Are you tired of the usual pineapple-glazed ham for Christmas? Take inspiration from Filipino restaurants and retailers, who are serious about dressing up this holiday staple. Get tips from favorites, like The Plaza and Cibo, on how to make your Christmas ham stand out from the crowd. Don’t know what to do with your leftovers? Go through the menus of local haunts, like Single Origin, Rambla, and Bizu, for the best recipe ideas.
7 Restaurants and Their Signature Christmas Ham Dishes
1. Premium Baked Ham by The Plaza
The Plaza perfected its premium baked ham in the ‘60s.As the story goes, its master chef developed a ham to suit the needs of Manila’s tastemakers. He also drew inspiration from the Swedish ham, which was then traditionally served during Christmas. Today, Filipinos continue to flock to The Plaza to get a taste of their wood-smoked, oven-baked glazed creation.
It’s sweet, salty, and lightly seasoned with herbs and spices – perfect for the local palate. It’s even gained a cult following as the best premium ham for Christmas in the Philippines. Just like The Plaza, you can serve your ham slices tucked inside warm pandesal. Let guests pick their sauce of choice! The classic Hamwich Kit offers Gutsy Garlic, Wasabi Mayo, Sweet Mustard, and Horsey Radish. You can easily recreate these at home with pantry staples.
2. Celebration Ham by Wild flour
For something more indulgent, there’s Wild flour’s version. Their rendition of holiday ham uses pork belly instead of the leg, so every bite is incredibly juicy and packed with flavor. It has a naturally sweet and savory taste enhanced further with just a few dabs of their signature pineapple glaze. Follow suit by serving thick bacon slabs as “ham” and offering them with a crushed pineapple sauce. Wild flour pairs their ham with Parker House rolls, but you can also go for buttered dinner rolls.
3. Prosciutto di Natale by Cibo
Titas of Manila, one of your favorite brunch spots has thrown its hat in the holiday ham ring, too. Like the rest of the menu, Cibo’s version takes inspiration from home-style Italian cuisine. It highlights classic Christmas spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. But most notably, it features a zesty orange glaze that balances out the fatty richness of the pork. Skip the pineapple sauce this year, and go for this citrusy version! You can even add some calamansi juice into the mix.
4. Ham in Croissant Bun by Starbucks
Come November, every Starbucks lover races to their nearest branch to snag limited-edition holiday drinks. But did you know their seasonal food is worth the splurge, too? Their sandwiches are especially delightful and filling. Once you try their Holiday Ham, Egg White, and Cheese on Croissant Bun, you might start craving it for breakfast everyday! Tip: stock up on croissants from your favorite bakery and try making it yourself with leftover Noche Buena ham. Easy-peasy!
5. Monte Cristo by Single Origin
This one’s a little sinful, but it’s worth every bite. Single Origin’s take on the egg-dipped Monte Cristo sandwich features soft brioche bread, farmer’s ham, Emmental cheese, and house-made blueberry jam. Sweet, savory, super buttery, and topped with powdered sugar, it’s what you’d get if you took the classic croque monsieur and gave it the French toast treatment. Try preparing this with your kids for Noche Buena.
6. JamonCroquetas by Rambla
Want something light and easy to snack on? Look no further than Rambla’s tapas menu and zero in on the jamon croquetas. You can order it à la carte, as a side dish with any of their lunch sets, or as a component of their familia platters. That’s how in demand they are – and you wouldn’t believe how easy they are to recreate at home! You only need finely diced ham, bechamel, breadcrumbs, and a garlic aioli dip made with Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise. One of the best ham appetizers for Christmas, guaranteed.
7. Croque Madame by Bizu Patisserie & Bistro
If you’re an all-day breakfast kind of person, then you can’t miss Bizu’s chef-recommended croque madame. It’s incredibly rich and savory with layers of brioche, bechamel, cheese, and ham, topped with a sunny-side-up egg. It’s certainly a step up from the usual Filipino ham recipes for Christmas morning, like ham and cheese torta or hamsilog. It requires some extra effort, but it’s worth it for how much flavor it lends to a simple piece of ham.
Having ham for Christmas doesn’t have to be boring or overly traditional. Ditch the usual recipes in favor of more modern twists with exciting new combinations. Have your ham with croissants or brioche, fry it into bite-sized croquettes, or soak it in a spiced orange glaze – you decide! Who knows, maybe you’ll start even better traditions at home.