Dadang’s fried chicken
Written by Rachel Ong
“Dadang was the loyal and trusted cook, house companion, and domestic helper at mom's household when she was a kid,” said my dad. She wasn’t related to my mom, but she was basically family. She lived at my mom’s house and was a pseudo-mother-aunt type figure. She was wonderful at cooking, and knew every single person’s favourite food.
Fried chicken, although not traditionally Filipino cuisine, was often associated as a favourite comfort food in the Philippines. This still applies to many families and households now, which is why a box of Church’s Chicken or a 12-piece bucket of KFC is always on the dinner table at a Filipino party. And no dinner is complete without a big bowl of steamed white rice.
“Dadang made fried chicken many times for me when I visited mom’s house when we were still dating,” my dad recalled. “I guess you can say that it was a signal that she approved of me. You know, that courtship stuff?”
My parents first started making this recipe when I was very young, and eventually taught me how to make it as well. I remember it being fried on the patio of our apartment several times a year, but not usually more than that. It was a special request kind of food, made for special occasions like birthdays, Easter lunch and Christmastime.
“The secret ingredient is… nothing,” said my dad.
- Chicken wings and drumettes, about 3 lbs.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Canola, grape seed or coconut oil for frying
1. Pat chicken wings dry.
2. Place salt, pepper and flour in a Ziploc bag, and mix thoroughly. Add in chicken pieces and dredge to coat by shaking bag. Do 2 to 3 batches.
3. Heat oil to 375 degrees F. Fry for about 12–15 minutes until crispy. Fry a few pieces at a time and ensure that all pieces are immersed in oil.
4. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
5. Serve hot.
Optional: A dipping sauce made by mixing banana ketchup and Worcestershire sauce can be served alongside the chicken wings — just stir together to taste.
Written by Maham Kamal Khanum
The initial whiffs of Tim Horton’s are an exciting change when you move from Pakistan to Vancouver. But as winter kicks in, nostalgia of spicy, home-cooked food engulfs your mind on the way back from class. In such moments of longing, I seek my all-time favourite recipe: cauliflower-potato curry, also known as gobi-aloo. From Pakistan to UBC, this recipe means home and family to me, so its appetizing smell fills my kitchen almost every other week.
The lengthy list of flavours that give South Asian food its characteristic essence is not the most convenient to assemble when cooking between classes and assignments. But with a few common ingredients, gobi-aloo provides a staple for any veggie-loving South Asian home, run by the motto of hearty, healthy lunches. Have it as is, or pair it with a steaming bowl of boiled rice, airy chapatti or crisp toast, and you'll have a stomach full of goodness for the day. The best thing about it is that you can replace cauliflower with almost anything such as okra, squash or even peas, and it'll be equally delicious.
- ½ cauliflower head (cut into small florets)
- 3–4 medium yellow potatoes (cut into chunks)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
- 2 tbsp oil (coconut, vegetable, canola or olive oil)
- ½ cup water
1. Heat oil on medium heat in a wok or shallow saucepan, and fry cumin seeds until they crackle.
2. Add potatoes and cauliflower, and coat in cumin seeds. Sauté until vegetables are well-coated and begin to fry.
3. Evenly sprinkle red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Continue to sauté until vegetables are coated in spices and turn yellow.
4. Fold in the vegetables in spices while adding splashes of water to form steam in the pot. Make sure there is just enough for vegetables to steam in. Be careful not to flood them.
5. Place the lid over the pan, leaving a small area uncovered for steam to release, and cook on low to medium heat for 15–20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
6. Taste a small potato or cauliflower floret to check if there is enough salt and spice. Add more if vegetables are bland.
Written by Rocio Hollman
I was born down south in soccer-crazed, mate-drinking, Tango-dancing Argentina, but have lived my whole life in Raincouver. Yet I feel every bit as Argentinean as I do Canadian, partly due to the various Argentinean foods my family prepares. This recipe makes what we “albicelestes” call alfajores. They are quick and easy to cook, and make the perfect comfort food. Add extra dulce de leche if eating after a bad grade.
Recipe makes: 25 alfajores
- 300g corn starc
- 200g flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 150g sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon of cognac (or some other liquor)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
- Dulce de leche (or if you prefer, some sort of caramel/Nutella for the filling)
- Coconut shavings
1. Sift the cornstarch with the flour and the baking powder.
2. In a separate bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until it is creamy. Add the egg yolks one by one, the cognac and the sifted ingredients from step 1. Incorporate the vanilla extract and the lemon zest, and stir well. Join the ingredients to form the dough.
3. Sprinkle the tabletop and rolling pin with flour, and roll the dough until it’s ½ cm (0.2 inches) thick.
4. Cut the dough 4cm (1.6 inches) in diameter with a cookie cutter. Place the “tapitas” (cookies) onto a baking pan (the pan should be buttered and sprinkled with flour).
5. Cook in the oven at 180°C/350°F for 15 minutes. Let the tapitas cool and then join them with the dulce de leche. Roll them in the coconut shavings and enjoy!
Written by Tetiana Kosntantynivska
When I was little, I couldn't wait every year to spend a summer in a very small Ukrainian village located at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. All of my best childhood memories are about time spent in this village with my grandmother who loved teaching me secret traditional Ukrainian recipes.
Varenyky — also known as perogies — quickly became my favourite dish and my love for them remains to this day. I loved cooking varenyky with cherries, as my grandmother had a huge cherry tree in her garden. I would wake up early in the morning to pick cherries from that tree and I would cook varenyky for breakfast.
Of course, I could never cook varenyky as well as my grandmother did. Even when I followed her recipe exactly, the taste just wasn't the same. Once, I asked my granny about the secret of varenyky preparation. I'll never forget her words: “Sweetheart, I always add a pinch of love when cooking.”
- 4 ½ cups of flour
- 2 tsp of salt
- 2 tbsp of sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup of warm milk
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 400 gr of sour cherries (without stones)
1. In a bowl, stir together flour, salt and sour cream. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, eggs, egg yolk and milk. Stir ingredients into the flour until well-blended. Cover the bowl with a towel, and let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Pit cherries.
3. Separate the perogie dough into two balls. Roll out one piece at a time on a lightly floured surface until it is thin enough to work with, but not too thin so that it tears. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter, perogie cutter or a glass.
4. Brush a little water around the edges of the circles and spoon cherry filling into the centre. Sprinkle cherries with sugar. Fold the circles over into half-circles and press to seal the edges.
5. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop perogies in one at a time. They are done when they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon.
6. Serve perogies plain or with sour cream on the side.