Mikuru Random Cooking: Sardine Spaghetti

I was hungry so I took a visit to our pantry and rounded up ingredients that could possibly go well together and I came up with this bunch:
An opened spaghetti pasta, sardines in tomato sauce, instant carbonara sauce, tomato sauce, spicy mustard and left-over fish hotdogs. They are just begging to be cooked. So do you know what time it is? It's - MIKURU RANDOM COOKING TIME! Uhuh, no recipes to follow, random ingredients, just pure cretivity and a little bit of insanity, haha.
So I placed the fish hotdogs in my ever-faithful oven, separated the sardines from its tomato sauce. I squeezed the sauce out, I don't know why but I just felt like doing it and cooked the pasta as per label.
Chop some onions and garlic, saute and mix in the sauces... let them simmer for a bit and add the drained pasta. Mix again to coat evenly and top it off with the fish hotdogs...
Although it really looked ordinary, it's delicious, I swear! It surprised me...really.

Can't Get Over Pizza

I usually crave for pizza, but instead of ordering, I made my own. Good thing there are a lot of instant ingredients available to cut your preparation time in half! So I sliced up a few hotdogs, onions, garlic and green peppers.
I preheated the pizza crusts so it will be a little bit crunchy.
It turned out really nice and the pizza sauces were flavorful. I had a lot of left over pizza sauce so the next day I experimented on pork tonkatsu... I made it into a pizza! I just added bits of spam on top of the cheese. It was good! I ate it over a bowl of rice.

Saisaki, Kamayan and Dads

The power of three... and I'm not referring to 3 sisters living a life of endless demon banishing related activities, I'm talking about three restos where you can eat all you can for just less than 600 php! It's a great bargain actually, considering there is a wide range of food selection - from Japanese to Filipino to European and American cuisine!
It's like a food bazaar! Everywhere you look there are stations serving a certain kind of cuisine. It's like a festival of delicious food!
On top is the ramen station where you can order ramen, cold Japanese nodles, sukiyaki, etc. Ingredients are laid out in front of you, just tell the chef what you want and how you want it then he'll prepare it for you. There is also a grilling station where Japanese style skewered meats and salmon (and corn, too) are displayed, just grab a plate and put in everything you want and they will grill it for you... or if you don't want to wait, there are already-grilled meats on a platter.
On top, there's the fried rice and next to it are different kinds of tempura (pork, chicken, crab, shrimp and vegetables). The sushi is a blockbuster, when I went to that station, a lot of people are just grabbing what they see so I ended up with that pick. We had sukiyaki, ramen and they also have kimchee. I also love their tofu topped with crab stick, it's so delicious!
So there's my plate, I got a lot of gyoza, fancy sushi and for dessert, I got a lot of creampuffs, blueberry squares, some random unidentified sweets and chocolate coated apples and mallows via chocolate fountain.
You can create your own nachos or taco salad at that area and on the left are several custards and candied coconuts for dessert, those are cakes served in small squares, they also have pudding and on its left is the salad bar. Fruit, potato, macaroni, veggie... you name it, it's there! Several ingredients are also available so you can customize your salad the way you want it.
Those are french breads with fancy spreads and they even have an oven toaster! And there is the roasted chicken and ham station, the chef carves out a slice or two then just stretch out your plate.
And for the win, there is also a bibingka station where a chef cooks bibingka on the spot! It's really fun to watch him. He even posed when I took a picture. There are a lot of Filipino rice cakes and jellies in this station.
They also have a pasta section. Different kinds of pasta and sauces are up for grabs... I was wondering though why this station is empty. And to complete the fun atmosphere, there's a band!

It's a long stretch of food! I believe I only tried 20% of what's being served there. I am planning to go back. This is definitely a place where you get value for your money! The food is great, too!

2nd Level, Glorietta 3 Ayala Center, Makati
Telephone nos.
(02) 892-8897
(02) 892-8908 to 09

The Truth About Eggs

My mother always tell me that we should only eat 2 eggs in a week. Why? because they say eggs are high in cholesterol which may lead to heart related diseases. One egg has roughly around 200 mg cholesterol and 5 grams of fat, so consuming a lot means taking in high amounts of cholesterol and fat. Convinced? Ye? Well...

What Studies Showed
On an article by Graham Butler a consumer and market place author:
People who consume one or two eggs a day show no effects on serum levels. (This relationship might not hold for those with elevated LDL/HDL ratios.) Researchers have discovered that saturated and hydrogenated fat intake, particularly the latter, are the real culprits in LDL/HDL elevation and remain sources of worry regarding heart disease.
This is also supported by Reader's Digest in this article.

By the way, in layman's term HDLs are good cholesterol and LDLs are bad cholesterol. Our body NEEDS cholesterol. According to this site, an egg only contains 1/3 - 1/6 of what your body can produce and this is essential for hormone production and the repair of cells.

Nutritious and Delicious
Eggs contain significant amounts of vitamins: A, D, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, folate and pantothenic acid (B5) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc. Even though an egg is 71 calories and five grams of fat... isn't it worth it?! Hell yeah! And did I mention it has no carbohydrates?

Eggs are versatile food, you can eat them alone or as an ingredient to your favorite dish or as a side dish! The possibilities are endless. Now, are you feeling the urge to cook? Check this egg-citing recipes from allrecipes.com.

It Doesn't Stop There
Farmers today, produce "designer" eggs... I'm not referring to a diamond "CK" studded on an egg. I am referring to "omega-3 rich" eggs. Farmers achieve this by adding flaxseed to chicken feed. Isn't that great? Now, it makes me wonder what the future holds for eggs?!

In Japan, pinkish "sakura eggs" are achieved by adding sugar cane and marigold extracts to the chicken feeds, though it didn't affect the taste but I'm not sure if there is an additional value to nutrition.

Parents are stupid.... just kidding. Facts today might be proven wrong tomorrow, but we should not turn a head from recent studies. So how many again? Personally, I'd stick with one since I get cholesterol from other sources. Anyway, anything in excess is bad, right?

Bring Out the Kid in You at KidzWorld!

Kidz World is becoming a regular celebration place for me. I featured it before here in my other blog. Who wouldn't love the place? I mean come on, take a look at the place!
Quoting from their website:
KidzWorld is for the exclusive use of its members, their families and guests. It is not open to the general public (where no one can be truly accountable for any damage made on the premises). This members-only policy is designed to protect the members’ investment and to ensure that KidzWorld will continually be able to provide the kind of quality amenities and services.
Makes perfect sense and since it's not open to the public, you can enjoy the peaceful and quiet ambiance... sweet privacy!
They have small huts where you can enjoy a relaxing full body massage!
I could describe the whole place as a huge zen garden with lush greens and diverse flora and fauna ecosystem.
And of course... the food! Take a look at the menu below.
We had: Pork barbecue (love it!), Pork Liempo, Sinigang na baboy and roasted chicken served with java rice and atchara or pickled papaya. That day, the breeze was chilly and the pool water was really cold (now, I'm starting to think that global warming is a lie ^^), so the Sinigang na baboy was very enjoyable to eat.
That's pancit canton with lots of veggies... and I mean A LOT! (I think the vegetables are more than the noodles, even if you dig at the center, you'll still findveggies). It's best eaten with toasted bread (Yup, carbo loading for more energy to swim!) and although it was a cold afternoon, I could resist ordering ice cream, that's chocolate, strawberry and... another chocolate ice cream scoop. And it gets more exciting...
Hamburger - with a really meaty patty, tuna salad sandwich (love it!), cheesy hotdog, nachos with diced tomatoes and cucumber, sumptuous ground meat topped with sour cream and cheese, it's oh-so-divine! And the last one's called KidzClubhouse sandwich served with fries.
Top must-try: Fries and Pork Sisig! Their fries is the ultimate comfort food and sisig is so delish! I am loving it! I can't wait to go back here. Next time I wanna try playing golf here.

You can find KidzWorld at:
Aguinaldo Highway corner Governor's Drive, San Agustin 1, Dasmarinas, Cavite, Philippines
Tel No: (63 46) 416-3110, 416-3081,416-2996

Email: fun@kidzworld.com.ph

Celebrating Valentines with Jugno's Monster Pizza

How's your Valentine's? Don't throw back the question at me... I'd rather eat! So on a lazy Valentine's afternoon, my brother ordered Jugno's, which is famous for their 20" pizzas that come with a range of interesting toppings, they also serve 12" pizzas by the way. Take a look at their website or check the menu here.
You can mix and match the flavors and the partition, as far as I can remember we had Cheeze Garlic, Italian Sausage, Mexican Amigo and Pepperoni Pork Monster. It came with 4 small tubs of dips... I think those were barbecue, sour cream, salsa and another sour cream which tastes a bit different from the other.
The pizza is really big, the look overwhelmed me, it really is monster in size... but is it also monster in taste? The verdict - Regardless of the flavor, the overall taste was lacking a punch. I am not really sure where but the first bite should leave an impression of wanting more but this failed, although it wasn't that bad at all. The toppings are all there alright, you got your money's worth on the physical aspect, it just... lacked flavor even though the dips were awesome, except for the barbecue dip which tasted like fermented whatever. On a positive note, it was filling. Yes eating the whole thing by yourself is really filling, no doubt about it.... silly. Plus, just for 520 php I think it's not that bad at all! This will be a good addition to your party food table. Try it out, who knows, you might prove me wrong!

Delivery Hotlines:

Makati - Ortigas - San Juan - Pasay - Mandaluyong
Baclaran - Pasig - Quezon City
531-37-56 / 534-05-73

They are open 24 hours... that's cool.

Mikuru Bakes: "Mikuru Butter Cookies"

So I had nothing to do the whole afternoon so I decided to look around our pantry and fridge to check and see what ingredients I could "experiment" on. Unfortunately, mom hasn't done her grocery so we barely have anything... I just saw some eggs, butter, etc. and it immediately occurred to me - Butter Cookies!!!

I searched online for the easiest butter cookie recipe and I found one. Just to share, there is this site - www.cookingbynumbers.com where you just have to click on what's in your fridge and/or cupboard then the site will come up with a list of recipes indicating the percentage of the ingredients you selected. The concept is nice but I came across a funny recipe: Fried Egg. Take a look below, I don't know if this is a joke or what.
We surely do! ^^
Okay, so here is what you'll need:
1 cup of butter, 1 cup white sugar ,2 eggs, 2 2/3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. If you think something's missing or something's too much, it's because I really made it that way. Moving forward...
Cream softened butter and sugar and on a separate bowl, mix eggs and vanilla then gradually pour it over the butter mixture while beating lightly.
REMINDER: It ain't Mikuru Butter Cookies if you will not do it my way!
I was busy mixing the ingredients and reading the instructions I wrote down on how to prepare the cookies then I thought... when would I add the flour? So I read the instructions again and I found out, I didn't wrote it down... "Ah, what the heck." I just added it to the batter and mixed it with my bare hands, adding love, sweat and tears... love it! ^^

I was able to make 22 pieces out of the batter (I can't believe I counted them in the picture above thrice, to be sure!). Make sure your oven is pre-heated and set at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celcius (Damn, these guys are so famous, Mikuruheit sounds good too, right?)
And there you go! Since I only used an oven toaster some parts are crunchier than the other, but hey, it gave a nice variety of texture and color to the finished product. It's so flavorful, dad liked it so much and bro enjoyed it by spreading chocolate on top. Yummy! Mikuru Butter Cookies is the best! Hahaha!

Sakae Sushi: Sushi Heaven!

If you are a sushi lover and want to experience eating in a sushi bar where sushi is served in a conveyor belt, then SM Mall of Asia's Sakae Sushi is the best place to go!
And the first thing you'll notice:

I love it!!!
You can get anything that you want and as you can see on the first picture above each plate color has a corresponding price and since I got the buffet promo, I can eat anything I want for a fixed price! The best deal on earth, right? ^0^Just seeing those 'heaven on a plate" makes me wanna live here! I got so excited I immediately grabbed the first plate that passed by ^^. Everything was so good! Okay, picture dump time!

They also offer rice meals, if you don't want sushi but still want something with rice. We also had Katsudon, Sukiyaki, Ebi Ramen, Green Tea (they will ask you if you want it hot or cold) and I had, correct me if I am wrong but I think it's called Hiyashi Chuka. This is Japanese cold noodles served with ice, traditionally served during summer and has a complementary dipping sauce. This one was also served with super soft boiled quail egg placed on a wasabi platform. Isn't it cute?! Sakae Sushi is definitely a sushi heaven!

Manila, Mall Of Asia
Unit 2145-2146 Main Mall
SM Mall of Asia
CM Central Business Park
Bay City, Pasay City
Tel: 632-556-0150

Manila, The Fort
26th Street Crescent West Park
Global City, Taguig Philippines
Tel: 632-843-4891

They have a website, too!

Barbeque Night! Featuring: Alligator Meat!

Ever since our house was renovated, we sometimes have this what we call "Barbeque Night" on weekends. So, we had a couple of meats - remember I mentioned about the alligator meat that we bought here in my previous post? I seasoned it with salt, pepper and a little bit of powdered lime as you can see below in a white bowl.
My brother also made burger patties which were too thick (I already warned him) so it was unevenly cooked inside. He sliced them in half and it turned out good! We also had chicken teriyaki on a stick, 2 medium-sized stuffed squid. It was stuffed with chopped onions and tamatoes and there were other meats on sticks which I never knew or asked what those were but anyway, they taste awesome all the same. With regard to the alligator meat... I forgot to take a picture (I was already busy eating at that time ^^). I found this site about alligator meat and it says.
Alligator meat is considered to be healthier than domestic chicken, especially when it comes to cholesterol and fat content. The most common alligator meat product sold in stores is the tail section. Alligator tail meat is very similar to veal in texture, but is said to taste like chicken, rabbit, fish or frog's legs. Some also compare the tail meat to the white portions of pork. There is also a tenderloin portion of alligator meat, located in a tubular section of the tail.
I don't know if we got the tail, the package didn't say anything but it did taste like chicken to me, but it's a bit harder and tougher to chew compared to chicken. It was okay but it's not something that I would like to have everyday... and it's pricey, too!

I also made some mashed potatoes!
I am such a potato lover! I boiled 4 medium-sized potatoes, added about 2 tablespoons of butter and grated cheese over while it's still steaming hot. I love it!

Nueve Cafe at Wilcon Depot?!

There's a Wilcon Depot close by my neighborhood. Since I was in1st year highschool, it's already there and it was my first time to actually get inside and to my surprise there is a small cafe by the entrance. That's a bit odd, don't you think? No? If that's not odd enough for you, take a look at this:
Across the cafe, which is just a stone throw away is a magnificent display of toilet bowls. Cool, huh? Is Wilcon Depot introducing the toilet-themed restaurant to the community? Anyway, the cafe seems nice and I got to try some of their pastries.
Caramel Walnut cake, hot chocolate, which looked like melted McFlurry, huge chocolate chip cookies and a blueberry cheesecake. I'm not really into sweets but it's nice to have some once in a while, just don't look the other way. ^^ And oh, believe it or not, you can order alligator meat from this cafe, you could have it fried and served with rice (a full meal) or you can buy a 250g frozen pack and cook it in whatever way you like. They say, alligator meat is much better than pork or beef since it's low in fat content and it only had 1 calorie per gram. Sounds inviting to hear that but it's kinda hard to believe though. Finally, we bought the frozen pack, just out of curiosity and we grilled it that night.

Oh Boy, It's Teriyaki Boy!

For lunch our family craved for Japanese food, so we decided to go here, at Teriyaki Boy! Japanese food is something I could live with until I die, really! I never get tired of Japanese food... so as soon as we were seated and the lady was handing out the menu, I was like - "Gimme, gimme, gimme!" and the first thing I browsed for - Ramen, so I had Teriyaki Chicken Ramen in rich shoyu sauce!!! Their "Crazy Rolls" menu was also interesting. Here you can see "unique" rolls that I never knew they exist.
The rolls are perfect! I ordered The Saigon roll which is vegetable sushi with cilantro and Sumo Roll, which is actually 1.5x bigger than the Saigon roll, hence the name.

The chicken Karaage was served with chips which I think, is seasoned with powdered nori. That's mango shake served in a tall and slim glass. We also had Katsudon and Agedashi Tofu, Ebi Ramen and more Ramen... Amen!
Although the shoyu in my ramen lacked a bit of richness and the buckwheat noodles were lumpy, the rolls made up for it. I want to go back and try their other rolls. If you guys wanna check out their full menu, you can check out their website here.

Allow Me To Introduce Myself

Hello there! Thanks for stopping by my blog! My name is Mikuru Hirai and that's me in the picture above (and my cat ^^). To start off, I am not Japanese. "Mikuru Hirai" is just an alias I use... sort of like an internet nickname. I am from the Philippines, young and fresh! Haha. I love Asian food ( who doesn't?!) I am starting a quest that involves tasting all the flavors of Asia (and some other stuff in between, of course ^^). I hope you could join me and witness my adventures (and misadventures) through this blog - www.mikurueats.blogspot.com! I had an old blog here don't ask me why I didn't continue on posting in that URL... long story ^^. All I can say is - I am starting a new life and I am very enthusiastic in my future endeavors.
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