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Sari Jorge’s easy recipes for the busy homemaker

Sari Jorge’s culinary background consists of formal culinary education at International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCAHM) and a stint as F&B manager of the Catalina Canyon Hotel, Avalon, California.

My husband and I entertain a lot at home,” says Sari Jorge. “We love to invite friends over for themed dinner parties and I’m happy to say that most of them enjoy the food that we serve. “They know how I love to cook, and were very impressed with the type of service that my household staff can offer. It was this that led them to ask me four years ago if I could teach them how to cook, or better yet, train their helpers to cook. That’s how 25 Mushrooms Kitchen started. We started with a small group of our friends’ helpers and then by word of mouth it grew into a bigger group.”

From her home kitchen, Sari helps widen the culinary repertoire of her students. She also trains household helpers in kitchen management, food safety and basic dining table service.  She shares that her 25 Mushrooms Kitchen cooking school will soon offer cooking classes for moms and kids and just about anyone who wants to hone their culinary skills.

“I think everyone should learn how to cook,” Sari believes. “It is a very big advantage to be capable in the kitchen. Learning how to cook does not make anyone dependent on eating in fast foods, or settling for unhealthy food delivery. Cooking your own food gives you total control of the ingredients used to create the meal.”

Jorge is part of the community of women that will be tapped to facilitate the Knorr Kitchenhood Clinics next year.  These will be held all over the Philippines as part of the brand’s 175th-anniversary celebration.

“The goal of the Kitchenhood Clinics is to encourage more people to be more in touch with their cooking skills,” says Czarina Manalo, Knorr brand manager. “Nothing beats hands-on experience because this makes participants more confident in the kitchen.” She tells us that Knorr hopes “to give participants the ability to prepare tasty, delectable dishes that bring smiles to the dinner table.”  

But we had to ask: “How do instant mixes used as kitchen aids fit in when there is a growing movement to go back to ‘slow food’? What is the relevance of instant products when the current thrust is to go back to natural ingredients and support the small farmer, when traditional cooking methods are preferred? 

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“Instant mixes can be a great help in the kitchen,” says Sari, revealing that she is not one of those rabid culinary purists. “These may be used together with some fresh or natural ingredients to come up with a great meal.  I think instant mixes and natural ingredients can complement each other. I use these to enhance the flavor of the dish and not as a replacement for natural ingredients.”  Admittedly, using instant mixes can be the pragmatic approach to cooking dilemmas in an urban kitchen. Just as not all of us have enough time to scour the markets or spend hours cooking from scratch, not everyone has space for things like a fruiting tamarind tree in the backyard so that we can pick freshly souring ingredients any time.



Olive oil for sautéing, plus more for drizzling

1 piece chorizo de Bilbao, sliced

1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1 tbsp onion, chopped

1 tbsp garlic, chopped

1/4 cup fresh tomatoes

tsp rock salt

1 1/4 cups Japanese rice

4 tbsps Knorr Menudo Complete Recipe Mix + 2 3/4 cups water

1 tbsp olive oil

3 prawns, peeled and tails removed

100 grams clams (halaan)

100 grams mussels (tahong)

Green peas, thawed

1 hard-boiled egg, sliced (boil eggs for 9 minutes only)


Heat olive oil in a paellera or sauté pan. Add chorizo and cook until fat is rendered. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add chopped green and red bell peppers; sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic, sauté again for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and rock salt, sauté for 2 minutes. Add rice, sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the Knorr Menudo Complete Recipe Mix + 2 3/4 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil and cover with aluminum foil.

When rice is halfway cooked (after 15 minutes), remove aluminum foil and add prawns, clams and mussels. Drizzle with olive oil; cover with foil again and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

Once rice is cooked, mix in green peas and garnish with prawns, shellfish and sliced hard-boiled eggs.

Serves 4 (using a 24 cm paellera pan)



4 lettuce leaves

1 cup pomelo (suha), cut into chunks

1/4 cup thinly sliced cucumber

1/4 cup thinly sliced carrots

1/2 cup kani (crabmeat)

2 tbsps shallots or red onions, sliced and fried

6 pcs prawns (peeled and deveined)

1/2 tsp 5-spice powder

salt and pepper              

2 tbsps chopped peanuts

Fresh lime


1. Peel the prawns, leaving the tail. Slice a slit in the middle and remove the vein. Season with 5-spice powder, salt and pepper. Cook the prawns in a frying pan with a little oil. Set aside

2. In a salad bowl or individual bowls, arrange salad in the following order: lettuce, pomelo, cucumber, crabmeat, prawns, fried shallots and chopped peanuts. Serve with dressing.

Tamarind-Coriander Dressing

2 tsps Knorr Sinigang Original Mix

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 tsp Thai fish sauce

2 tbsps honey 

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 tbsp chopped coriander (wansoy)

In a saucepan mix together Knorr Sinigang Original Mix, water, and Thai fish sauce.  Boil the mixture and let it cool.

Add the honey, garlic and chopped coriander. Mix until well-combined. Use as a dressing for the pomelo salad.

Serves 2-3.


Tenderloin Beef Fillet

4 one-inch slices tenderloin of beef

Knorr Liquid Seasoning

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil and butter for grilling the beef

Gorgonzola and Porcini Mushroom Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked and strained

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

pinch of dried thyme leaves

1/3 cup red wine

1/3 cup soaking liquid from the mushrooms

1 cup cream (add more if needed)

1 Knorr Beef Cube

1 tablespoon gorgonzola cheese or blue cheese (optional)


For the beef:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle both sides of the beef with Knorr Liquid Seasoning and pepper. Heat the olive oil and butter in an oven-safe medium skillet or grill pan over high heat. When hot, carefully place the filet in the pan. Cook until browned on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes a side.

Transfer the steak to the oven and bake till medium-rare, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the beef from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

For the sauce:

Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and the shallots and cook until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, red wine, and soaking liquid from the mushrooms, simmer to reduce the liquid. Add Knorr Beef Cube, continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Add the gorgonzola cheese and cream and combine until smooth.

Place the beef on a plate and serve topped with the gorgonzola sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus.

Serves 4.

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