Shrimp in Spicy Tomato Soup

Here's a soup dish that can guarantee comfort on a blah day.

Serves 2  
Prep Time 5 minutes  
Cooking Time 10 minutes


250 grams shrimp, deveined
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon green chili, 
      sliced (siling tagalog)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1  In a pan, heat olive oil. Saute the green chili until slightly wilted.

 Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Do not brown.

 Add the shrimps, paprika, and crushed tomatoes. Mix until combined. Simmer until shrimps turn pink and sauce is slightly thickened.

4  Season with salt and pepper.

Thai Seafood Noodles with Basil

The wide, flat rice noodle is the perfect match for chunky shrimp, shellfish, and squid. Flavored with basil and chili, this Thai stir-fry is tasty with just the right amount of kick.

Prep Time 30 minutes 
Cooking Time 15 minutes


250 grams flat rice noodles 

4 tablespoons corn oil, divided
2 pieces Thai or Taiwanese red chili, chopped 
1 tablespoon chopped garlic 
2 tablespoons chopped onions 
12 pieces mussels, 
      blanched and upper 
      shells removed 
8 pieces shrimp, shells left intact 
      with backs sliced open
2 pieces medium squid, 
      sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce 
salt, pepper, and sugar to taste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup basil leaves


 Soak noodles in cold water for 30 minutes then blanch in boiling water. Heat a pan, add 2 tablespoons oil and pan-fry noodles for a few seconds. Transfer to a serving plate.

 Pound chilies and garlic together; set aside. Heat remaining oil and sauté onions until fragrant. Add garlic and chili. Stir until garlic is golden brown then add seafood. 

 Season with oyster sauce, fish sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar, then pour in chicken stock. Simmer until seafood is cooked. Add basil leaves and stir. Pour seafood mixture on top of the pan-fried noodles. Serve immediately.

Beef with Red Rice Soup

Soup in rice? Yes! This one-dish meal is extra comforting. Make this in large batches and freeze the rest so you can just defrost and reheat anytime.

Serves 4 to 6  
Prep Time 15 minutes  
Cooking Time 2 hours
      (45 minutes if using a pressure cooker)


1 tablespoon canola oil
1 kilo short ribs
1 large white onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
12 cups water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked red rice


1  In a large heavy-bottomed braising pan or Dutch oven, heat oil until very hot. In batches, brown the short ribs. Transfer them to a plate.

2  Add onions to the pan and cook until lightly colored. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery, and cook for 1 more minute. Return the short ribs to the pan, pour in water, and simmer until tender. (At this point, you can transfer the mixture into a pressure cooker).

3  Make the beef stock:  Remove the ribs and strain the stock. Skim off most of the fat (to do this, let the ribs cool then set it in the refrigerator). Bring stock to a slow boil in the pan. Add all the red rice and meat. Simmer for another 30 minutes and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

Stuffed Mushrooms Wellington

Portobello mushrooms might be pricier,  but they're bigger and meatier. Puff pastry, on the other hand, is a flaky easy-to-use item that will change the way you cook. Cut some pastry, stuff with filling, then bake for an appetizer that's as pleasing to the eyes and palate.

Prep Time 15 minutes  
Cooking Time 40 to 45 minutes


6 large portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
1/4  teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
50 grams blue cheese
2 sheets puff pastry, 
      thawed overnight in the refrigerator
egg wash for brushing 

For the filling
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 cup button mushrooms, diced
1/4  cup green olives, sliced finely
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4  teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper


 Clean the mushrooms: Remove stem. Using a small teaspoon, take out the gills of the portobellos (this is the dark brown part surrounding the stem). Wipe off any residue or dirt with a damp paper towel. Set aside.

 Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a bowl, mix together olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Brush each portobello, stem side up, with the olive oil mixture. Place on a greased cookie sheet and roast in the oven until slightly browned, about 15 minutes.

3  Prepare the filling: Heat olive oil and saute garlic until fragrant. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add tomatoes and mushrooms; cook until soft and liquid has evaporated. Add olives and herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 Crumble blue cheese in a small bowl until crumbly. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of blue cheese on each mushroom. Divide prepared filling equally into 6 parts and spoon on top of mushrooms; set aside.

5  Cut 6 round pieces from puff pastry sheets. Make about 4 circles per sheet of pastry. Roll each piece on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of wax paper until thin and about 10 inches in diameter. Place a mushroom on the center of a puff pastry round then fold pastry edges inward, leaving a small opening on top. Brush pastry with egg wash then transfer to a greased or lined baking sheet. Return mushrooms to the oven and bake until pastry is golden and puffed, about 20 to 22 minutes.