Ham Hocks with Mongo (Mung) Beans

Ham hocks and beans go so well together.  For those who’ve never heard of it before, a ham hock is the pork knuckle and is usually salt-cured and smoked. It’s typically cooked long and slow until tender, with added beans and broth for the ultimate comfort food.

The Chamorro way to cook this is with mongo (or mung) beans and coconut milk. (Read below for what my grandmother and mom think about this addition. 😁)

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.

HAM HOCKS WITH MONGO (MUNG) BEANS

 

You’ll need:

Mongo Beans:

  • 1 bag mung beans
  • 1 tablespoon Dashida seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Water (initially, 2 inches above the level of beans)

 

Ham Hocks:

  • 1 package ham hocks (smoked, if you can find it), about 3-4 large pieces in a package
  • Water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package achote powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (omit if you are using smoked ham hocks)
  • 1 can coconut milk

 

You can find my full, printable recipe at the bottom of this page.

 

The first thing we need to is prepare the mung beans.  Ideally you’ll do this the day before you intend to cook your ham hocks.

Place the dry beans in a medium sized bowl.

 

Add water and soak overnight.  Make sure to add enough water to go at least 2 inches above the beans.

 

The next morning, pour out the soaking water, if any is left. Rinse once more and drain.

Look how plump the beans have become after soaking in all that water overnight.

 

Add the mung beans to a medium sauce pan. Add more water, enough for it to reach about 2” above the beans.  Stir in the dashida, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.

 

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low.  Simmer (covered) until the beans have softened, about 1 hour, stirring periodically. Add more water if required (you don’t want the beans cooking “dry”). Note: you should not need to add more water if you’ve soaked the beans overnight.

This is what the beans look like after one hour of cooking.  Remove the pot from the heat and set the beans aside.  The beans will not be not fully cooked at this point.  It will continue cooking with the ham hocks later.

 

Place the ham hocks in a large pot.

Note: Smoked ham hocks are usually what’s used for this dish.  However, I could only find “regular, uncooked/raw” ham hocks.  I will make a note of recipe adjustments where required for when using smoked ham hocks.

 

Add water until the ham hocks are submerged.  

 

Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Drain the water, being careful not to burn yourself.  Don’t worry about seasoning the water at this point since the intent is to cook off a lot of the fat beneath the skin as well as to tenderize the meat.

 

Repeat the previous step once more (add water, bring to a boil, cook, drain).

 

After you’ve drained the cooking water, this is what the ham hocks should look like.  This is optional, but I like to cut the ham hocks into smaller pieces and discard the thick skin.  Place the cut pieces back into the pot.

 

Add the diced onions, soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper and liquid smoke.  If you’re using smoked ham hocks, omit the liquid smoke.

 

Cook the ham hocks as if you’re cooking estufao.  Cook until the liquid has reduced—you want a relatively dry pot (no or not too much gravy/kådu).  This should take about 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat.

 

When the liquid has dried down, add more water (as much water for the amount of kådu you want, but keep in mind that you’ll be adding coconut milk and the cooked mung beans got the pot as well).  I added 3 cups of water.

 

Turn the heat up to medium; cook for a few minutes, just long enough for the water to heat up (achote powder dissolves better in hot liquid).  Add the achote powder, stirring until it dissolves in the liquid.

 

Add the partially cooked mung beans to the pot.  Taste and adjust your seasonings at this point.  I added a tiny bit more salt as the ham hocks I used were not smoked and needed a bit more flavor.

Turn the heat down to low.  Simmer for 45 more minutes to one hour, or until the ham hocks are tender.  If you want to cut down on the cooking time, you can transfer the mixture to a pressure cooker at this point.  I like to cook this the slower stovetop method as I can periodically check to see if I need to add more water if it’s drying down too much.  Speaking of which, if your mixture is drying down too much during this last hour of cooking, add some water, about a half cup at a time.  Don’t forget that toward the end of the cooking time, you’ll be adding more liquid in the form of coconut milk.

 

When the ham hocks are tender enough to your liking, stir in the coconut milk.

My grandmother and mother never added coconut milk to their ham hock kådu.  My grandmother always said you don’t eat pork with coconut milk.  I rather like it myself. 😉

 

Serve with hot steamed rice and enjoy!

 

Ham Hocks with Mongo (Mung) Beans
 
Author:
Ingredients
Mongo Beans:
  • 1 bag mung beans
  • 1 tablespoon Dashida seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Water (initially, 2 inches above the level of beans)
Ham Hocks:
  • 1 package ham hocks (smoked, if you can find it), about 3-4 large pieces in a package
  • Water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package achote powder
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (omit if you are using smoked ham hocks)
  • 1 can coconut milk
Instructions
Mongo Beans:
  1. Place the beans in a medium sized bowl. Add water to 2 inches above beans and soak overnight. The next morning, pour out any remaining soaking water. Rinse the beans and drain.
  2. Place the soaked beans in a medium sized pot. Add more water, again up to 2 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil then simmer (covered) for one hour. Add more water if required. Note: you shouldn’t need to add more water if you’ve soaked the beans overnight.
Ham Hocks:
  1. Place the ham hocks in a large pot. Add water to cover the ham hocks. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Drain the water.
  2. Repeat once more (add water, cook 30 minutes, drain).
  3. Cut the ham hocks into smaller pieces and return to the pot.
  4. Add diced onions and garlic to the pot, as well as the soy sauce, vinegar and black pepper. Add liquid smoke if you are not using smoked ham hocks.
  5. Cook over medium-low heat until the liquid has dried down.
  6. Add more water (add as much as you’d like for a soup) to the pot (I added 3 cups of water). Cook for a few minutes to allow the water to heat up.
  7. Add the achote powder; stir until the powder dissolves in the water.
  8. Add the mung beans to the pot. Taste and adjust your seasonings.
  9. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the ham hocks are tender. Add water periodically if the liquid is drying down too much.
  10. Stir in the coconut milk when the ham hocks are tender.
Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!

 

Cassava Cake

Cassava cake is traditionally made from grated cassava, coconut cream, sweet young coconut, eggs, sugar, butter and evaporated milk.  These ingredients are mixed together to form a thick batter, baked until firm, then topped with a mixture of sweetened condensed milk and coconut cream then broiled until the topping is a rich, caramel color.  It’s quite decadent and oh-so-delicious.

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My version is based on my sister’s recipe, with a slight variation.  While I love the traditional version, I like my cassava cake less sweet so I omit the sweetened condensed milk topping.  I also like my version to be similar in consistency to Sweet Chamorro Tamales, so I add a bit more evaporated milk to my batter.  To give my cake greater depth of flavor, I also add just a bit of vanilla extract.

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Give it a try and let me know how you like it. 🙂

Here are the ingredients you’ll need (the butter is not shown in the photo).

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Place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Stir to combine.

imagePour the mixture into a 9×13 baking pan sprayed with butter spray.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (check after 1 hour; the top should be golden brown).

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I think it’s perfect just as it is, but see below for instructions to add a sweet topping.  Let the cake cool then cut into squares.  Serve and enjoy!

Cassava Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Chamorro
Ingredients
Cassava Cake:
  • 2 pounds grated cassava
  • 1 can coconut cream or coconut milk
  • 15 ounces evaporated milk (use just 12 ounces to make it less chewy like sweet tamales)
  • 1 jar macupono, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Topping (Optional):
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
Instructions
Cassava Cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with butter cooking spray.
  2. Mix the cake ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour (see note); if the top is not a nice caramel color, bake for an additional 15 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.
    Note: If adding the sweet topping, bake for 45 minutes; see instructions below for adding the topping.
Optional Topping:
  1. Mix the topping ingredients together. Place in a small sauce pan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until slightly thickened.
  2. After the cake has baked for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and carefully spread the topping over the top of the entire cake. Return the cake to the oven and cook for 15 more minutes.
  3. Turn the oven to broil (make sure your baking pan is broiler-safe). Broil for 5 minutes to brown the topping.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting.
Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

Rigatoni with Shrimp and a Creamy Tomato Sauce

Hello!  Hannah here…Annie’s daughter, if you haven’t “met” me yet.  I have a few other recipes on my mom’s blog, so be sure to check them out.  I’m sure you’ll like them. 😊

I love cooking and making up my own recipes.  This is one of them.  Pasta is one of my favorite foods, and I think this is the best one I’ve made so far, if I do say so myself. 😉  It has a creamy, tomatoey, cheesy sauce with savory, buttery shrimp. Rigatoni is my pasta of choice; I love the ridges in them, and I especially love when the tubes get filled with the delicious sauce…..so good!

Alright, let’s get down to it, shall we?

Scroll all the way to the bottom of this post for my full, printable recipe.

 

Hannah’s Rigatoni with Shrimp
and a Creamy Tomato Sauce

 

 

Ingredients:

1 lb Rigatoni pasta

Sauce:

  • 1 lb container cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3-5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Basil
  • 1 5.2-oz block Boursin brand garlic and herb flavored Gournay cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Shrimp:

  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Garnish:

  • Chili garlic oil, optional
  • Fresh basil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Place the tomatoes and garlic in a 9 x 13 pan.  If the tomatoes are on the larger side, cut them in half or even quarter them.

Add the olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and basil.

Stir the tomato and garlic mixture then place the Boursin cheese in the center.

This is what Boursin cheese looks like.  You can find it in most grocery stores.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.  This is what it will look like after it’s done baking.  We’ll get back to this later.

I’m a fan of multi-tasking.
While the tomatoes are baking in the oven, start cooking the pasta. Drain and set aside when done (do NOT coat the pasta in oil).

Next, start cooking the shrimp.
If using larger shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces. You can leave smaller shrimp whole.  Place the shrimp in a medium pan along with the old bay seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and olive oil.

Cook over medium heat, just until the shrimp is no longer translucent.

Add the butter and reduce heat to low.

Cook until the butter is melted then remove the pan from the heat. That buttery sauce is going to add so much flavor to the pasta sauce!  😋  Set aside.

The tomatoes should be done right about now. Once the tomatoes are out of the oven, lightly mash the tomatoes and garlic with the back of a cooking spoon.  I’m also a fan of not dirtying more dishes or utensils than I have to, so just use the same spoon you used to cook the shrimp.

Mix everything together; this is the start of the sauce.  Gosh, this looks (and tastes) so good already.

Add the heavy cream.

Add in the shrimp (and all that buttery goodness), pasta, and Parmesan cheese.

Stir to combine.

Serve with more Parmesan cheese and basil.

Optional: Drizzle a spoonful of chili oil.

This is the chili oil I used.  You can use any brand you like.

 

Enjoy!

 

Rigatoni with Shrimp and a Creamy Tomato Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Rigatoni with shrimp and a tomatoey, cheesy, creamy sauce
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Rigatoni pasta
Sauce:
  • 1 lb container cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3-5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Basil
  • 1 5.2-oz block Boursin brand garlic and herb flavored Gournay cheese
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Shrimp:
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Garnish:
  • Chili garlic oil, optional
  • Fresh basil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cook the Tomatoes:
  1. Place the tomatoes and garlic in a 9x13” pan.
  2. Add the olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and basil.
  3. Place the Boursin cheese in the center of the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.
Cook the Pasta:
  1. Cook the pasta while tomatoes are baking.
Cook the Shrimp:
  1. Cook the shrimp over medium heat with the Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and olive oil, just until the shrimp is no longer translucent.
  2. Add the butter and reduce heat to low; continue cooking until the butter has melted then remove the pan from the heat. Set aside.
Make the Sauce:
  1. Once the tomatoes are done, lightly mash the tomatoes and garlic with the back of a cooking spoon. Stir the tomato-garlic-cheese mixture.
  2. Add the heavy cream, shrimp, cooked pasta, and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Stir to combine.
Serve:
  1. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and more Parmesan Cheese.
  2. Optional: drizzle some chili oil on top.
Enjoy!

 

Pickled Green Papaya

Pickled young (green) papaya was a favorite snack growing up on Guam.  In fact, it still is a favorite snack, and I make some whenever I find the young, green (unripe) papayas at my local Asian market.

I still remember walking to the village stores for milk or whatever my mom sent me there for.  I’d always use the change to buy a small baggie full of pickled papaya and snack on it on the walk back home.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Here’s how to make it:

Thoroughly wash one medium sized young, green (unripe) papaya.  You can also pickle a papaya that’s just turning ripe.

Peel the skin off the papaya.  Cut the papaya in half and scrape out all of the seeds.

Thinly slice the papaya.  I like to use a mandolin to do this; it makes for evenly cut slices and it’s quick!

Place the sliced papaya in a mixing bowl.  Add the vinegar, salt (to taste), and as much hot chili peppers as you like.  Other optional items you can add are sliced fresh garlic and onions.  Let the papaya marinate in the mixture for a couple of ours then enjoy!

Pickled Green Papaya
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 medium young (green, unripe) papaya
  • Distilled white vinegar, enough to cover the papaya
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chopped hot chili peppers, as much as you like
  • Optional: sliced or chopped garlic and sliced onions
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel the papaya; cut in half and remove the seeds.
  2. Thinly slice the papaya and place into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the vinegar, salt, hot chili peppers, and other optional ingredients. Stir to mix well.
  4. Allow the papaya to marinate in the vinegar mixture for a couple of hours then enjoy!

 

Miso Salmon with Sake Butter Sauce

I love salmon, and this is one of my favorite ways to prepare it.  I first had this dish at a popular chain restaurant.  I wanted to recreate it at home, and luckily the basic recipe could be found all over the internet (I’m not sure who the original source is).

Give it a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Miso Salmon with Sake Butter Sauce

 

 

 

In a shallow baking pan, place the salmon filets, skin side down.

In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the miso sauce.  Pour the sauce over the salmon filets, covering each filet entirely.  Bake at 475 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

 

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, saute the ginger and shallots in two tablespoons of butter.  Cook for about two minutes.

Add one cup of sake; bring to a boil and cook until the sake has reduced by about half.

 

Add the heavy cream to the reduced sake mixture.  Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.

Whisk in the remaining pieces of butter, one piece at a time.  Once all of the butter has been incorporated, whisk in the remaining sake, lime juice, and honey.  Add salt to taste.

Optional:  Use an immersion blender to puree the bits of shallots and ginger for a smooth sauce.

 

Spoon some sake butter sauce into a shallow dish.

Using a small bowl as a mold, fill with cooked rice.  Unmold the rice on top of the sake butter sauce.

Place one salmon filet on top of the rice.  Sprinkle chopped chives on top of the salmon.

Serve and enjoy!

 

Miso Salmon with Sake Butter Sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
Miso Salmon:
  • 8 salmon filets, about one inch thick
  • Cooked (steamed) white rice
  • 2 tablespoons chives, sliced
Miso Sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons hot water
  • 4 tablespoons miso paste
Sake Butter Sauce
  • 1 one-inch piece ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons butter for sauteing
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sake
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
Bake the Miso Salmon:
  1. In a shallow baking pan, place the salmon filets, skin side down.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the miso sauce. Pour the sauce over the salmon filets, covering each filet entirely. Bake at 475 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
  3. Set aside.
Make the Sake Butter Sauce:
  1. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, saute the ginger and shallots in two tablespoons of butter. Cook for about two minutes.
  2. Add one cup of sake; bring to a boil and cook until the sake has reduced by about half.
  3. Add the heavy cream to the reduced sake mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes.
  4. Whisk in the remaining pieces of butter, one piece at a time. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, whisk in the remaining sake, lime juice, and honey. Add salt to taste.
  5. Optional: Use an immersion blender to puree the bits of shallots and ginger for a smooth sauce.
Assemble the dish:
  1. Spoon some sake butter sauce into a shallow dish.
  2. Using a small bowl as a mold, fill with cooked rice.  Unmold the rice on top of the sake butter sauce.
  3. Place one salmon filet on top of the rice.  Sprinkle chopped chives on top of the salmon.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

 

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