Three Filipino recipes to try

We pick three Filipino dishes for you to try at home

Spaghetti Sauce Chicken Afritada Reprinted, from The New Filipino Kitchen edited by Jacqueline Chio-Lauri (Agate Surrey)
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Pancit pusit (rice noodles with squid ink)

Pansit Pusit (Rice Noodles with Squid Ink), excerpted from I Am a Filipino by Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad (Artisan Books)

The deep black squid ink in this simple noodle dish is one of the hallmarks of the province of Cavite, an hour south of Manila. The squid ink adds a taste of the ocean and some colour, to the noodles. If you can’t find kamias fruit, you can use thin slices of kumquat (as done here), or unripe strawberries or pineapple.


4 to 6 servings

500g cleaned small squid, including tentacles

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

1 finger-size knob of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks

3 tbsp of finely diced white onion

1 tsp squid ink

2 tbsp fish sauce

½ cup (120ml) fish stock

3 cups (525g) soaked and drained bihon, or thin rice noodles

1 bird’s-eye chili thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup (70g) thinly sliced kumquats or other sour fruit, for serving


Slice the squid bodies into pieces that are 0.5cm thick. Set them aside with the tentacles. In a skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over a medium heat for about three minutes until it starts to shimmer.

Add the garlic and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, for three to five minutes, or until the garlic browns slightly (do not let it burn).

Add the ginger and onion to the pan and cook, stirring for one minute. Add the squid and cook for about three minutes, stirring often, until it is tender. Add the squid ink, fish sauce, and stock, increase the heat to high, and bring the liquid to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-high, add the noodles, and cook, stirring so that they are coated with the sauce, until nearly all the liquid in the pan is gone.

Add the chili, salt and pepper, and stir. Transfer the noodles and squid to a serving platter and garnish with the sliced kumquats.

From I Am a Filipino: And This is How We Cook (Artisan Books), by Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad

Spaghetti sauce chicken afritada

Spaghetti Sauce Chicken Afritada Reprinted, from The New Filipino Kitchen edited by Jacqueline Chio-Lauri (Agate Surrey)

Afritada, a traditional chicken and vegetable stew, is a gateway dish to Filipino cuisine. It’s a great one to prepare when someone isn’t familiar with traditional Filipino food because the core ingredients are classic flavours in almost every part of the world. It opens up the eater’s mind to the possibility of what else Filipino food may have to offer. Spaghetti sauce, instead of fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce, is used in this recipe for convenience and taste.


Preparation time: 1 hour 6 to 8 servings

¼ cup vegetable oil

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 medium onions, halved and sliced into thin half-moons

1.8kg bone-in, skinless chicken pieces

3 large potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and quartered crosswise

2 large carrots, coarsely chopped

2 cups unsalted chicken broth or water

1 jar (700ml) spaghetti sauce

½ cup soy sauce

2 tsp granulated sugar

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 small bay leaves

2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into strips

1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips

2 tbsp fish sauce, for serving (optional)

6-8 cups cooked white rice, for serving


In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for three minutes, until the onions are soft.

Add the chicken pieces and cook for three to five minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is no longer raw on the outside.

Stir in the potatoes, carrots, chicken broth, spaghetti sauce, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper and bay leaves. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Add the bell peppers. Continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.

Remove the afritada from the heat. Stir in the fish sauce, if using, and serve hot with the rice.

From The New Filipino Kitchen (Agate Surrey), by Jacqueline Chio-Lauri

Avocado mousse with raspberry sauce and lychee granita

Avocado mousse from The New Filipino Kitchen edited by Jacqueline Chio-Lauri, Agate Surrey

Before cutting into an avocado, make sure it is ripe. Ripeness can be gauged by the colour, stem and firmness. A ripe avocado will have dark skin, a stem that comes off easily when flicked, and flesh that yields when you squeeze it gently between your fingers. Be sure to make the mousse just before serving because avocado flesh darkens quickly if left out to stand.


Preparation time: 1 hour 4 servings

For the lychee granita

1 can (500ml) lychees in heavy syrup

For the raspberry sauce

1 cup raspberries

¼ cup granulated sugar

⅓ cup water

For the avocado mousse

⅓ cup granulated sugar

2 cups whipping cream

2 ripe avocados

2 tbsp gelatin

½ cup warm water

To garnish

Fresh mint leaves


To make the lychee granita, puree the lychees with their syrup in a food processor. Transfer the puree to an ice-cream maker and process for about 20 to 30 minutes, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until the granita is slushy, with small chunks of soft ice. Spoon the granita into a container, cover and freeze until ready to serve.

To make the raspberry sauce, combine the raspberries, sugar, and water in a food processor and puree. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

To make the avocado mousse, combine the sugar and cream in a bowl and stir until the sugar has been dissolved. Whip the sweetened cream using a whisk or electric mixer until hard peaks form. Refrigerate.

Halve the avocados and remove the pits. Spoon out the avocado flesh with a large spoon, being sure to leave half the shells intact. Scrape the flesh out of each shell and wipe the insides clean with a paper towel. Freeze the shells until ready to serve.

Dissolve the gelatin in the warm water. Puree the avocado flesh in a food processor until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the gelatin mixture until incorporated.

Fold the avocado puree into the whipped cream until fully mixed. Cover and freeze until the mousse sets.

To serve, fill each frozen avocado shell with the mousse mixture to resemble half an avocado. Pour the raspberry sauce on one half of each plate. Place a scoop or two of the lychee granita on top of the sauce. Set the filled avocado shell on the other half of the plate. Garnish with mint leaves.

From The New Filipino Kitchen (Agate Surrey), by Jacqueline Chio-Lauri


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