Chinese Style Adobo





1 kilo / 2 lbs pork cubes (get the part with some fat on it like pork shoulder or pork belly)

Oyster sauce – 1 1/2 tbsp

Brown sugar – 1-2 tbsp (depending on how sweet you want it)

Soy sauce – 1/4 cup

Garlic – 6-8 cloves, minced

Ground Pepper

Chinese Mushrooms or mini-bella mushrooms  (optional)

A few drops of sesame oil


1.     Cut the pork into bite size.

2.     Sear the pork.

3.     Mix the oyster sauce,  sugar, soy sauce, bay leaf, ground pepper, garlic.  Pour onto the pan. Bring to a boil. Simmer  until pork is tender.

4. If using, dried Chinese mushrooms, cook it with the pork as it takes awhile to cook them. But if the mushrooms are fresh, just add them when the pork is already tender. Simmer until musrooms are cooked.

5. To bring even more flavor, add a few drops of sesame oil. Eat with rice. 


Orange Cake (Portuguese Style)



This is a dense but very moist cake often mistaken as chiffon or pound cake but it’s not. Appearances can indeed be deceiving. But it is certainly yummy and my go to cake when I feel down. The problem is I eat too much of it. 😦


4 large navel oranges (finely grate the orange rind and set aside the zest. then squeeze all the oranges to get about 1 cup of juice)

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder (add 1/2 tsp more if using 2 loaf pans)

1 1/2 tsp salt

4 eggs

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup olive oil (get the fresh and fruity kind – check the label or at least use the light one)


Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a bundt or tube pan (at least the 10-12-cup one) and set aside. You can also use two loaf pans (9×5). Do make sure that you use light colored (white/aluminum) bundt/tube or loaf pans as the dark ones don’t work well for this. The cake gets too dark and sticky.

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
A stand mixer would be quite handy for this though a handheld one will also do (use a large mixing bowl). Beat the eggs in the mixing bowl on medium speed for about 1 minute or until combined. Get the sugar and slowly pour it in and continue to beat for about 3-4 minutes until the mixture thickens and becomes a pale yellow. Adjust the speed to low and then alternately mix in the flour mixture and the olive oil – begin and end with the flour. I divide the flour mix into three parts when I do this and then pour olive oil in between.

Pour in the orange juice and beat the batter quickly just until everything is combined. Stop the mixer. Fold in the zest. Use a spatula to scrape the batter on the sides of the bowl and incorporate it with the rest then beat again, just for a few seconds, to ensure an even mix.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50-60 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs on it. For the loaf pan, about 45-50 mins. Check after about 40-45  mins to see if the top is browning too much. If that happens simply cover lightly with foil and continue to bake until the cake is done.

Remove from the oven and place in a cooling rack. Cool for about 30-40 mins in the pan before removing it to ensure that the cake does not break when you transfer it. Cool completely in a rack.

Note: Patience is a virtue — do not even think about touching it (I know it’s tempting but don’t!) or eating it until at least after a day. Second day, if you can wait, is even better. This cake is worth the wait. I just leave the cake in the kitchen for the waiting period (and pretend it’s not there so I am not tempted to eat it!) but in the Phils where the weather is warmer, perhaps it’s better to place it in the fridge though you may want it to reach room temp before you eat it.