03 Nov2013


More often than not, I find that cooking without a recipe results in an edible, if not delicious, dish. I’d like to think it’s because I have spent a LOT of hours in the kitchen as a result of this blog, the restaurants and my interest in food. But maybe I am just plain lucky, or far more tolerant of experiments I refuse to label as failures. :) At any rate, this dish was a hit in our household. :)


Gejo from Malipayon Farms dropped off an order for herbs and greens that I had place a couple of days prior. He also mentioned he had some “baby Chinese kale” and I asked for two bags of that. I figured it must be young “kai-lan or gai-lan” which I love for its meaty stems and earthy dark green vegetable goodness. But what arrived were just the young leaves, no stalk or thicker stems attached. I washed then tasted one leaf and knew it was the green I liked, but just in a different form, or at a different stage of its life cycle. And frankly, I had no idea what to do with them.


A quick check of the deep freeze (literally a small chest freezer) yielded a bag of frozen corn made from fresh corn that I cut up a few months ago and dropped into the freezer and promptly forgot about. With this Kylie Kwong dish I did years ago at the back of my mind, I decided to make a quick stir-fry with corn kernels and young kai-lan. I never even bothered to check for a recipe, just decided to “wing it” as how bad can a stir-fry be? Into a large wok over HIGH heat went a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, I added roughly two cups of chopped up leftover boneless lechon (use pork or chicken as you please), some chopped onions and a bit of garlic. Add some hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, a bit of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and ground black pepper and one siling labuyo, minced. Stir for a minute or so, then add in the corn. Toss vigorously and keep the stuff in the pan moving. Add the baby chinese kale (a lot of it, as it will shrink dramatically), a little more oyster sauce to taste, and toss vigorously. Just as the kale wilts, turn off the heat and serve immediately. This was better than good, it was very good. The contrast of sweet with the earth dark green leaves, the hint of spice, the soy and hoisin, all made for a VERY appetizing dish. Served with some pan-roasted chicken and rice and it was a very nice, quick and relatively healthy meal.



  1. MP says:

    Of course it came out delicious… It had lechon in it!

    Nov 3, 2013 | 11:08 am


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  3. millet says:

    thanks for the idea, MM. hubby just harvested the last of the pechay from our backyard, and i’ve been looking for other ways to cook them….will do this for lunch today. and let me share a discovery…we also have lots of alugbati, and i found out that steaming them lightly removes the sliminess, and after that, you can use them just like spinach..from salads to pasta.

    Nov 3, 2013 | 11:09 am

  4. MP says:

    Hi millet! I was at a friend’s house recently and saw a vase with alugbati stems. She used them as “floral decorations” and they were beautiful! She said that they’re more practical (cheaper and longer lifespan) then flowers!

    Nov 3, 2013 | 11:12 am

  5. Isa says:

    MP, we are growing alugbati now as well, and the stems are a rich red / purple and the tiny flowers really are pretty!

    Nov 3, 2013 | 1:40 pm

  6. mina says:

    Hi marketman! is there a commercial delivery service available for Malipayon farms? or was that a special favor? would love to order some vegetables, especially the kale!

    Nov 3, 2013 | 4:46 pm

  7. millet says:

    MP, really? alugbati in vases? i guess that would be nice..the tendrils are graceful, and the tiny white flowers are nice.

    Nov 3, 2013 | 7:11 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    mina, please visit Malipayon farms facebook page for more info. I think I am on the restaurant delivery schedule, having been on of the first folks on that route I suspect… I don’t buy anywhere near as much as restaurants, so I think the delivery is a special favor from Gejo, the proprietor. millet and MP, yes, alugbati flowers are nice, and edible apparently! :)

    Nov 3, 2013 | 7:19 pm

  9. Connie C says:

    Much as I love corn, I am avoiding it these days:

    “Despite concerns about its impact on the environment, Bt corn now has 750,000 hectares of Philippine land devoted to it. According to Greenpeace Southeast Asia spokesman Daniel Ocampo, no GMO application has ever been rejected, which is rather shocking given the controversy over their use.”

    Twenty six countries now ban the use of GMO’s.

    And in addition, the Philippines” has allowed the importation of sixty genetically modified plants and plant products for direct use as food and feed or for processing, an additional eight GM plant varieties for propagation, and twenty-one modified plant varieties for field testing in Philippine soil. ”

    From an article in a joint publication of TheNation.com and Foreign Policy in Focus, Oct 29, 2013 “Twenty-Six Countries Ban GMOs—Why Won’t the US?” by Walden Bello

    Nov 3, 2013 | 11:50 pm

  10. Mart says:

    Here’s the link to the article that Connie C is referring to:

    Additional trivia about our “modern corn” from the following link:
    “Modern corn would not survive as a species without human intervention – the cobs are so packed with seeds and surrounded by such tight husks that the plant itself can’t propagate its own seeds. Humans have to break the cobs off the stalks, husk the cobs, break the kernels off the cob and plant the seeds — otherwise the species would die out.”

    Nov 6, 2013 | 2:11 am

  11. joanne says:

    mr. marketman can ALWAYS come up with something mouth-watering! and it’s even healthy! greetings from toronto :-)

    Nov 7, 2013 | 11:43 pm


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