Sith Lord Cooking Series: How to Turn Your Leftover Bulalo to an Appetizing Lunch

A few nights prior to Christmas, a few colleagues and I made a spontaneous trip to Tagaytay. How spontaneous? We left Manila around 6pm and arrived at the mountain city around 8pm. We had a quick dinner at a Manila-based restaurant which exclusively serves Bulalo (beef shank and bone marrow soup) at their branch in Tagaytay. Ordering a bit too much for four hungry male stomachs, we were left with no choice but to take the leftovers home.

Living alone in a penthouse apartment in the Sampaloc district of Manila for a few years now, I have mastered the art of cooking and saving the leftovers throughout those years to avoid spoilage of food. This time, I was left with a bag of Bulalo. So, what should I do with this?

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Fried Bulalo Flakes

You will need:

Leftover bulalo
1/4 cup cooking oil (I used canola oil on this)
Salt to taste
Pinch of cracked or ground pepper
Pinch of dashi granules/monosodium glutamate
3-4 pcs star anise
Sesame oil (optional)

Beef shanks have a lot of tendons embedded randomly between strands of meat. It also has occasional fat. If you’re not fond of eating the chewy, rubbery texture of tendons, prepare to get messy on the first step.

  1. Shred the meat using your bare hands. Trust me, using anything else other than your hands would just make this step difficult. So just use your hands.
  2. Let the salt, cracked peppers, and dashi/MSG join the party. Mix thoroughly.
  3. In a hot skillet, preheat your cooking oil until smoke starts to rise up.
  4. Toss in your star anise and “fry” it.
  5. Now start frying your bulalo flakes. Let it stand there for about 4-5 minutes until it appears dry and crispy. Do not overcook. Overcooking will totally dry up your flakes and may affect the flavor.
  6. Splash a few drops of sesame oil (optional) just to get a hint of the Orient on your taste buds.
  7. Enjoy with a cup of brown unpolished rice!

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Que Dios nos bendigo y nos proteja.
RA

 

 

 

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White Christmas

To be deployed in the hospital to function as a doctor is a whole lot of a different experience than how it was almost a decade ago when I worked in the wards as a student nurse. From the number of hours per shift to the overall role in the work place, the difference is a thousand miles apart.

This year, I got to experience my first birthday inside the hospital. Honestly, it wasn’t the schedule that I wanted. I would prefer to have a day off or from-duty post on my birthday but I didn’t bother to switch schedules with other members of the team since, let’s be honest, one would have thought about it as a fun new experience.

A few days after came Christmas eve. Everyone in the ward suddenly became extra busy last December 24 trying to balance the time for each admitted patient and decorating the Pedia Clerks’ Work Room for Noche Buena. To put it simply, “Noche Buena” literally translates to “(the) Good Night” where families and friends gather together a few minutes before 12 midnight of Christmas Day to dine and celebrate. It’s a common tradition among Spanish-influenced countries such as the Philippines, Mexico, and most of the Latin American nations. On that day, I was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) attending to a preterm newborn patient delivered via Cesarean Section. The three of us assigned there only had intermittent chances to go to the ward where our Christmas dinner was prepared. Nope, that wasn’t fun at all. Imagine everyone else in the ward having fun taking a break from the everyday scenes inside the hospital while the three of us downstairs had to keep a patient inside the NICU alive and thermoregulated. Not. Fun. At. All.

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When I went upstairs, I was surprised to see the effort of all the ward people scattered all over the place. From the Christmas decors to the food in the table, it’s safe to say that the Christmas dinner that we had in the hospital was a good one. Though all of us weren’t with our families for Christmas, the team didn’t fail to somehow let us feel the spirit of Christmas inside the hospital.

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The career path that we chose is a perilous one. I’m aware that these firsts will have succeeding sequels. Despite the tight schedules that usually lead to occasional disorientation to time and date, the most important thing to consider here is the fact that I am enjoying what I’m doing. Celebrating a white Christmas (Christmas inside the white walls of the hospital) wasn’t bad at all. In fact, everyone had fun and got a click of revitalization, leaving the stresses and all the sleepless nights in temporary oblivion. It was Christmas away from home but near the company of great friends and mentors. I think I could get used to this. At the end of the day, no material thing would top a former patient’s Christmas greeting and endless gratitude.

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Feliz Navidad para todos.

Que Dios nos bendiga y nos proteja.
RA

Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you to Eris of erisgoesto.com for nominating my blog for the Mystery Blogger Award! 🙂

WHAT IS MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD?

Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma

RULES

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things about Myself 

  1. I secretly wanted to be a Dark Lord of the Sith someday. Okay, seems like this one’s not a secret anymore.
  2. During my kindergarten graduation, I told the spectators that I wanted to be a doctor. In college, however, I tried pursuing architecture due to my fondness of art and skylines. Good thing I didn’t make it to architecture school. Perhaps I would have regretted that decision today if it happened. 🙂
  3. Cat person right here, ladies and gentlemen

Here are my answers to Eris’s questions :

  1. A book you’re reading right now.

I just received Neil Gaiman’s Coraline for Christmas! But I have a strong feeling that I might not be able to read it for the next few weeks. So right now, I’m reading the 2016 First Aid for the USMLE Step 1. :))

2. What is your spirit animal?

I never thought about this yet actually. But I’d go with a cat. A black cat specifically. Cats are shy, timorous, and most of the time unpredictable. Sometimes they’d greet you bearing a good mood while sometimes they just want to be alone in a corner. Okay, I just specified the color because black is one of my two favorite colors.

3. One thing you hope to achieve in 2017.

That Medicinae Doctor (M.D.) after my name!

4. If you had one superpower what would it be?

Invisibility. I think I can do a lot more with invisibility. I can travel, sneak in prohibited buildings that I always wished to explore, get free unlimited passes to all of the world’s wonders, rob banks without anyone noticing or getting hurt (kidding), and surely a whole lot more.

5. A person you look up to and why.

Dr. José Rizal. He’s one of the reasons why I wanted to become a doctor. He’s a doctor. Multilingual. Polymath. Poet. Painter. Most importantly, he has blazing love for his family and country.

 

Answers to Kriztin’s questions:

1. What’s you favorite kind of music? If you’re not the picky type, then what’s your current favorite?

I listen to almost anything but I have the least preference on EDM and hip-hop. Incubus and Coldplay are always on my roadtrip and airplane playlist.

2. What movie speaks to you the most?

(MINI-SPOILER ALERT. If you haven’t watched any Star Wars film, do not proceed)
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Simply because I’m one with the Dark Side of the Force. LOL. Kidding aside, Episode VI is a movie that made a promise that anyone could return to the light after being soaked in darkness. It’s a story of an undying hope which started on the scene when Padme was muttering her final words to Obi-Wan about her feeling towards Vader’s “inner good” despite turning to the Dark Side a few moments after her death in Episode III.

3. What’s one positive though you have for 2017?

The year 2016 was a hell of a windswept bleak. Since it’s already negative, I’m expecting 2017 to be an extreme opposite for all of us who were hurt and strangulated by the previous year. Let’s just think positive!

4. What line of a book, song or poem resonates with you? Why?

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.

Honestly, I am essentially weak. I get discouraged and depressed for the very minute reasons. Whenever I’m feeling down and murky, I just look up to Him and remember His promises. Joshua 1:9 is just one from His boxes of promises.

I nominate:

Errr. I don’t know who to tag since most of the blogs I follow already did this Mystery Blogger Award thing. So I prepared five questions for those who would like to do or re-do this post instead. 🙂

Here are my five questions: 

  1. How do you see yourself 10 years from now?
  2. Tell me about your favorite line/quote from a book or movie.
  3. What are your greatest pet peeves?
  4. If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be and why?
  5. Who do you think defines what is good and what is evil?

Happy Holidays, dear friends! 🙂

The First Step to #Adulting

So this is what my parents would repeatedly tell me before. In reality, life could be really hard. One does not need to live in poverty to say that life is a bummer. Sometimes, just because of the big decisions and responsibilities, one could already say that it’s actually an obstacle course.

You know that you’re on your way to adulthood when little by little, big things like long-term decisions that one cannot simply make in a fraction of a second start piling up. That one decision that a tiny mistake would potentially make a huge difference and spark thoughts of regrets and frustration. I realized that what’s happening today cannot be compared your graduation day in Kindergarten where you’re tasked to simply share to your ambitions to the spectators, where you can say whatever you want as of that moment. Or to that moment where you’re asked by Professor Oak to choose which Pokemon would you take as a starter. Now, it’s time to settle things. It’s time to finalize the future.

Of course I’m aware that I am a long overdue adult. It’s been almost a decade since I first stepped on the age of being a “legal adult” in our country. But I think this is the biggest decision yet to make so far in my twenty…uhmm. Twenty-something years of existence.

December 7, 2016. This was the last day that our medical school had to set to submit all necessary documents for all internship applicants from our institution. At first, I though I was already sure about the hospital that I already had in mind. But the more seniors I chat with, the more options came popping up like stealthy assassins terminally blowing up their cover in the woods. I reconsidered. Right now, I may say that adulthood has started.

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So, there you go. I sent an application to just one hospital. No backup. No whatever.  I dreamed of becoming a surgeon and I think this is the best option for me to become a great one. Wherever God would take me, there I’d go. I already did my best. The rest is all up to Him now.

Que Deus nos abençoe y nos proteja!

The Ghost (2016)

Whenever I’m out of the hospital or I feel like doing nothing, I try to calm my nerves by painting. So here’s my most recent work that I did for about 4 hours using my Samsung device. Folks, the new Ghost Rider, Robbie Reyes — my new favorite character from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Ghost
~ 4 hours painting time, ~5 days to complete
Digital painting
Samsung Galaxy Note 3