Ask any Filipino what his favorite viand is and you’ll get a fairly small range of answers: adobo, sinigang, barbecue, roast beef. Filipinos are born meat lovers, and Filipino cuisine is naturally heavy in meat and meat-based dishes. Part of it is because livestock is one of our top industries. Sure, we have our vegetable soups and salads, but an everyday meal is rarely complete without a serving of meat.
But once in a while, we get tired of the same old meat dishes. Even the world’s most passionate meat lover can’t eat the same adobo recipe for a week. But that’s the best thing about Filipino food: no two Filipino recipes are alike. Whether it’s an extra pinch of salt or a whole new set of spices, you can always add your own personal touch to the old recipes and come up with something new. If your meat dishes could use a little boost, try these unique Filipino cooking recipes.
This dish is sort of a cross between steak and street food. It’s perfect for street food lovers who like a little spin on their old favorites. You can eat it as a snack with a vinegar dip, or with rice for lunch or dinner.
Ingredients: ½ kg deboned chicken thighs, cubed ½ kg lean pork, cubed ¼ kg chicken liver, cubed ¼ kg chicken gizzards, cubed ½ c soy sauce 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce ½ c calamansi juice 1 head crushed garlic 1 tsp pepper
Procedure: Mix together the soy sauce, Worcestershire, calamansi juice, garlic, and pepper. Add the chicken, pork, liver and gizzards and marinate overnight. Skewer onto barbecue sticks. Grill or broil until the meats are cooked.
If you think you’ve tried every pork chop recipe in the book, wait till you try this one. Linat-an is native to northern Mindanao and uses gabi (taro root) and a variety of other vegetables. The main difference is that it’s not fried, but boiled and stewed like other Filipino food recipes.
Ingredients: 6 lean pork chops 3 pcs taro root, quartered ¼ c tomatoes, sliced 2 c string beans, chopped into 2-inch pieces ¼ c green onions 1 tbsp sweet pepper, sliced 1 pc tanglad (lemon grass) 1 pc yerba buena 6 c rice washing 2 ½ tsp salt
Procedure: Boil pork chops in the rice washing for about 40 minutes or until very tender. Add the gabi and salt, then let cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, herbs, and onions and let stand for another 3 minutes. Serve hot.
This one puts a unique twist in one of the most popular Filipino cooking recipes. The original recipe stays pretty much the same except for the oxtail. The oxtail adds a lot of flavor, creating a hearty dish perfect for parties and everyday dinners.
Ingredients: 1 kg oxtail 1 c tomato sauce 1 pc each red and green bell pepper, diced 1 c garbanzos, cooked 1 garlic head, chopped 1 onion, chopped 1 c chorizo bilbao, diced 2 tbsp butter
Procedure: Pressure-cook the oxtail for about 25 minutes, or simmer until tender. Take off the bone and chop into bite-size cubes. Set aside. In a saucepan or casserole, melt the butter and sauté the garlic until golden brown. Add the onions and stir-fry until transparent. Stir in the bell peppers and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the oxtail, chorizo, and tomato sauce; mix well. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the garbanzos and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Duck Wine Stew
Who says stews are only for Sunday lunch? This unusual duck recipe is festive enough to serve at parties, but still has the homey feel of native Filipino recipes. The sweetness of the wine complements the rich, meaty flavor of the duck. If you’re not a big fan of duck, you can also use chicken, turkey, or pork.
Ingredients: 1 whole duck, dressed and cut into serving pieces 2-3 c tuba or nipa wine ½ c soy sauce 1 c pineapple juice 1 c pineapple tidbits 1 c carrots, diced MSG and peppercorns to taste
Procedure: Combine the duck, wine, and juice in a casserole. Bring the liquids to a boil, then cover and lower the heat. Keep cooking until the duck meat becomes soft. Remove the cover and let it boil down until the sauce is thick. Add the soy sauce, pineapple, carrots, MSG, and peppercorn. Cook for another 5 minutes before serving.
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Carlo Villamayor is the owner and co-author of the Filipino food blog, Kusina.ph. A devoted cook, he makes it his personal mission to spread the joy of Filipino cooking recipes with food lovers the world over. Bon appetit!