A popular Filipino comfort food that is usually served with garlic rice and a bowl of soup. Juicy and tender slow cooked beef in sweet salty sauce seasoned with sesame oil.

2 lbs. beef brisket cut into cubes
3 pcs. star anise
1 tsp. grated ginger
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2/ cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
salt and ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoon olive or cooking oil
1 tsp. cornstarch

For Garnishing:
1 tsp. sesame oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced and fried
1 stem green onion, chopped

Cooking Procedure:

Place beef, half of the onion, 1/4/ tsp. salt and ground pepper in a big pot.
Cover with enough water and bring to a boil in medium low fire.
Clear the scum and cook until beef is tender.
Remove the meat from the stock. Set aside the beef stock for later.

Using a clean pot sauté ginger, garlic and the remaining onion in olive oil till caramelized.
Add the beef and stir. Season with soy sauce, brown sugar, star anise and ground pepper to taste.
Add about a cup and a half of beef stock. Stir and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add the cornstarch diluted in a little water to the pot and stir till sauce thickens.

Remove pot from heat, season with sesame oil and stir.
Transfer in a serving dish and sprinkle with fried garlic and green onion.

Serve with garlic rice and remaining beef stock topped with green onion.


Most Filipino I know loves dessert. Every Filipino party you go you will always find cakes, leche flan, kutsinta and many more.

This Filipino dessert is made from 2 layer of cake coated with Yema frosting. It's like having 2 dessert in 1 and a very simple no-bake recipe. See step by step recipe below.

For Cake:
1 box white king (400 g.) cake mix or any vanilla cake in a box
2 eggs
 1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat eggs first then add, milk and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Pour in cake mix. Mix well.
Pour mixture in baking pan. Cover tight with an aluminum foil and steam in medium low heat for 50-60 minutes or till fully cooked. Allow cake to cool before cutting in half.

 For Yema filling:
2 can condensed milk
or if you want it a little less sweeter use:
1 1/2 condensed milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
4 eggs (2 whole and 2 egg yolks)
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 cup shredded cheese for garnishing
Beat eggs in a sauce pan. Add evaporated milk, condensed milk and vanilla extract.
Cook mixture while continuously stirring over low heat until becomes thick.
Remove pan from heat and allow to cool.

Spread 1/3 of the Yema mixture on the bottom side up of the cake. Spread evenly.
Place the other slice on top and spread the remaining Yema mixture making sure you cover the whole cake.  

 Sprinkle with grated cheese on top. Refrigerate before serving.


Sinigang is a popular Filipino dish, it can be cooked with fish, shrimp, meat with vegetables.

This is my favorite version, a double treat for seafood lover. Simple yet very gastronomical.

1-2 lbs. bulgan fish (Ocean Perch), cut into serving size
1 lb. medium size shrimp, shell and head on
2 cups kangkong top eaves
1 small size labanos (radish), cut into bite size
2 cups okra, remove top
1 medium size tomato, cut into 4
1 medium size onion, cut into 4
2 tablespoon tamarind sinigang mix or more
2 tablespoon fish sauce
salt and ground pepper to taste
3 cups of water

Simple Cooking Direction:
Boil water in a large pot.
Add onion, tomatoes, fish sauce, ground pepper and bring to a boil in medium heat for 2 minutes.
Add okra and labanos, cook for 3-4 minutes or till half way cooked.
Add shrimp and fish, simmer for 4-5 minutes.
Add sinigang mix and more salt or fish sauce if needed.
Add kangkong leaves, cover the pot and remove from heat.
Serve hot and enjoy.

When cooking sinigang fish I always choose bulgan (ocean perch) as to a lot less bone, meaty and not too fishy but then you can bangus or tilapia or any white fish you like. You can also add or replace the vegetables like spinach, pechay, eggplant, etc.


This one is my favorite. Not only easy to make but so full of flavor.

1 - 8 ounces bihon rice noodles
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled
100 g. fish ball, cut in half
1 cup squid, cut into rings
1 small carrot, cut into strips
2 stem celery, julienne thin
1/3 lb. cabbage, shredded
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, cut thin
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
3 cups water or chicken broth

chopped green onion for garnishing
kalamansi or lemon
Cooking Direction:
Soak rice noodles in water for 5 minutes. Drain excess water and set aside.

In a large wok sauté garlic and onion till caramelized.
Add fish ball, squid and shrimp, stir for a minute.
Add carrots, soy sauce, black pepper, water and simmer in medium low heat.
Season with sesame oil, salt and more ground pepper to taste.
Add noodles and cabbage, stir well.
Cover wok and cook in low heat for about 10 minutes while stirring every 2 minutes.
*By covering the wok it will allow the noodles to cook evenly from the steam.*
You can add more water or broth if necessary.

Remove wok from heat and transfer pancit in a serving dish.
Garnish with green onion and serve with kalamansi or lemon juice.
*You can add pork slices or chicken if desired.*


I got some clams from my regular Asian store. They look good to make a simple Tinola soup.

Remember to brush clams shell in running water to remove the dirt. Soak clams in water till ready to use.

2 lbs. clam, cleaned
2 thumb size ginger, sliced
 1 medium size onion, diced
1 large tomato, diced
2 stem green onion, cut into 3
1 piece chili pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
salt and ground pepper to taste
3 cups water

Cooking Direction:
Sauté ginger, onion and tomato in cooking oil till caramelized.
Pour in water and bring to a boil.
Season with salt and ground pepper to taste.
Add clams, chili pepper and simmer in medium low heat for about 10 minutes.
Add green onions and remove pot  from heat.

*You can add malunggay leaves or pepper leaves if available.*

Serve hot and enjoy.


A follower of my Casa Baluarte Filipino Recipes Facebook page were asking for moist chocolate cupcake recipe which I don't have as I am not a big fan of baking. When she mentioned it was her son's request I can't help myself but to google and found an easy to follow simple recipe. She was so excited they made it the next day.

Sabrina, the mom said it turned out pretty good and actually better than those cupcakes from a famous Filipino Bake Shop chain.

See her finished product below...

Yields: 20 cupcakes
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vinegar

Mix all of the dry ingredients well with a mixer or wooden spoon first then add in all your liquid ingredients. It should be brown and smooth, free of lumps.
Bake at 350 F for 15-17 minutes if you are baking cupcakes for a cake I'd say 17-25 minutes.

Look, her son was so excited that he helped his mom with the preparation.

This is one of Casa Baluarte Filipino Recipes success story and I am proud I helped a mom fulfill a son's request. I wish I can remember or find the name of the website where I found this recipe to give them proper credit.

Photos credit to Sabrina T. of Facebook


Sotanghon Soup is a tasty Filipino dish mostly made with chicken and vegetables. This recipe is special made with ground chicken meat ball, shrimp and topped with hard boiled egg. See step by step recipe below.

For Meatballs:
 1 lb. ground chicken
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
 1 tablespoon sesame oil
salt and ground pepper to taste
1 egg
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoon flour

Making Meatballs:
Mix all meatballs ingredients and roll a teaspoon into a ball.
Brown meat balls in cooking oil for few minutes.
Remove from oil, place in paper towel to drain excess cooking oil and set aside.

For Broth:
1 lb. shrimp, peeled whole and divined
1 small carrot, sliced thin
3 stem celery, sliced thin
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon achuete diluted in 2 tablespoon cooking oil
2 liter of water

Other Ingredients:
1 cup cooking oil for frying meatballs
360 grams sotanghon (bean thread/cellophane noodles)
8 hard boiled eggs, peeled
 green onion, chopped for garnishing

Cooking Direction:
Using a big pot heat achuete oil in medium low heat.
Sauté garlic and onion till caramelized.
Add slices of carrots and celery. Stir for few minutes.
Pour in water and bring to a boil.
Season with salt and ground pepper to taste.
Continue boiling in low heat for 15 minutes.
Add sesame oil, shrimp and meatballs. Bring to a quick boil.
Add sotanghon and allow to cook for few minutes.
Add hard boiled eggs and simmer for few more minutes.
Remove pot from heat and serve hot in a bowl garnish with green onions.

***You can add more water if you want it more soupy***


Soy sauce chicken is a Chinese dish but this one is more the Filipino version. A recipe you can prepare the day before to save time specially for working parents.

2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut into serving size
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon hoisin sauce (optional)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoon cooking oil

For Garnishing:
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
chopped green onion

Cooking Direction:

In a small bowl stir together brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger and ground pepper.
Pour the marinade over the chicken slices and turn to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or over night.

When ready to cook the chicken, heat a large frying pan and place cooking oil.
Fry marinated chicken till it turns golden brown on both side.
Pour in remaining marinade and water.
Cover pan and cook for 10-15 minutes or till chicken is fully cooked and sauce thickens.
Garnish with half of the roasted sesame seeds and blend well.

Remove chicken dish from the pan, transfer in a serving plate, garnish with the remaining sesame seeds, top with chopped green onion and serve hot.


Another Pinoy favorite recipe. Simple yet very gastronomically good.

1 lb. pork ribs, cut into bite size
1 1/2 cup mung beans (monggo)
1 handful malunggay leaves
3-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 medium size tomato, cut
2 tablespoon fish sauce
salt and ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoon cooking oil
4-5 cups water

Cooking Direction:

Soak mung beans in water for an hour or so. Drain excess water and set aside.

Using a deep pot sauté garlic, onion and tomatoes in cooking oil till caramelized.
Add pork ribs or any pork meat desired. Cook till pork turns golden brown in medium heat.
Add fish sauce, soaked/drained mung beans and stir for few minutes.
Add water and bring to boil in medium heat. Cover pot. (Keep an eye on the pot not to overflow)
Simmer in medium low heat for 40 minutes or till meat and mung beans are fully cooked.
You can always add more water, a cup at a time if needed.
Season with salt and ground pepper to taste.
Add malunggay leaves. Simmer for few more minutes.
Remove pot from heat and serve.

Best when served with fried fish and lots of steam rice.


During our last visit we were pretty impressed with the quality and the taste of the food from Gerry's Grill in Artesia, CA location. It is a bit pricey and portions are small but then you have to remember this is a restaurant and not a fast food joint. Food are cooked fresh unlike fast food turo-turo where you don't and won't know when the food were made or how many times the food had been re-heated.

So if you are looking for a good Filipino restaurant around Orange County area I would recommend to go and try Gerry's Grill. Come early for lunch or dinner or be ready to wait to be seated. It is 12 miles or 18 minutes away from Disneyland, Anaheim.

Fried Bangus topped with vegetables and fried garlic, interesting and really good

A tasty Kare-Kare dish topped with lechon kawali, one of my favorite

Cooked adobo, flaked and fried

Raw tuna cooked in vinegar and coconut milk

Located at:
1170 South Street, Ste 107
Artesia, CA 90701

*This is NOT a paid advertisement. For question or suggestion leave me a comment or visit Casa Baluarte Filipino Recipes Facebook page.*

about the cook

An Ilongga living in the US of A who loves to share her cooking and photography talent. Not a professional but a trying hard amateur cook and photographer. All of this for the love of food.