Recipe #55: CHAMPORADO

Champorado Recipe

I have a confession to make. I don’t like Champorado (sorry!). I’m not a fan of a sweet meal, especially for breakfast.

I actually don’t remember when my dislike for Champorado started. However, I do remember enjoying it as a child. My other lola (my lola‘s sister-in-law who lived next door) had a carinderia in front of her home and she used to sell breakfast meals. Early in the morning, I would buy Champorado from her (and she would sometimes give me free puto or rice cake) and that would be my breakfast before heading for school.

Champorado is chocolate rice porridge which is historically influenced by the Mexican Champurrado. It is normally served with a drizzle of evaporated or condensed milk and eaten with salty dried fish on the side, such as tuyo (herring) or dilis (anchovy).

Filipinos love the contrasting salty and sweet flavors. I understand that salty complements sweet, but personally, the fish and chocolate combination is a bit hard to swallow, literally and figuratively. So, yup, to each his own.

This recipe is inspired by my lola‘s sister-in-law’s Champorado recipe. She added peanuts (peeled, roasted, and ground into a smooth paste) to her Champorado which resulted in a much richer flavor and creamier texture. Imagine a chocnut-flavored Champorado—it’s really good.

Excited for tomorrow’s breakfast? Grab the recipe below:

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Recipe #53: CRISPY KANGKONG

Crispy Kangkong

When your family eats Sinigang almost every week, chances are, there’s always an abundant supply of kangkong lying around in your fridge’s vegetable compartment. Kangkong (or water spinach) is uber cheap and it’s available all year round. A bundle of kangkong costs about P15 (US$.30) at the grocery and, perhaps, even cheaper at the public market.

Aside from Sinigang, kangkong can also be cooked as adobo, topped with some crispy garlic and savory dark sauce, which can be a fantastic side dish to your fried or grilled seafood, chicken, or pork. But today, we’re making Crispy Kangkong.

Crispy Kangkong is also a tasty appetizer, typically served in restaurants (which may sometimes cost a little more than it should be). But now, you can simply make them at home. The kangkong leaves are coated in spiced batter before frying them in hot oil. Drain the excess oil on a paper towel and that’s it, ready to be served. Easy-peasy!

Check out the complete recipe below:

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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:

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