Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Went to Bebas again, the only Bolivian restaurant in North Hollywood, or in LA county even. There are a few Bolivian restaurants in the OC but it's way too far and Bebas always hits the spot.
For appetizer, we started with Cuñape (recipe here that I posted long ago) and the drink is called mocochinchi, which is made of dehydrated peaches, cinnamon, and sugar. SO GOOD.

My friend got the silpancho, which is breaded steak with potatoes and fried plantains, very typical of Bolivia.

I got the picante mixto, which comes with spicy beef tongue, yellow spiced chicken slow cooked, hominy, regular potatoes, and rice. Can you say carbs and protein? The spicy sauce is soaked up by all the carbs and it's just the most delicious thing in the world.

My hubz got the pique macho, which is almost like the Peruvian version of lomo saltado, which is basically fries and meats sauteed together in a vinegarlike sauce. In this version, there is mustard, which ups the ante a little.
A closeup of my dish.

This is the chicharron, a pretty universal South American and Filipino dish. Basically deep fried pork or pork skin. This was on top of a bed of hominy, which is a great carb!

They have saltena's for sale, even frozen ones.

Beba's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mẹ's Coconut Chicken Curry!

The coconut chicken curry dish I made a few weeks ago is the first dish my mother in law taught me and because my good friend Jess was in love with it when I brought it to school, I am posting the recipe here so all may enjoy!

"Mẹ" is "mom" in Vietnamese. It's not pronounced "Me" but more like "Meh-ah." That's how it sounds like anyway. I have to start learning how to pronounce Vietnamese better.

Anyway, Mẹ first taught my husband this dish when he was my boyfriend because every year on Valentine's, it's been tradition for my hubby to cook for me. By the third year, he ran out of ideas because he barely knows how to fry eggs in the kitchen so Mẹ stepped in and helped him out with this dish. Every since I tasted it, I knew I had to learn how to make it because it was just so delicious and though I've had a lot of coconut curry in Thai restaurants, this one always tasted spicier, more exotic, with more depth to the flavors.


1 Boneless Chicken (I used 4 pcs thighs)
1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
2 Tablespoons (I used about 6 Tablespoons because I like mine spicier) Curry Powder
3-4 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar (if not using sweet potatoes)
2 sticks of lemongrass (I cut them in half)
1 Cup water
1/2 cup cubed potatoes or sweet potatoes or both
1 can of coconut cream
  1. Cut up boneless chicken, clean and put in colander to dry.
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the sea salt, Curry powder (you can put in more later but start with 2 tablespoons), garlic and mix.
  1. Take pot and heat it up. Then add 2 teaspoon of oil (I used peanut but olive is fine too, for those who like to cook with olive oil - I prefer olive oil raw). Add chicken and brown on medium heat for ten minutes or until browned.
  1. Add 1 cup water and lemongrass.
  1. Add potatoes or sweet potatoes or both. I like having both and this way, you don't have to add the brown sugar.
  1. Add the dry ingredients (Curry mix) and stir. This is when I added about 4 more tablespoons of curry powder because I like my curry thicker and spicier.
  1. Bring to boil and then cover lid, simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. I put mine on even lower heat and simmered it for longer to develop more flavor.
  1. At the very end, add the can of coconut cream. I also added some vegetables for added color (red, yellow peppers, onions, etc.). Bring to boil, then turn off gas.

The result is a great chicken curry with vegetables that have a little bit more bite to them. You can add as much or little coconut cream as you want, depending on how coconutty you like it. I think in Thai restaurants, the curry is a little more coconutty than this one. This version is a lot more subtle and I like mine spicier than coconutty so I added more curry and less coconut cream. Also, if you like your curry much more yellow, add some turmeric powder and it will be a brighter yellow. Will try that next time.

Try it and let me know what you think!