The Philippines is a melting pot of flavors, always finding ways to blend together cultures and cuisines to create elevated dishes that still feel (and taste) uniquely Pinoy. Now that we're celebrating Filipino Food Month, it's the perfect time to introduce unique Pinoy eats from different corners of the country. So, go on a journey to explore the tastes of the Philippines with these next-level recipes!
A Taste of Ilocos: Ilocos Empanada
If you travel up to the Northern region, you may find yourself Ilocos, which is a region heavily influenced by the Spanish colonies of the past. This extends to their food, with the Ilocos empanada being the prime example. While it's got slight variations to the Spanish counterpart, this hady, deep-fried meat and veggie pocket is the perfect snack that lets you taste the unique flavors of the region. If you want to know how to make Ilocos empanada, here's the perfect recipe:
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup water
- Achuete oil or orange food coloring
- Knorr Aromat All Purpose Seasoning Powder to taste
- 1 medium green unripe papaya, grated (or cabbage, thinly sliced)
- 8-10 pieces Ilocos longganisa, casing removed
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6-7 eggs
- Cooking oil for frying
- Dough: Place flour and Knorr Aromat in a large bowl. until well combined. Gradually add atsuete oil (a tablespoon at a time) to make a smooth and soft dough. Set aside
- In a pan over medium heat, place longganisa and add water. Let boil for about 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside
- Roll around 3 tablespoons of dough into a ball. Place on top of baking paper and then with a rolling pin, roll out into a flat, thin round
- Create a well at the center of the dough using a tablespoon each of the papaya and the longganisa. Crack an egg and slip into the well. Fold the dough over the filling to seal.
- Cut off any excess dough. Slip the empanada into the hot oil and deep fry until crispy. on paper towels, and serve immediately with sukang Iloko.
A Taste of Lucban: Pancit Habhab
Lucban is a small town located in Quezon province, known for its colorful festivals and cuisine that's just as so. One of their signature eats is Pancit Habhab, which is a type of stir-fried flour noodles served on a banana leaf. This is typically eaten kamayan-style during big family salo-salos and is regarded as a staple party handa. Here's a pancit habhab recipe that's sure to transport you to Lucban:
- 250g pancit canton (noodles)
- 1 cup pork, sliced into small pieces
- 1 cup carrots, julienned
- 1 cup cabbage, shredded
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Knorr Liquid Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Lady's Choice Mayonnaise
- Banana leaves for serving
- In a wok, sauté the garlic and onion until fragrant
- Add the pork and cook until brown.
- Add the carrots and cabbage and stir-fry for a few minutes
- Add the pancit canton noodles and stir-fry until the noodles are cooked.
- Season with Knorr Liquid Seasoning and stir well
- Serve on a banana leaf and top with a dollop of Lady's Choice Mayonnaise
A Taste of Lanao: Beef Rendang
Lanao del Sur is a province in Mindanao known for its spicy dishes, with have heavy influences from its ASEAN neighbors like Indonesia. Beef Rendang (or Rendang Beef) is one of these. A slow-cooked beef dish with a rich and flavorful sauce, it serves as the perfect main dish ulam to a steaming cup of rice. Here's a beef rendang recipe you can recreate at home:
- 1 kg beef, cut into cubes
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ginger, sliced
- 4 red chili peppers, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Knorr Beef Cube
- 1 tablespoon Lady's Choice Peanut Butter
- In a pan, sauté the garlic, onions, and ginger until fragrant
- Add the beef and cook until brown.
- Pour in the coconut milk and add Knorr Beef Cube
- Add the chopped chili peppers and let it simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is tender
- Stir in Lady's Choice Peanut Butter and let it simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice
A Taste of Bacolod: Piyaya Ice Cream Sandwich
Bacolod is known for its sweet treats, and Piaya is one of its most popular ones. A sweet flatbread made with flour, sugar, and sesame seeds, it is often enjoyed during mid-afternoon meriyenda with a cup of kapeng barako. Another famous variation is ube piyaya, which really hits the spot when you want all-around Pinoy flavors. Finishing off this delicious food tour, we can turn this sweet treat it into an ice cream sandwich dessert! Here's how:
- 4 pieces Piaya
- 1 cup vanilla ice cream
- 1 tablespoon Knorr Golden Salted Egg Powder
- Warm the piaya in an oven or toaster
- Once warm, sprinkle Knorr Golden Salted Egg Powder on one side of each piaya
- Take a scoop of vanilla ice cream and place it on top of one piaya
- Place another piaya on top of the ice cream to create a sandwich.
Serve immediately and enjoy!