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White Meat Embutido

The month of June is the start of the school year and Embutido is one of the favorite school baons (or maybe your teacher’s tinda?)– eitherway this is one Filipino dish that when done perfectly is absolutely good !

This is the “healthier” version of Filipino Meatloaf– I used ground chicken breast instead of the traditional ground pork.


Embutidong Puti


500 g Chicken Breast (ground)
1/2 c   Carrots (finely chopped)
1 c      Sweet Ham or Vienna Chicken Sausage(chopped)
3 tbsp Green bell pepper (minced)
3 tbsp Red bell pepper (minced)
1/3 c   Sweet pickle relish
1/4 c   Raisins
3 pcs   Eggs (whole)
1/2 c   Cheddar cheese(grated)
1 tbsp Cornstarch
Whole  Boiled eggs
aluminum foil


Prepare a steamer and set aside.

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients (except for the boiled eggs and chicken sausage) and mix until well blended.Divide the mixture into 2 to 4 portions (depending on how many you want to make).

Spread and flatten the mixture onto the center of each foil,Place Boiled eggs at the center of each mixture. Hold the foil onto your hand and roll until the ends of the mixture covers the egg. Roll the aluminum foil into a tightly packed log about 1″ to 2″ in diameter, sealing on both ends. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Place the embutido in a steamer and steam for an hour.

Food Notes :

  1. Let it cool or Refrigerate before serving.
  2. Best eaten with your favourite catsup (Banana or Tomato)
  3. Pan fry until golden brown and make it into a sandwich – use pandesal !
  4. Store in freezer up to 20 days!

Posted in Philippine Cuisine | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Laguna Mole

What can be wrong with a good old slice of liempo cooked over charcoal with nothing more than a dash of salt and served with vinegar and garlic? Or a traditional and honest Filipino stew made with nothing more than a few cuts of meat, some root vegetables and left to simmer for a whole day until all the robust tastes mingle and the meat melts in your mouth? Absolutely nothing is wrong !

Remember how “fusion” rocked our foodie minds in the early 2000s with those fancy cooking integrals and marriages of flavors? The buzzwords were “new” and “experimental”. Food was cooked for a different eating experience. It was all very fun and cutting-edge when it was new then.. but fusion cuisine appears to have lost its “fussion-ness”

Right now, chefs are trying to go back to working with natural ingredients, in line with culinary culture and culinary tradition thrown in. I think chefs and foodies are getting tired of constantly  having to be innovative and coming up with newer and more bizarre ways of combining ingredients and ways of cooking– and patrons are getting jaded, too !

The other day, I was attempting to make another contrived creation– to make adobo dumplings! But then, realized I was craving for some good old-fashioned, simple and honest food again–food prepared and cooked in a traditional way..very  much a part of my life !

I am sharing another favorite food memory from my home town (Santa Cruz, Laguna) and it’s Chicken Mole ! This is far from the Mexican Mole. My version is known as the Laguna Mole which is simply what you can classify as a Kare-Kare.

What’s the difference? We use chicken instead of red meat or ox tail and did I mention that, it is a popular merienda dish ?

Chicken Mole   


1 Chicken (whole, adobo cut)
2 pcs Red Onion
1 c Pulvorised Malagkit (Sticky rice)
1 c Atsuete Oil
50 g Minced Garlic
6 c Stock or Water
250 g Roasted Ground Peanuts
1 Whole peeled banana hearts, sliced
Patis (Fish Sauce) and Pepper to tasteProcedure

Saute red onions and garlic. Add Chicken and Stock/Water

Stir in malagkit rice, atsuete and ground nuts. Bring to boil then simmer until thick.

Add banana hearts. Season with Patis and Pepper.

Simmer until banana hearts are cooked

Food Notes :

1. Best eaten with “puting puto”

2. You will not be con”fusion”-ed as to how delicious this is …

3. Recipe published , Cook Magazine May 2011 issue

Posted in Philippine Cuisine | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Leche Flan

There is no love sincerer than the love of food–And there is no more satisfying in eating and preparing too !

Leche Flan — A sweet influence of Spanish Conquistadores to Filipinos. Also known as creme caramel, custard or simply flan. Sugar is cooked to caramel stage then poured into the mold before adding the custard base. It is usually cooked in a stove on a double-boiler or in the oven in a water bath.

This sweet, rich and decadent dessert is usually served during special occasions and like other Filipino dish, each household has their own version.

Leche Flan con MacapunoCaramel1 c  Sugar
1 c  WaterCustard12 egg yolks
1 (14 ounce) can condensed milk
1 pint Milk
1 tblspn Vanilla
3 tblspn Prepared MacapunProcedure


Put sugar and water in a saucepan. Caramelize on high heat. Line loaf tin with caramel. Be sure to line the sides of the pan.


Blend all ingredients in a blender. Pour mixture into caramel lined loaf pan. Add Prepared Macapuno.

Cover with aluminum foil. Place tin in a larger baking pan half filled with water. Place pan in pre-heated oven at 375 degrees, and bake flan for about 1 hour or until firm.

Food Notes :

1. Place serving dish over top of loaf pan, and invert. Flan will easily plate, and the caramel provides a wonderful sauce.

2. Macapuno is a preserved coconut meat.

3. I personally like my Leche Flan chilled

Posted in Philippine Cuisine | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Salted Egg Hunt

Salted Egg, Itlog na Pula, Itlog na Maalat – whichever name you prefer– It is definitely one of the favorite side dishes in the Philippine table. In our home, “itlog na maalat” is served with chopped tomatoes for breakfast and “mangang hilaw” or grilled eggplant for lunch or dinner.

There are few ways of making this salty egg. The most common (In Pateros and Victoria, Laguna) is soaking in clay. But there’s also another way — Why not Celebrate Easter by making your own “Itlog na Pula” at home ?

Homemade Salted Egg 

What you need….

6 c               Water
12 c             Salt
12 pcs         Fresh Duck Eggs (you may use chicken eggs too !)
Glass Jar or Zip Lock

What to do…

Boil Water and Salt. Let it cool.

Carefully place the eggs in a glass jar. Pour the water-salt solution. Make sure that the eggs are submerged. Cover the jar seal Zip lock and keep in cool and dry place for 20-25 days.

On the 26th day, transfer the salty water and eggs in a pot and boil for 10 minutes. Submerge in cold water to stop cooking.

For an authentic “Itlog na Pula”, dry and submerge boiled salted eggs in red dye

Food Notes :

1. China has nearly a thousand year history of salted egg making. And it is believed that Chinese traders brought the curing technology of making salted eggs in Philippines.

2.Salted egg is a preserved food mainly made of fresh duck eggs, containing rich nutrients such as fat, protein, various amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, iron, various trace elements and vitamins that are needed by human body.

3. Salted Eggs are not only for side dishes- it can be used as a garnish to ensaymada and other local kakanin. The distinct salty taste adds a different flavor to a dish.

Posted in Philippine Cuisine | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Drunken Pork Belly


Finally- a copy of a Tapuy Cookbook (hot off the press!). Few months ago, I was asked to contribute a recipe for PhiliRice ( a government corporate entity under the Department of Agriculture established to help develop high-yielding and cost reducing technologies through research so farmers can produce enough rice for Filipinos)—and of course I excitedly said yes to the project.  I am posting my recipe and some useful infos about the local rice wine to create awareness and help promote Tapuy — Congratulations to PhilRice !!! Tagay Pa !!!

Tapuy (rice wine) is a traditional alcoholic drink in the northern part of the Philippines for more than 200 years.  It consumed during fiestas, weddings, harvesting ceremonies and other cultural celebrations.

Philippine rice wines vary in taste, aroma, color and keeping quality in the country side.  Because of this, PhilRice  created greatly improved tapuy with the sensory profile : clear full-bodied wine with luxurious alcoholic flavor, moderate sweetness, and lingering finish. It is 100% natural pure wine, with no preservatives and undiluted with water and 14% alcohol content.

Enjoy this traditional wine with ice, cocktail drink or served as straight, chilled or use it with cooking!

Baked Pork Liempo 


1 kg             Pork Belly (liempo), whole with skin
½ c             PhiliRice Tapuy
½ c             Vinegar
4 tblspn      Fish Sauce
1 tspn          Sesame Oil
3 tblspn       Minced Garlic
1 ½ tspn     Minced Ginger
2 pcs            Star Anise
2 tblspn       Brown Sugar
2 tblspn       Ground Pepper
2 tspn           Salt


Combine all ingredients and marinate pork belly overnight

Roll and tie up pork with skin side out. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 400 deg and baste every 10 minutes. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes at 350 deg.

Let pork roll sit after roasting. Remove the strings and slice before serving.

The Legend of Tapuy
(An Ibaloi Tale) 

Tapuy was introduced to the Ibaloi tribe by the gods. The story goes, that the first woman encountered an enchantress named Bugan, sent by Kabunian to make tapuy for the tribe for them to enjoy eating pig meat.

“Get the wonder plant and crush the grains until it becomes powder. Mix it with cooked rice and water, and let the mixture stand for three days. “ Put it in a jar and cover it for eight days,” commanded Bugan. On the eight day, Bugan and the first woman opened the jar and saw that the water had turned into a golden liquid with pleasant aroma.

“Now you have tapuy,” Bugan declared. “Use it during feasts. Before drinking, the priest should recite the story of Kabunian, then invite the gods to celebrate with the people. Pass the tapuy for the guests to take a sip. Then offer a pig to the gods.”

To this day, the Ibalois still follow the instructions of Bugan and drink tapuy during every festivity.

Food Notes :

1. Get a liempo with a nice layer of fat (Fat = Flavor)
2. Serve with hot rice — and a glass of chilled tapuy !
3. Source : PhilRice Tapuy Cookbook & Cocktails, A collection or recipes and cocktails featuring Philippine Rice Wine, Philippine Rice Research Institute Nueva Ecija, Philippines

KULINARYA was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture & its colourful cuisine.

Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.

If you’re interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to drop by our foodblogs and leave a comment. We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Filipinized | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Roll Over, Lechon ! ( It’s got 9 Lives!)

Lechon is a whole roasted pig roasted over charcoal. This is a popular dish during fiestas and other special occasions. Sharing my article for COOK magazine, Feb 2011 …

It’s that time after all the Lechon feasting has been exhausted and you are faced with a good problem– what to do with left over Lechon?

You lucky !.. with leftover Lechon ?! I bet you will want to turn it over into other ways of eating it. Here are some tasteful ideas :

1. Of course, Paksiw Na Lechon. But this is not meant to be too sweet. Cook it just right, maybe add more liver instead of sugar to let the umami taste dominate. get the ribs, a little meat and skin, then partly simmer with vinegar, garlic, pepper and liver sauce.

2. Sprinkle a good amount of salt on the surface of the meat, then store in the freezer. Next day, slow-fry (from cold oil to hot) till brown and crispy, serve with fried rice and slices of tomatoes on the side and you have a Fried Crispy Lechon for breakfast – oh, don’t forget your “sawsawan” – vinegar with freshly crushed garlic.

3. You have a whole roasted pig’s head — slice off the cheecks and loose meats. Mince the meat, add chillies, vinegar with a little calamansi, season with salt and pepper, then spoon onto a sizzling plate and you have instant Lechon Sisig !

4. In a pot, reduce coconut cream with green chillies then add lechon. Voila! Lechon sa Gata ! Add some veggies like kalabasa or eggplant or sitaw.

5. For a more upscale Lechon make-over, roll in tortilla with your favorite vegetable and you have Lechon Wrap !

6. Or shred some Lechon meat, toss some sliced red onions and alugbati in vinaigrette, put in freshly baked crusty bread and add a slice of kesong puti — Lechon Sandwich !

7. How about a Lechon Maki? Nori and sushi rice with lechon flakes, then rolled tightly. The most important step is to add the wasabi. If you never tasted Lechon with wasabi, now’s the time !

8. Lechon Topping : Fry or bake the remaining Lechon meats and dice. If there’s extra skin – fry till crispy. You can place this on top of rice, mami noodles, veggies, fried rice, lugaw or salad.

9. Turn the remaining Lechon into something so different you’ll never be hard pressed to call it leftovers at all. The smoke flavor of the slowly roasted meat adds a distinct taste to your make-over dish. Try this Sinigang recipe :


1kg Lechon leftover
500ml Water
1 Tblsp Cooking Oil
3 pcs Tomatoes, sliced
40g Onion, sliced
250ml Tamarind Juice (Boil tamarind in 1 cup water and extract the juice)
80g String Beans, cut into 1-1.5
100g Eggplant, sliced
100g Radish, sliced
50g, Kangkong(water spinach) leaves
Salt and Pepper


In a casserole, saute onion and tomatoes in oil. Add Lechon.

Pour water, tamarind juice and simmer for 5-10 mins. Add radish, eggplant and string beans. Simmer until cooked.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add kangkong before serving.

Posted in Filipinized, Philippine Cuisine | Tagged , , | 2 Comments