The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

AFF Philippines : Chicken Inasal

Hello! Pardon my absent but have been busy busy!

chicken inasal AFF

A couple of months ago when I was in Boracay, we dined in this place called Andok’s, which is similar to our KFC + Nandos. Well it is fast food but mainly grilled chicken and fish. The grilled chicken and fish was soooo good that we bought and ate at a nearby restaurant to Kalibo Airport before we flew.

andok's chicken manok

Andok’s Chicken Manok

So anyway, I wanted to make it again because it was so yummy! And when I came back, I thought it was Chicken Inasal, so I went all the way (no la actually my friend from SG) to buy coconut vinegar and annatto powder back for me. Turns out, as I’m writting this post, Andok’s chicken has a easier marinade and it’s called Lechon Manok where it is roasted over charcoal fire, stuffed with lemongrass. Another grilled item that we liked was the Bangus, chargrilled boneless stuffed milkfish.

Oh well. Anyway I still got to try something new especially in roasting chicken. Most of the time, I just use herbs and lemon. This one calls for calamansi juice, coconut vinegar and soda water. Chicken Inasal is grilled over charcoal fire and uses a basting liquid that contains Annatto oil (Aswete oil) for that golden colour.

Annatto, sometimes called roucou or achiote, is derived from the seeds of the achiote trees of tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The seeds are sourced to produce a carotenoid-based yellow to orange food coloring and flavor. Its scent is described as “slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg” and flavor as “slightly nutty, sweet and peppery”. (from wiki)

chicken inasal ingredients

Ingredients for the marinade and basting liquid, calamansi juice, coconut vinegar and soda water makes up the majority of the marinade. Just marinade for 1-3 hours and the grill it. I air-fried it actually and every 5 minutes, I baste the chicken with the annatto mixture. I didn’t have annatto oil, so I used the powder and mixed it up with some corn oil. Recipe is adapted here

chicken inasal philippines


AFF Philippines : Chicken Inasal
I used the air fryer to grill the chicken, you can also grill it in the oven
Cuisine: Philippines
Serves: 2
  • Ingredients
  • 2 whole chicken legs
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup lemongrass, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut vinegar
  • ½ cup calamansi juice (about 300g of calamansi with before juicing)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (or palm sugar)
  • 1 cup lemon soda (soda water)
  • ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
Basting Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons annatto oil (atsuete oil) (or 1 tsp Annatto powder mixed with 2 tbsp oil)
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon calamansi juice
  1. In a freezer bag or large bowl, combine chicken, lemongrass, salt, ground black pepper, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, soda, and calamansi juice.
  2. Stir or shake the mixture until every ingredient is well incorporated. Marinade for 1 to 3 hours.
  3. In a bowl, combine margarine, annatto oil (aswete oil), salt, and lemon juice then stir. Set aside.
  4. Grill the chicken while basting generous amount of the margarine mixture.
  5. If using a air fryer, preheat air fryer at 180 for 2 minutes. Put the chicken leg in skin side down, brush some of the basting sauce over it and 'fry' for 5 minutes.
  6. Once done, turn the chicken to skin side up and apply the basting sauce again and fry for 5 minutes. Repeat until chicken is cooked (about 20 minutes)
  7. Transfer the grilled chicken to a serving plate.
  8. Serve calamansi and rice.


Overall it’s a nice marinade flavour with a little bit of spice and coconutty taste. The annatto powder don’t really have much flavour,, except a little smokey. Otherwise it is just used for colouring purpose, like tandoori chicken.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – Philippines hosted by The Sweet Spot.

AFF Philippines : Leche Flan

Hi all,

Sorry it took me a while to churn out the first AFF Philippines food post since I’m the host for this month. But you know let’s start with something sweet :)

Leche flan is the Filipino version of creme caramel. You can say that I don’t make the regular creme caramel often enough. Actually the last time I made it was …………. maybe easily 5-6 years ago. It can be a little tedious to make cause you gotta cook the custard then bake it over a waterbath. The filipino version isn’t that much different. Nope. It’s alot of difference!

AFF Philippines Leche Flan

In the Philippinesleche flan (the local term for the originally Spanish flan de leche, literally “milk flan”) is a heavier version of the Spanish flan made with condensed milk / evaporated milk and more egg yolks. Leche flan is usually steamed over an open flame or stove top, although rarely it can also be seen baked. Leche flan is a staple in celebratory feasts in the Philippines.

It is also probably the first time I will be steaming it, it makes sense you know, like how one would steam those savoury egg custard dishes, same logic here. And you dont’ need to use your oven, or set up a water bath for it.

aff leche flan

The ingredients are also simple, eggs, evaporated milk, and sugar. Traditionally, condensed milk was also used but based on this recipe that has been passed down from Trissalicious’ grandma, it doesn’t use condensed milk, but the whole of evaporated milk.

It’s very easy to make and you can also make it at home even if you do not have an oven! I’m sure you have a stove right ? Please tell me you have. :)

Leche Flan
adapted from Trissalicious
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 375 ml evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup sugar (additional)
  • 5 egg yolks plus 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla beans
  1. Boil the sugar in the sauce pan until dark brown and pour in a 23 cm metal cake pan and allow to harden.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine the evaporated milk, ¾ cups sugar, vanilla beans and eggs, whisk lightly. Place over a gentle heat and mix gently for a minute (you don’t want the eggs to cook). Pour the milk and egg mixture into the cake pan. Cover with foil.
  3. Steam the flan over slow heat for 40 to 45 minutes until the flan is set.
  4. Allow the flan to cool. Refrigerate the flan for a few hours. When ready to serve, run a knife around the sides of the cake pan. Place a large serving plate over the cake pan and flip over. Pour the extra caramel over the flan.

I loved it and it was very easy to make. My mom (surprisingly) said it was yummy and my bro loved it too! He said that it would put a smile on your face after the first spoon. :)

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – Philippines hosted by The Sweet Spot.

Mission Tortilla Chips and recipes for dips

Hello! How’s the World Cup Fever going on ? We’re just down to 2 matches and that’s it for 2014. Did your favourite team win or are they in the Finals ? For me, well, Holland lost it at semis :( But whether or not your favourite team is in the finals, you would still watch right ?? Haha I was watching one of the semis a couple of nights ago, and I started to get a little hungry. luckily I made some dips and had some Mission Tortilla Chips so I can’t help but to snack a little. If you’re having a World Cup finals viewing parteehh in your house, your friends could be in for a treat.

mission tortilla chips launch

Randall Tan, Brand Manager of Mission Foods South Asia and Chef Isadora Chai

Mission Chips made its official debut in Malaysia recently right on time for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Season. Perfect for shin-digs or just plain snacking, the authentic tortilla chips made from 100% real corn comes with a promise of 30% less oil than regular potato chips.mission chicken satay sauce According to Randall Tan, Brand Manager of Mission Foods South Asia, the all-corn flavoured Mission Chips makes a tastier, healthier snack compared to various other snacks available out there.All Mission corn tortilla chips are completely cholesterol-free with zero grams trans-fat per serving and are shelf stable. “We wanted to introduce Mission Chips as the quintessential chips and dips snack to be enjoyed with the family or when entertaining friends especially during the upcoming festive season. It comes in six flavours, can be enjoyed with any sort of dip as it is made with superior quality ingredients giving it that authentic crunch that consumers love,” said Randall as he welcomed guests at the launch of Mission Chips. mission tortilla chips tomato salsa dip To illustrate how well the chips go with dips, Mission engaged the highly talented private chef Isadora Chai to demonstrate dips with a local twist that can be prepared in minutes at home. Chip and dip plates are a real crowd pleaser, and pretty much anyone will enjoy the laid back feel of an easily accessible snack table crunch. To kick-start ideas, Isadora showed how to make Mission Curried Cream Cheese Dip and Mission Sarawakian Umai dip and shared her recipes for Mission Spiced Green Pea dip, and Mission Sweet and Spicy Tomato Coriander Dip. According to Chef Isadora, “Mission Chips is not your average chips as they are thick and crunchy making them great for dips, or even on their own”. mission tortilla chips curried cream cheese dip worldcup

mission tortilla chips

For those who want to entertain but find themselves stretched for time, Isadora suggested making cheat dips using sauces bought from mamak shops or food stalls. With a little bit of imagination, even leftovers can be used to create a delicious mouth-watering chips and dips bar. Isadora’s cheat dips, Mission Chicken Satay dip and Mission Crunchy Spiced Mint Chutney dip made using store-bought pasembur sauce and mint chutney were a hit at the launch. I had the pleasure of remaking 3 sauces at home for sharing; Curried Cream Cheese Dip, Tomato & Coriander Dip and Chicken Satay Dip. Here are all 3 of the recipes if you would like to try.   mission curry cream cheese


•       250 ml tub cream cheese, softened to room temperature
•       1 tbsp curry powder
•       ½ tsp lemon rind, finely chopped
•       Salt and pepper to taste
•       Mission Chips in any flavour (suggested Original)

•       Mix the ingredients together, adjust the heat of the curry powder to your preference.

tomato coriander dip mission chips

•       ½ tsp coriander seeds
•       ½ tsp cumin seeds
•       4 very ripe tomatoes
•       4 tbsp olive oil
•       1 clove garlic, finely pounded
•       1 tbsp gula Melaka, pounded
•       5 fresh curry leaves, finely sliced
•       1 tsp fish sauce
•       1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
•       1 red chilli, deseeded & finely diced
•       1 tsp mustard seeds
•       Salt & pepper to taste
•       Mission Chips in any flavour

•       Place the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry pan and dry roast the spices until the seeds start to pop. Place in a pestle and mortar and grind finely.
•       Finely score X’s through the skin of the tomatoes.
•       Place in a pot of boiling water to blanch the tomatoes until the skins start to peel away from the tomatoes.
•       Remove from the water and place in an icebath.
•       Core out the woody part of the tomatoes and roughly chop the tomatoes.
•       Mix in the olive oil, then add in the rest of the ingredients and the ground spices.
•       Season with salt and pepper to taste.
•       Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
•       Serve with Mission Chips

mission satay chicken dip


•       3 tbsp cooking oil
•       ½ tsp turmeric powder
•       1 stalk lemon grass, sliced and pounded finely
•       3 cloves garlic pounded
•       200 g minced chicken meat
•       Salt to taste
•       1 ½ cups pasembur sauce (satay / peanut sauce)
•       Mission Chips in any flavour

•       Heat oil in a wok and then sauté the turmeric powder, pounded lemon grass and garlic until fragrant.
•       Add in the chicken meat and stir-fry the meat until it is just cooked.
•       Season the chicken with salt to taste.
•       Then finally add in the pasembur sauce and cook until the sauce comes to a boil.
•       Serve immediately with the Mission Corn Chips.

Now may the best team win!

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