Round Up of Filipino Recipes

Mabuhay from the Philippines!

I’m home for my annual vacation, and I couldn’t be happier.

Mabuhay is a traditional Filipino greeting, used to convey cheer and to welcome guests. It means “long live” and it’s also used for praise.

And praise is exactly what I’m doing today. Praise for Filipino food, which I have mentioned before is one of the most under-appreciated cuisines in the world. Filipino food has a mix of Spanish, Chinese, and American influences from years of colonization, adding to the indigenous Malay flavors.  It is inherently a hearty cuisine, meant to be slow-cooked, with little fanfare, and savored family-style.

Today, I’m sharing the few Filipino recipes I’ve chronicled on the blog. I don’t cook Filipino food often enough, so these are extra special dishes for me:

Tsokolate (Hot Chocolate) – this is traditionally served during the colder months, but in our household it’s available year round. Thick, grainy, with whispers of foam topping it, tsokolate is one of my favorite treats at home. Made with tablea (chocolate tablets), and tempered with milk and sugar, it is simple and luxurious at the same time. Whisked manually with a batidor (or molinillo, a wooden hot chocolate stirrer), it is a labor of love.

Champorado (Chocolate Rice Pudding) – a simple breakfast dish that is customized to the eater’s taste: with more milk, more sugar, condensed milk, or even salty fish. I remember adding swirls of condensed milk to my champorado, and mixing and mixing until it turns light brown. This is served hot, but when I can practice some self-restraint, I put mine in the fridge first so I can eat it cold, like a dessert.

Filipino Pork and Chicken Adobo – I’ve only had once recipe published in print, and this was published in a big way: as part of Molly O’Neill’s collection of recipes in her book One Big Table. All Filipino families each have their own recipes for adobo. Basically, it is any meat or any combination of meats that is braised and simmered in vinegar, soy sauce, lots of garlic, black peppercorn, and bay leaves. Every family claims that their version is the best. Of course, that cannot be true since my family’s version is the best.

Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa (Green Beans and Butternut Squash in Coconut Milk) – if I were to cook a tribute dish for the person who inspired me to learn how to cook, to learn how to wield a big chef’s knife, to chop and fry and simmer, this would be it. My Tita Ine is the best cook I know, and ginataang sitaw at kalabasa is just one of her many specialties. I added  tofu squares and spinach to the traditional recipe, but the taste stayed true to what I remember from home.

Mango Ice Box Cake – I often think that the best recipes are the ones that are tied to memories of our loved ones. In this case, the mango ice box cake is tied to precious memories of my two sisters. This is a no-bake, fool-proof recipe and you can easily substitute another fruit instead of mango, but that would be sacrilegious to Filipinos because we Filipinos are mighty proud of our mangoes. Bright yellow, soft, lingeringly sweet, the Philippine mango can evoke the hot summer sun and a cool tropical breeze in one bite. It is sweet, so sweet, that if you close your eyes while eating it, and you let the tender flesh linger in your tongue, and you savor the saccharine juice of the fresh fruit, that you can imagine tasting… paradise.

Pimiento Cheese – it’s got cheese and mayo but don’t think I went all Paula Deen on you! I’ve seen many variations of this recipe (and many variations of the spelling) but I know it best as cheese pimiento, the cheesy, creamy, tangy spread from my childhood.

Beef Salpicao – this has become one of the most popular recipes on my blog, and for good reason. Tender cubes of beef, coated in a buttery garlicky sauce, and sprinkled with golden garlic flakes. I love salpicao over a steaming bowl of rice. To me, it tastes like comfort food at its finest.


And today I’m also giving praise to the man who teaches me the meaning of strength and loyalty, the man who passed on his sweet tooth to me, the man who I consider to be the smartest, most patient, and most hard-working in the whole world: my dad.

Happy birthday, Daddy!

I’m very glad to be home for my dad’s birthday :)

It’s going to be a little slow over here on the blog for the rest of the month. I’m going to unplug for a couple of weeks and I don’t have any guest bloggers lined up this year. If you want to check out last year’s guest posts, click on the recipes below:

Pineapple Habanero Rum Cocktail from Fun and Fearless in Beantown

Mini Cranberry-Ginger Chocolate Pudding Parfaits from Delicious Dishings

Shortrib Chocolate Risotto from The Food in My Beard

Pumpkin Tofu Curry from Eats Well With Others 

I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season, wherever you may be. I wish you all a wonderful, love-filled celebration with family and friends!



30 Responses to “Round Up of Filipino Recipes”

  1. #
    Jenn @ Frost Bites posted December 20, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Have FUN while you’re home {I’m jealous!}. Enjoy the holidays with your family — I definitely miss the Filipino traditions during this time of year.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks, Jenn. There’s nothing like a Pinoy Christmas :) Merry Christmas!

  2. #
    Molly Galler posted December 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Love this post! Enjoy your annual trip home. Loving the Instagram photos!

  3. #
    Megan posted December 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Hope you have a great time with your family! I want to make so many of these recipes!

  4. #
    Elizabeth posted December 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I want to try so many of them! Do you know of any good Filippino restaurants in NY?

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      There’s a ton in NY!! Try Maharlika, Jeepney and Grill 21 :) I miss you – looking forward to seeing you next month!

  5. #
    Sacha posted December 22, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Enjoy the holiday with your family! These recipes all sound delicious. But right now I’m freezing, and some of that hot chocolate would *definitely* hit the spot!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 27, 2012 at 10:57 am

      Thank you! I kinda miss the cold, but the tropical heat here isn’t stopping me from drinking hot chocolate every day! Hope you are having a nice holiday season as well :)

  6. #
    Michelle posted December 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    What a delightful post. Except for a few restaurant meals, I definitely haven’t tried enough Filipino food and hope to come back to this post again and try some of the recipes.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 27, 2012 at 10:57 am

      Thanks, Michelle! Let me know if you do end up trying any :) Happy holidays!

  7. #
    Meghan posted December 22, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Happy Birthday to your dad! All of this food sounds delicious; we may need a cooking lesson! :)

  8. #
    The Squishy Monster posted December 23, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Happy birthday to pops…I love Filipino food and hate that we can’t get it around here so you’ve provided a bit of solace =) Merry Christmas!!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Hope you had the happiest Christmas!

  9. #
    Simply Life posted December 23, 2012 at 11:02 am

    have an excellent time & happy holidays!

  10. #
    Kailey posted December 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday to your dad!!
    Hope your holidays are filled with happiness.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Thanks, Kailey! Hope you are enjoying the last few days of the holiday season :)

  11. #
    Joanne posted December 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I’m so glad to hear you’re at home and spending time with family, my dear! Happy holidays!

  12. #
    val posted December 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Enjoy your time with your family.

  13. #
    Honey What's Cooking posted December 27, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Glad you are having fun in the Phillipines. Merry Christmas. Take lots of pics Bianca.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

      Thank you! Hope you had a lovely Christmas :)

  14. #
    Kerstin posted December 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I hope you have a wonderful trip and time with your family! Merry Christmas!

  15. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted December 28, 2012 at 8:03 am

    All of these dishes sound delicious! Happy Holidays!

  16. #
    Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings posted December 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Bianca, I’m so jealous you’re in the Philippines! Have fun and take it easy there!

  17. #
    OliePants posted December 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I’m glad you got to celebrate with your dad. The mango icebox cake has my name all over it!!

  18. #
    Cassandre posted December 28, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    i am officially on the hunt for Filipino restaurants in NYC. i hope you have a wonderful time with your family.

  19. #
    grace posted December 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    aw, sweet homage to your pops. :)
    thanks for bringing these treasured recipes to my attention!

  20. #
    Quay Po Cooks posted December 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    That food looks delicious. What a lovely photo of you and your Dad. Happy Belated Birthday to you Dad. You must be enjoying great time with him. Happy New Year.

  21. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted December 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Hope you’re having a great time in the Philippines and enjoying the holidays with family! Happy New Year!

  22. #
    katy @diningwithdusty posted January 17, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I really like this post; when I first came to grad school, one of my roommates, who was from the Philippines, would make the tastiest–and incredibly aromatic–food. Fortunately, she liked to share. Ever since I moved out, however, I’ve had too little Filipino food in my life. I’m definitely going to make some of these recipes, especially the mango cake! Thanks for sharing!

  23. #
    Liz posted January 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    These are all great recipes, thank you! And that teacup with the hot chocolate – so precious.

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