Filipino food has a bad reputation outside the Philippines - most people think of it as being heavy, greasy, garlicky and vinegary. And it can be.
It can also be delicious. Although I've never visited the country, I learned about Filipino home-style food from the Filipino line cooks at the first Hong Kong restaurant at which I worked. Every day, they'd cook lunch for the staff, and while adobo often featured, so did lighter dishes such as scrambled eggs with bitter melon, pork bone and vegetable soup, tangy fish with tomato (above right), and grilled chicken (above centre).
So I was happy to come across Jun-Blog - Photographs and Stories from My Filipino Kitchen (blog. junbelen.com ). Jun Belen, born and raised in Manila, but now living in California, only learned to cook when he left home to be a graduate student in the United States, phoning home to his mother to ask for recipes and instructions about dishes he missed.
"I made my mom's pork adobo for the first time and it was delicious," he writes. "It instantly whisked me away from my homesickness and took me back home, back to my family just for a fleeting moment."
Belen's photographs will make your mouth water (he's given up his career in Silicon Valley to be a photographer). They're used to illustrate his recipes, which include pork dumpling soup; Filipino-style spaghetti with meatballs (which also contains hotdogs); stuffed crab; shrimp in coconut sauce (above left); chicken tinola (made with a bird he helped his mother, visiting from the Philippines, slaughter); and yes, pork adobo.