The Healthcare Game Changer of the Philippines : AIDE APP

I've been experiencing a weird kind of chronic left knee pain for months now which would come and go (mostly after running/cycling and in some static stretches like the pigeon on the floor) plus my sporadic low back problem that always haunts me but because of my super busy momma schedule, I brushed these aside many times. I couldn't find "time" to have it checked because well... let's admit LIFE (work, teaching, travel, household, etc) always gets in the way. Mommies, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. 

Last night, I was FINALLY able to get my issues checked by a PT in the convenience of my HOME! Yes, I had a specialist come to our house to check my knee and my back. The hubby also had his long list of complaints (ankle, wrist and upper back) which were also assessed last night. No long queues/waiting time, no hospital, nothing... It was done in our house and while I was reviewing my son for his Mastery Test. How did I do it? Through this app called AIDE. It allows you to connect to get medical care from qualified medical practitioners straight from your phone! 

Ivan, the PT, was able to isolate that my knee pain was actually being caused by my super tight IT bands. I have to really allot time to stretch it out and was given specific exercises for these target areas. As for my low back, we did a short hot compress session and some core strengthening exercises. It felt good to know how I can manage my body issues to prevent further injury and it felt even better that I did without leaving the house! Awesome AIDE!


Turning Japanese: Tuna Anatomy and The Uh-mazing TORO

Oh Toro, why do I love thee?

Toro is my weakness. It was love at first sight when my Dad first introduced me to it. And at that time I cared less and had no idea whatsoever that it was more than just "Tuna Belly Sashimi" until I became a chef and a serious foodie. 
Toro literally means "to melt" and as the name suggest it literally feels like butter in your mouth. You could vividly see layers of fat and marbling which gives it an extra unexplainable umami flavor and texture. Sharing with you some interesting trivia about it.

bluefin tuna sushi anatomy

TORO is not taken light but a damn SERIOUS business in Japan. Throughout the country, all of the blue fin tuna happen to be graded from the quality of the slices of oily meat which are extracted from them, especially the highly valued toro, typically the oily belly from the tuna. Tuna for the purpose of sushi happens to be meticulously taken care of, to make certain that the entire flesh will not be bruised or harmed. Once the raw tuna gets to the actual seafood marketplace, center examples of the tissue are generally obtained using a unique instrument in order for the pigment, consistency, and flavor from the meat to be evaluated prior to the tuna being valued. Although sushi includes many various tuna types such as yellow tail as well as big eye, excellent quality otoro is simply obtained from only the blue fin tuna.

 Sushi at 6 am? HELL Yeah! This was the OTORO I had for breakfast at the famous Tsukiji Market during our last trip to Tokyo.

 OTORO that you can get from the grocery....*sigh* Only in Japan

Drool, drool, drool....
Otoro is taken from the actual under-belly inside the tuna, and it is by itself separated into grades which happen to be recognized according to the marbling through out the steak, very similar to inside grading beef. By far the most precious o-toro or otoro, comes from the lower belly of the fish towards the head. Chutoro, a lower top quality, derives from the tuna belly at the center and rear through the tuna, which is not as much marbled when compared with otoro sushi.
There is a unique taste to it. The amazing sirloin feel of raw tuna fuses together with the fatty tissue from the belly to generate a rich and creamy experiencing inside the mouth, along with the flesh from the tuna evaporating while you indulge in it.
An exceptional part of otoro is going to be soft pink together with vibrant white colored lines. Otoro comes with a lot of delicious oily lines, which typically give it that distinctive and magnificent tastiness. Chutoro is normally much less veined by means of fat, even though it remains a lot more oily compared with pieces from the higher area from the fish, including akami. Otoro is definitely most tasty throughout the winter months, once tuna acquire additional body fat, and might not be as incredibly tasty when out of season. It needs to always be consumed fresh, mainly because it doesn't last lengthy amounts of frozen periods.
Amazingly, o-toro sushi is not commonly consumed outside of Japan, even though it is oftentimes accessible in specialized Japanese dining establishments along the shorelines of America as well as in certain parts associated with Countries in Europe. Otoro represents a most enjoyable part of dining found in Japan, and a large number of blue fin tuna farmed all over the world land in typically the fish marketplaces linked to Japan, exactly where the o-toro will undoubtedly receive a more expensive price tag amongst sushi enthusiasts.

I can't wait until I get to taste this precious tuna part again. A few more weeks to go.... woohoo!

until then,


Breakfast Delight : Onsen Tamago

ONSEN TAMAGO. This literally means "hot spring eggs) in Japanese. It refers to eggs that were originally prepared in hot spring waters to create silky egg whites and custard-like eggyolks.  I fell in love with this egg the first time I ever tried it in one of my trips to Japan. I remember having it in Fuji-sawa which is a place surrounded by a lot of onsens.
The egg is perfectly poached inside the shell. The whites are still soft, delicate and silky while the yolk is a bit firm versus a regular soft boiled egg which has a firm egg but runny center. It is served with a special sauce - a mixture of dashi and kaeshi sauce. 

Total time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
4 eggs

  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ½  cup dashi stock 

  • finishing salt (e.g. Maldon or Himalayan Pink Salt) and black sesame seeds – optional

  1. Cook eggs using stovetop: In a small saucepan, bring to boil enough water to cover eggs. Gently lower eggs into water and cook for 6 minutes for soft- or 8 minutes for medium-boiled eggs. 
  2. Shock in ice bath.
  3. Make kaeshi (soy mirin broth): In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to simmer soy sauce, mirin, and sugar until dissolved, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Let cool to room temp or chill as desired. I like to serve it slightly warm.
  4. To serve, stir together kaeshi and dashi broth. Peel eggs and arrange one in each bowl with optional scallions or sesame seeds. 
  5. Pour approx 4 ozs broth into bowls and season with finishing salt.

Good morning! Happy Wednesday!


Imahan : Sukiyaki Porn

*** Warning : This is life-changing because you will definitely never eat Sukiyaki the same way again after having it this way.

Sukiyaki is one of the most popular and quintessential Japanese dishes that the world is familiar with. Classic as it is, they say that just very few people have actually had the "real thing". It is not until you've tried it from a Japanese person's home for dinner or have gone to a traditional inn or ryoutei (high-end traditional restaurant) where it is cooked for you at the table. This is because it is meant to be cooked at the table at home to at the table. We may all have encountered "sukiyaki" on some restaurant but if it's been cooked in advance inside the kitchen, it really isn't sukiyaki. That said, this was my first  REAL sukiyaki experience. This is already my 5th trip to Japan and it is only now that I had a chance to have Sukiyaki.

IMAHAN inside the Takashimaya Times Square building had been recommended by friends and so I felt complacent that the indulgence would be worth it because it's a bit pricey. The cheapest standard Sukiyaki Beef Set is 4,650 Yen, about Php 2,100/ person and the full course with the highest quality of beef goes up to 13,500 Yen, a whooping Php 5,900/person * Big gulp*

No, I was not ready to go all out yet and wanted to test the waters on this one so we got the most basic Sukiyaki set and it was enough...

Get ready to drool....

It is an art to cook sukiyaki table side. Everything is carefully set and prepared before the ritual starts.

The glorious thinly sliced wagyu is placed in the center together with raw egg which will serve as your dipping sauce. Can you see the marbling? Gaaah! At this point, I could already taste the buttery richness of the tender meat inside my mouth.

They also served a small plate of neatly placed vegetables and noodles; negi (a type of scallion), bamboo shoots, shitake, shungiku (garland chrysanthemum leaves), fish cake, tofu, and shiratake noodles.

When the whole mis-en-place was done, our server started by lightly beating the eggs with a small wooden whisk. He then placed just a small amount of sauce on the flat pan and started searing the 2 pieces of the prized wagyu. He made sure it was only cooked medium rare and immediately dropped the meat in the raw egg dipping sauce before serving it to us.

OMFG! The first bite was bliss. The tender, buttery, fatty and rich meat combined with the creaminess of the raw egg was just over the top... orgasmic! Paired with tender and sticky japanese rice, it was a match made in heaven. *Sigh*

I can't wait to go back to Japan in a few weeks to find yet another place to enjoy Sukiyaki as life-changing as this!