Watermelon and Bean Sprouts

July 15, 2006 at 10:46 pm 17 comments

One of my family’s favourite fruit is watermelon, or pakwan as we call it in Tagalog.  Watermelon is usually included in my weekly groceries.  We get it all throughout the year, even in the winter.  Of course they don’t come directly here from Winnipeg, but imported from some tropical country.


In Toe’s post, Butong Pakwan (Watermelon Seeds), I told her that we get seedless watermelons here in Winnipeg and also ones with white seeds.  The one in the picture has white seeds, which are very soft and we don’t have to pick them out.  We eat this watermelon with the seeds.  When given the choice between a watermelon with seeds and a seedless one, I’d pick the seedless one.  It’s such a hassle to spit or pick out the seeds especially when you also have to do it for your young kids.  At least my kids are older now and can pick the seeds out on their own.   

Another favourite of the family is bean sprouts, or to-ge.  I was surprised when I read Domesticrat’s post, Bogeh Eat Taugeh, with the bean sprouts picture and she called these similarly.  So fellow Filipinos, they call these taugeh in Hokkien (Pronounced tao-gay.  Thanks to DR for the correction.)


When my husband cooks to-ge, he leaves the roots on and we better not complain because that will be the last time we’ll see him cook.  When I cook to-ge, I pluck out the roots.  If I do it myself, it will take me forever just to do a bag of this crunchy veggie.  So I would commission the kids’ help, all three of them, to help me take out the roots individually.  I know they’d rather do something else other than this chore, but I also know that they like eating the to-ge better without those ugly roots. 

I’m not really much of a cook.  But this is a simple dish that the kids enjoy.  I sauté garlic, onions (finely diced or else the kids will pick them out of their food), pork, a little bit of shrimp (which I cut in half because they’re quite expensive), and then add the to-ge last.  Add fish sauce and briefly boil in a little bit of water.


Entry filed under: Food.

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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. bingskee  |  July 16, 2006 at 12:15 am

    that pakwan looks yummy! to-ge is one of my favorites, too. pwede siyang ihalo sa okoy. sauteed to-ge with pork and shrimps, sayote or turnip, and camote is very good, too.

  • 2. KD  |  July 16, 2006 at 2:53 am

    pareho din kayo ni wisheart ann, tinatanggal nya yung roots ng toge, pinagtitiyagaan nyang tanggalin hehe ako sama-sama rin tulad ng hubby mo heheh

  • 3. niceheart  |  July 16, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    Bing, pakwan is perfect especially on hot summer days like this. I guess turnip and toge is a good combination. Lots of crunchiness in that dish.

    Hello KD, thanks for the visit. Now, it makes me think. Could it be a guy thing that you don’t pluck out the roots?  Gustong mabilisan para makakain agad. 🙂

  • 4. Serendipity  |  July 16, 2006 at 2:23 pm

    I love those two food.

    One of the hardest thing for me as a mother is preparing food. I have tons of recipe but it’s really hard to figure out which to prepare from day to day.

    My husband does not eat meat. My first son is allergic to most of everything and can only eat meat. So already, every time I cook, I must come up with two things. Add the others to it, and everyday, I must come up with three different appetizing thing. I get overwhelmed just thinking about it.

    Good thing there are so much more choices of frozen food.

  • 5. niceheart  |  July 16, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    My oldest son is allergic to fish and I have to make sure that he has something to eat whenever we’re having fish. But my situation is nothing compared to yours. And I know what you mean. Just thinking about what to prepare and cook from day to day can be quite a challenge.

  • 6. sesame  |  July 16, 2006 at 11:09 pm

    I eat beansprouts without the roots and heads. Heheh. Just eat the stalk.

  • 7. Jayred  |  July 17, 2006 at 1:39 am

    Thanks for sharing your “toge” cooking tip. I’ll try it out. I think they sell “toge” here at the Asian market, but they’re quite expensive.

    I’ve seen a vendor sell watermelons here during the summer fest. I should have tried them.

  • 8. Major Tom  |  July 17, 2006 at 1:47 am

    I like toge so much and you just reminded me that. Matagal ng hindi nag-prepare ng ganitong menu ang mga helpers…I think I’ll cokk them myself by tomorrow. Thanks for the tips.

  • 9. ann  |  July 17, 2006 at 1:51 am

    I can’t eat toge with roots in it, parang madumi sa tingin ko. So even though it takes time to remove them bago iluto pinuputoll ko talaga.

  • 10. earthember  |  July 17, 2006 at 2:28 am

    I cook with beansprouts very frequently too, and I don’t pluck the roots. It’s just too time-consuming. Besides, the roots will provide more fiber too. So the family has been used to it, and has never complained, until, they ate beansprout at the Aunt’s place recently. They were wondering why the beansprout tasted so smooth….. haha, well, they don’t know why…

    I also prefer watermelons without seeds. If it’s with seeds, I would just eat the seeds too. 🙂

  • 11. domestic rat  |  July 17, 2006 at 3:41 am

    Do you pronouce to-ge, as it to and fro, and girl? We called it tau-geh as in tao, and gay; it’s really hokkien.

    And I love seedless watermelon, especially those that are spilt a little which means they are very sweet!

  • 12. Phil  |  July 17, 2006 at 6:36 am

    The seedless pakwan just doesn’t seem as sweet. I love the seeds, especially when i’m eating outside with the girls…. we have seed spitting contests to see who can shoot them the furthest. Daddy is ALWAYS the winner!

  • 13. niceheart  |  July 17, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    Sesame, that’s the first time I’ve heard anybody eating beansprouts without the head. 🙂

    I know what you mean, Jayred. I seldom go to the Vietnamese and Filipino stores here because the food are more expensive. Fortunately, Superstore also carries Oriental items but at lower prices than the Oriental stores.

  • 14. niceheart  |  July 17, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    Sige na, Major Tom. Luto na ng toge. My husband also cooks toge with tahong. The kids like that too.

    Pareho pala tayo, Ann. Do you also ask the kids to help you take out the roots?

    I didn’t know that the roots provide fiber, too, Ange. And I always tell me kids to eat their apples with the peel for fiber. Thanks for the info.

  • 15. niceheart  |  July 17, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks for the correction DR. We say it toe-ge, toe as in toes of your feet.  I think there are also some Filipinos who pronounce it as tao-ge. 

    Phil, the seedless pakwan can be just as sweet as the ones with seeds. The seed spitting contest sounds like a lot of fun. 🙂

  • 16. Toe  |  July 18, 2006 at 9:16 am

    The pakwan looks very refreshing Niceheart. Perfect for summer! This is the first time I saw those white seeds… very convenient indeed. I didn’t know that bean sprouts pala is the English for toge. 🙂 I like those inside vegetable spring rolls.

  • 17. niceheart  |  July 18, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    Perfect for summer or anytime of the year, Toe. Yeah, we see “bean sprouts” written on the tag in the supermarket every week. 🙂 I also like toge in spring rolls. And coincidentally, we just had some spring rolls for lunch today. Somebody gave us some.


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