Filipino Recipes


Pinipig Cookies

Pinipig Cookies

Pinipig are flattened and toasted glutinous rice grains, the Southeast Asian equivalent of Kellogg’s corn flakes. Its name probably derives from the root word piga, which is Tagalog for squeeze.
The rice grains for pinipig are harvested while still young and green. Admittedly, I have never seen fresh green pinipig, not even in the Philippines, because [...]

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Oxtail Adobo

Oxtail Adobo

Any mention of oxtails in Filipino food probably involves kare-kare, a rich peanut-based vegetable stew. Beef shanks, tripe, pork hocks, and other tough parts tenderized through long simmering may also be added, but it has to have the oxtails. Leaving the bony segments out is unacceptable. Hindi maaari (no frickin’ way).
I didn’t have the other [...]

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Mung Beans and Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk

Mung Beans and Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk

Let’s say you’re browsing a cookbook that represents the recipes of your childhood (in my case, it would probably be this one). You find that one forgotten recipe that gives you pause and makes you wonder why you haven’t made it all these years. Reading through the recipe causes sudden cravings and you know, almost [...]

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Pasencia – Filipino Meringue Cookies

Pasencia – Filipino Meringue Cookies

If there is one cookie I’ve had the most of in sheer volume alone, pasencia cookies would easily top the list. This is one of those things you mindlessly snack on while reading a book or waiting for dinner to get done.
This recipe is an easy way to use up those pesky small amounts of [...]

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Ensaimada – Filipino Cheese Brioche

Ensaimada – Filipino Cheese Brioche

Edam cheese is essential for making ensaimada. Filipinos know it best as queso de bola, bowling balls of cheesiness covered in a protective shell of red wax. These big-as-your-head cheese balls always made our dinner table during christmastime. We have this tradition of rounding up thirteen different types of spherical fruits to symbolize prosperity for [...]

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Lenguas de Gato – “Cat’s Tongue” Cookies

Lenguas de Gato – “Cat’s Tongue” Cookies

It wasn’t easy growing up the youngest of five siblings. My three older man-brothers took it upon themselves to toughen up my prepubescent self when I got too good at Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. Sore thumbs abruptly turned into sore everything when boxing gloves and elbows in the solar plexus during intense games [...]

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Ginataang Kalabasa – Kabocha Squash in Coconut Milk

Ginataang Kalabasa – Kabocha Squash in Coconut Milk

Creamy coconut milk is tinged a shade of yellow in this easy Filipino recipe for squash and shrimp simmered in coconut milk. This is my “macaroni and cheese,” with rice and tender kabocha squash assuming the roles of pasta and cheddar.
As with most comfort foods, ginataang kalabasa has countless variations. Other ginataan recipes call for [...]

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Pan de Leche – Filipino Sweet Bread Rolls

Pan de Leche – Filipino Sweet Bread Rolls

Pan de leche is a Filipino sweet bread that has many regional variations. As far as I know, any yeasted bread baked with milk and sugar can be labeled pan de leche, but I have a very specific idea of what it is supposed to be like. It will be dense and feel heavy for [...]

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Baby-Back Pork Ribs Adobo

Baby-Back Pork Ribs Adobo

The pork adobo of choice in our quaint little household in Quezon City was made with liempo, the cut also known as pork belly, source of wonderful things such as bacon and high blood pressure. Unabashedly lardy from slowly simmering pork in soy sauce and vinegar, pork adobo requires ungodly amounts of steamed rice, lest [...]

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Ginataang Gulay – Vegetables Simmered in Coconut Milk

Ginataang Gulay – Vegetables Simmered in Coconut Milk

Ginataan is a Filipino cooking technique where ingredients such as vegetables, seafood, or fruits are simmered in coconut milk. It can be sweet or savory depending on the ingredients — the term ginataan by itself refers to a warm dessert soup traditionally served in the Philippines as merienda, mid-afternoon snacks that help make the long [...]

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Banana Hearts Kinilaw

Banana Hearts Kinilaw

Kinilaw (pronounced ki-ni-lao) involves fresh ingredients doused with an acidic component such as vinegar or citrus juice. Also known as kilawin, it is the Filipino version of ceviche, most commonly used to prepare freshly caught seafood. Kinilaw can also feature fruits, vegetables, and half-cooked meats. Additional ingredients include aromatics such as ginger, onions, and chiles. [...]

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Chicken Adobo in Coconut Milk

Chicken Adobo in Coconut Milk

Growing up in the Philippines, I was a really picky eater. There are foods that I absolutely would not touch and I was, quite frankly, a pain in the ass to cook for. Some things in the fairly long list are atchara (pickled shredded papaya), anything with ampalaya (bitter melon), tutong (the burnt rice at [...]

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Pan de Sal – Filipino Salted Bread Rolls

Pan de Sal – Filipino Salted Bread Rolls

Pan de Sal with a pan-fried quail egg

The local bakery was a two mile bike ride from my house in the Philippines. Shortly after the first mile, the humid weather thickens the aroma of freshly baked pan de sal that even on an empty stomach, I am able to sprint quickly up the hill where [...]

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Beef Short Ribs Adobo

Beef Short Ribs Adobo

Adobo is the quintessential Filipino comfort food and is widely regarded as the national dish of the Philippines. When I had just started cooking and flopped around in a kitchen equipped with nothing but a crusty pot and a butter knife from Ikea, the first thing I made was adobo, sans recipe. It didn’t require [...]

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