Recipe #52: LECHONG KAWALI

Lechong Kawali

There was a classic jest at home when I was younger whenever we asked our lola what’s for dinner—she would respond that we’re having lechong kawali, then she would hand me the kawali (lechong kawali literally means roasted wok).

Of course, lechong kawali is neither a lechon (roast) nor a kawali (wok). It is what you make at home when you’re craving for a lechon, but don’t have the time or the luxury to buy or roast an entire pig. Lechon is usually only served during special occasions.

Filipinos created lechong kawali (perhaps with Chinese influence) as an attempt to ‘imitate’ the succulence of a lechon without all the fuss. Although this simple pork belly dish is not roasted, it is cooked twice: by boiling and deep frying. Some recipes require a second deep fry to achieve that crispy pork skin. Traditionally, the pork belly is cooked in a kawali hence the name, but any deep pan can be used.

Lechong kawali is quite similar to many Asian dishes such as the Chinese Siu Yuk and the Thai Moo Grob. Personally, nothing beats our local version when it comes to flavor.

Check out the recipe below:

Continue Reading

Recipe #51: PANDESAL

Pandesal recipe

Pandesal is one of my favorite breakfast carbs, next to garlic fried rice or sinangag. Perhaps, the most popular type of bread in the Philippines, pandesal or pan de sal is a simple yeast-raised bread that, despite its name (which is Spanish for salt bread), actually tastes sweeter than salty reflecting Pinoys‘ love for sweets.

If it’s your first time to bake bread, I tell you, this pandesal recipe is fairly easy to make. In fact, pandesal was the first type of bread that I made and it came out perfectly!

Although it’s important that you religiously follow any kind of recipe in baking, this pandesal recipe is very forgiving if you made minor mistakes in the process. For example, if you added too much liquid, you can always add more flour. You can also add filling, such as cheese, corned beef, or pork giniling for a tastier treat.

Pandesal recipe

Pandesal recipe

Continue Reading

Recipe #50: MACAPUNO LECHE FLAN

It’s my 50th recipe! Wouldn’t it be awesome to celebrate it with my favorite Filipino dessert—Leche Flan! 🙂

Christmas is also a time of indulgence, and there’s probably no dessert more indulgent than the leche flan. Although it’s made from simple, everyday ingredients, I think leche flan is the most decadent local desserts, bar none. It’s simple and delicate, yet rich and addicting!

Macapuno Leche Flan

In case you’re not familiar, macapuno is a sweetened coconut preserve while leche flan (literally milk flan) is akin to crème caramel or caramel pudding which has so many versions all over the world. Interestingly, both macapuno and leche flan are key ingredients in making another popular Pinoy dessert—halo-halo. I’m topping our leche flan with sweet strings of macapuno because it adds a sweet bite to the otherwise plain flan.

In the Philippines, leche flan is typically made from egg yolks (lots of it!) and condensed milk. Either whole milk, evaporated milk, or cream is added to tone down the sweetness and boost the creaminess. It can be cooked with only three ingredients, but a few drops of vanilla extract and dayap (lime) zest can be added to enhance the flavor.

Beware, weight watchers! This dessert is practically made from sugar and milk, so just imagine its calorie content. But hey, an occasional bite or two would be fine, I suppose. 🙂

Macapuno Leche Flan

In this recipe, I replaced evaporated milk with coconut cream or kakang gata as it complements our macapuno sweets. Surprisingly, the flan itself once cooked does not have any distinct coconut taste, but its texture is so much creamier compared to using evaporated milk or regular milk.

I also cut down the number of egg yolks to six. Normally, a single batch needs about 10 to 12 egg yolks, but I think it’s a tad too much, not to mention, costly. Well, guess what, I tried it with six—no negative effect on the taste or quality!

Leche flan is normally steamed, but baking is also a popular option. I personally prefer baking as it gradually reduces the moisture content of the flan which results in a denser, firmer texture.

Of course, to make my life easier, I’m using my new Breville Smart Oven. It has user-friendly features and preset functions which any kitchen novice can follow. Plus, I don’t have to worry about overcooking because it has an auto shut-off timer.

Seriously, you must try this recipe! Watch and grab the recipe below:

Continue Reading