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Top 3 Filipino Vegetable Dishes, And How To Cook Them

Feb 01, 16 Top 3 Filipino Vegetable Dishes, And How To Cook Them


It’s the start of a new year, and for many people in the Philippines, it’s the season for adventures. However, it can actually be a season for eating healthy food, and it shouldn’t be made as an excuse to pig out, or simply feast on fatty food. If you’d like to keep your calories low, yet satisfy your cravings, here are a couple of today’s top Filipino vegetable dishes that you can easily cook at home.


Laing (Taro Leaves Cooked In Coconut Milk)

One of the best Filipino food recipes is “laing”, or taro (gabi) leaves cooked in coconut milk. This dish originated in the Bicol region, in Luzon, and features a rich, creamy and spicy taste.

To prepare laing, you’ll need the following: 4 cups dried taro leaves, ½ pound pork loin or shoulders (boiled and cut in strips), 2 cans coconut milk, 1 piece long chili pepper (cut in strips), 3 cloves garlic (minced), 1 medium onion (chopped), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 thumb-sized ginger (cut in strips), 2 tablespoons sautéed shrimp paste and 1 tablespoon cooking oil.

To cook, sauté the garlic, onion and ginger in cooking oil, then add pork and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Cook until the taro leaves have fully absorbed the coconut milk, and almost rendering fat. Serve with rice.

Cooking time is an estimated 20 minutes.


Pinakbet (Stewed Eggplant, Okra & Ampalaya With Salted Fish Sauce)

Pinakbet is a dish which is believed to have originated in the Ilocos region, and is a mix of stewed eggplant, ampalaya or bitter melon, okra, tomatoes and salted fish sauce.

To prepare, you’ll need 2 pieces ampalaya (cut into 2” length), 2 pieces eggplant (cut into 2” length wedges), 6-8 pieces okra, 2 pieces tomatos (cut in wedges), 2 cloves garlic (minced), 1 medium onion (chopped), 1 tablespoon “bagoong isda” or thick salted fish sauce, 1 ½ cup shrimp, fish or pork broth, 1 teaspoon ground pepper and 2 tablespoons cooking oil.

Sauté the garlic, onion and tomatoes, then add the pork and sauté for a minute. Turn the heat down and add the vegetables, layering these in the pan from the bottom in the following order – ampalaya, okra and eggplant.

Add the broth and bagoong, cover, then let it boil and simmer for at least 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still firm. Stir in the fish and shrimp, season with ground pepper. Serve with rice.


Adobong Kangkong

Another truly popular Filipino veggie dish is “adobong kangkong, or water spinach cooked In vinegar, soy sauce and garlic.

You’ll need the following ingredients: 1 bunch kangkong leaves (leaves separated and stalks cut in 2” length), ½ pound pork loin (pre-boiled and cubed), ½ can canned broth, pork, chicken or vegetable, 4 cloves garlic (minced), 1 medium onion (chopped), ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup vinegar, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons corn starch (dissolved in 1 tablespoon water to make a slurry) and cooking oil for sautéing.

Sauté the garlic, onion and tomatoes, then add the pork and sauté for a minute. Add soy sauce, broth and vinegar and bring to a boil, but don’t stir. Add the kangkong stalks and cook for a minute, then add the leaves.

Thicken the sauce using the starch dissolved in water, and bring to a boil. Don’t forget to serve this popular filipino food favorite with rice!

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Mixture of Cream, Spice and Bicol Express

Jan 19, 16 Mixture of Cream, Spice and Bicol Express


It’s been taken for granted by many that Bicol Express is a dish that originated from Bicol and is considered as an indigenous dish from the said region. As a matter of fact, Cely Kalaw, owner of The Grove – Luto ng Inay and the creator of this dish, is actually from Los Baños. The overall outcome of this dish can be described as pork cooked in coconut milk with shrimp paste and long chilies.

Did you know that this Filipino food recipe was invented due to another famous Filipino dish called laing?

Cely came up with this spicy concoction because a lot of customers were complaining about their laing to be way too much spicy.

In order to solve their problem, they decided to cut down the peppers on the laing, thus the birth of the Bicol Express. This became an option for their customers who did not like the spiciness of their laing dish.

Today, this dish is enjoyed by a lot of people, both having a preference for spicy dishes and for avid foodies alike. You can eat this dish at any Filipino restaurants or at a humble eatery just beside the streets. If you want to try making it on your own,

here are the ingredients you’re going to need:

 3 cups of coconut milk

 2 lbs pork belly, cut into strips

 1/2 cup of shrimp paste

 1 tbsp of minced garlic

 6 pieces of either Thai chili or Serrano pepper

 3 tbsp minced ginger

 1 medium onion, minced

 2 tbsp cooking oil

 Salt and pepper to taste


Now that you have everything you need, here’s a step-by-step procedure on how to make the dish:

 Heat a pan and then slowly pour-in the cooking oil.

 After preparing the pan and the cooking oil is sizzling, sauté the garlic, onion and ginger.

 Add in the pork and then continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes or wait until the meat becomes light brown.

 Add in the shrimp paste and the Thai chilies or the Serrano pepper. Stir them well.

 Pour in the coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 40 minutes or until the pork is tender.

 To add more flavors, add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper.

 It’s better to serve it hot. Don’t forget to serve it along with rice and enjoy the dining experience



Here are reasons why Filipinos have a huge taste for Bicol express.

Pork, Chili and Coconut Milk

These are the only main ingredients you’ll need in making your own Bicol express. With that, you can add up your own variations to the concoction.

The Spicier, the Better!

The spiciness of the dish makes it more addicting! It’s a proven fact that a spicy dish makes us come back for more.

A Perfect Balance of Spiciness and Creaminess

The delicate balance of the spicy chili and the creamy coconut milk is what makes a difference for any great-tasting Bicol Express. The chili shouldn’t be the only dominant flavor in the mix; it should be partnered by the creaminess of the coconut milk.

This Filipino cuisine is something that will leave you wanting for more. The unique mixture of spiciness and creaminess is addicting to the bones. You’ll surely have more than seconds after just a single taste.

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Pinakbet or Pakbet

Filipino Food

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Pinakbet or Pakbet: With or without sauce, this perfect blend of vegetable goodness is surely to hit your craving palate any time of the day!

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Top Treats For The Summer: Creamy Kamias Shake

kamias shake

Image from: Andrea Janique

Unsure of what to do with the many ‘kamias’ in your backyard? Well, here’s a cool and refreshing drink to soothe the summer heat away. It is sweet, sour and creamy all together — perfect for the beach or just a day at the balcony. Indeed, kamias is not just for sinigang but also as a cool refreshing drink (Creamy Kamias Shake) — a 100% certified Philippine food.Blend together 5 medium size kamias (sliced), 2 tablespoon honey,½ cup fresh milk, ¼ cup condense milk, 3 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt and 1 to 2 cups of shaved ice until smooth. Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon powder and serve immediately.

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