Every day, moms are faced with this dreaded question: "Anong ulam?" As Chariz Solomon, an actress and mom of three boys, would say, "Mauubusan ka talaga ng idea" (read here.)
Here are some practical tips from Chef Tatung Sarthou, who recently came up with two follow-ups to his best-selling book, Simpol The Cookbook:
"You work with the same base ingredients. Every time you go to the grocery, meron kang strategy. Eto, tatlong manok, dalawang kilong pork chop, and let’s say, isang kilo na beef, and then eto ang gulay mo.
"For your chicken, you make it tinola today. Tomorrow, you make afritada. So you use the same base ingredients, and you play around with the other ingredients to make it different day by day."
The Cebuano culinary whiz also said during the online book launch that he has devoted an entire chapter on how to "read a recipe when you don't have anything in mind" in his latest book, Simpol Kitchen Secrets.
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"All the recipes here are so simple, using common ingredients," he pointed out. "You can create amazing dishes."
He went on giving a few examples: "Nakikita mo, afritada siya. Puwede pala siya gawing coq au vin, you just put red wine. Iba na ang dish mo.
"’Yung carbonara mo, isipin mo, ‘I’ll just put lemon to my cream and I’ll replace it with beef, and I’ll add mustard and paprika.' Naging stroganoff siya."
Chef Tatung exclaimed, "Imagine the potential of what you can do if you understand these things, using the same things na alam mo. Dagdagan mo lang ng changing the flavor component."
The chef and restaurateur followed the same principles in writing his other new book, Baking Simpol, saying that anybody can start baking with just a bowl and a wooden spoon. You can make classic brownies to specialty desserts, he pointed out.