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With most of Australia currently in lockdown, it is only natural to feel isolated. If your family is far away or back home in the Philippines, you may feel more homesick than usual. Try these traditional Filipino recipes while you’re stuck indoors: they’re easy to make, comforting and full of love.

Filipino recipes

Chicken Adobo or pork adobo

Adobo is a versatile dish of meat, fish or seafood. It is quite open to interpretation, depending on who is cooking (and eating) it, but the base ingredients are always the same: soy sauce, vinegar and lots of garlic. If you ask any Filipino what the country's national dish is, it's very likely that most would agree it’s adobo. Every region has its own version of adobo, with some adding a lot of sauce, while others serve it dry. This is our favorite (and easiest) version.

Chicken Adobo or pork adobo

Ingredients:

1 head garlic, minced
½ white onion, diced
500g pork rashers and/or
500g chicken (ideally a mix of legs and thighs)
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 bay leaves
1 tsp peppercorns

Directions:

  1. In a pot, heat a tbsp of oil, then add garlic and onions. Cook for around 2 - 3 minutes.
  2. Tip: Its important to use a pot you can seal with a lid.

  3. Add the chicken and pork and cook until they are nearly done (lightly browned or about 10 minutes)
  4. Pour in the soy sauce and vinegar and add bay leaves and peppercorns.
  5. Cover the pot and let it simmer on low to medium heat for around 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  6. Add brown sugar and salt,pepper and vinegar to your liking.
  7. If you prefer your meat to be tender, leave it to simmer for another 15 - 20 minutes. You may also add boiled eggs and chili flakes if desired.
  8. Serve with white or garlic fried rice. Enjoy!

 

Tip: If you do want to try adobo at a famous Filipino restaurant try Mama Lor and read our blog on the best Filipino restaurants in Australia

Ensaymada

Our next recipe is for quezo de bola ensaymada. This is a rich and fluffy pastry that older generations often associate with the holiday season. It usually brings memories of merriment and joy. Today, the younger Filipino generations see it as a tasty treat usually eaten during “merienda”, what Australians would call afternoon tea.

It is traditionally eaten with lots of butter and cheese, and has a light fluffy texture.

Ensaymada

Ingredients:

Yeast starter:
3 tbsp warm milk
1 packet of yeast
1 tsp sugar

Wet ingredients:
4 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 cup butter, cubed and softened in room temperature
½ cup sugar

Dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups bread flour
1 tsp salt

Toppings:
3 tbsp icing sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted in room temperature
2 cups edam or cheddar cheese, shredded
Sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, activate the yeast starter by mixing the milk, yeast and sugar together. Set it aside for around 10 - 15 minutes or until the froth has doubled in size.
  2. In another bowl, lightly mix the dry ingredients together.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together by scooping the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients a cup at a time. Use a whisk to mix them together and, once the ingredients are incorporated, use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment for 8 - 10 minutes, or until the sides do not stick. You may also use a hand mixer. If preferred, you may also manually knead the dough for 10 - 15 minutes.
  5. Tip: Working your dough is the most essential step, as your ensaymada will be quite tough if you do not allocate enough time for kneading

  6. The dough will start off as very sticky, but this will lessen as you work the dough. You will know it is ready when the dough stops sticking to your hands or the sides of the bowl.
  7. Once the dough is ready, roll it into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Set it aside somewhere warm for at least an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  8. Tip: If the weather is cold, you may need to allocate more time for this. You may also put it inside your oven (while it is still turned off).

  9. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it in the middle to release the air. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough and divide it into equal portions and form small balls as big as your palm. You can do this by first slicing the dough in the middle and continue slicing it in half until you reach ten or twelve pieces.
  10. Tip: You may opt to put cubed cheddar, edam cheese or even ube in the center of the dough.

  11. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  12. Prepare the icing sugar by mixing the butter and icing sugar together. Soft butter at room temperature is best for this. Using the microwave to soften it is an option, but will not give you the best result.
  13. Line two cookie sheets with baking paper and place the dough balls a few centimeters apart. Brush some of the butter icing on top of the buns and put them in the oven. Let it bake for 9 - 12 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden.
  14. Remove the ensaymada from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Brush the tops with more butter icing and top with shredded cheese and sugar.
  15. Tip: Edam cheese gives a sharper taste, but you may also use a mix of cheddar and tasty cheese.

Leche flan

Leche flan, or "milk flan" has always been a dessert staple at all festive gatherings. It is a crowd favorite because it is delicious and quite cheap to make.

Traditionally, the best way to cook leche flan is to use a “llanera”, a container made out of tin mold. If you have a hard time looking for one in Australia, you may also opt to use a small oven-safe glass dish.

Leche flan

Ingredients:

10 egg yolks
1 can of condensed milk
1 cup white sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: lime zest

Directions:

  1. If you have a llanera, place a tablespoon of sugar with a teaspoon of water onto it and heat the llanera on the stove. With tongs, agitate the llanera to let the caramel cover the entire bottom of the container.
  2. If you are using a glass dish, you need to heat some sugar and water using a pan first. After you prepare your caramel syrup, pour the mixture into the bottom of the glass dish.
  3. Set aside the container and let the caramel syrup cool.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, condensed milk, sugar, evaporated milk and vanilla extract.
  5. Make sure the sugar is mixed well with the rest of the ingredients. If preferred, grate in some fresh lime.
  6. Carefully pour the mixture into your llanera or oven-safe container. Make sure you do this slowly so as to not break the caramel layer.
  7. Cover the container with aluminum foil and put it in the steamer for around 30 minutes.
  8. Tip: If you do not have a steamer, you may also use an oven by putting the container in a water bath. Wrap the top of your dish with foil and simply place your oven-safe dish on a bigger container and fill it with at least an inch of water. Bake at 200°C for 50 minutes.

  9. Remove the container from the steamer or oven and let it cool in the refrigerator for a few hours. Once cool, use a knife to trace the sides and invert it on a plate. Enjoy!

Taho

Don't you miss the familiar sound of the neighborhood Manong shouting “tahoooo!” early in the morning? A cup of taho is always comforting like a warm sweet hug. Taho is made of tofu, arnibal and sago pearls and you can easily replicate the recipe at home with ingredients found in the supermarket.

Taho

Ingredients:

Sago:

2 cups water
2 tbsp white sugar
½ c tapioca pearls or instant bubble pearls

Tofu:

400g silken tofu

Arnibal/brown sugar syrup:

1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar

Sugar water:

Bowl of cold water
1 tbsp white sugar

Directions:

  1. In a pot, boil 2 cups of water. Once boiling, add the white sugar and pour the sago/pearls in. Follow the instructions on the packet, but traditional tapioca typically takes 40 minutes to cook. Keep adding water every 10 minutes or so, and make sure to keep stirring to prevent the pearls sticking on to the pot.
  2. While the pearls are cooking, steam your silken tofu. Remove the tofu from its packaging and put it on a heat-safe plate. Steam this for 7 minutes.
  3. Simmer a cup of water in a skillet, then add the brown sugar. Cook until the mixture caramelizes.
  4. Tip: Only use brown sugar for this. Other types of sugars won’t caramelize as well.

  5. Once the pearls are cooked, scoop them out and place them in the cold sugar water. This will prevent them from sticking to one another.
  6. Once the tofu is done, spoon some tofu into a glass and top with arnibal and sago. Enjoy while hot or leave it in the refrigerator for an hour if you like it chilled.

Making your favorite foods can be really comforting and a great way to connect with your loved ones. With Sable Remit, you can show how much you are still with your family, even if you cant be together.

Transfer money from Australia to the Philippines today to help you feel less far away.