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How to Make Pinoy-Style Caesar Salad

How to Make Pinoy-Style Caesar Salad
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A classic Caesar salad features romaine lettuce, croutons, and a creamy anchovy dressing.

A Caesar salad will never go out of style. Often made with romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons, Parmesan cheese, and a creamy, savory anchovy and egg yolk dressing, it is well-loved by adults and children alike. These days, many cafés top it with bacon, grilled chicken, or hard-boiled eggs for some heft.

Learn to make a Caesar salad at home with the tips below. You can never go wrong with the basic recipe, but don’t be afraid to experiment with ways to elevate its iconic flavors. For starters, you can prepare a Pinoy version using local ingredients and pantry staples. Ready to give it a try?

Main Caesar Salad Ingredients

Caesar salad ingredients are simple, accessible, and packed with lots of savory umami flavors. Here are the primary components of the classic recipe.

Classic Caesar salad ingredients are simple and accessible.

Romaine hearts

The hearts are the leaves at the center of a head of lettuce. They are often crunchier, slightly sweeter, and lighter in color. The extra crispness makes them the perfect base for a salad. 

Anchovies

Thanks to the dressing, Caesar salad is known for its deeply rich umami flavor. Anchovies or anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, and cracked black pepper provide the characteristic briny-savory taste.

Egg yolks

Fresh egg yolks are emulsified with olive oil and lemon juice to create a thick, rich, and creamy dressing. Are you looking for a quicker way to make this at home? Opt for a mayonnaise base using Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise.

Croutons

The crunchy croutons in a Caesar are often made with stale country loaves or baguettes. Simply tear them up with your hands or slice them into cubes, give them a drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toast in the oven until crisp and golden.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan is an aged hard cheese made from cow’s milk. It has a slightly salty and nutty flavor to it and naturally has a lot of savory umami flavor from the aging process. Shaved Parmesan cheese is mixed into the Caesar salad dressing and used as a topping or garnish for the dish.

5 Ways to Add Filipino Flair to Your Salad

Use these essential Caesar salad ingredients as a jumping-off point for creativity. How about making a Filipino-style salad using similar ingredients from your local markets?

Use local greens and vegetables when making your Caesar salad.

Use local leafy greens.

Make your base extra exciting by using different leafy greens from the market. Alugbati (Malabar spinach), pako (fiddlehead fern), and pechay Baguio (Chinese cabbage) are excellent options!

Make a Filipino-style dressing.

Swap out egg yolks for creamy Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise to save time on emulsifying and mixing, then flavor it with salty and umami-rich bagoong (fermented shrimp and fish paste) instead of anchovies.

Say cheese with queso de bola.

Queso de bola or Edam is an aged hard cheese. Like Parmesan, it’s salty, nutty, and easy to shave! If you have any leftovers from the holidays, now is the perfect time to use them to top your salad.

Use local bread for your crunchy croutons. 

No stale country loaves or baguettes at home? Use pandesal or monay from your local panaderya instead! Tear or slice them into bits, then drizzle with olive oil before toasting in the oven.

Explore different protein-based toppings.

Swap out the boring bacon or chicken with beef tapa, crunchy tuyo flakes, or etag, a fermented, bacon-like product from the Cordilleras. These alternatives offer a delicious Filipino twist that everyone will love.

Are you ready to get started on creative ways to serve a homemade Caesar salad? Follow these ingredient swaps that highlight familiar and comforting Filipino flavors.

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