Tropical Joe: My Moniker and My Tropical Cooking

by Ireno

Tropical Joe is all about my continuing passion in tropical cooking. I will feature: 1. Home-Cooked Meals 2.Tips on Tropical Cooking 3. Tropical Joe's Signature Dishes

When you live in a tropical archipelago nation, like Philippines, an average male like me will be recognized as Tropical Joe. It suits me, since I always like Tropical Cooking. So, I am owning that moniker.
My goal? Why not give it a try online and share my knowledge and ideas on dishes that are concocted from my region (Bicol-home of Mayon volcano), fusion and innovation from my kitchen?
Social media and online writing sites make it possible for me to tweet, share and post my own cooked dishes.
I'm not new with writing articles about Food.
Being a culinary enthusiast, I enrolled myself at the local maritime school and pursue my dream to be a cook on board ship.
My work started as a cook trainee until I got a top position in the catering department through hard work and dedication.
Tropical Joe is my way of giving back. It's a fulfilling move as I impart my knowledge and expertise to all interested readers, what really is all about Tropical Cooking.

Tropical Joe Recipe Series

Recipe on Tropical Cake

It's my innovation with a popular snack (merienda) in my region (Bicol, Philippines).I will call it Tropical Cake, a more trending name in international scene. It is locally known as Linubak in our dialect. It consists of one or two ingredients (Banana-Sabah variety plus Kamoteng Kahoy or Tapioca Plant.

Situationer: Root crops are very expensive nowadays since the series of flooding that a-washed the vegetable crops of farmers at the lowlands of the country this year. 
You can buy ube for P69-70 per kilo, kamoteng kahoy P15.00 per kilo, sweet camote for P30 per kilo, taro (bungkukan) for P30.00 per kilo and banana (sabah) this size (medium @ P1.50 per piece). All in all, I spent almost P100.00 or USD 3.00 only.

Nutritional contents: 

  1. Cassava or tapioca is a good source of carbohydrates. It has folic acid (B9), iron, calcium and omega-3. 
  2. Sweet Potato or camote is rich in Vitamin A, beta carotene, sodium and carbohydrates.
  3. Taro is rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber, Vitamin C and iron.
  4. Ube is an excellent source of potassium, thiamine, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C aside from its carbohydrate content.
  5. Ripe Jackfruit has the following major contents: potassium, phosporus, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. 


Root Crops comprising of taro, ube, sweet potato and tapioca plus other ingredients for Tropical Cake



1/2 kilogram (kg) ube or purple yam, cleaned 

1/2 kg sweet potato or camote, cleaned

1/2 kg cassava(kamoteng kahoy), cleaned 

3 pieces banana (Sabah variety)

5 pieces jackfruit cloves, ripe and seeded

1/2 kg. brown sugar

1/2 cup margarine

1 cup pure coconut milk

pinch of salt (preferably gourmet or rock salt)

ground peanuts 


Glimpses on how my Tropical Cake was made

Grating and mashing sweet potato



 Tips: Grate first the cooked root crops before mashing it. Mix with sugar to sweeten, along with part of coconut milk and margarine.




Layering the Tropical Cake




Ready for decoration

Slice of Tropical Cake

  1. In a medium-size pan, put the first  4 ingredients and boil it until done. Add a pinch of salt.
  2. When cooled, mash the cassava first as the bottom layer of the Tropical Cake.Mix sugar and margarine on it, then, flatten it on a round plate.
  3. Repeat the procedure with sweet potato (for second layer), taro (for third layer) and ube(for top layer).
  4. Brush the top of the cake with margarine, then, sprinkle it with ground peanuts.
  5. Layer the banana slices alternately with the ripe jackfruit slices.
  6. Refrigerate. It will serve 10 persons.







A slice of Tropical Cake with a compliment of steaming coffee (the barako type of  the Philippines) is a delightful afternoon snacks.



Bon Apetit!!!

Tropical Cake by Tropical Joe

Tropical Cooking Ingredients

featuring Spices
Recipe on Banana-Wrapped Boiled Glutinous Rice

Recipe on Banana-Wrapped Boiled Glutinous Rice

aka Binutong (Bicol term)

Prep time 30 min  -  Total time 180 min
Ingredients for 20 servings
1 kilogram glutinous rice.soaked in...  • 2 cups diluted coconut milk (lukewarm)  • 3 cups pure coconut milk, already boiled and enriched with ...  • salt to taste  • 2 pieces young banana leaves, heated to make it durable and divided for desired sizes  • cotton strings for tying  • large sauce pan

How to make the Binutong

How to make the Binutong

1. Soak the glutinous rice with heated diluted coconut milk for half hour.
2. While waiting for the rice to loosen, heat the pure coconut milk that will be used as filler for every bunch of 3 tablespoons of glutinous rice in every banana wrapper.

3.Prepare the large sauce pan.Layer the unused banana leaves, that will prevent the wrapped glutinous rice from from sticking on its bottom and getting burned overcooked.
4. Once the preparation is done, add the remaining coconut milk and additional water, half filling the pan.

5. Cook for about an hour, starting from medium fire then back to slow fire as the whole batch is being simmered by boiling diluted coconut milk.
6. Cool and serve the next morning. Or, if you really want to taste it, add brown sugar for a more delightful snack.

Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (4 Votes)

Tropical Cooking Ingredients

featuring Philippine and Asia-Pacific products
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Updated: 09/18/2012, Ireno
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cmoneyspinner on 06/01/2013

When you mentioned you were on Wizzley, I hunted you down. Had to see your articles. I love this! I'll be sharing it in my circles.

Ireno on 09/18/2012

@zteve: Thank you for appreciating my gimmicks.It's a lot of efforts, though, as I had to make a more fresher version of my Tropical Joe series here on Wizzley. :)

zteve on 09/17/2012

Hi Tropical Joe, good name, interesting recipes!

Ireno on 09/16/2012

@Ragtimelil: Thank you. Don't worry, I'll let you taste my own masterpieces. :)

Ireno on 09/16/2012

@Brenda Reeves: Thank you for the patronage. With your praises, I will live up to your expectation as I share here on Wizzley more of my recipes.

Ragtimelil on 09/16/2012

Very interesting. I'm not a cook, but I like to eat.

BrendaReeves on 09/16/2012

Tropical Joe, I look forward to trying out your recipes. I'm glad you joined Wizzley. Welcome!

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