But of course, what’s a day in my life without some food? Here’s what I had for breakfast:
The Asiago focaccia was from Panera. I sliced the beautiful thing in half, and toasted it until it gave a nice crunch. Sliced tomatoes and fresh basil leaves slid right in the middle, while it was still warm so the basil wilted just a tiny bit. Drizzle of olive oil. Done. Heaven. Bliss. The Asiago cheese was just salty enough to tie everything altogether without any additional seasonings or cheese.
It doesn’t look very glamorous, but this is one of my ultimate comfort foods. It’s a simple dish and the ingredients are all very cheap in the Philippines, it might even be considered a poor man’s dish. Simple lang pero masarap. Mung bean (mongo/munggo) soup has shrimp, garlic, onion, tomato, and for a little extra saltiness and smokiness, some tinapa (smoked fish) on the top. The saltiness and fishiness work so well with the soft and creamy beans, it’s so delicious.
Here’s how: Soak the mongo beans in some water for a couple of hours so they keep their cute little shape better when you boil them. Change the water before boiling. (I actually also did an additional water change after boiling). Skim off any stuff that comes up to the surface, it will make it bitter. Boil until tender… maybe about 20 minutes?
Meanwhile, peel and devein some shrimp. Dice about 1/4 onion, a tomato, and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Over medium heat, saute the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and tomatoes (stand back! tomatoes always splatter all over the place). Squish the tomatoes and cook them down. Add the shrimp and cook til orange. You can also use pork instead. Add about 2 tbsp. of shrimp paste, it seems like a lot but this will be the only salt you’ll really be using. If you don’t like shrimp paste you can use fish sauce, or geez fine, regular salt will be okay too.
Add all the softened mongo beans and saute with the shrimp and tomatoes; add water to adjust how thick you want your soup. Let come to a boil and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. My lola likes to add malunggay or pepper leaves, some chicharon (pork rinds), and of course, the lowly but delicious tinapa (smoked fish). You can glam it up or keep it as simple as you wish. This is a delicious soup to accompany adobo, or some fried fish.
Or to keep me company on a cold windy day in Ohio. ;)