A new cookbook in town can turn even the most kitchen-challenged Filipina into a bonafide masterchef.

Titled ‘Flavors of the Philippine Islands’, and published by household icon Mama Sita, the cookbook is split into five categories, including an entire section on chicken recipes. Think adobong manok, chicken tocino, sinampalukang manok and afritadang manok – there are 14 simple recipes to choose from.

My favourite section is the merienda or snacks section. It’s got two delicious snacks that I’m eager to master, namely bibingkreps (rice flour and coconut pancakes with optional jackfruit syrup on top) and sunrise pichi-pichi, a grated cassava snack that makes you think of Filipino christmas and simbang gabi.

I highly recommend getting a copy of this cookbook. Many of the recipes average around four steps and are so easy to follow that even a kitchen-challenged person like me can understand them.

There are handy tips in every section too, such as the right water level when preparing broth or how adding a beaten egg to your pansit palabok sauce can make your dish that much tastier.

There are cookbooks that will gather dust in your bookshelf and there are cookbooks that will make you the hero in the kitchen. Mama Sita’s cookbook is definitely one of the latter, the kind that leaves you with a big smile on your face and a full stomach.

The writer was a guest of the cookbook launch in Australia at the Grace Hotel in September this year.

All photos courtesy of Jeremy Tagle, Redland Events.

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