Budget Meal: Day 1

Budget Meal: Day 1

The F Word: Food By Chef Chris Lachenal

Good day readers!

So today we start our budget meal series. In my last article, I mentioned making a Misua dish. That was just a spur-of-the-moment idea. Somehow we can make a go for it, as was estimated. 

Since it is Ash Wednesday this week and restraint is required of the faithful, so the budget meal challenge starts. I am picky with what rice goes with the dish I prepare. Having good quality tasting rice over my main dish or ulam is essential. That, so even salt or fish sauce would taste great with just the good rice.

So I set the budget for the challenge at ₱150.00. Remember, we are making a meal for a family of 4 with a budget of ₱50.00 per head. Of course this would vary depending on ingredient choices. if you buy rice worth ₱35.00 a kilo then you have a little more budget to play with.

Our dish for today is a tuna version of one of my favorite dishes, Bola Bola Misua.

Tuna Balls with Misua Noodles

The No-Bake Chocolate Fudge is something you must try.

Budgeting and Planning:

Tuna Balls with Vegetable Misua Soup

Here is the allocation of our ₱200.00 meal budget.


–    50.00       Rice/bigas



–    49.00       180g. canned tuna in oil



–    35.00       100g. Misua noodles


₱ 66.00

–     6.00        1pc. XL size egg


₱ 60.00

–  20.00         worth of chopsuey veggies


₱ 40.00

The leftover ₱40.00 is for other ingredients like, garlic, onion, flour, shrimp cube, and dash of sesame oil.

Tuna Balls with Vegetable Misua Soup

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 7 minutes



2      tbsp      Oil

2      cloves   Minced Garlic

2      tbsp      Minced Onion

                      Minced Bell Pepper for Chop Guey mix

1     pc          Egg

1/2  tbsp     Flour

1/4              1 Shrimp Cube

                     Salt & Pepper to taste

4     cups     Water

1     pack    100g. Misua Noodles

       ₱20.00   Worth (150g.) Chop Suey Vegetables Mix



  1. Drain very well the Canned Tuna of its oil.
  2. In a bowl, combine drained tuna, 1/3 of Minced Onions,  Bell Pepper, Salt and Pepper to taste, Egg, and Flour to bind.
  3. Mix well until well incorporated then set aside.
  4. In a saucepot, heat Oil and saute Garlic and remaining Onions until the Garlic is lightly golden. 
  5. Pour 4 cups Water and bring to a boil
  6. While waiting for Water to boil, add in the 1/4 Shrimp Cube and season with Salt & Pepper 
  7. When water boils, lower heat to simmer and gently drop tuna balls one at a time (use ice cream scooper for convenience). This will cook for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add in Misua noodles followed by vegetables and a dash of sesame oil (optional). Cover and let simmer just until noodles are done.

***If you have japanese breadcrumbs, I would advise adding maybe 1/2 tbsp to the mixture to add firmness and crunch.

I hope you like this. Have fun. Drop a note when you find time.

Enjoy and see you on our next issue.

Chef signed

Featured image: Planning a budget meal

Chef Chris Lachenal strives to elevate Filipino cuisine and revive dishes that are slowly losing popularity. A former chef instructor, he emphasized the importance of understanding the process of things in order to grasp refinement in food. As a chef-for-hire he satisfies his clients, always. He is the creative and passionate soul behind FoodCreations by CCL.

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