What’s the type of food you crave the most?
For most of us, the answer would be “comfort food” and for me, this typically means Filipino food. I miss food from home the most, especially the warm, hearty meals – those would be oh so perfect during the cold winter months here in Boston!
I’ve been craving Filipino food lately and I realized I still haven’t posted about my last trip back home. So today I wanted to share some of my favorite eats during my last visit to Manila.
No doubt, the best things I ate were cooked at home, prepared by and enjoyed with my family. And my favorites are the breakfast items. The top picture is a typical Filipino breakfast served during the holiday season: little cups of tsokolate (hot chocolate), paired with queso de bola ( asalty, crumbly, edam cheese) and pan de sal (Filipino bread rolls). I would alternate between queso de bola or kesong puti (Filipino mozzarella), sometimes both. I never skip the hot chocolate.
I also loved the heavier breakfasts with rice (in the Philippines, rice is served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… and sometimes snacks!) We usually have garlic fried rice for breakfast, along with some meat (like corned beef) or fish (the ones on this plate are salted dried fish called tuyo) and always, always a fried egg.
Longganisa is a kind of breakfast sausage, and there are dozens of kinds of longganisa in the Philippines, varying from each region or island (fun fact: did you know that there are 7,107 islands in the Philippines??). These ones are garlicky little balls of pork sausage, a little sweet, a little sticky, very juicy.
My family and I would usually eat meals in the patio, surrounded by lush greenery. Afterwards I would lounge around in our living room. It was very peaceful, and I was very lazy. It felt like the perfect vacation.
I loved spending time at home, and was especially happy to just spend time with my two sisters –
My sister Monica had a small birthday party and I ate quite a few of these red hotdogs. These were a staple from my childhood, they were always referred to as tender juicy hotdogs. And they really were tender and juicy. Nowadays I eat more “gourmet” hotdogs (check out this Kobe beef dog and this Dogzilla stuffed with cheese and jalapenos) but I’ll always have a soft spot for these red guys.
I also attended a few parties and get-togethers with friends. I was in Manila only for two and a half weeks so I tried to see as many friends and family members as I can. One of my best friends, Lora, prepared a feast at her home, and included some luscious pasta and desserts:
This is sardinia pasta – bursting with sardines, garlic, anchovies, and lots of olive oil. I made this Spicy Spaghetti with Sardines a few years ago, and it’s my second favorite way to eat sardines (first is on buttered toast – like my mom and Marcella Hazan).
This is a creme brulee cake by our friend Camille – two layers of chiffon cake, sandwiching sweet pastry cream, topped with a bruleed layer. I loved the combination of textures: the soft cake, the creamy filling, the crunch of the crackling torched crust. So good.
I hosted a holiday party at home and made 6 pitchers of sangria. Just a simple mix of red wine, orange juice, cointreau, and chopped fruit. Sangria is always present at my house, and I think next time I will make 12 pitchers instead…
In addition to all these home-cooked meals, I also enjoyed a few restaurant dishes:
These are the ramen bowls from Ramen Nagi. My sister Patty got the black squid ink ramen, her boyfriend Marlon got the traditional tonkotsu ramen, and I got the spicy miso ramen. I tried all and liked my fiery bowl the best. It was very savory, thanks to the miso and ground pork, with slippery but toothsome noodles, bathed in a broth with enough heat to satisfy a spicy junky like me.
This is the gindara or black cod from Senju – possibly one of the best dish dishes I’ve ever had. Buttery pieces of cod, with crispy skin, kissed by a teriyaki glaze. My mouth is watering just thinking about this. My family and I go to this restaurant regularly, and this time it was for my dad’s birthday.
The food was extra delicious because I enjoyed it with my family <3
Needless to say, I had the most wonderful time in the Philippines, filled with delightful food, and the company of my loved ones. I think it’s time to make a big batch of adobo again…
Tell me about your favorite foods from home. Have a great week, friends!