Category Archives: breakfast

Easy Loco Moco

Loco Moco

Here’s another breakfast treat. I know, since school let out for the summer it seems we’ve been cooking up a lot of breakfasts. This is a Hawaiian specialty and it’s a great way to use up leftover hamburgers from the night before. All it is hamburger patty, topped with brown gravy and served with steamed rice and eggs.

Based on the Giblet Gravy previously posted, making gravy is really quite easy. To make this brown gravy, here is what I did:

Get half a stick of butter (4 tablespoons) and melt it until it starts to brown and most of the solids are starting to turn brown. Add 4 tablespoons of flour (notice the amount of flour equals the amount of butter) and stir it in the butter for a couple of minutes or until it has taken on enough color to your liking. If you like a light colored gravy, don’t cook it as long whereas if you like a nuttier and browner gravy, cook it until your roux (flour and butter mixture) is a nice brown color but not burnt. Stir it often to keep your roux from burning. You don’t want that burnt flour taste in your gravy.

Take 2 cups of chicken or beef broth and add to the mixture while stirring with a whisk to avoid lumps. If you do not have broth on hand, you can use 2 cups of water and a bullion cube. You can use plain water too, but of course you won’t have the flavor. Adjust your seasoning by adding salt and pepper or any herbs to your liking. For this version, the chicken broth I used was salted enough that I didn’t have to add anymore.

Let the gravy simmer until it is nicely thickened and spoon over your loco moco.

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Fried Potatoes

Fried Potatoes

This was last weekend’s breakfast that I think will be repeated this weekend. The girls loved the fried potatoes. In fact, last night when we had some grilled steaks, they were asking for these to go along with the steaks, but Jade had already made mashed potatoes, so I told them next time.

My step-dad who was from Kentucky but raised the Southern way, introduced me and my sisters to this dish. But whenever I tried to cook it, I always ended up burning the onions before the potatoes could brown and crisp up. Finally, I came up with another way to still get the onion flavor without burning them. I usually like to use sweet onions for this recipe, but regular old brown or yellow onions work nicely too.
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Furikake for Breakfast

FurikakeI went to Los Angeles last month to visit family and of course aside from the visits, lots of food was also involved. This furikake was one of them. My cousin from Japan also happened to be visiting my mom at the same time I was and she introduced me to Furikake. She brought us lots of goodies from Japan (among them a beautiful yukata), but I’ll blog more about those later.

She told me that she uses this furikake in a pinch when the kids don’t like what she’s cooked for dinner. She just gives them a bowl of rice and sprinkle this on top and they’re good to go!

Furikake is like a confetti of flavors. The main ingredient is usually shredded Nori, the black stuff that is used to wrap sushi rolls, made from dried seaweed. From there additional flavors start to vary from salmon, wasabi to shiso, and more.
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The Best Way to Cook Bacon


Bacon is one of our favorite breakfast items and we’ve had a love/hate relationship with it over the years. Some people in my household likes them extra crispy and some like them ‘just cooked but still soft’. Over the years, we’ve had more like burnt, too hard, or not cooked enough instead. There were bacon that shriveled and there were some that got tough as hide. The round skillets were also not very bacon friendly especially when you like your bacon straight up rather than bendy.

When we discovered baking bacon, we were one happy family! See, when you bake bacon it gets to be nice and crisp without being greasy and some of the center ones (where it’s not so hot) get cooked ‘just right’. What I do is line a cookie sheet with foil to make clean up easier (You won’t have to scrub burnt drippings and grease from your pan. Just peel and throw out) and on top of that place a metal rack. Lay the bacon across and bake at 400 degrees F for twenty minutes. The bacon comes out perfect everytime!

One last note: It is best to use the best bacon you can find. Since you won’t be eating bacon every weekend, at least I hope you don’t, you can afford to splurge a bit and buy the better quality bacon rather than the regular ones. I buy the thicker market style bacon, either with or without the pepper, but I try not to get brands that are overly sweet with maple syrup. My family just prefers it without the strong maple taste. Plus, it is less likely to burn when it doesn’t have a lot of sugar in it.

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Homemade Pork Tocino

(Updated 1/3/2010)
homemade tocino

We love this homemade tocino recipe and so have many of our blogging friends who have tried it. There are many different versions of making Filipino tocino out there, but very few of them use cider vinegar like this one. Most of the ones I have seen online and even in most cook books only have salt and sugar as the main ingredient. I kind of like having the vinegar on mine. It’s not a lot so it’s not overpowering, but just enough to balance out all the other flavors and cut the sweetness a bit.

The proportions of the marinade below makes a heck of a lot! So if you’re just making a small portion, make sure you cut it down or you’ll end up with your meat swimming in marinade. When I make a batch of tocino, I usually use two Boston butt roasts that are about 3-4 pounds each. Slice up the roasts to the desired thinness (usually about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick slices) and let them soak in the marinade in the refrigerator. Ideal time is to let them soak at least overnight and up to 5 days in the refrigerator as mentioned in the recipe below.

However, since sometimes you won’t always have room in the ref or just too hungry to wait before cooking some, I have found out that (1) you can cook them immediately, just cook in some of the marinade with it (2) you can also immediately portion them into freezer bags and let them marinade in the freezer.

When frozen, they can probably stay safely in your freezer for 6 months as recommended for most meats. Let me tell you though, even if you make as much as I do, they probably won’t last more than a couple of months. We eat them for breakfast, but when we’re short on time for dinner, they also come in very handy for dinner. Just steam some veggies and rice to go with them, and they’re good to go!

Like with most of the recipes on this blog, don’t be afraid to play with the proportions to suit your taste. Experiment! That’s what cooking is all about. When you change it up, make sure and come back and share your experiment with me. I just may copy you the next time I make a batch 🙂


5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Pork Tocino
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 or more
Following is the marinade recipe and method of cooking for Filipino style pork tocino.
  • MARINADE for 2-3 lbs. pork:
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  1. Mix all the ingredients and pour over thinly sliced (an eighth to a fourth of an inch thick) pork with a little marbling of fat. I used a 2-3 pounds boneless boston butt roast and did not trim any of the fat away.
  2. Mix the meat so it is well covered with the marinade. Let it sit, covered, in the refrigerator for five days before cooking or freezing.
  3. I usually bag small (quart sized ziplock bags ) portions, enough for breakfast for two or four people, and freeze it.
HOW TO COOK: To cook tocino, place desired amount of marinated pork meat in a small skillet with a cover. Do not put additional water. The marinade that is still on the meat plus it's own moisture will be enough to cook the meat. And since you presumably used a cut with a marbling of fat, you don't need to add oil either. Put over medium heat and cover. Let it cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the tocino starts to sizzle. Keep stirring to keep it from burning. Cook until it has caramelized and brownish red in color. If you're using a frozen packet, put it in the skillet and start out with low heat. When the meat has defrosted and separated, turn the heat up to medium and cook as above.

Simply Anne’s Tocino & Langonisa
The Feisty Cook, Dexie’s Homemade Pork Tocino with Onions

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Eggplant Fritata

Eggplant Fritata

The girls are off to summer at grandma’s house so it is just me and hubby at home again. Sometimes when we are feeling particularly lazy we cook an egg dish for a quick supper and since I am still trying to clean out the fridge of odds and ends, we decided to have this for a light supper. I only had one Japanese eggplant left in the crisper, and not much other vegetables to pair it up with so eggplant fritata it is.

Eggplant Fritata side 2

Since Japanese eggplants are relatively mild and thin skinned, I simply sliced them and quickly pan fried the slices in a bit of olive oil. Set them aside and scramble about 4 eggs and season with salt and pepper. Heat a couple more tablespoons of oil in the skillet and pour the egg mixture in. Let the eggs set about halfway, then place the eggplance pieces on top of the egg. I also had some left over chopped tomatoes so I just threw those in too. Carefully turn the omelet over and cook on the other side. Serve.

Tip on turning a whole omelet over: After the egg has set half way, meaning the bottom is fairly cooked but the top is still runny, slide the omelet onto a plate. Holding the plate in one hand, carefully cover it with the skillet facing down, quickly flip it over, remove the plate and return the skillet to the stove.

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What’s for brunch?

BRUNCH = is the meal that is not breakfast, not lunch, but something in between.

Whether I knew it or not, I’ve always been a ‘bruncher’ because I’ve never been an early riser nor organized enough to have a decent breakfast at the appointed time. Brunch is more the time when I take my first meal; that period sometime after 9am but before noon.

Peggy at What’s Cooking in Carolina asked, Breakfast or Brunch?

Well, ever since I moved to North Carolina, I’ve totally embraced Southern cuisine. Well, I would probably embrace any cuisine, but hey. A girl’s gotta eat. So in our kitchen, breakfast usually means Southern or Filipino breakfast. So please indulge me as I re-post for this meme, a previous post I made last year about Southern vs. Filipino Breakfast:

My husband loves breakfast, and since the girls went on summer vacation, we have been indulging too much. We’ve even had breakfast food for late dinner! We got us some true blue country ham, which reminds me of tuyo (salted, dried sardines), strangely enough, because of it’s saltiness, and it’s strong smell. It smells a bit like funky feet, but if you can get past that, which really, it dissipates as it cooks, is really quite delicious.
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On this day, since we had plenty of green tomatoes, we decided to have some fried green tomatoes along with liver pudding (another southern specialty) and country ham, of course accompanied with buttery grits. Yummy cholesterol heaven!

The ham is so salty that I parboiled it first and threw out the first water, added a bit more and boiled it down until all the liquid has evaporated and the ham started to sizzle and take on some color. After the ham has browned, my mother in law used to deglaze the pan with coffee, producing what they call red-eye gravy which is then drizzled over the grits. I like frying rice in the same pan and getting that good country ham flavor all over the fried rice.

I have also taken a liking to fried green tomatoes which is simply dredged in flour and fried. We couldn’t wait for the tomatoes in the garden to ripen, so this was a great way to have a sampling.

In contrast, this is my hubby’s favorite Filipino breakfast meat, tocino.
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This was my first attempt at making tocino at home, and it wasn’t too bad, if I do say so myself. I simply marinated thin slices of a boston butt pork roast in apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and black pepper. No coloring, so this doesn’t have the usual reddish color, but the flavor was good. I cooked the tocino over low heat until all the liquid evaporated and the marinade started to caramelize and take on that golden color. Tip from my dad: cook it slow, don’t over cook it, and you will have a tender tocino. It worked!

If you’d like to see more breakfast dishes, check our archives here. I tag everyone who reads this post and loves breakfast or brunch to tell about your favorite things to eat for breakfast or brunch. If you’re into the liquid brunches, that’s fine too 😉

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