Have you seen the “100 Worst Rated Foods in the World” list, published by global travel guide and self-described “encyclopedia of flavors,” TasteAtlas.com? On February 4, it posted about the rankings on its Twitter page, inspiring the ire of many. Some commenters dismissed the list as clickbait, while others expressed disbelief that their favorite dishes made it into the lineup. Filipinos were especially vocal: hotsilog doesn’t deserve this slander.
In the Philippines, silog is the quintessential breakfast of champions. The term combines two words: “si-” for sinangag (garlic fried rice) and “-log” for itlog (egg). When you serve ulam with silog, it becomes part of the name – so hotsilog refers to a simple yet hearty dish of hotdogs, rice, and egg. As many Pinoys in the Twittersphere pointed out: what’s not to like?
If all this chatter has you craving a plate of hotsilog like nobody’s business, don’t resist the urge. Treat yourself to a five-star version with these hot tips. Haters, eat your heart out!
How to Make a 5-Star Hotsilog at Home
Make your best hotsilog recipe yet! Here’s how to do it:
1. Master the sinangag.
Despite its simplicity, garlic rice is near-perfect already. But if you’re determined to bring it to greater heights, these tweaks will take you there:
- Find the best quality rice available. Go for premium dinorado, a smooth and fragrant local long-grain that masterfully soaks up flavor.
- Cook the rice in broth. After soaking and cleaning your grains, fill up your rice cooker with stock instead of plain water. Use Knorr broth cubes to make the job easier.
- Wait a day or two. Using freshly cooked rice is a cardinal sin in the fried rice game. Stale, day-old rice is the only way to go. If you don’t want to cook a new batch of rice just for silog, leftovers will do.
- Don’t skimp on the garlic. Any Asian food lover will tell you: there’s no such thing as too much garlic. If a recipe calls for five cloves of garlic, double it. Mince it finely to get a good amount of crispy brown bits folded into your rice.
- Use a combination of fats. A neutral oil is ideal for stir-frying since it doesn’t burn easily, but butter gives the most flavor. Combine the two to get the best of both worlds.
- Add color and texture. Unlike other types of fried rice, this one only needs garlic as a mix-in. But you can bend the rules (just a bit!) to make your version more interesting without going overboard. Stir in sliced green onions for a pop of color or top each serving with crispy fried shallots. No peas and carrots, please!
2. Grill your hotdogs.
Yes, nothing beats the convenience of fried hotdogs. Going that tried-and-tested route is fine for everyday breakfast meals, but a five-star silog requires a little more zhuzh. Fire up the grill, brush some oil on those ‘dogs, and get them blistered, charred, and delectably smoky. No one will be able to resist anything barbecued to perfection!
3.Stir-fry the hotdogs in sauce.
If you’re pressed for time and would rather not deal with setting up the grill, you can save it for next time. But no matter what, don’t skip this step. Most Pinoys happily eat their hotdogs with a side of banana ketchup – this saucy stir-fry takes that concept and runs with it.
Start by sautéing onions until soft and fragrant. Add chopped garlic and lightly fry them up. Toss in the sliced hotdogs – no need to fry them separately, but you can grill them ahead if you’d like. Stir-fry to brown the ‘dogs. In a bowl, combine banana ketchup, Knorr Liquid Seasoning, and water (as needed; to thin out the liquid). Pour the mixture into the pan and continue stir-frying until the glossy, bright-red sauce coats every component of the dish.
4. Perfect the eggs.
Fried eggs are the default for silog. They're easy to prepare and add a luscious richness to any dish, especially when you cook them sunny-side up or over-easy (the superior methods!). But well-made scrambled eggs deserve a place on your plate, too.
Do you want a version that’s equal parts fluffy and creamy? Add Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise right after beating the eggs until frothy. Mix until the mayo dissolves into the mixture, then it’s ready for the pan. Cook in butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove the eggs from the stove just before fully done; they’ll continue to cook off the heat. That’s how you get a silky scramble that even Gordon Ramsay would approve of!
5. Serve with pickles.
Atchara is an oft-forgotten component of silog, but the tangy, slaw-like side dish makes a big difference. It adds the right amount of acidity to brighten up a fried, fatty, and almost-too-rich meal. There are many variations of atchara, but the original and best-known version uses grated unripe papaya as the main ingredient.
If you’re not a fan of that atchara, you can also serve yours with pickled red onions, garlic, and chilies as a spicy option. It’s surprisingly easy to make some from scratch: all you’ll need is vinegar, sugar, salt, and peppercorns. Leave your vegetable in the mixture for a few hours (or days, for best results!) to pickle in an airtight jar. Make a big batch and enjoy it with all your silog recipes from now on.
Follow these tips to make a standout hotsilog that no one can criticize. It'll be so good, you may not go back to your usual silog ways again.