Regional Super Pancit Specials Trip with Pancitlove

Article by PancitLove
Photos by GoManila
Videos by ManilaEatUp

Though pancit is as Filipino as Boracay, John Lloyd Cruz and EDSA traffic, it wasn’t born in the Philippines. The greatest gift of the Chinese to mankind arrived on Philippine shores as early as the 12th century via lunchboxes of Chinese merchants who used to trade with Tondo, Manila residents. It became popular among locals because it was easy to cook, versatile, and paired well with other local dishes. Pancit can be the main meal, a side dish, the viand itself, or a carbs-on-carbs party between bread (genius!) as merienda. It can be eaten at any time of the day. It can be eaten as simply as seasoned noodles on a plate or as a fancy, complex dish with scores of ingredients.

From its foreign origins, pancit has become truly Filipino as we’ve incorporated our many regional flairs and variation. Now, almost every community in the country has a trademark pancit. They feature local ingredients, tastes, and techniques in cooking. They translate their own story and experiences into the simple noodle dish. Our extremely diverse culture made pancit a true Filipino dish and an integral foundation of our cuisine. @PancitLove is my humble attempt to capture all of those. A diary of my love for pancit and hopefully through this platform I can share more about pancit, the panciteria, and the stories behind them.   

The influx of workers from the provinces, the growing palate of the burgeoning middle class, and the ease of access to information and transportation are fueling a growing demand for regional food here in Metro Manila, and pancit is at the forefront. Now, people don’t have to go to their provinces just to have a taste of home. Here are some of the best regional pancit dishes that you can have here in Metro Manila you just have to endure the metro’s hellacious traffic.

PANCIT BATIL PATUNG

To say that Tuguegaraoeños are obsessed with Batil Patung is a gross understatement. There is a panciteria at practically every street corner of the city. Eating batil patung is like taking a shower to them, they have it at least thrice a week during rainy days and as much as they want in a day during summer. It is comfort food at its finest.

Batil Patung is a miki, or fresh egg noodle, dish that gets its name from the manner eggs are incorporated into the noodles. The word batil came from the Spanish word batir (to beat), for the beaten egg in the ‘sauce’ that is served together with the dish, while patong, or patung in Ibanag, is to put on top of, for the poached egg that is placed on top of the pancit. The springy miki cooked in carabao bone broth is then topped with sautéed ground carabao meat, pork liver, crunchy mixed vegetables, and the occasional chorizo and carajay, a type of super crispy pork belly.  Tuguegaraoans have always been in love with pancit specifically miki guisado, but in the 70’s, Teyo’s Panciteria invented the pancit batil patung that we know today.   

CAGAYAN’S BEST Batil Patung capitalized on the hunger pangs of Tuguegaraoans in the metro in 2011, and while few can claim that they are the best, this small panciteria in Sampaloc, can stake that claim with a straight face.

Here’s a short video of our visit to CAGAYAN’S BEST:

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“Batil Patung is a miki, or fresh egg noodle, dish that gets its name from the manner eggs are incorporated into the noodles. The word batil came from the Spanish word batir (to beat), for the beaten egg in the ‘sauce’ that is served together with the dish, while patong, or patung in Ibanag, is to put on top of, for the poached egg that is placed on top of the pancit.” — Marvin aka @pancitlove . Our list on where to get the best regional pancit in Metro Manila is up on the blog! Big thanks to @pancitlove and @gomanila for joining us on this food trip. This is going to be one of your best blog reads too so click the link in our profile. . #WhatsGoodManilaEatUp #ManilaEatUpCollaborations #MEUxPLxGM #ManilaEatUpOnline

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CAGAYAN’S BEST
SDRC Building, 1318 Gerardo Tuazon St, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines

PANCIT CABAGAN

In the late 1880’s, a Chinese merchant named Sia Liang or “Dianga” fell in love with a Filipina and decided that he had found a home in Cabagan, Isabela. Together with his wife, they started a small noodle factory that made his miki recipe along with a panciteria that served his miki guisado. Little did he know that he had started what would become a rich pancit culture in northeast Luzon. Dianga’s original pancit Cabagan is made only from fresh miki sa lihiya (lye water), dried shrimp, bagoong alamang, soy sauce, and pork broth. It is served with sauce made from the broth the noodles were cooked in. Later versions of the dish added vegetables, igado (an Ilocano pork liver stew), carajay and hard-boiled quail eggs, resulting in today’s signature, extravagant presentation of the dish- a great symphony of flavors and textures bathed in a rich sauce.

The best pancit Cabagan in the metro is found in an 18-year-old panciteria in Blumentritt, Manila. You won’t miss it as they have this huge red sign that just says the dish, a feat of hubris worthy of their product. PANCIT CABANGAN SA BLUMENTRITT gets their noodles from Cabagan, Isabela fresh and cooks around 30 kilos of it every single day. The place is packed from lunch until dinner, I advise people to go there before or after those times, but if you are a veteran at lining up for milk tea and ramen places, you’ll be fine.

Here’s a short video of our visit to PANCIT CABAGAN SA BLUMENTRITT:

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“The best pancit Cabagan in the metro is found in an 18-year-old panciteria in Blumentritt, Manila. You won’t miss it as they have this huge red sign that just says the dish, a feat of hubris worthy of their product. PANCIT CABAGAN in Blumentritt gets their noodles from Cabagan, Isabela fresh and cooks around 30 kilos of it every single day. The place is packed from lunch until dinner, I advise people to go there before or after those times, but if you are a veteran at lining up for milk tea and ramen places, you’ll be fine.” — Marvin aka @pancitlove . Our list on where to get the best pancit in Metro Manila is on the blog! Big thanks to @pancitlove and @gomanila for joining us on this trip filled with noods. Read up, link in profile. . #WhatsGoodManilaEatUp #ManilaEatUpCollaborations #MEUxPLxGM #ManilaEatUpOnline

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PANCIT CABAGAN SA BLUMENTRITT
875 Blumentritt Road, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines

PANCIT LUCBAN

My only real connection to Lucban, Quezon is its simple, handy but very delicious pancit habhab. Pancit habhab is made from miki which also goes by the name pancit Lucban. What makes this special is that wheat noodles are smoked and dried, giving it a smoky flavor to the dish, and lends it structural integrity so it retains its springiness and chewiness even when exposed to heat for extended periods of time. Pancit habhab is sold in almost every street corner of Lucban. It is an ideal fast food cooked in pork lard, with bits of sayote and served in a piece of banana leaf. It is doused with vinegar and then vigorously slurped down, or “habhab”-ed.

BUDDY’S RESTAURANT was a Quezon food institution long before they expanded operations to the metro and with their foray to the capital, they took pancit Lucban to a whole new level. Their version is made with miki sautéed with copious amounts of vegetables and lechon kawali. The dish is then topped with raw white onions for added crunch and flavor. It is served with vinegar like how they do it in Lucban. Sorry, no calamansi, folks. Stay classy. 

Buddy’s started as burger place in Lucban but its popularity grew when it embraced its Lucbanon and Quezonian roots and added Quezonian fare to their menu, carried by their flagship pancit.

PANCIT CHAMI

Pancit Chami is a saucy dish of stir-fried thick miki noodles, meat, and vegetables. It’s also known as miki or lomi guisado in some areas of the country.  The dish’s name was derived from Chinese words cha (chaocal) which means stir-fry and mi (miantiao) which means noodles, but in Lucena, it is called by its whole name, pancit chami tamis-anghang to highlight Lucena City’s sweet and spicy version. 

Every year, Lucena City celebrates its love of their pancit by holding a Chami festival since 2006 as an additional attraction to the Pasayahan Festival held in May. The highlight of the festival is the Chami cooking contest where panciteros from all over the city compete for bragging rights of making the best pancit chami tamis-anghang in all of Lucena and practically, the nation.

People can enjoy Lucena’s pancit chami at BUDDY’S RESTAURANT branches around Metro Manila. Buddy’s significantly toned down the heat of their chami so both adult and kids can enjoy its savory sweet goodness. You could just ask the wait staff for a bowl of labuyo. 

PANCIT EFUVEN

My first exposure to Ilonggo cuisine was when my dad decided to bring the family to CHICKEN BACOLOD in Katipunan for Sunday lunch. Inasal hadn’t blown up yet then so the cuisine was novel to me. There were two items that stood out, pancit batchoy and pancit efuven guisado. Efuven is a staple in Ilonggo cuisine. It is thin, flat noodles made from high grade wheat flour. It looks like a linguine, has the texture of ramen noodles and tastes like canton. It is then cooked like chopsuey with noodles. The thick sauce with all its flavours cling to the pancit efuven like an obsessed ex-girlfriend.     

The information I got regarding the origins of pancit efuven is incomplete at best. I can only rely on the one I got from Nancy Lumen’s article Pancit Republic published on the Phlippine Center for Investigative Journalism journal. Lumen notes that efuven is derived from the name of the pancit maker. Efuven is weird name right? Maybe it’s a portmanteau of the kind of noodles and the name of the maker, e-fu is a kind of noodles, right? Maybe the name of the maker has a ‘ven’ in it, like Ven Diesel. Sounds about right.

PANCIT PUSIT

Pancit pusit was originally pancit choca ensu tinta, Chavacano  for pancit in squid and ink, and is one of the most unique pancit dishes. The love-child of Caviteno, Basque-Mexican, and Chinese influences, made possible by the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, it was developed in Cavite during the Spanish occupation. It is a pancit guisado dish made with sotanghon and squid or cuttlefish ink adobo. It is garnished with kinchay, green onions, toasted garlic, and labuyo.

It is ironic that traditional Caviteno cuisine, and Tagalog cuisine in general, is hard to find in Manila considering its proximity. Fortunately, restaurants like CASA DAZA in UP Town Center ensure Tagalog cuisine is represented in Metro Manila’s burgeoning food scene. The restaurant serves an excellent version of pancit pusit that they call Pancit Midnight. The blackness of the sotanghon is the midnight sky and the pusit and other toppings are the stars and constellation. Can you imagine it already?

PANCIT LANG-LANG

If you are an unbelievably bright student of Philippine History, like me, ehem! you would know that Pancit Lang-lang is indelibly written in history through the food symbolism-filled chapter 25 of El Filibusterismo. The ingredients and presentation of the dish is thoroughly described that you can probably cook it based from the novel. It is not surprising because pancit lang-lang of Imus, Cavite, happens to be the favorite pancit of Gat Jose Rizal. In fact, he makes a detour to Imus when on a trip to and from Manila just to have a bowl of his favorite pancit. Pancit lang-lang is traditionally made with sotanghon, shrimp, chicken, mushrooms, and assorted vegetables. It is served like a soup and topped with thinly sliced omelette, and toasted garlic and onions.

CASA DAZA’s version of pancit lang-lang is not like that. Theirs is a combination of sotanghon, fresh miki and bihon as if flaunting their noodle expertise.  The noodles are cooked with chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, assorted vegetables and served guisado style. The aroma of the dish slaps you in the face with joy and happiness that even though Jose Rizal became the greatest of the Malay race at age 35 and here you are, older than him, and just doing pancit reviews, you can proudly say that Rizal never tasted this kind of pancit lang-lang, ever. 

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What You Need To Know About Chowking’s Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken

We have to admit. We’re not fans of sweet and sour. Sure, we’ll eat it but it’s not something we will crave. Maybe it’s because we haven’t found a dish that has the right balance of the sweet and sour flavors. Usually, the dishes — be it pork or fish, have more sourness than sweetness making the eating experience not too enjoyable.

That’s why when we learned that Chowking came out with their version of sweet and sour but this time with a playful twist of using fried chicken as the protein, we knew we had to try it.

Because we wanted to get the full Chowking Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken experience, we ordered them as meals with plain steamed white rice, with egg fried rice, and in lauriat style.

The minute our orders arrived, we couldn’t wait to dig in. Allow us to break down our Chowking Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken sensory experience:

SIGHT. The chicken chunks were just the right size and the portions were just the right amount. The Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken was covered with a red orange sauce that gave the chicken that sheen which made us salivate. The egg fried rice and even our favorite Chicharap added that extra factor in making the dish appetizing.

SMELL. There is nothing like the smell of freshly cooked food. Even with a blindfold, we’re pretty sure that we’ll be able to tell that it was a sweet and sour dish. We noticed that the Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken smelled so good that we already have an idea of how balanced the flavors are. There wasn’t a moment when any of the sweetness or the sourness became overpowering that it offended our noses. The aroma was enough to excite us to taste the dish.

HEARING. The moment our forks sunk into the chicken. There was that undeniable crunch that was music to our ears.

TOUCH. Yes, we did pick a few chicken chunks with our fingers. It was almost as if we’re eating the Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken bar chow style. Even though the meat was dredged and fried, we knew just by the touch that the batter was thin enough to let us get the real taste of the chicken.

And finally,

TASTE. As soon as we took a bite of the Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken, we instantly smiled. Just from the smell, we already knew that the sauce will be well-balanced and we were so glad we’re right. Even though the chicken was coated with the sauce, it was still crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside once we sunk our teeth into the meat. Eating them with the rice made the overall taste more enjoyable. We really liked it with the egg fried rice because it added that savory layer of flavor from the egg as well as other ingredients put into the rice. Before we knew it, we’re about 2 bites away from cleaning our plates.

We couldn’t believe we’re saying this — Chowking Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken completely changed our minds about sweet and sour. It’s definitely a flavor that is worth something to explore more about. As of this writing, we have already been to Chowking three times to get their Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken (and Chicharap).

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#ManilaEatUpCreates — Les Aunor Longganisa Hamonado and Quinoa Stir Fry

When you have a really good Longganisa Hamonado, stir fry is one of the perfect ways to enjoy it. We got the longganisa from Les Aunor’s Meat Shop. 2 major things we like about this longganisa hamonado: they’re quite lean and meaty; their flavors are balanced and tasty. There are 2 ways to get a hold of these tasty longganisa hamonado — 1st, go to their stall in Farmer’s Markt in Cubao; 2nd, contact them to get your meat delivered. Either way, their longganisa is worth buying.

Without further ado, we present Les Aunor Longganisa Hamonado and Quinoa Stir Fry.

Here’s the list of ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of Les Aunor Longganisa Hamonado, diced
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mixed corn and carrot
  • 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 2 pcs green chili, sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Here’s a video to show you how we made this dish:

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Tough Cookie Critic’s 10 Best Cookies of 2019

Article by Tough Cookie Critic
Styling by Manila Eat Up and Tough Cookie Critic
Photos by Only The Good Vibes Studio

COOKIES — the classic go-to snack loved by all ages and enjoyed in many ways: warm, cold, dunked in milk, or with scoops of ice cream. My passion for these sweet little treats started not too long ago. During my younger years, I’d be satisfied with any cookie as long as it is sweet and has chocolate in it. There was a time when my sisters would always bake cookies on weekends and holidays for the family, and I would be their official taste tester. That started my obsession with home baked cookies.

If you’re like me with zero baking skills but loves a fresh batch of cookies, then the only option is to go out and buy some. As a stay-at-home mom, I don’t always have the luxury to go to the mall and purchase a box of cookies when the cravings hit. So, I started looking for online bakers thru Instagram and I couldn’t believe there were a ton of them. I tried out a few brands, some were really good and some were meh. Then I got to thinking, why not dedicate a page solely for cookies? That’s when Tough Cookie Critic was born on Instagram.

@ToughCookieCritic is a page where I give my unbiased and unfiltered opinion on all the cookies I come across on the quest to find cookies worth raving about. Having tried over 100 cookie brands for the past few months, I believe I’ve developed an incredible and, I’d like to also think, a credible palate for cookies. To rate the overall quality of each cookie, I use a scale of 1 to 5 — 5-star means exceptional, 3-star means satisfactory, and anything lower means disappointing.  Relatively, there is no absolute best cookie but my goal is to guide everyone to make informed decisions when choosing which cookie to get. This is why I created my list of 10 Best Cookies for this year and divided the cookies into 2 categories — Crunchy & Chewy and Soft & Gooey. So, with my best effort to be fair, accurate, and truthful, here’s my ranked list per category.

CRUNCHY & CHEWY

1. GourmetFinds 

BIG is an understatement when describing GourmetFind’s crowd-pleasing cookies. These muffin-like heavenly baked goods are 4.5-inch wide, almost 1.5-inch thick, and weigh around 170g (6oz) each. It’s loaded with expensive-as-hell Valrhona chocolate and has that perfect slight crunch on the outside and chewy on the inside consistency guaranteed to make you drool from the very first bite up to the last.

Recommended Flavors: Chocolate Chip Walnut and Dark Chocolate Choc Chip

Facebook: GourmetFinds
Contact: +639217622240

2. Moloko Handcrafted Cookies

I am a firm believer of this brand. Moloko Cookies sure do know how to play with ingredients and up the cookie game. From their classic chocolate chip cookies to those out-of-the-ordinary flavors, they seem to get it right every time. Moloko’s NY-Style cookies are to-die-for with its intensely crunchy crust topped with sea salt flakes and delightfully gooey chocolate filling. These 5oz cookies are packed with premium ingredients, mixing 4-5 kinds of chocolate (including Malagos and Valrhona) all in one cookie.

Recommended Flavors: NY-Style Chips n’ Chunx and NY-Style 5-Chocolate

Instagram: @molokocookies

3. Pink Bakery by Ange

When it comes to classic chocolate chip cookies, Pink Bakery by Ange steals the top spot! These palm-sized 100g cookies are perfectly chewy with beautifully browned crisp edges. It is soft in the middle yet firm enough to keep the whole piece together. The dough has an appealing toasty caramelized flavor with an unrefined texture. Its chewy and gooey interior has an ample amount of molten chocolate chips making your every bite satisfyingly chocolatey.

Instagram: @pinkbakerybyange

4. Mo Cookies

These 4.5-inch bigger-than-your-palm cookies have been wildly popular and deserve the spotlight it has been given. Mo’ Cookies currently has 9 flavors, but the Dark Chocolate Macadamia definitely made a mark on me. It has a crisp crunchy edge and chewy center with a toasted brown buttery dough and huge dark chocolate chunks and macadamias visible on top. Bitter, sweet and salty all in one tasty treat!

Instagram: @mocookiesforyou

5. Inglorious Cookies

Inglorious Cookies is a famous cookie brand in Cebu. While it can be quite expensive to ship packages from Cebu to Manila, I assure you it’s worth the expense. Their Aldo cookie (Walnut Chocolate Chip) is the total opposite of their brand name—it’s glorious! A 4.5-inch cookie with golden brown crisp exterior and soft and chewy interior studded with dark chocolate chips. But, the real game changer in this is the walnut. Chopped walnuts in every bite are literally impossible to miss.

Instagram: @ingloriouscookies

 

SOFT & GOOEY

1. D’s Craft Kitchen

Hands down to these cookies! You can never go wrong with any of their 3 flavors. These cookies are perfect in every way: the sweetness, the size, the moistness, the softness, the gooeyness, and the overall taste. Everyone will instantly fall head over heels for D’s Craft Kitchen cookies. I love how it’s not overly done, nothing too over the top or too different. Its simplicity is enticing enough, but the experience in each bite will take you to a whole other level.

Instagram: @dscraftkitchen

2. Keikookies

Keikookies achieved perfection in its own unique way. Its dough clearly sets these cookies apart from the rest: chewy, smooth, soft outside to inside and has a fudge-like consistency. Their 5oz cookie will surely win everyone’s hearts with its distinct, incomparable and mind-blowing texture. All of its flavor has a unique blend of ingredients which makes it irresistibly good and satisfying. Whether classic or not-so-classic flavors, it offers the best of its kind!

Instagram page: @keikookies.ph

3. Sweetsmith

These 100g cookies have good-tasting buttery dough with loads of chocolates and a nice texture. The outside has a subtle crisp thin layer and once you break that layer, your teeth will automatically sink into its soft, moist, and gooey interior. It comes in 6 yum-worthy flavors, but a definite must-try is their Cranberry Oatmeal—a flavor like no other! Whatever kind of cookie you are craving, Sweetsmith has something to offer that will fit your taste.

Instagram page: @sweetsmithmnl

4. Quinn’s Bakery

Quinn’s cookies have a thin crisp exterior and the softest chocolatey interior. It is consistently ultra-rich, thick, dense, and gives a pleasurable melt-in-your-mouth experience. If you are into soft-baked cookies, this is the perfect one for you! Their newest flavor, White Chocolate Macadamia, is definitely not to be missed!

Instagram page: @quinnsbakery

5. Aperitif

This cookie does not look much on the outside, but all the goodness is hiding inside! Aperitif’s Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip cookie is sinfully rich and gooey and loaded with an obscene amount of chocolate. Heating this up will bring out more of its flavor and edge.

Instagram page: @aperitif_ph

 

That’s the entire ranking for each category. I might create another list for 2020 — who knows? But for now, Manila Eat Up and I would like to encourage all of you to support our local sellers and local brands.

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Why Traveling 30kms To Oh My Tea Was Worth It

Along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, there’s a milk tea place with milk tea so good that we willingly traveled 30 kilometers for. The place is called Oh My Tea.

We bravely faced the notorious Metro Manila traffic to try Oh My Tea‘s bestselling Thai Milk Tea. Their Thai Milk Teas are made from 100% imported and authentic Thai tea, they are blended with select premium ingredients and meticulously prepared  according to Thai tradition. So you can be assured that each cup is as authentic as those available in Thailand.

First thing we had was their Oh My Tea Thai Red Milk Tea. The most famous type of milk tea that can be found in the streets of Thailand. It’s made with pure Thai red tea that’s refreshing and mildly sweet with only a hint of tea.

Second thing on the list was Oh My Tea Royal Milk Tea which was a slightly intense version of the Thai Red Milk Tea. The taste of the red tea is more prominent in this one with its earthy and rich flavor. Just a trivia— this is the way Thai royals make their teas.

Between the 2 Thai Milk Teas, we personally prefer the Thai Royal Milk Tea.

Aside from the Thai selections, we also tried 2 more. We got excited when we saw matcha on their menu. It’s a no-brainer, we gotta try it.

Oh My Tea’s Thai Matcha is quite different from the usual Japanese matcha we’re used to. The Thai green tea OMT used gave a mild and subdued matcha flavor that doesn’t overwhelm the palate. But it’s still good, nonetheless.

Last thing we tried was their popular classic pearl milk tea— Oh My Tea Signature Milk Tea. This OMT version is creamier and richer with just the right kick of high grade Taiwanese black tea.

4 Milk Teas in one day! We got our 2 favorites from all we tasted— the Thai Royal Milk Tea and Thai Matcha. Totally worth the trip.

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Sisig Rice Bowl x Petsa de Peligro Experiments

It’s that time of the month again! Petsa de Peligro in the midst. Not because we’re tightening our belts more this weekend, it doesn’t mean we can’t eat delicious.

Well, here’s another one of our go-to dishes when we want something filling.

SISIG RICE BOWL

What you’ll need:

1 150g can of Purefoods Sizzling Delights Sisig at PHP41.00
1 medium Bountry Fresh Cage-Free Specialty brown egg at PHP12.00
1/2 cup uncooked Best Choice Jasmine Brown Rice at PHP11.50
1/2 avocado at PHP18.00
2 Red chillies for garnish at PHP4.00
1 teaspoon of olive oil (you can use other types of oil)
Salt and pepper to taste

What you’ll do:

1) Wash the uncooked brown rice, add 3/4 cup of water, and cook the rice. Btw, we used a rice cooker to make cooking even and faster. Once done, put the hot rice in a bowl. This will yield about 1 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice.
2) Open the can of sisig and reheat in a hot pan.
3) On a separate pan, fry the egg using little bit of oil— sunny side up style. Put a little bit of salt and pepper.
4) Once sisig is reheated and a bit crispy and the egg is cooked, place them in the same bowl along with the rice.
5) Cut the avocado in half, take out the pit, scoop the avocado from one cheek, slice it vertically, and place beside the sisig.
3) Chop red chillies and sprinkle on top of the sisig.

Serve and eat.

Wallet damage: PHP86.50 (as of Jan 2019)
Serves 1

You’ll notice we used brown rice and organic egg because those the ones we have in the pantry. To save more, we recommend you buy the rice by the kilogram and the eggs by the dozen or by the tray.

In addition, instead of using mayonnaise to make the sisig creamier, we opted for avocado which is the healthier alternative.

Happy cooking!

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Mac Ham Cheese— The Plaza Premium Baked Ham Way

The Plaza Premium Baked Ham was developed in the 60’s by Master Chef Gosta Pettersson upon the suggestion of Imelda “Meldy” A. Reyes, wife of Joe Reyes. Meldy, familiar with the palates of Manila’s elite, insisted on a piece de resistance for every Filipino table. It was designed for the Filipino taste: a perfect blend of sweet and salty. Cured, lightly wood-smoked with herbs and spices, oven-baked, glazed and covered with a sweet crumbly crust.

And here’s a recipe that The Plaza Inc. shared with us. A crowd favorite— Mac Ham Cheese.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 L Milk
500g Macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
1 cup The Plaza Premium Baked Ham, diced
1 cup Colby Jack or Cheddar, shredded
1 cup Mozzarella, shredded
1 cup Parmesan, shredded

Procedure:

  1. In a pot, melt the butter then add in the flour and mix. Cook until color changes to a slightly darker color.
  2. Add in the milk and whisk.
  3. Mix all the cheeses together. Set aside 1 cup for topping. Add in the rest of the cheeses and half cup of the ham and whisk.
  4. Bring up the heat and simmer until sauce thickens.
  5. Throw in the macaroni and mix. Transfer to a baking container or Pyrex.
  6. Drizzle the rest of The Plaza Premium Baked Ham then add a layer of the cheese mix.
  7. Bake in the oven until cheese is melted and develops a golden brown color.

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7 Things Shopwise Circuit Got Us Excited About!

Last July 27, 2018, Shopwise opened in Circuit Makati. Since we have been doing our grocery shopping in Shopwise for years now, we decided to troop to Circuit to see what the newly-opened branch has in store for everyone.

As soon as we entered the well-lit store, we grabbed our shopping cart, started checking out the shelves and freezers, and excitedly loaded our cart with 7 things we always look forward to get in Shopwise.

1. Bread.

From loaves to rolls to buns to cakes, Shopwise’s bakery has everything you want and more. They make fresh batches everyday and you can smell the gorgeous aroma of baked goods from their open kitchen. We got their delicious ensaymada, cinnamon buns, dulce de leche cake, and ube cake.

2. Seafood.

Our love for seafood knows no bound. We got excited when we saw 3 of our fresh favorites— prawn, lobster, and salmon. We couldn’t wait to get home to cook the fresh goods that we got.

3. Fruits.

Shiny, fresh produce available everyday. There is something inviting about fruits stacked neatly on the shelves. Of course we got some avocados.

4. Cheeses.

This area is our little piece of heaven in Shopwise. 2 things we love—  Southdale Farm cheese and Landana cheese especially their pesto-flavored cheese which we were told is only being sold in 2 Shopwise branches including this one in Circuit Makati.

5. Wines.

Their selections might not be extensive but they carry good wines. We were so happy to see Rioja on the shelves.

6. Local Treats.

This is one of our favorite parts to go to in the store. We love seeing different local products from various regions in the Philippines getting the attention they deserve.

7. Sure Buys.

Of course we won’t forget Shopwise‘s own brand. They have almost everything and the best part, they come at a totally affordable price! Definitely a Sure Buy.

Shopwise is one of the supermarkets we go to on a regular basis because of the excellent products they offer and the excellent customer service they give.

After spending a good 90 minutes in the store, we came out with bags filled with everything tasty and we came out with huge grins because we had a great shopping day.

Check out Shopwise on Instagram and on Facebook. Go to their website too for more information.

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All images appearing on this website, unless noted otherwise, are the exclusive property of Manila Eat Up. All images are copyrighted © Manila Eat Up.

4 Ways GoGourmet Saved Us

Once upon a time, life used to be slow and steady. Now, with the workforce landscape continuously changing along with technological improvements, life is becoming more fast-paced and dynamic.

Enter the busy lives of everyone— with work, family obligations, managing the household, personal plans, and social commitments, people are wearing different hats and mastering the art of multitasking. One of the things that gets sacrificed is nutrition which basically translates to food. Hustling 24/7 makes it challenging for people to not only eat balanced meals but to also eat home-cooked meals. That’s when GoGourmet comes to the rescue!

Introducing GoGourmet, the first-ever meal kit in the Philippines. It started August 2017 by a group of chefs whose main concern is to bring delicious food to the tables of people with ease and efficiency. And that’s exactly what we experienced when we got some of their meal kits— both School Meal Kits and Everyday Meal Kits.

Let us tell you 4 fantastic reasons why GoGourmet is our kitchen savior:

1. It saved us time.

Having always a jam-packed schedule, it’s a challenge to carve out time to plan meals, to go to the grocery store or farmer’s market, to prep the ingredients, and to actually cook. GoGourmet cuts those activities in half. Instead of going to the market, we only needed to go the GoGourmet website to look at their sizable menu and decide which home-cooked meals we would like to eat for the week and next coming weeks. There’s a wide selection of dishes— from Filipino dishes to Mexican to American to French to Chinese. They even have soups and salads. After we ordered and paid online, we were given the delivery date. The online shopping time only took us about 10 minutes. It saved us quite a good amount of time to drive to the store, get stuck in traffic, and wait in line at the cashier.

2. It saved us space.

On days and weeks we know that we’ll be home, we plan our meals. Of course we always want fresh ingredients and do our best to steer away from canned products. Most of the time, we buy ingredients by bunches, by bulbs, by packs, by kilos, by jars, and by bottles which take up space in the fridge and the pantry. When we got our GoGourmet meals kits, the ingredients were measured and packed individually. Everything we need to make the dish is included in the kit. By stacking the containers neatly, it saved us space in the fridge.

3. It saved us money.

This is the part that attracted us the most to GoGourmet. Both their Everyday Meal Kits and School Meal Kits are well-priced. With their menu selection, we can enjoy different dishes at home which would have cost us more if we’ll go to the market and buy or go to a restaurant and dine.

4. It saved us. Period.

Having these ready-to-cook GoGourmet meal kits at home saved us from making unhealthy food choices and obviously, from starvation. We appreciate that they even put the nutritional information on their packet so we know exactly how many calories each dish has.

Aside from that, the dishes were easy to make— take out ingredients from the package, get the stove going, follow the simple instructions that came with the kit, cook like you’ve been cooking your entire life, plate up, and serve. Most of the dishes we cooked barely took us 30 minutes to make, from start to finish. That’s even faster than Rachel Ray! We even had one of our friends, who never had any cooking experience (not even to boil an egg), cook one meal and it came out great! She said that it was so easy that even a kitchen novice like her can pull it off.

Porkchop with Mustard Sauce

The 2 best things about our GoGourmet experience— it ignited our fire to start cooking again and it made us enjoy delicious home-cooked meal, fuss free.

We love GoGourmet so much that we already put in our orders for this week. Their Porkchop with Mustard Sauce and Tequila Lime Chicken with Avocado-Black Bean Salsa are our top 2 favorites.

To show you how easy it is to cook a GoGourmet Meal Kit, here’s a video of us making their Adobo Mango Salad.

Check out GoGourmet on Instagram and on Facebook.

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All images appearing on this website, unless noted otherwise, are the exclusive property of Manila Eat Up. All images are copyrighted © Manila Eat Up.