About Masarap.ph

It’s been fifteen years since my cookbook “The Secret Is In The Sauce” was published and awarded by the Manila Critics Circle, the Best Cookbook and Best Book Design of 1997.    During the past fifteen years, I followed the flow of life and found my bliss.  At this stage of my life, I would like to share once more my creative talents.

I have noticed that the Filipino has spread its wings to countries far and wide, myself included.  Living now in Australia, my Filipino friends gather together and have Ladies Lunch and spend a good one third of our conversation talking about food and reminiscing  about Filipino food experiences; sounds familiar?  We Filipinos have adapted quite well to our new countries but occasionally long and crave for Pinoy delicacies, specialties, or what mama,  lola, tita, tito, ate, or kuya, used to cook for us.  That gave me the idea to make a site and share my recipes and research with all Filipinos far and near.

I am of the belief of being true to the original flavor of food; but then because of the Lands we now reside in, finding that particular ingredient might be a real challenge.  Gata (coconut milk) comes to mind; although coconuts can be found, extracting it’s juice is quite a challenge.  Back in the Philippines, all one has to do is go to the local palengke (wet market) and ask the vendor to grate one for you.  The common canned coconut milk is found in most Asian stores, even in the local supermarket; but the flavor is a far cry from the freshly made coconut milk.

Another fact is, there are now several methods to improve and standardize the old ways.  In my grandmother’s recipes, there were no exact amounts leaving the outcome to a hit and miss dish.  One clove of garlic can be as little as half a teaspoon to half a tablespoon depending on the size of the garlic; some garlic bulbs can nowadays be as big as a small fist or the Ilocano ping pong ball sized one.  Lola’s one taza (teacup), or one cucharita (teaspoon) depended on her silverware/dinner set.  Therefore setting standard measurements is a valuable tool with coming up with a recipe that can be used over and over with very slight variations.

Another fact is, food is now a dining experience and people have done lots of experiments to bring out the best in food.  Nowadays we sear meat before we boil or simmer them;  they hold the shape of the meat and lock in the flavor.

I will try as much as possible, to bring to your kitchen the flavor that makes Filipino food the way it should be, using more suitable methods and ingredients and to bring that delight on your salivating palate.

I also believe that ‘cooking is an art and baking is a science’. Cooking is more flexible and an opportunity to express one’s creativity and near disasters are more redeemable.  With baking, because it’s more like a chemical formula, we need to be more exact and careful with the ingredients and procedures.

Cooking being a creative process, I highly suggest that you be not afraid to try your hand at it.  Venture into your ‘inner palate’ and express your imagination; of course just learn some of the basics and make sure Rover (the family dog) is around to finish things off just in case it does not come up to your liking; our dog Joe does that for me.   When trying your hand at baking, think ‘science class’; all ingredients must be exactly measured; buy yourself a digital weighing machine and proper measuring spoons and cups (glass for liquid and metal or plastic for dry).

Words of advice – just go for it and express yourself!

Maria Ana (Marianne) de Leon Hudson


  1. Hi Marianne,
    Thank you or inviting me to your website. Am looking forward to try more of your recipes. Has it been 15 years since your cookbook was launched? I was there – if you remember!

    Best of luck and cheers to having lots and lots of readers.

    Much love,

    • G’day my dear! So nice of you to look at my website and thanks for the good wishes. Yes, I remember you at the book launch. This is my way of sharing Filipino recipes. It’s faster than writing another book. Love ya!

  2. CIAO DEAREST marianne,

    OH! Such superbly irresistible recipes. The manok with tamarind is scrumptious.So iis everything else.
    I am now a MERRY DIVORCE3E as of two years.
    Mystery Man – the Love of my Life would adore the manok and the various rice dishes and the salds and gulays.
    I wil send you a recipe I have for okra, shrimps, onions, and black rice called Vegetables a la Isabella.
    Hugs and Embraces.
    Maribel – Isabella

    • Congratulations!
      Am now living in Sydney and sharing my Pinoy recipes. Mwah!

  3. Hi Marianne,

    Thanks for sharing your flavorful recipes. I really love this website. I just got myself into cooking recently and I’m getting a lot of ideas from you.


  4. good afternoon i am from bukidnon and i need your help your help as to:where i can buy squid ink online or a store that you will recommend salamat

    • The cheapest squid ink is actually from the ‘lumot’ cuttlefish; it contains a big ink sac. One to two is more than enough. You can buy this from the wet market or palengke. You can also buy the commercial kind from delicatessens that sell imported stuff like ‘Santis’.

  5. Hi Marianne,

    Yes, I too was lucky to be present at the book launch. Kudos to your relentless pursuit of all foods far and near.
    More power!

    • Thanks Tess; how come I didn’t see you?

  6. Hi Marianne,

    A friend introduced me to your book last year. I tried to search National Bookstore for a copy, but could not find this in stock (online at least).

    Do you know where i can get a printed copy? I’ll be visiting Pinas soon.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Me-Ann, let us know when you get to the Philippines so we can make sure you can get a copy.

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