Have you ever wondered what it’s like to cook like your favorite chefs? Participants had the opportunity to learn how to cook like the pro’s themselves during the Cooking with La Germania: Masterclass Series, a five-part installment of virtual cooking classes held in partnership with celebrities and chefs from renown restaurants all over Metro Manila.
In the webinar series, expert instructors guided viewers through the step-by-step process of how to cook their signature dishes, disclosing their tips and tricks along the way. Attendees also had the opportunity to interact with the chefs, who assisted them throughout the process.
Among the impressive lineup were award-winning restaurateur Chef Margarita Forés, celebrity chef Rolando Laudico of Chef Guevarra’s and OK Cafe, and Chef Lee Jose from the Standard Hospitality Group which manages Yabu and Ippudo. In case you missed out on the unforgettable series, worry not! La Germania is here today to share some of the recipes behind your favorite restaurants’ signature dishes, and advice from our top chefs.
Not your typical pancake
There’s more to Japanese cuisine than ramen and sushi. Chef Lee Jose, Executive Chef of popular Japanese restaurant chains Yabu and Ippudo, demonstrated how to make the savory version of Japanese pancake, Okonomiyaki. Not only is it an easy and filling recipe, but it’s sure to wow your friends and family! It’s best if you shop at a Japanese grocery store before you try this recipe, as a lot of ingredients won’t be found in your usual supermarket.
- ¾ cups of water
- 1 tsp Honodashi powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅛ tsp iodized salt
- ¼ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 4 large eggs
- 4 cups of cabbage
- ½ cup of tenkasu (tempura flakes)
- 1 tbsp Benishoga (pickled ginger)
- Regular sliced bacon
- 4 tbsp spring onions
- 4 tbsp canola oil
- 1 ½ tbsp white sugar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 3 ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 cup Okonomiyaki batter
- 3 slices regular sliced bacon
- 2 tbsp Onomiyaki sauce
- 1 tsp Aonori powder
- 2 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
- Bonito flakes
- 1 tsp Spring onions
- Prepare the Okonomiyaki batter by chopping the cabbage into 1/2″ chunks. Do not use the hard core. In a mixing bowl, add water and honodashi powder and whisk to dissolve the honodashi powder. Add the rest of the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder). Whisk until the batter is smooth, then add the eggs and whisk until fully incorporated in the batter. Add the chopped Cabbage, Tempura flakes, Pickled Ginger, and Spring onions. You can also add whatever fillings you desire (mushrooms, ham, pre-cooked seafood, etc.) Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until every ingredient is coated. Cover and keep chilled until ready to cook. This recipe yields 4 portions.
- For the Okonomiyaki sauce, put all ingredients in a bowl and mix until all the sugar has dissolved. Keep in an airtight container and set aside. Keep chilled.
- Heat up a non-stick pan and add 1 tbsp of oil on medium heat. When the pan is hot, scoop 1 cup of batter and add to the middle of the pan. Using your rubber spatula, gently level out the batter, then cover and let the batter cook a bit for 2 minutes.
- Remove the cover and lay down 3 slices of bacon on top of the pancake. Cover and cook for 1 minute more, then gently flip the pancake and turn the heat to low. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes, then test for doneness by sticking a knife or chopsticks in the middle of the pancake to test if it’s fully cooked. If the stick or knife comes out clean, it’s cooked.
- Spread 1-2 tbsp of okonomiyaki sauce on top of the pancake and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the aonori (seaweed powder) and drizzle the Japanese mayonnaise. Top the pancake with bonito flakes & spring onions. Serve right away.
Elevate your breakfast favorites
You may be an expert in making meatballs, but have you tried Longanisa meatballs? Chef Rolando Laudico of Chef Laudico Guevarra’s and OK Cafe taught the audience his secret to making his elevated version of Filipino breakfast classic Longsilog, better known as “Long-Ri-Long”, which is Longanisa meatball on creamy garlic salted egg risotto, poached eggs, and oven-dried tomatoes.
- 500g longganisa ground meat
- Half cup small white onion, diced
- 2 tbsps fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tbsps fresh Italian parsley
- Half cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 whole egg, beaten
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- Half cup milk
- 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
Creamy garlic salted egg risotto
- 1 cup risotto rice (arborio or any short grain rice)
- 2 tbsps butter
- 1 head of garlic, minced
- 1L chicken stock
- 1 cup of cream
- 2 salter eggs, chopped fine
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 6 whole tomatoes, halved
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
- 4 eggs
- Sea salt
- 4 cups of water
- To make the longganisa meatballs, begin by mixing bread crumbs and milk together in a cup and let milk absorb for 5 minutes. In a big bowl, take out fresh longganisa meat from the casing (discard casing) and mix all other ingredients together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Form into meatballs and fry using a non-stick pan with 4 tablespoons of olive oil until brown. Place in a sheet pan and bake in the oven at 175C for 10-15 minutes or until meatballs are fully cooked.
- To make the risotto, heat butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat and add minced garlic. Saute for 2 minutes or until garlic is golden in color, then add risotto rice or sticky rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock 1 cup at a time and gently stir until the liquid has been totally absorbed. Repeat the process until the rice is cooked. Rice should be a bit al dente. Add more stock if needed depending on the type of rice used. Finally, add cream and finely chopped salted egg then cook for another 2-3 minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs like Italian parsley
- For the tomatoes, slice them in half then season with sea salt and pepper. Bake in a 175C oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes have dried a bit.
- For the poached eggs, add water in a small cup then add a pinch or two of sea salt. Break the whole egg and add to the cup being careful not to break the yolks. Place the cup in a microwave for 45 seconds to a minute depending on the power of the microwave. Spoon out poached egg on a paper towel to absorb excess liquid. Repeat the process to the other 4 eggs.
- For assembly, on a platter or plate, spread salted egg garlic risotto then top with longganisa meatballs, oven-dried tomatoes, poached eggs and garnish with fresh herbs.
Satisfying your Italian craving
While the recipe behind Cibo’s famous Penne al Telefono will remain a secret (revealed exclusively to the attendees of the Masterclass series), here are some of Chef Margarita Forés biggest do’s and don’ts when it comes to cooking the perfect pasta.
For one, the quality of your ingredients and the way they were manufactured makes a world of a difference when it comes to the richness and flavor of your meal! This is why you need to choose your ingredients carefully, and understand the science behind how they were made and how they react to other ingredients. For instance, Cibo recommends using pasta from the brand “De Cecco”, which uses a bronze pasta shaper that creates more porous noodles, allowing sauces to cling to the pasta better.
For Margarita’s biggest don’ts, do not check for doneness by throwing your pasta against a wall and expecting it to stick. This means that your pasta is overcooked! Furthermore, do not run your freshly cooked pasta under cold water, as this removes all the flavor. Remember that pasta water is your best friend, and is a vital ingredient to the flavor of your pasta.
When preparing these mouthwatering dishes, it’s important to choose the best ingredients and to use good quality kitchen equipment like La Germania. Built according to the highest European standards in terms of construction and design, La Germania appliances allow you to prepare restaurant-worthy dishes in an efficient and easy way. With guaranteed durability and superior quality, they’re a good investment for you to channel your inner chef, and unleash your kitchen genius.