My First Sahog @ Home with Filipino Food Movement

Today, I did my first IG Live with Filipino Food Movement. I cooked Filipino sweet and sour fish, or escabeche. And no, I didn’t use cornstarch, or pineapple or ketchup! This is the real deal, I even used fresh tomatoes.

Escabeche is a Filipino dish traditionally consist of fried whole fish, capsicum, onions and sweet and sour sauce. I love making this because it’s easy, quick and delicious! If you’re feeding kids, then you can opt for fillets instead of whole fish so there will be no bones. If you don’t want to fry the fish, you can bake, steam or grill. I’ve tried the sauce on a few white fish and prawns and it’s beautiful. I haven’t tried it on salmon or any oily fish, though. You can make a big batch of sauce and because of the vinegar content, it actually keeps quite well. Although, truthfully, it hasn’t lasted more than a few days in my fridge, so I don’t know how long it would last. I imagine it would be similar to atchara which is pickled vegetables in Filipino. Just make sure you store it in a clean, airtight container.

Watch the video below if you wish to cook along with me. It took about 30 minutes but you can even shorten that by making the sauce in advance.

On the video I used fresh cherry tomatoes. For a quick and economical version that tastes just as nice, you can use a good quality tomato paste. I also like to use sukang iloko because of it’s darker colour and acidity. In Australia, you can get it from your local Filipino store, or you can use sherry vinegar as an alternative. In the Philippines, if you don’t have the options mentioned in your pantry, you can opt for cane sugar vinegar but your escabeche sauce won’t yield the same vibrant colour.


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Tips on frying fish:

During the live video, I gave a couple of tips on how to best fry fish:

  1. Use a non-stick pan with plenty of room for the fish. The right pan for the job is always important. If you’re worried about food sticking to the pan when frying, then non-stick is your friend.
  2. Hot oil is key but don’t use oil that has a low smoke point like olive oil.
  3. Pat the fish dry and cut a few slits on the skin. Drying the fish and cutting slits on the skin ensures your fish doesn’t curl up when the skin hits the hot oil.
  4. Cook on the presentation side. Whether you took the skin-off the fish or not, there is always a presentation side. When the fish has skin, the presentation side is the skin side, otherwise, it’s the other side. Cook your fish longer on the presentation side until it’s almost done. This gives you maximum colour. Then flip and finish on the other side for a couple of minutes.

Now you’re ready to try my escabeche recipe. It’s super easy, and absolutely delicious, so I hope you give it a shot and let me know what you think in the comments section.

Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 40 Mins


(Filipino Sweet & Sour Fish)

Serves 4



0/8 Instructions
  • Slice all the vegetables and ginger into similar size strips or julienne. Mince the garlic.
  • Heat about 3 tbsp cooking oil in a heavy-base sauté pan. Sauté the garlic then add the onion and ginger. Cook until onions and ginger are soft and translucent then add the tomatoes or tomato paste, whichever one you're using.
  • If using fresh tomatoes, cover with a lid and cook down tomatoes for 10 minutes. If using tomato paste, cook out the tomato paste without the lid for 2 minutes.
  • Add the vegetables, stir and cover for 10 minutes until vegetables are soft and tomatoes are breaking down (if using fresh tomatoes).
  • While simmering the sauce, fry the fish. In a wide frying pan with plenty of room for the fish, heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil. Pat fish dry and season with salt. Once the oil is hot, place the fish in the pan and leave until skin is crispy and golden, about 6 minutes, your fish should look almost done.
  • Flip the fish and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. Remove from pan and drain off excess oil with paper towel.
  • Finish your sauce by adding vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to the boil then simmer until the sauce is the consistency that you like. Remove from heat.
  • To serve, spoon the sauce on the serving platter and place the cooked fish on top. Season with pepper and serve with steamed rice.


  1. Fish options: I like using snapper, barramundi, swordfish and coral trout. Any white fish will do.
  2. Cooking method for fish: You can fry, grill, bake or steam.
  3. Make-ahead. You can make the sauce in advance and just cook the fish on the day. Makes it a lot easier and the sauce keep every well in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
Winter always posts a challenge to me recipe-wise because of the “limited” fresh produce availability. But lately, I’ve learnt that it might just be me who is limiting my creativity. So this winter I am actively testing different citrus like cara cara, yuzu, bergamot on top of my normal blood oranges, navel oranges, limes and lemons in my recipes. In this one, you could use any citrus you have available, except maybe grapefruit. But I like the combination below best. You have play with it and let me know in the comments section which citrus combo tickled your fancy!

This is a straight up bundt cake that could also be baked in a large loaf tin. You can watch my bundt cake tutorial below to avoid getting your cake stuck in the pan.

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If you make this recipe, tag me using on social media or use #mrsfancypantsrecipes or #mrsfancypantsbakes so I can see them! If you have other questions or comments, please feel free to use the comments section below. Now time to get your whisk out and give this recipe a try! I promise you won’t regret it. Happy baking!!!

Difficulty: Medium

Citrus & Poppy Seed Cake

Makes 1 x 10-cup bundt cake or 1 large loaf cake


    For the cake
  • For syrup:
  • For glaze


0/15 Instructions
  • Measure all your ingredients then preheat oven to 175C. If using softened butter, grease your bundt pan now. Do this by brushing the bundt pan with the softened butter using a small pastry brush, being careful to get the butter into each nook and cranny. Sprinkle flour over the butter and tap around lightly to distribute. Turn pan over and tap lightly to remove excess flour. If you're using melted butter, DO NOT GREASE YOUR PAN YET.
  • Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-high, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.
  • Turn mixer down to low then add lemon zest.
  • Add half of the flour mixture gradually using a spoon, mix well.
  • Mix the sour cream and lemon juice together then add to the batter. Mix until incorporated.
  • Fold in the rest of the flour mix. Set aside.
  • If you're using melted butter, make sure its not hot. Brush the bundt pan with the butter using a small pastry brush, being careful to get the butter into each nook and cranny. Sprinkle flour over the butter and tap around lightly to distribute. Turn pan over and tap lightly to remove excess flour.
  • Pour cake batter into the pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Meanwhile make the syrup.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the syrup in a small pan. Bring to the boil until sugar is dissolved and you get a slightly thick consistency. Cool down.
  • When cake is ready, remove from oven and cover with a large plate for 10 minutes. Use kitchen mitts to invert pan and remove cake. Your cake should slide out perfectly.
  • Make several small holes on your cake using a toothpick then brush the cake with the syrup. Leave to cool completely.
  • When cake is completely cool, make the glaze by placing the icing sugar in a medium bowl and whisking the juice in. Start with half and keep adding until you get the consistency you want just be careful that you don't make the glaze too thin, test it by checking how quick it drips from your spoon. You want a slow drip to get that nice drizzle effect.
  • Leave the glaze to set for 10-15 minutes then your cake is ready to serve.

These are my favorite cookies ever, the chunky chocolate in every bite and the soft vanilla dough is just divine. the dough can be rolled to make a slab or portioned into 12 balls. This is the same cookie dough base as my M&M cookies but I use chopped dark baking chocolate like Valrhona Guanaja 70% or something similar. If you have kids, you might want to use semi-sweet or milk chocolate just so it’s not too bitter. I find using white chocolate makes this too sweet for my liking, but you can also give that a try.

The cookie dough can be put together in less than 15 minutes, then chilling time is an 1 hour plus baking time of 12-15 minutes. If you’ve never made cookies before, watch the short video below as a guide. I find that a lot of beginners need a little bit of guidance when it comes to cookie baking, so make sure you follow the recipe to the T if you’re making this for the first time. Good luck & happy baking!

Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 18 Mins Total Time: 33 Mins

Chunky Chocolate Cookies

Makes 12

  I like to use chunks of dark chocolate for this recipe, and I prefer Valrhona Guanaja 70% but it’s not accessible to everyone. You can use any good quality chocolate, and if you have kids, use semi-sweet chocolate instead to give it a tad more sweetness.    



0/5 Instructions
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter & sugar together on high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
  • Add egg and vanilla, mix until incorporated then bring the mixer down to low. Gradually spoon the dry ingredients into the batter, then add the chocolate chunks. Cover the dough and chill for at least 1 hour up to 1 day. (See notes)
  • Preheat oven to 170C. Divide the dough into 12 equal size balls (around 65-70g if you’re using a scale). Roll each portion into a ball then place cookies on a tray lined with baking paper.
  • Bake cookies at 170C for 15-18 mins. The edges will be light brown and the centre will be soft, pop out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and cool down completely in the fridge. (See notes)


  1. One reason for cookies spreading is if you over-cream your cookies. On the video above, you will be able to see the process clearly.
  2. This dough needs to be chilled otherwise the cookies will spread. You can make these cookies ahead and chill for 1 day. If you leave it in the fridge for more than one day, the cookies will not rise in the oven.
  3. This recipe is also freezer friendly. To freeze, follow the recipe up to stuffing the cookies with marshmallows then pop the balls on a plate lined with baking paper and freeze for 1 hour. Once the balls are frozen on the outside, they can be placed in freezer bags.
  4. To bake cookie dough from the freezer, take the dough out and place them on a tray line with baking paper, then preheat oven to 170C. The preheating time allows the cookie dough to thaw a little. When the oven is ready bake the cookies for 14 mins. Then cool as instructed.
  5. I like to let the cookies cool down and set in the fridge instead of room temperature. It takes less time and the cookies retain their softness in the centre.


Oh hello! How was your week??? Here in Sydney, everything is starting to feel more relaxed, and as we approach Christmas, restaurants and hospitality venues have increasingly become busy. Hence, the scarcity of my posts. As a professional chef, I find I get exhausted at the end of the week to the point that I can’t think of what to say on my posts. My job can be physically demanding and time-consuming, but I suppose most jobs are, and I just need to make time by being more efficient with handling my free-time. How do you organise your free-time? Do you have a passion project just like me and are finding it a challenge to stay on top of it because of work and life in general? Or have you gotten it down pat and have some tips for me? I would appreciate any thoughts.

Anyway, today’s recipe is my glazed meatloaf. I’ve been meaning to share this for months but couldn’t get the right photo. I just think photos are so important for a food blog like mine, you see, we eat with our eyes, and if the photo doesn’t look good enough, then you guys wouldn’t want to make it right?

Why should you try this recipe? Meatloaf is such a simple dish, but when done right, it’s such a comfort food. This recipe is moist and flavourful and that’s why I think you’ll love it.

I love it because I get to use up my old bread. But if you don’t have old bread, then feel free to use crushed crackers, or breadcrumbs. Old bread soaks a lot of the juices and leaves the meatloaf moist, if you prefer using breadcrumbs, use panko crumbs because they soak up more liquid.

I also love it because I can cook it and freeze half. People find it ironic, but I don’t always have time to cook fresh dinners at home despite cooking being my main job. So having some frozen meals keep me and my husband fed when we don’t feel like eating out or takeaway. I prefer making meals ahead so I’m sure I know exactly what I’m feeding my family. So you see, if you’re meal prepping, or have children, this recipe is great for you too!

Oh and the thing I love most about this aside from the taste, is that I don’t have to chop the onion and carrot. I just use coarse side of my grater and I’m all set! I grate directly into the bowl so the juices don’t get wasted, remember more juice=more flavour!

I always say that when you make something simple you have to make sure the quality of the ingredients are very good. So I like using Cape Grim beef mince from Tasmania, but any good quality mince from the butcher should give you good results. I like using regular mince not lean mince because fat gives this dish good flavour and moisture. So what do you think? Would you give this recipe a shot? And if you do, don’t forget to comment below and tag me in the photos!


Glazed Meatloaf

serves 5


    For the meatloaf
  • For the glaze


0/4 Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a loaf pan well. In a bowl, mix all the meatloaf ingredients except for grated parmesan. Mix well and pack into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Cook at 180C for 45mins. Take out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile make the glaze by combining all the glaze ingredients except the parmesan.
  • Strain off excess liquid from the loaf pan then run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen the meatloaf. Transfer meatloaf onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Brush the meatloaf with prepared glaze and cover with grated parmesan. Put back in the oven for another 30 minutes when the cheese is melted and glaze is darker in colour.
  • Serve with my velvety mash potatoes and a salad.


I never really tried making my recipes gluten-free and dairy-free, but for some reason I woke up today and thought I should try making my brownie gluten-free & dairy-free. What I didn’t expect was it to be a straight substitution. I wanted to use almond meal & gluten-free flour but thought almond meal may be hard to find in some countries, plus it’s pretty expensive and brownies are not cheap to make as it is. Have you seen how much butter and chocolate is needed? So I stuck with GF flour. Then I used coconut oil, and it was the bomb, so so good! But then again, I wanted it to taste like my usual brownies, so I then tried Nuttelex Buttery which is a butter substitute, and it worked!!!

By this stage, I was over the moon, because I don’t know about you, but when I test recipes, they’re not usually a raging success on the first go, moreso two gos in a row! You can imagine my excitement, right? Probably not, but I’m telling you, it might have been the sugar rush from all the brownie testing, but I was extremely delighted.

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So, yes, if you love coconut, by all means, use coconut oil. A good thing to note, most good quality dark baking chocolate is dairy-free. Also, cocoa butter is a non-dairy product, as much as a lot of people mistake it to be so. I of course use my favorite Valrhona Guanaja 70% because the bitterness balances the sweetness of the batter. You can use any chocolate brand that you want, just check that it’s dairy-free. If you want it to be extra and don’t mind cost, use half almond meal and half GF flour. I have to mention that the GF version takes longer to bake, though. So start checking around 28 minutes instead of 25.

I then carried out my blind taste-test, and not one of my audience thought they were eating a GF/DF version of a brownie! Success!!! Please try this recipe and my gooey brownies let me know if you agree with me or not. I am positive this tastes like a regular brownie, and it’s backed by my own study. LOL. Have fun baking! Don’t forget to comment below and tag me on your baking photos!

Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy

Dairy-free & Gluten-free Brownies

Makes 18 slices


0/9 Ingredients


0/5 Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 180C no fan or 160C with fan. Grease & line a 33 x 23 x 5 cm (9 x 13 x 2 in) with baking paper.
  • In a medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa and salt together. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk together sugars, nuttelex and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each time.
  • Fold in flour mixture until you only see a few flour streaks. Fold in 2/3 of the chocolate and half the nuts until everything is just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Pour into prepared pan. Tap on the bench once to spread the batter. Sprinkle the rest of chocolate and nuts on top. Bake on the middle shelf for 30 minutes for super gooey brownies. Check around 28 minutes just in case your oven is too hot and the brownies are done. The brownie should form a shiny crust on top and still feels soft in the centre.
  • If you like your brownies firmer and more set, add 5 minute increments until set. Remember the brownies will get firmer as they cool down. Cool down completely then cut with a hot, sharp knife into 18 squares. Wipe the knife clean after each stroke for sharp edges.


  • Nuttelex Buttery is actually margarine but I use this brand because the taste is not like other margarines. You can also opt for coconut oil and other butter substitutes.
  • Pure cocoa powder (dutch processed or not) should be gluten-free
  • Make sure the 70% chocolate is dairy-free, I used Valrhona Guanaja 70% but there are plenty of good quality baking chocolate that are dairy-free too, like Ghirardelli & Callebaut.


It’s winter in Sydney now, and much as I like the cold weather, I wish we could have more colourful produce to make my baked products prettier. I was at the shops the other day and there was a note that there are no blueberries available because the season is over and the prices of the fresh berries available were off the charts. I was planning to make a berry tart, so I needed around 3-4 punnets, and after that realisation, I quickly pivoted to something more practical, but still pretty. So today, I’m writing a post about my very yummy, berry-free but still pretty, carrot cupcakes.

The cupcake batter does not require a mixer, and the frosting can be made using a hand mixer or a food processor or a whisk. Lots of options! So adapt to what you have at home, no need to buy fancy equipment! Easy peasy recipe for your weekend project, I even made a video to guide you along.

When making cupcakes and muffins, I highly recommend having a liner. The shape of the dome of the end product is just so much better, plus, they pop out of the pans so quickly and easily.

Here are a few items that you can get to make your cupcakes prettier, click on the links to shop for each item on Amazon:

  1. Cupcake liners – Like I said, they ensure your cupcakes don’t get stuck in the pan and have a pretty dome. These ones are silicon and reusable! If you prefer plain white ones though, a bulk pack is linked if you click on the photo below.
  2. Piping nozzles – Piping nozzle sets are a good start to take the hassle out of choosing which ones to buy. (pictured below)
  3. Piping bags – These are great because they’re massive and can fit a lot, so you don’t have to keep refilling the bag. It’s a tad pricey though, and I’m sure you can find a roll of the smaller ones for less in your local store.

Have fun on this weekend’s baking project! Let me know how you go by tagging me on Instagram and Facebook or using #mrsfancypants to get featured!


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P.S. I noted both metric & US customary units in the recipe and have tested it in both.

Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 12 Mins Total Time: 32 Mins
This recipe makes 10-12 cupcakes.


  • For the frosting:


0/6 Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Line a cupcake pan with 10 paper cases. (see notes)
  • In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix wet ingredients (except carrots) until smooth. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir in wet ingredients just until combined.
  • Fold in the grated carrots into the batter. DO NOT OVER MIX. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • While cooling the cupcakes, make the frosting.
  • Once cupcakes are completely cooled, you can pipe the frosting on top. Keep in the fridge for 3-5 days or freeze up to 3 months.


  1. You can find the cream cheese frosting recipe here This recipe can frost 18-20 cupcakes, but I still make the full recipe so I have a little extra and won't have to worry about running out. You can keep the leftover in the freezer for when you need some frosting later.

Blueberries (and other berries) are an excellent source of vitamin C. They also contain a decent amount of soluble fibre, and are often touted as ‘superfood‘. All that aside, I love them because they’re juicy, delicious, low in calories and make my baked products pretty.

I love muffins, they’re so easy to whip up, they’re terrific on-the-go food, I don’t need to slice and wrap them, clean up after making a batch is a breeze, they’re so delicious, and a great way to increase your daily fruit intake!

This recipe makes 5 large muffins or 12 standard muffins.

It’s the best recipe to try if you’re a new homebaker. And my top 2 tips when you make muffins are:

  1. Never overmix your batter. Just mix gently until you don’t see anymore flour. This will ensure you’ll have a domed top and your muffins will not sink!
  2. Sprinkle sugar on top of your muffins. It gives them a crunchy and golden top, and a professional-looking finish.

As a guide, I also made a quick video on how to make these yummy Blueberry muffins. You can watch the video below:

Now with no further delay, here’s my go-to blueberry muffin recipe! The fruit is replaceable by berries, bananas, peaches and even chocolate. Have fun experimenting and let me know how you go after by tagging me on Instagram or Facebook. This recipe makes 5 large muffins (using a 6 cup Texas muffin pan) or 12 small muffins (using a standard 12 cupcake pan).

P.S. The recipes are in metric units but I also included US units for your reference. I’ve tried and tested my recipes using both, as well.

These are the pans I use at home. The one on the left is a jumbo muffin pan and that make cafe-size muffins. The one on the right is a standard 12-cup muffin pan.


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Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 45 Mins
This recipe makes 5 large muffins or 12 standard muffins.



0/4 Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Line a 6 cup jumbo muffin pan with paper cases.
  • In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix wet ingredients until smooth. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir in wet ingredients just until combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  • Fold in the blueberries into the batter. DO NOT OVER MIX. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle the top of each muffin evenly with with a thin layer of raw sugar.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a. cooling rack.


1. If you do not have a jumbo muffin pan, use the normal muffin/cupcake pan. This recipe should make 12 standard muffins and bake in 20-25 minutes.

2. If you don't have raw sugar handy, just use granulated sugar. But do not skip the sugar, this makes the muffin tops crunchy and golden.

3. You can use frozen or fresh blueberries for this recipe.