13 Jan2011


I had “minor surgery” on my gum yesterday morning and the dentists recommend that I eat a “soft diet” for a few days until the stitches heal a bit. I had some pospas or lugaw (congee) for lunch and dinner yesterday, and half a ripe papaya for a snack somewhere in between. It helped that I was high on pain killers and had an ice pack on my cheek for most of the afternoon and evening, but two consecutive pospas meals is about all I can take. :) So today, I decided to cook myself both lunch and dinner while trying to keep the spirit of a “soft diet” in mind. I remembered we had two large fillets of dapa (our version of sole or flounder type of flatfish) in the freezer, so I had the main ingredient for my “soft diet” dishes…


For lunch, I did a take on lemon sole (or sole meuniere), by just seasoning the dapa fillets (dry well with a paper towel first) with salt and pepper, then lightly dredging them in flour, and pan-frying briefly in butter until just cooked through. I removed the fillet and made a quick sauce with the butter in the pan, the juice of one lemon, and some chopped parsley and thyme. Drizzle this over the fish and enjoy. It certainly was soft, but for “sick food,” uncharacteristically delicious. I like dapa a lot, and while not as delicate as a true sole, it’s pretty darned good. Will have to remember to prepare this dish more often — it’s easy, quick and relatively economical.


For dinner, I was yearning for some “brighter” flavors, and I still had the other half of the fish so I scrounged around the fridge and pantry and came up with this simple, quick and incredibly flavorful dish… I seasoned the dapa fillet, dredged lightly in flour and seared the fish in a pan with hot olive oil. After 1 minute or slightly less, I turned off the heat, then flipped the fish over onto some thin slices of jamon serrano, then quickly added some chopped sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, grilled red and yellow peppers and ripe cherry tomatoes into the pan. Top with more jamon serrano and place in a hot oven for say 2 minutes more. Take it out, sprinkle with some fresh flat leaf parsley and basil and drizzle with just a touch more olive oil if necessary. This was a surprisingly good dish. The jamon serrano got a bit hard and crisp (NOT good on a soft diet, but great otherwise) and provided the salty touch, the fresh and sun-dried tomatoes were just warmed through and provided an fresh slightly acidic burst of flavor, the bell peppers the sweetness and the herbs more flavor. Shallots and garlic would have been a nice addition. With a bit of bread to sop up the oil and juices and you are in dinner heaven in less than 10 minutes! For some reason, salty pork and seafood are a wonderful match… So much for boring and bland “soft diets”! :)



  1. millet says:

    nothing like taking matters into your own hands, no? i agree, soft diet does not mean congee or pospas and chicken noodle soup forever. i love a good congee, but my favorite “soft meal” would be grilled eel (unagi kabayaki) on top of hot japanese rice. the rice is soft enough to be chewed on the side of the mouth that’s not affected, so it’s perfect.

    Jan 13, 2011 | 8:54 pm


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  3. tonceq says:

    champorado or anything stewed for a long time for me (very soft chicken in tinola or beef that can easily be pulled apart in bulalo does wonders!). Or if you don’t feel like rummaging in the kitchen, some ice cream would do the trick! (very helpful after tooth extractions). I see that the Jamon Serrano that you had for christmas is still alive and well MM!

    and i don’t know if it’s just my eyes, but is that a FISHPAN that you used to serve the salad? :)

    Jan 13, 2011 | 9:14 pm

  4. THELMA says:

    hmmm…unagi donburi sounds good! the
    misoshiru soup will be good, too, with
    lots of soft tofu…

    Jan 13, 2011 | 9:28 pm

  5. Jayjayv says:

    Yum! Where do you get your dapa fillets ?

    Jan 13, 2011 | 10:58 pm

  6. rita says:

    how about some mashed taters? bananas? pasta? smoothies, or oatmeal, or scrambled eggs for brekkie?

    by the way, i never got the chance to tell you this, but thanks for some of the translations to english. it helps me quite a bit.

    get better soon!

    Jan 14, 2011 | 4:06 am

  7. rosedmd says:

    Oh , wow!!!! i am happy to know, that a patient after a minor perio surgery can still enjoy food(and mind you, not just the good old lugaw and pospas…. quality food!!). it has always been my worry that most patients after surgery, will not be able to enjoy their food and just stick to the “sick food diet”.
    Enjoy, just don’t forget to take your medications, brushyour teeth well, floss and rinse very well to avoid complications!

    Jan 14, 2011 | 4:41 am

  8. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    A much better repast as opposed to the typical lugaw (though I’m sure the crispy ham may have irritated your gums and maybe or oral surgeon as well!)

    Jan 14, 2011 | 8:17 am

  9. chreylle says:

    i have a new appetizer/dish for a get together party, it seems pack in flavor and a feast for the eyes, tnx for sharing MM

    Jan 14, 2011 | 12:45 pm

  10. irene says:

    oldwives tale says you shouldn’t eat malansa after tooth extractions or surgery. glad to know that’s another myth!

    Jan 14, 2011 | 7:26 pm

  11. sandee says:

    Irene, that’s what my mom tells me too. Bawal malansa. Fish should be ok, depending on the type of fish and preparation. I’ve had 3 impacted tooth extractions, all requiring minor surgery. My diet consisted of congee, oats and noodles. Though I like congee and noodles, I grew tired of them soon enough. I remember lapu-lapu soup was one I really enjoyed. It’s something my mom always makes when one of us is sick or injured.

    On the fish used by MM, I really like the texture of dapa. At our home, simpleng tinoyo lang pagluto. It’s actually meant for those who eat congee at home. Pero nakikikain ako, sarap eh.

    Jan 15, 2011 | 1:30 pm

  12. Akosiely says:

    hi! This is my first time to visit your website. I watched Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho tonight. Your blogs are amazing! You inspire me. I think I want to be a young food blogger just like you.

    Jan 15, 2011 | 9:27 pm

  13. issey says:

    soft diet is healthy and delicious so why we cannot eat it

    Jan 15, 2011 | 10:38 pm

  14. ROTCHEL I. GONZAGA says:

    when i saw jessica soho tonight i get interested why beccause like the others I was inspired with cooking.I think you can help me on how to prepare foods na maaring magustuhan ng anak ko kasi masyadong mapili sa pagkain specially for his baon.

    Jan 15, 2011 | 11:07 pm

  15. ROTCHEL I. GONZAGA says:

    since this is my first time,i hope i could see more interesting,delicious,affordable na mga foods in your blog so i can share it na man to my co-teachers kasi mahilig din kaming magluto pag may time lang or i can teach it sa mga bata namin sa school.

    Jan 15, 2011 | 11:20 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    Rotchel, there are hundreds of recipes in the archives, some of them very easy and economical… you just have to browse to find the more appropriate ones for your needs… thanks.

    Jan 16, 2011 | 2:01 pm

  17. kayenne says:

    i like misua… the thin, white, for soup kind in pork ribs and dried shiitake broth. or else… puree of squash soup whenever i need to be on a soft diet. lately, i’ve also included couscous under the soft diet category.

    all i am told… after such a surgery, need to avoid chicken soup… kasi “malansa” and will make the wound hurt more.

    Jan 16, 2011 | 8:47 pm

  18. Cindy M. Soriano says:

    Hello MM! I grew up in Cebu and also enjoyed danggit etc. But now that I live in Manila, Alabang, where can i get really good fresh dapa just like what you had in the soft diet recipe? By the way, there’s a really good seafood market just 10 mins away and i got fresh clams, squid and prawns and made a delicious seafood pasta. I usually use fresh tomatoes and make my own sauce but this time I was lazy and got the stewed tomatoes in the can from South SuperMarket. It turned out really good because I used lots of garlic and herbs to prepare the sauce. Can you give me a good seafood pasta sans the tomatoe sauce? I would like to try that for a change. Don’t forget the fresh dapa fish, okay?

    Jan 16, 2011 | 11:51 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    Cindy, you can sometimes find nice large dapa at the Seaside market in Baclaran. I occasionally find them at the Saturday market at FTI, Taguig as well. Make a seafood pasta with clams, olive oil, garlic and chopped parsley or a linguine a la vongole as its called… excellent and without tomatoes… I think I have a recipe in the archives.

    Jan 17, 2011 | 8:52 am


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