Welcome to My Kitchen!

Hafa Adai and Welcome to My Kitchen!

Annie Merfalen

“Hafa Adai” means “hello” in Chamorro, the native language of my island home, Guam U.S.A.

Guam is the proverbial melting pot, abounding with cultural diversity that is aptly displayed in the variety of food we eat and share.  

The focal point of most Chamorro families centers around family gatherings and cooking.  In my home, most of my guests congregate in my kitchen.  It is where we do our best catching up, and where lasting memories are made.

Browse through my selection of Chamorro and other recipes, and please leave me a comment if you try my recipes to let me know what you think of them.

I hope you enjoyed your time in my kitchen.  Come back soon!

This site is a work-in-progress, so please bear with me as I grow this site to a place where you’ll love to visit. 

Happy cooking!

~ Annie

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  1. Jay says:

    Hi Annie! Great site. I’m Jay Perez, Familian Gollo. Are we related?

  2. Joseph Cruz says:

    Hi! I jump on your site for recipes that I’ve forgotten
    Whenever I have the urge. Great site.

  3. Candace Merfalen says:

    Hi auntie! Do you have a book with these recipes for sale?

  4. INGRID AGUON says:

    Just wondering if you know how to cook Mungo Beans with pork and Coconut Milk?

  5. Fran Lomax says:

    Annie, I am so glad I stumbled upon your website tonight. Looking forward to making some of the dishes I grew up eating but never knew how to make. Your instructions make it seem easy and I’m excited to get started cooking!! I was born and raised on Guam..moved away when I was 18 and been living in Georgia for over 30 years. When I get a chance to visit my siblings in different states, I always put in my request for certain dishes I miss from back home. Thank you again for your wonderful recipes.

  6. Pam says:

    I stumbled on this website looking for a recipe for red rice. I am excited to be here as I lived on Guam as a child in 1954-55. Although I was just six I,have very clear memories of the island. We were not a military familymand did not live on base. I can’t wait to explore this site and try my hand at a few recipes!

  7. Roger Houser says:

    I am interested in having you do some catering for my wife’s 50th birthday. She taught in Guam for two years and has friends, here in Colorado Springs, who also spent time in Guam. So, I would like to know how to order, or get a hold of you. Thank you

  8. Sarah Moroni says:

    Can you make pickled papaya? That would be great!

    • I don’t have a recipe for pickled papaya on my blog, but it’s simple to make. Look for a green green papaya—if should be firm to the touch. Peel the skin off and remove the seeds. Thinly slice the papaya.

      The basic pickling sauce is just vinegar and salt. It’s all done to taste. I like mine on the sour side. If you want it spicy, add hot peppers. Some add garlic to the mixture, but that’s totally optional.

  9. Sarah Moroni says:

    Your recipes are what got me married out here in Korea. I’m from Guam but me and my husband are both stationed out here in Korea. Thank you for being an amazing cook and teaching me these recipes!

    • Hi Sara! Congratulations on getting married! I’m so happy you’re trying out my recipes, and enjoying them too, I hope.

      My family lived in Korea for several years and loved it. Sometimes we wish we could have gotten stationed there one more time before we retired.

  10. Louise (Payne) Lager says:

    Hello, Annie! I am a Merfalen, too. Who was your father?. He would have been one of my uncles. Our grandfather was Joaquin Merfalen of Sinajana. What a small world. Please let me know.

  11. Dorothy Cruz says:

    Hi again,
    I’m feeling ambitious and am wanting to make empanadas for my in-laws that are coming to visit but I’m not sure how to make “cream of rice”. Can you help

    • Dorothy, cream of rice comes in a box (looks like cream of wheat). If you can’t find it. Toast uncooked grains of rice in a skillet (stir frequently so they don’t burn). When the rice is toasted to a golden brown, remove it from the pan to cook then grind it in a blender until it looks like flour.

  12. John Lee says:

    Hi, Annie.

    This homepage looks really great!
    Thanks so much!

    Do you mind if I ask you a question?

    Do you offer any cooking lesson or class by any chance?

    Thank you very much.

  13. Lori says:

    Hafa Adai Annie, I’ve just come across your site looking for ” Pika Chicken” and wish I’d come across it sooner. My son and I were stationed in Guam for 7 years and love the food and culture. I made red rice with Fina’ denne’ for him when he was younger and he loved it. We tried to make the BBQ(Chamorro style) but until now I couldn’t perfect it. I’m going to send him your site so he can try some of the recipes out since he’s on his own now and loves to cook. I will try some of the other recipes that you have on here and let you know how they turn out. Thank you for sharing what you do and giving others the opportunity to try them out!

  14. So I’ve started cooking your recipies for my husband who is guamanian to try and keep him connected to his roots since his father passed away a few years ago… And every time I make one of your recipies he has really enjoyed it.. I was so lucky to have stumbled upon your web site that it is now in my favorites menu!!! Keep all those yummy recipies coming!!!

  15. Judith Rosa says:

    Hi, Annie, I just discovered your site looking for a donut recipe. I am interested in food from all over the world but have never tried Guam cuisine. It looks like tomorrow will be an Annie’s Chamorro Kitchen day in my home because I will be starting the day with your baked donut recipe and will be looking for one of your dishes for my main meal. Thank you for sharing your recipes with us.

    • Hi Judith!

      A few tips for my baked donuts:
      – sticky dough is normal; resist the urge to add more flour than called for in my recipe
      – do not over-knead the dough
      – patience is key, especially while waiting for the dough to rise

      Stop by again and let me know how your meal turns out.

  16. Steve says:

    Hafa Adai Annie – what a great web site. I was station on Guam back in 1991 and I still vividly remember all the great food at the fiestas. Thank you for sharing your heritage with all of us migrants who enjoyed Guam so much.

  17. Borja says:

    I am so glad you made this! I am from Guam and since I moved to the states when I was around 11 years old I always wanted to know how to make certain Chamorro dishes and you have it done perfecty with pictures and step by step instructions! Thank you! Please I hope you add more dishes soon!

  18. Manny says:

    I was wondering, where I can buy the banana leafs from?

  19. Joseph R Cruz says:

    Annie, I made a small batch of jawbreakers. It came out great ate it all myself. My question is , It didn’t get hard. What did I do wrong. I freeze the remaining dough for a later date. Thanks

  20. Texas Kirida says:

    Thank you for sharing your recipes. I have tried several ways to make several dishes, but I always come back to yours. It is simple and easy, but the end results are tasty and always a frequent request by my friends and family members. They are so good I never get a chance to take photos of them. So, once again thank you for what you do. Have a fabulous time doing what you love.

  21. Ruthie says:

    Just discovered your site through a friend and can see it is going to be a favorite. One suggestion – if you could add a “search” feature it would make it easier to find what we are looking for.

    • Thanks, Ruthie. I hope you visit often.
      As for a search feature, there IS one already…on every page you go to. Look in the upper right of your screen; the search box will be located there.
      Thanks again for stopping by! 🙂

  22. Mary Salas says:

    I made the shrimp patties and it was a hit !! Thank you. Next project is the lumpia. What is your maiden name?

  23. Krischelle says:

    I’m really glad you have a japchae recipe! I’m more glad that it seems easy to make. I can’t wait to try it! My only concern is the amount of time for it to cook and the servings. Are your measurements more for a family or for a party?

  24. Lola P. Davis says:

    Hafa Adai Annie,

    I just used your roskette recipe, waiting to taste them. They are still cooling. Thank you! Your recipes are easy to follow and the pictures help too. I’m going

    Lola Penaflor-Davis

  25. Dorothy says:

    Hafa Adai Annie, a relative pinned your page so I looked your site up. As a howlie but married to a Chammoro, I love surprising him and his family with authentic foods. Your recipes,instructions and pictures are so easy to follow. I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to not only make the foods but see (through the pictures) that I’m doing it correctly. Keep up the great work.

    • Hafa Adai, Dorothy! Thank you for stopping by, I’m glad to hear of your successes in the kitchen! Please stop by again soon, and let me know what dishes you’ve made. I’d love to hear about it. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  26. Allison says:

    Hi Annie, I just found your site today while searching for rosette mold batter recipes. I’m liking what I’m seeing and will be trying out a lot of your recipes!

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