Beef Estofado – Tangy Braised Beef

Estofado which translates to stew is a Spanish dish that has been localized to Filipino taste and consists of meat stewed with tomatoes. A hearty stew like this is best accompanied by a generous serving of kanin (cooked rice) and I have always considered this a comfort food good for a cold night. Ingredients 1½ lb |…

Pan de Sal – Bread Rolls

Considered a staple, pan de sal or salt bread is more sweet than salty and most likely derives the name from the pinch of salt used to make the bread. The earliest versions of wheat-based breads were introduced in the Philippines by the Portuguese back around the 1500s. Pan de sal is popular as a mid-morning…

Bibingka – Coconut and Rice Cake

Christmas or Pasko as it is known in the Philippines marks the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Although Christmas Day lands on December 25th, the celebrations by Filipinos begin several weeks earlier. Filipinos will give each other a hearty “Maligayang Pasko” or Merry Christmas. Pasko itself officially starts on the morning of December 16th and is…

Siopao – Steamed Buns with Pork Filling

Filipino food culture is an amalgam of several different nationalities with siopao being happily adopted from China. Siopao is something that I always associated to my Lola (Grandma) who was able to whisk together this special treat of steamed buns with a savory pork filling. The following recipe consists of two parts, the filling and the…

Inihaw na Baboy – Filipino Pork Barbecue

Inihaw is simply a method of cooking over coals or other heat source for grilling. Inihaw na Baboy (Grilled Pork) is considered one of the dishes that you can easily find in many of the food stalls that you may see as you wander the streets of the Philippines. The flavor profile of this dish is sweet,…

Picadillo – Ground Beef and Potato Soup

Picadillo is a dish with its roots in Spain and localized to Filipino tastes and availability of ingredients. Filipino picadillo is also known as giniling and consists of ground beef, tomatoes, potatoes, and aromatics. The variation made in the Philippines is more soupy and can be served over rice. Notice a theme here with Filipino food?…

Tinolang Manok – Chicken Tinola

Chicken Tinolang is known as Tinola in the Philippines and is traditionally made with green papaya and pepper leaves. The variation that I grew up with had to make do with local ingredients, so the version made by both my nanay and lola took advantage of this change. In lieu of the pepper leaves, fresh baby…

Bistek Tagalog – Filipino Beef Steak

Bistek is a colloquialism for the word “beefsteak” and “Tagalog” is a reference to the Tagalog region in Southern Luzon, Philippines where bistek is believed to have originated. The meat is marinated in the mixture of soy sauce and an acidic ingredient, like calamansi, lime, or lemon juice. The depth of flavor is dependent upon the length…

Arroz Caldo with Manok

Arroz Caldo is considered a comfort food in my family’s home and was considered a staple whenever a sniffle would appear. Its origins are from the familiar Chinese congee (rice porridge) but modified by Filipinos to suit the tastes of the Spanish conquistadors that ruled over the Philippines for well beyond three centuries. It may resemble…

It’s All About the Prep

Knife Skills The handy dandy chef’s knife is one item that anyone worth their salt in the kitchen knows to be on the list of items that they would need if they ever were stranded on an island. The sheer versatility of a good blade will help keep you fed, able to defend yourself, and can…