What is Cooking

Cooking is an art.   It is linked with the dietary habits and cultural pattern of people.  The intention of cooking is to see that the food cooked undergoes a physical and a chemical change at the end result is edible and acceptable.

Applying  heat  to  a  food  usually,  though  not  always, chemically  transforms  it,  thus  changing  its  flavor,  texture, consistency, appearance, and nutritional properties. 
Cooking is the application of heat to food for the purpose of making it more digestible, safer to eat, more palatable and to change its appearance. To cook food, heat must be introduced. In the cooking process the heat breaks down the cellulose in the plant, softens some of the connective tissues in the meat, changes and blends flavors within the food and destroys bacteria, makes food more acceptable to human beings and their digestive system.

  • Cooking increases habitability. Cooking pleases the eye and is receptive to the palate and helps to stimulate the digestive juices, thereby creating an appetite.
  • Cooking helps to provide a balanced meal. The different ingredients combined together in one dish make it easier to provide a balanced meal. 
  • Cooking sterilizes the food partially. Cooked food can be stored for a longer time and it prevents food poisoning and diseases when stored properly. Some of the disease producing germs is killed by cooking. They are killed because of high temperature during the cooking process. A temperature of 600°C applied over 30 or more minutes, kills most of the pathogenic germs.
  • Cooking retains, as far as possible, the nutritive and flavoring ingredients. The flavor depends upon the amount and kind of extraction present, and the acids developed. Nutritive value is enhanced if the fat proportion in the meat is more. While cooking, the nutrition could be preserved by using the cooking liquor.
  • Cooking gives a variety to the menu, as one food item could be cooked in various ways and given different textures, e.g. mutton in a soup, roast joint, croquettes, stews, keema, sookha meat, boti kababs, etc. Different methods of cooking when used make the menu interesting and enhance variety. It is, therefore, easier to plan a balanced diet.
Cooking preserves food for a longer time. The high temperature destroys bacteria and limits spoilage. It is economical as the cooked leftovers could be utilized and new dishes could be prepared. 


The following are the advantages of cooking

  • Cooking makes the food easy to chew.  makes animal foods more digestible.
  • Cooking softens the connective tissues in the meat and Cooking makes the complex foods split into simpler substances.
  • Cooking helps to kill harmful bacteria. It makes the food safe to eat.
  •  Cooking preserves the food.
  • Cooking increases adaptability. It improves taste and enhances the flavor.
  • A  wide  variety  of dishes  can  be  made  by different methods of cooking viz. boiling,  frying,  roasting, microwaving, baking, smoking, etc.
  • Cooking makes the dish more colorful. It develops new flavors in food.
  • Cooking makes the food to appreciable texture.
  • Cooking makes food more appetizing.
  • Cooking provides balanced meal.
  • Cooking adds more nutritive value to food.


Food is composed of the following five constituents
  • Carbohydrates 
  • Fats
  • Proteins
  • Minerals 
  • Vitamins 
CarbohydratesCarbohydrates used in cooking include simple sugars such as glucose from table sugar and fructose from fruit and starches from sources such as cereal flour, rice, arrowroot and potato. 

Sources of Carbohydrates

Fats: Fats and oils come from both animal and plant sources. In cooking, fats provide tastes and textures. When used as the principal cooking medium rather than water, they also allow the cook access to a wide range of cooking temperatures. 

Fats & Oils: Common oil-cooking techniques include sauteing, stir-frying, and deep-frying. Commonly used fats and oils include butter, olive oil, sunflower oil, lard, beef fat both dripping and tallow, rapeseed oil or canola, and peanut oil. The inclusion of fats tends to add flavor to cooked food.

ProteinsEdible animal material, including muscle, offal, milk and egg White, contains substantial amounts of protein. Almost all Vegetable matter in particular legumes and seeds also Includes proteins, although generally in smaller amounts. These may also be a source of essential amine acids. 

Minerals:  Minerals are the chemical elements required by living organisms, other than the four elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen which are present in common organic molecules. Sometimes these "minerals" come from natural sources such as ground oyster shells. Sometimes minerals are added to the diet separately from food, such as mineral 
supplements, the most famous being iodine in "iodized salt.

VitaminsVitamins are essential for the normal growth and development. It is a key nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to grow and stay strong. Examples are vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamins are found in many fruits and vegetables;  especially green peppers, citrus, strawberries, tomatoes, Broccoli, leafy greens, potatoes, animal foods; such as liver, Whole eggs and milk. 

Action of Heat on Carbohydrates: The interaction of heat and carbohydrate is complex. Long chain sugars such as starch tend to break down into more simple sugars when cooked, while simple sugars can form syrups. If sugars are heated so that all water of crystallization is driven off, then Amelioration starts, with the sugar undergoing thermal decomposition with the formation of carbon and other breakdown products producing caramel. 

An emulsion of starch with fat or water can, when gently heated, provide thickening to the dish being cooked. In European Cooking, a mixture of butter and flour called a roux is used to thicken liquids to make stews or sauces. In Asian cooking, a similar effect is obtained from a mixture of rice or corn starch and water. These techniques rely on the properties of starches to create simpler mucilaginous saccharine during cooking, which causes the familiar thickening of sauces. This thickening will break down, however, under additional heat. 

Action of Heat on Proteins

When proteins are heated they become DE-nurtured and change texture. In many cases, this
causes the structure of the material to become softer or more friable - meat becomes cooked. 
Action of Heat on Fats 
Fat melts when it comes in contact with heat. If heated to a very high degree for a long time, fats undergo partial decomposition and fatty acids and glycerol are produced. Glycerol further decomposes into caroling which is an irritating compound to the digestive system. When fat heated for long time at too slow temperature it thickens, becoming gummy. This condition is known as polymerization, and fat that has reached this stage is no longer fit for use.

Action of Heat on Minerals 
There is no appreciable loss of minerals due to cooking. Some minerals are made more readily available by cooking. 

Action of Heat on Vitamins 

There is some unavoidable loss of vitamins during cooking. The loss is considerable in respect of thiamine and vitamin C. Vitamin A and D are not destroyed by the ordinary methods of cooking. Vitamin B may be destroyed during cooking if cooked at High temperature. The use of baking soda in cooking causes further Destruction of vitamins. 


Chicharon Bulaklak Crispy Fried Chitterlings (Pig Intestines)

Chicharon Bulaklak are pig intestines or chitterlings that are boiled and fried to a crisp.  They are usually served as beer snacks or appetizers together with a spicy vinegar dipping sauce. 
I wash and clean the chitterlings thoroughly before I cut them to bite size pieces. If they are still a little slimy,  I scrub with a mixture of rock salt and vinegar and rinse thoroughly to wash off excess salt. 

I boil them in onion, garlic, bay leaf and salt and pepper (just like the Lechon Kawali) and deep fried them.

I try to be careful not to overcook them as it is so easy to do so,  then I season them with salt and pepper right after they are taken off the oil.
  • Pig Intestines
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cooking Oil

  • 1 Kg. Pig intestines
  • 2 liters of Water
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 pieces Bay leaf
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Cooking Oil for frying

1    Boil the intestines in water, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and bay leaf for 30 – 45 minutes or until tender.
2   Drain, pat them dry and cut them into bite size pieces.
3   Deep fry in medium heat until golden brown. Take out of the oil immediately.
 Put on paper towel to drain excess oil.
5   Sprinkle some salt and pepper right after taking out of the oil.
6   Serve with vinegar and chili pepper flakes dipping sauce.

Lechon Paksiw Roasted or Fried Pork Cooked in Vinegar, Sugar and Lechon Sauce
Make it into Lechon Paksiw...
Lechon, either from roasted pig or LechonKawali, is not very appetizing when it's a day old in the refrigerator.
Thus, we make it into Lechon Paksiw.
Made by simmering the pork leftover with vinegar, sugar, a little soy sauce, bay leaf, and lechon sauce, it's a little tangy and on the sweet side.
  • Lechon Sauce
  • Lechon leftovers
  • Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 pound Lechon, cut in cubes
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 head Garlic, minced
  • 1 piece Bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Lechon Sauce
COOKING TIME : 25 minutes
1 Put the Lechon in a pot, add garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf, sugar and water. Bring to a boil.
2 Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes until the lechon skin is tender and the liquid has reduced into half.
3 Add the lechon sauce, salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes.
4 Serve with
5 Serve with rice.
  • Take out the bay leaf when serving so no one will choke on it.
  • Do not stir the vinegar mixture in Step #1 so the vinegar will not taste fresh and very tangy.
  • This dish, just like anything cooked with vinegar, tastes better the following day, so don't worry if you have leftovers in the refrigerator.
  • You could also do a lechon-manok version of this dish, just cut the roasted chicken in serving sizes, but do not braise for so long as roasted chicken are already very tender and they will look more like pulled meat rather than paksiw.

This Kalamay recipe is made from sweet rice or malagkit, sugar and coconut milk.
The topping is coconut cream or kakang gata and panutsa, cooked until thick and topped onto the cooked sweet rice.
The topping has to set so baking is required.
Kalamay refers to any sweet sticky dessert cooked in coconut milk.
Different regions have their own particular recipe for this sweet delicacy, some are made from glutinous rice and others from rice flours.
The banana leaves, though optional, give this dessert a distinct taste and fragrance.
Also, vegetable or coconut oil is necessary to prevent this kakanin from sticking to the baking dish.
  • Glutinous Rice
  • Coconut Milk in can
  • Coconut Cream in can
  • Palm Sugar or Dark Brown Sugar or Panutsa
  • Anise Seed (optional)
  • Banana Leaves, optional
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 2 1/2 cups Glutinous Rice
  • 4 cups Coconut Milk(or 1 can coconut milk plus enough water to make 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed(optional)
  • 1 can Coconut Cream or 1 1/2 cups Kakang Gata
  • 250 grams Brown Palm Sugar or Dark Brown Sugar
  • Banana Leaves, heated
  • Vegetable or Canola Oil
COOKING TIME : 40 minutes
1 Dissolve the sugar in the coconut milk and put in a pot. Add the anise seeds.
2 Wash the glutinous rice and pour into the coconut milk and sugar mixture.
3 Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is fully absorbed by the rice.
4 On a separate pan over medium heat, put the Coconut cream and Palm sugar and cook stirring continuously until the liquid has reduced in half.
5 Assemble the Kalamay in a baking dish. Place the banana leaves at the bottom, and brush with oil. Spread the cooked sweet rice onto the leaves and flatten evenly.
6 Spread the topping onto the sweet rice and bake on a 350 degrees F, pre-heated oven for 20 - 25 minutes.
7 Cool for 30 minutes before serving.
  • When buying palm sugar, get the darker brown, not the light brown so the topping will have an appetizing golden color.
  • Lightly heat the banana leaf over the stove-top burner or in the microwave to make it pliable and easy to handle.
  • Oil your spoon or spatula when spreading the sweet rice onto the baking dish for easy handling.
  • The familiar licorice-taste in most biko is because of the anise seed, but it's up to you if you want to skip it.

Seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, especially Central and South America, and the Philippines. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chilli peppers

Additional seasonings such as onion, salt, coriander cilantro, and pepper may also be added. Ceviche is usually accompanied by side dishes that complement its flavors such as sweet potato, lettuce, corn, or avocado. 

Kilawin is a Philippine exotic delicacy in which the main ingredient is raw fish or meat marinated in vinegar, pepper, chili “preferably siling labuyo”, chopped onions, and garlic and either cooked or served fresh without cooking. Other souring agents like calamansi juice may be used in place of vinegar.

The root word "kilaw" probably comes from the word hilaw, meaning "raw." It is a common dish found in almost every part of the Philippine archipelago. It has been around since at least the 10th century, an excavation revealing remains of cooking ingredients in Butuan City suggests.

The Ilocano version, called kilawin, has the addition of papait "bitter bile juice". In nearby La Union and Pangasinan, there is a version known a "jumping salad" consisting of live shrimps eaten with a sprinkle of calamansi juice.

In the Visayas, it is called kinilaw and the meat, seafood and vegetables in the dish are entirely raw or soured with vinegar or fruit juice. Coconut milk may be used in some recipes.

Thе kinilaw moment іѕ thаt instant whеn thе raw fish  οr οthеr seafoodοr meat meets thе vinegar οr οthеr souring agent, аnd Ingredients: green onion, coconut, fish fillets, onions, cherry tomato, garlic, ginger, salt. The most comprehensive, fully illustrated cookbook on seafood and freshwater fish available, Seafood features all widely available fish and shellfish, it can be intimidating to shop for seafood. You wonder if it's healthy for you, you worry about whether it's overfished and whether it's caught in way.

The harvesting of wild seafood is known as fishing and the cultivation  and farming of seafood is known as aquaculture, maricultureor in the case of fish, fish farming. Seafood is often distinguished from meat, although it is still animal and is excluded in a strict vegetarian diet. Seafood is an important source of protein in many diets around the world, especially in coastal areas.


The soupy coconut milk working in tandem with  a bite of white vinegar. The usual raw shrimps supposedly cooked  by or marinated in vinegar tasted sweet. Added freshly chopped hot red  pepper and red onions spice up the dish. Finally, topping up the dish are slivers of green mango adding zing to the kinilawOne can substitute fresh shrimps with other seafoods such as fresh tuna or fresh anchovies. Only one's imagination limits the kind of fresh seafoods one can use in making kinilaw or enchaladas.

This is my latest discovery of seafoods in capiz, also known as Enchaladang Hipon. This dish makes one's mouth watery just by glancing at it. What more if you get the chance to savor it when you visit capiz.