaste.The balls can be eaten with sweet chili sauce or any dipping sauce you prefer (tel. 88520272, 0918-9414671).
I’m sharing my hotpot soup recipe from one of my classes. Please feel free to add vegetables, seafood and meat, accordin g to your liking.
Hotpot Soup Stock
1 kg pork bones
2 kg chicken soup pack
¼ kg pork skin
1 carrot, large chunks
1 large celery stalk, large chunks2 onions, quartered
2 leeks, large cuts
4 Tbsp garlic, chopped
4 Tbsp shallot sauce or fried shallots
¼ c light soy sauce
1 Tbsp peppercorn, whole
6 slices ginger
2 Tbsp sea salt
2 c Chef Reggie’s Aromatic Seasoning Wine
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add pork, pork skins and chicken. Cook over high heat for 10 minutes. Strain.
In a pot, bring 5-6 liters of water to a boil and add the pork, chicken and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer over low heat for 1-2 hours. Do not boil to keep stock clear. Strain.
Return stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Season to taste and add your choice of ingredients, such as assorted Big Thumb seafood balls, shrimps, scallops, squid, clams, fresh mushrooms, dried red dates, watercress, green onions coriander. INQVisit www.reggieaspiras.com, follow @iamreggieaspiras