Discovering Coco's Tiny Kitchen

How are you, my dear readers?

If there's one thing I love about being a Filipino is how we can be very resilient. No matter what the circumstance may be, wherever the wind takes us, we are probably one of the most flexible individuals in the region, to quickly adapt to changes and to seek the positivity in all things. It's no wonder that the Philippines was once voted as one of the happiest place on earth.

Take the current situation that the entire world is facing, we were once put on Enhanced Community Quarantine which has led to business closures except for those offering essential goods like supermarkets and drugstores. With just a handful of restaurants offering take out services and public transportation not available, quickly people took to social media and messaging platforms to offer their products. Suddenly, there was a barrage of marketplaces being set-up in almost all communities imaginable. For years, you've never bothered to know your next door neighbor's name and during the ECQ, you're now in the same Viber group with everyone in your baranggay trading news, updates and selling and buying each other's items. On the first day of the ECQ, I found myself swapping food discoveries with my brother-in-law where we ended up buying a tub of kimchi each and a tray of fresh farm eggs. This continued with us buying vegetables, seafood, meat, sausages, bread and a lot more online. I even got to satisfy my kbbq craving with just a few taps, a quick online transaction and tadah! my orders were delivered straight to my doorstep. As a result, we also started our mini business (I'll tell you more about this soon)

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Sometime in April, a home-based business called Coco's Tiny Kitchen made its grand entrance on social media. I love how their menu only has 3 main items -- Kiam Pung, Cheesy Baked Prawns and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. This just goes to show that these are the three items that they are incredibly good at and it saves you time in wondering which dish to go for as you just have to get all 3!

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Last Saturday, the weekend before my birthday, my friends V and K surprised us with lunch! It was also V's birthday then so we somehow got to celebrate his special day with a yummy lunch feast while being physically distant from another. What came were two tubs one filled the most fragrant Kiam Pung (Php. 700) and another one was a round tub that I wasn't so sure what. Upon checking Coco's Tiny Kitchen it was only then that I found it that it was the Cheesy Baked Prawns (Php. 1250). Guesses were somehow along the lines of baked mac, baked spaghetti, chicken ala king (what?) I was so excited when I found out that it was a seafood dish.

We wasted no time and tried the Kiam Pung. This is a traditional Hokkien dish that I guess most Filipino-Chinese family would have on a regular basis. This reminds me so much of spending family meals at Kongkong and Ama's house and how Kongkong actually makes the best Kiam Pung in town. I'm lucky that Mommy can cook very well too and she can replicate that famous recipe. It's steamed savory rice filled with Chinese sausage, pork, mushrooms, dried scallops and more. This is the ultimate comfort food that goes so well with a bowl of Fishball Soup.

I felt a bit nostalgic as I enjoyed the Kiam Pung. It was really very yummy and it made me miss Kongkong so much. I then realized that this was my first birthday wherein both my grandparents are no longer present anymore. For the past 30+ years, they're always the most excited ones anticipating our birthdays because it means we get to eat out and be together as a family. I remember how they would make sure to give me a call early in the morning to greet me Happy Birthday. We still had Kongkong during my birthday celebration last year and I'm glad that I decided to treat the family at a Japanese restaurant knowing how much Kongkong loves Japanese food. I also ordered all of his favorites. Who would have thought that he would leave us a month after that. *sigh* Life is indeed very unpredictable and as I enjoyed my Kiam Pung that's filled with so much nostalgia, I said I little prayer asking my grandparents to watch over all of us especially during this challenging time.

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I then tried the Cheesy Baked Prawns (Php. 1250) which is filled with about 8-10 pieces of plump prawns. I love the minced veggies that were included in the mixture. It was so delicious. I could taste celery, carrots and I'm not so sure what other veggies were included but I managed to tuck this into the twins' rice bowl and they ate it with gusto. Haha! One point for Mommy for getting the twins to eat some veggies. However, this dish was slightly on the salty side which I think came from the cheese. Maybe a change of cheese would do the trick. Perhaps my taste buds are just extra sensitive but I really try to shy away from salty food as much as possible.

What a feast! I really couldn't get over how delicious the Kiam Pung was. I like having some garlic nuts with my rice and luckily we have packs of garlic peanuts here at home which I generously sprinkled on top of my rice bowl. I also love the fried shallots and spring onions too.

I'm glad that it won't be difficult now to satisfy my craving for yummy Kiam Pung as Coco's Tiny Kitchen is just a quick message away. Thank you V and K for sending and recommending Coco's Tiny Kitchen to us!

Check out Coco's Tiny Kitchen on Instagram

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