Comida China: Morisqueta Tostada History & Recipe

Comida China

This dish is typical of what is known in the Philippines as Comida China: Chinese dishes with Spanish names. Both the Spaniards and the Chinese were a very strong presence in the Philippines during the colonial days from the 16th to the early 20th century. When the Chinese opened the first restaurants knows as panciterias, Spanish was the language of commerce, hence the dishes acquired Spanish names.-(


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History of Sake (Nihonshu)

.                                           Sake or saké (pronounced /ˈsɑːkiː/ or /ˈsɑːkeɪ/ in English and [sake]  in Japanese) is a Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice.


This beverage is called sake in English, but in Japanese, sake (酒) or o-sake (お酒) refers to alcoholic drinks in general. The Japanese term for this specific beverage is Nihonshu (日本酒), meaning “Japanese sake”.

The History

The origins of sake are unclear; however, the earliest written reference to use of alcohol in Japan is recorded in the Book of Wei, of the Records of Three Kingdoms. This 3rd century Chinese text speaks of the Japanese drinking and dancing. Sake is also mentioned several times in the Kojiki, Japan’s first written history, compiled in 712. People used sake for spiritual functions because people who had it got a fever.

The first alcoholic drink in Japan may have been kuchikami no sake (“mouth-chewed sake”), which is made by chewing nuts or grains and spitting them into a pot. The enzymes from the saliva allow the starches to saccharify (convert to sugar), and then ferment. This method was also used by Native Americans (see cauim, chicha and pulque), and inscriptions from the 14th century BC mention Chinese millet wine (小米酒,xiǎo mǐ jǐu) being made the same way.Though there are various opinions in the start of sake, ancient sake was a basically sticky state of the paste as “neri sake” that remained in Izumo and Hakata now.

Regardless, by the Asuka period, true sake – made from rice, water, and kōji mold (麹, Aspergillus oryzae) – was the dominant alcohol. In the Heian period, sake began to be used for religious ceremony and people seldom drank it. Sake production was a government monopoly for a long time, but in the 10th century, temples and shrines began to brew sake, and they became the main centers of production for the next 500 years. The Tamon-in Diary, written by abbots of Tamon-in temple from 1478 to 1618, records many details of brewing in the temple. The diary shows that pasteurization and the process of adding ingredients to the main fermentation mash in three stages were established practices by this time. In the 16th century, technique of distillation was introduced into the Kyushu district from Ryukyu, and started brewing shochu called “Imo – sake,” sold at the central market in Kyoto. And, powerful daimyos imported various liquors and wine from Europe, China, and Korea.

See the brewing process and read more history at Wikepedia:

Chinese New Year Food & Traditions

Chi fan le mei you?” “Have you eaten yet?” Is a common greeting to guests as they enter your home to celebrate the Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year throughout the west. Many of the traditions of Chinese New Year center around food either being cooked or eaten.

 To all people who trace their roots back to China, the most important date in the Lunar calendar is Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival, a traditional time for feasting with family and friends that dates back thousands of years.

 As at all traditional Chinese gatherings, food plays an important role in the Chinese New Year Festival. Dinners tend to be very elaborate involving tables laden with auspicious foods.

 On New Year’s Eve, families have a reunion feast which includes nian gao, a sticky rice pudding cake which is said to make people “advance toward higher positions and prosperity step by step.” A New Year’s Eve tradition from Northern China, dumplings (jiao zi), look like the golden ingots yuan bao used during the Ming Dynasty for money and the name sound like the word for the earliest paper money, so serving them brings the promise of wealth and prosperity!

 Many families eat these at midnight so they have money at the changing of the years. Some cooks will hide a clean coin in one for the most lucky to find. Long noodles are used to guarantee that all at the table will have a long life.

There is so much more to learn at:

Cultural Food Pyramid Series: Asian Food Pyramid

Asian Food: The Shitake Mushroom


Shitake Mushroom (Image from The Best Years In Life )

The shiitake mushroom is a wonder of a mushroom. With endless ways of cooking this delectable shroom, the shiitake makes for a true & welcome guest in the kitchen.

Shiitake mushrooms are native to China where it has been cultivated for over 100 years, typically this mushroom is cultivated on the shii tree. The first written record of a shiitake can be traced to Wu Sang Kwuang, born during the Sung Dynasty 960-1127 A.D. Some documents, however, record the mushroom being eaten as early as 199 A.D.

Shiitake mushrooms are found in a variety of cultures & cuisines. Russia produces and consumes large amounts of shiitakes, although they are mostly sold pickled. Of course the shiitake has its home in Chinese & Japanese cuisines where you will find it in miso soup.

Shiitake mushrooms are commonly sold dried in preserved packages. All you need to do to re-hydrate them is to soak them in water prior to using.

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Image from The Best Years In Life