I am always on the lookout for new recipes to try at home so that I do not fall into the trap of preparing and serving the same dishes over and over. Particularly when I brought my husband Raff (who suffered a stroke last year) home and I got thrust into the role of being principal caregiver to him as he recovered from his condition, I took my kitchen chores seriously because I wanted to serve him nutritious but at the same time delicious meals at all times.
So, aside from the dishes that I usually prepare and the recipes my sister Swanie taught me during the one year that we stayed with her in her place in Mandaluyong, I flip through the pages of cookbooks and food magazines, google online and experiment on my own in the kitchen. I also ask chef friends and neighbors to teach me some of their unique recipes. Recipes shared by friends on Facebook and those sent by public relations (PR) practitioners handling food and culinary products also come in very handy.
Just recently, Redge Jimenez Lopez, independent PR maven handling the Good Life brand exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation, sent me some samples of Good Life Premium Vermicelli and Bihon with recipes of Chicken Sotanghon Soup and Sotanghon Guisado ala Good Life.
I got particularly interested in the Sotanghon Guisado recipe, took a look at the list of ingredients and the procedure, realized that all the ingredients (except snow peas or sitsaro, which I replaced with green beans) were available in my kitchen and that the instructions were quite easy to follow. I decided to make it for dinner. I documented the procedure in photographs for this week’s Weekend Chef column just in case it turned out well.
It did—and Raff loved the noodles. I gave him a regular serving of Sotanghon Guisado À La Good Life with lightly grilled tuna steak. He finished it and asked for seconds. I gave him a little bit more, and he was happy. Keeping him happily nourished is one of my goals in helping him recover completely, and looks like I am able to achieve that because he has come a long way in his recovery phase.
Sotanghon Guisado À La Good Life
250 grams Good Life Premium Vermicelli
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. palm oil
1 pc. medium-sized onion, chopped
1 pc. carrot, peeled and cut into strips
6 pcs. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 pc. chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup annatto oil*
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup sitsaro (snow peas)
4 pcs. spring onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1. Soak vermicelli (sotanghon) in hot water for 10 minutes or until noodles soften. Drain and set aside.
2. Rehydrate dried mushrooms by soaking in a little water until soft, then remove stem and slice into thin strips.
3. Prepare other ingredients—mince garlic, chop onion, cut carrots into strips, slice chicken breast, and chop spring onion.
4. Over medium heat, sauté garlic in palm oil then add onion.
5. Add carrots and mushrooms.
6. Add chicken strips, and season with fish sauce, soy sauce, annatto oil (*made by cooking achuete or annatto seeds in oil until the oil takes on an orange color, then removing and discarding the seeds), salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
7. Pour in chicken stock.
8. Add soaked vermicelli, making sure the noodles are fully submerged in the stock. Also add the sitsaro.
9. Mix well and bring to a boil.
10. Serve in a platter. Sprinkle with chopped spring onion before serving.