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Ilonggos really love valenciana because most if not all have grown accustomed of having it in almost all occasions like fiesta, brithdays, reunions and all other occasions thus I love calling it as the "occasional dish".  Basically, "go, grow and glow" dish, it has the carbohydrates, protein and vitamins and minerals in just one spoonful. And it can come in its simplest form with just malagkit rice, pork, chorizo and bell peppers to some fancy with additions like raisins, peas, chicken, hardboiled egg (just garnish though), etc. 
Here's the recipe for Valenciana

Bangus Sisig

No need to introduce sisig as it is one of the most popular and most adapted Kapampangan cuisine all throughout the country. As the recipe reaches its peak, many variations has taken off and one of them is considered "healthy" alternative as it involves seafood - bangus or milkfish. And there are as many ways of making bangus sisig as there are for the original pork sisig. Just choose one that fits your own taste!
Here's a simple Bangus Sisig recipe

Beef Mami with Egg

Delicious and flavourful - beef mami could satisfy any hunger almost all the time. Complete with carbohydrates, protein and the vitamins and minerals you get from vegetables it may come with, its a complete meal unto itself. Whether you enjoy it at your favorite place or one you can make at home, enjoy beef mami the way you like it! 

Here's a simple recipe for Beef Mami with Egg

Icebox Cake

The first icebox cake we made at home had broas as base. Later as the recipe "evolved" it became graham crackers and sometimes, chiffon cake baked or bakery bought. Just make sure that the cake is not so overwhelming in flavour so not as to contradict the over-all flavour.
ICEBOX Cake made with Grahams and Fruit cocktail
There are many ways of making an Icebox Cake and its very simple to make. While the original Icebox Cake calls for wafers and whipped cream, Filipinos tweak the recipe using local biscuits and a variation of fruits as toppings. 

Here's a simple recipe for an ICEBOX CAKE.

Miswa with Okra and Egg Soup

One of the fastest and easiest hunger-buster are those instant noodles wherein you'll just boil the noodles in water then add seasoning... hungry no more! But most of the time I tweak this instant recipe by making adding things I can find in the cupboard and fridge. Thus this instant and favorite recipe of mine was born.

Almond Jelly with mixed fruits

I love almond jelly! A staple mostly in Chinese restaurants, it's a refreshing dessert that is perfect to cap any hearty meal. At home it is also very easy to prepare and serves as a visual and gastronomic treat - even if there's no occasion. Just like most gelatin desserts, it's the preparation of the jelly that makes up all the "hard work" but when its done, all others just fall into place (or bowl). An enjoying dessert to prepare and finally, taste the fruits of your labor...

Here's a recipe for Almond Jelly with Mixed Fruits

Crispy Pork "Kilawin"

While the original kilawin recipe calls for raw meat or seafood to be part of the dish "cooked" with  the acidity of vinegar, this dish is an offshoot adaptation of the recipe. Its more of friendly to those who don't want to ingest something "raw" but in some sense get the know how kilawin tastes. It's basically deep-fried pork (left-over lechon kawali is perfect for this recipe) served kilawin-style. 
Here's the recipe for Crispy Pork "Kilawin"

Fried Fish Galore

Here's a collection of pinirito na isda that would surely make you crave for one or remember the taste of home. Enjoy and extra rice please!
ALOY. Aside from fried, pinamalhan is another great way to cook aloy.
But one can also fry pinamalhan na aloy to get a burst of flavors

Fruit of the Day: Star Apple or Kaymito

One of the most common fruit trees in our yard, we might have around 10 and the question that still remain unanswered is that what is star apple in the local dialect? Kaymito is the Tagalog name but I've grown calling this to be star apple ever since. And there are two varieties, the purple and the white with green skin. The former is the most common and is perfect with condensed milk as dessert or freeze a little bit then it becomes a fruity ice cream!

Pork Adobo sa Istiwitis (Achuete)

One of the many variations of a Pinoy staple dish, Pork Adobo, is using achuete (annatto) to give a distinct flavour, color and aroma making it more visually appealing and of course more delicious. It still basically follows the same recipe but just minimizes the use of the soy sauce.

Here's a recipe for Pork Adobo with Achuete. 

Green Mango and Bago-ong Salad

A perfect appetizer, this Green Mango with Bago-ong Salad is so easy to make. Just dice green mangoes (the ones that are halfway between green and ripe are the best), then add slices of onions and tomatoes and mix sauteed bago-ong. On it's own, it is already a treat but as side dish to fried or grilled meat or fish, it's the bomb! Happy eating...

Here's a recipe for this Mango and Bago-ong Salad

Sinigang nga Bangrus

While sinabawan is the more basic Ilonggo sinigang where mostly tomatoes and onions make the dish, sinigang will always be my personal favorite. Just the sour broth alone would be a perfect partner for a cup of rice (usually it's cupS of rice). I even like it more with a lot of vegetables - radish, eggplant, string beans and kangkong, among others. Of course there's the bangrus with all its delicious belly! Yum yum...
Here's the recipe for a Sinigang nga Bangus

Red Kamote Juice

A refreshing and healthy cooler, this red kamote juice is made with red kamote tops with calamansi juices. It is very simple to make yet tricky as finding the right kamote tops would sometimes be a challenge. Good thing the local wet market has almost a steady supply of red kamote tops most of the time, so we can enjoy this delicious juice anytime we want.
Here's how to make Red Kamote Juice

Fruit and Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad is a staple dessert during special occasions. Aside from being easy to make, it is also versatile to easily suit your taste and budget. And whatever your end product maybe or how it will look like, it still is a salad and chances are they will be asking for more!
So here's a basic recipe of a macaroni and fruit salad.

Sarciadong isda

There are many ways to make Sarciadong Isda thus a generic name for this recipe. It is basically fried fish topped with sauce made mainly of tomatoes and it can be also like a sweet and sour recipe. But this one is simpler and takes less ingredients at the same time easy to tweak to suit your own taste.
Here's a basic recipe for Sarciadong Isda

Tulapho - Ilonggo Pork Belly Cracklings

Tulapho can be considered to be Ilonggo chicharon dating back to the Spanish colonial period. It is an old tradition of using animal fat to fry other foodstuff and tulapho could have been the by product of extracting fats from pork. They say some bakeries (in Molo) use the fat (lard) from the tulapho in making biscuits.

Tulapho is perfect in adding crunch to various dishes like pinakbet just like the Ilocanos add bagnet to theirs. It is also a good partner when making ginisang guinamos (the Ilonggo bago-ong).

Here's the simple recipe of making Tulapho

Chop Suey

Chop Suey is a mix and match dish made with our own choice of ingredients. The recipe varies from almost every household and restaurant, that there is, as they say, a thousand and one ways of making chop suey. One can have it vegetarian or laden with all the meats or just a right combination of both. It's an endless tweak of a basic recipe until you find the one that suits your taste and your budget.
Here's a simple Chop Suey recipe

Canned Tuna Embutido

I am a big fan of canned tuna! In fact I have this "gastronomic affair" with Century Tuna, for more than a decade now - from eating it straight from the can or making simple on the spot recipes. So I've had sinigangg, sisig, casserole, ala king and more on top of just adding calamansi or vinegar to the tuna. So here's a new addition to my (canned) Tuna Recipes collection and it's a delight in every bite!
Here's the recipe for (canned) Tuna Embutido

Pinamalhan na Sapsap

There are many ways of cooking sapsap - fried, grilled, sinabawan, and even made into the salted and dried uga. But one of the most savory is pinamalhan, which is the Ilonggo way of making paksiw but is cooked a bit more so that it comes out dry. And there are many ways of making pinamalhan as the recipe varies from household to household.
Here's a simple recipe for Pinamalhan na Sapsap

Fruit of the Day: Lansones

When it's in season, almost 80% of all the fruits sold along the streets in the city are lansones. With so much competition, prices tend to drop and one can get these succulent fruits for as low as PhP40/kilo. (Though these are not the Cagayan or Camiguin lansones which command a higher price.)


Bukayo is a native Filipino dessert delicacy which is made mainly with coconut strips and sugar. There are variants - moist and dry (also called bocarillo). The former is typically made into toppings and fillings for suman latik and inday-inday, among others, though I just love eating it right from the container. The latter is more of a hard candy type reminiscent of bandi, which takes a shape of its own and is more convenient to be eaten on the go.
Basically both share almost the same recipe with some more or less tweaks to make the other.

Here's a recipe to make Bukayo.

Chicken and Macaroni Soup

We usually make Chicken macaroni soup if there are leftover pasta used in making salads. But at times, we just miss the home-made goodness of a hot and creamy macaroni soup that we just make one on the spot. It is very easy to make and the recipe is very versatile that you can make use of what available in the fridge and pantry.

Here's a simple recipe on how to make a hearty chicken macaroni soup.

Hawaiian Kalo-kalo

The Holidays are almost over and when you check the fridge chances are, left-overs from the season of gastronomy still lurk behind. And luckily left overs re my specialty when it comes to making mix and match recipes, most especially after the Christmas and New Year.

If you still have ham left from your Noche Buena and Media Noche feast they would come perfect for this fried rice recipe call Hawaiian Kalo-Kalo (fried rice).

Pinoy Meryenda: Sinugba nga Mais

I love mais and it's usually the tinanok (nilaga) that I crave for. But upon passing by my suki mais corner, I happen to be captivated by the aroma of their sinugba nga mais so without much though I bought 4 pieces upon knowing that its only Php15/2 piece. Now that's really bargain and I will surely be back for more!

Salmonite Pinamalhan sa Iba

Salmonite got its name from the its pinkish hue and its among the more attractive local fishes around. It can be cooked kinamatisan with a "sauce" of tomatoes and onions to give it sweet and sour flavour. The fish when filleted and dried makes a perfect fish tocino. But most of the time, it is cooked pinamalhan at home to bring out the freshness of the fish at the same time enjoy the flesh.

Here's a basic recipe for Pinamalhan nga Salmonite sa Iba

Paksiw na Pata

Paksiw nga Pata (pork hocks) is almost like cooking adobo but at home it has hints of estofado. No, it doesn't have fried saba and/or pineapples but it is sauce tends to be sweet almost bordering on the taste of the latter. Making pinaksiw nga pata is simple but tends to have a slow cooking time. But in the end its worth the wait nd you'll be almost screaming "extra rice"!
Here is the recipe for Paksiw na Pata

Pinoy Meryenda: Suman or Biko

Suman is to the Ilonggos as what biko is to Tagalogs and other places. So don't be surprised if you're given this malagkit rice specialty instead of the one wrapped in coconut leaves which is commonly called ibos in this part of the country.
Here's a simple recipe for Suman or Biko.


Kansi, they say, is the Ilonggo version of bulalo. As both specialties make use of beef shanks, it is often believed to be. But when you actually have tried kansi, you'll taste and see the difference.. Kansi is a cross between bulalo and sinigang as this Ilonggo specialty make use of batwan, a local souring fruit. So if you love bulalo and sinigang, chances are, you'll love kansi.

Let's taste and see! Here's a simple Kansi recipe.

Adobong Atay ng Manok

There are many ways of cooking adobo - be it pork, chicken or vegetables. And the recipes varies from region to region and even household to household. The most common is pork and/or adobo and this alone has many variations. But one of my favorites is Chicken Liver Adobo especially if the liver is sort of crisp and the adobo sauce is a bit darker than the usual

Here's a simple Chicken Liver (and Heart) Adobo Recipe

Relleno na Bangus

I always associate Relyeno na Bangus with Semana Santa or Holy Week for we observe abstinence for pork and other meat dishes especially during Good Friday. That's where relyenong bangus comes in - not "meaty" but still as delicious as it can be. Before, it was my duty to be the one who takes care of the fishbones (sikag / tinik) of the flaked bangus before it is seasoned and made into one delicious relleno

Here's a basic recipe for Bangus Relyeno

Pancit Molo

Pancit Molo is among Iloilo's culinary specialties and a great contribution to the Philippine gastronomic scene. Named after one of the city's districts, Molo, the dish has an obvious Chinese influence being like the wonton. No wonders there as Molo is a rich Chinese enclave where generations of old Ilonggo families in the area have family ties to the Chinese - from other parts of the country and to China, itself.
One of the first questions always asked is "Where's the Pancit?". With pancit as a sort of "prefix" to the name of the dish, first timers always for the noodle-like component of the dish. It's then explained that the pancit is actually the molo ball wrappers which is basically of the same mix as any pancit/noodles.

And here's one basic recipe for this much beloved Ilonggo soup - Pancit Molo

Tortang Talong

Tortang Talong is a favorite breakfast staple that is easy and simple to cook. I just love it when it is cooked tostado giving it more crunch especially on the sides. Tomato ketchup is my favorite dip but I won't say to no toyo-mansi. Simple as it may seem, others add ground pork to the egg mixture and use the meat as topping on one side. One can use hotdogs, bacon, and ham, giving it a more "sophistication". 
Here's a simple recipe for Tortang Talong

Fried "Pancit Molo" Balls

We've been frying "pancit molo" ever since for two reasons - a more convenient way of sending these sumptuous balls over great distances (as pasalubong) AND it also tastes great like an all meat lumpia. Its basically pancit molo balls that instead of swimming in a savory broth, they find themselves browning in hot oil. And of course, the curiosity level is up when one sees "fried" before pancit molo. 
Here's the simple Fried Pancit Molo recipe

Sinabawan na Bangus

Sinabawan is the more basic Ilonggo sinigang where only tomatoes and onions make the dish. Its a hearty fish soup that is often found on most household for a simple yet delicious meal.

Here's the recipe for a Sinabawan na Bangus

Pancit Bihon Guisado

Pancit Bihon is probably the most common of all the pancit dishes in the Philippines. From home to caridnerias, pancit bihon is a staple for its also the easiest pancit dish to prepare. Made rice noodles with assorted meat and vegetables, pancit bihon guisado is one delicious noodle dish even those who haven't cook can easily prepare.

Here's a simple Pancit Bihon recipe

Milk-less Flan aka Tocino del Cielo

Tocino del Cielo is similar with leche flan but these two desserts are made with very different ingredients. Leche flan is made with whole eggs, and milk and/or cream while tocino de cielo is made only with egg yolks, sugar and water. The combination of (lesser) ingredients leads to an extremely light and tender custard – much lighter than the traditional leche flan.

Here's a simple recipe for Tocino del Cielo

Simple Butter-Garlic Shrimps

Shrimps of often end up cooked simply in a halabos recipe so that every flavor of the seafood is enjoyed on its own. Or it could be in a sour sour we all love - sinigang! But here's another recipe  though simple as it may sound, it tends to be more flavourful than it looks like. 

Here's a simple recipe in making Garlic Butter Shrimps

Pancit Canton

On most Filipino occasions, aside from lechon baboy, a pancit dish would always be present. Be it bihon, sotanghon, canton or combinations like bam-i (sotanghon and canton); it is always on the handa-an table. And like many Filipino dishes, the pancit recipe varies from household to household much more in different restaurants and food place.
Here's a basic recipe for a Pancit Canton where you can tweak using more or less ingredients of your choice.

Kadyos Baboy Langka

K.B.L. or Kadyos, Baboy, Langka is the ultimate favorite dish of most Ilonggos. It is also one of the most missed native dishes as kadyos and the souring ingredient,batwan, are hard to find when outside of the Ilonggo region. 
Basically, it is boiled/stewed pork dish owing its "deliciousness" to the combination of the soft and tender pork, the tamed sourness of batwan and the malinamnam na sabaw. One of the "secrets" of the malinamnamn na sabaw, is the fact that the pork, whether just the plain meat or pata (hocks) are first grilled or broiled. This gives the broth a rather smoky taste that makes it more appetizing..

Learn how to make the Ilonggo dish KBL (Kadyos, Baboy, at Langka) with this recipe.

Pancit Malabon

Pancit Malabon is almost like Pancit Palabok but the noodles used makes the big difference. It makes use of thicker rice noodles and the sauce is also somewhat thicker plus it has lots of seafood toppings given the place where it originated (Malabon) is a coastal city. The noodles and sauce are already mixed when served with lots of toppings one can imagine.
Here's a recipe for Pancit Malabon

Century Tuna Sisig

I love Century Tuna! Whether enjoying it straight from the can or experimenting with various recipes, it's a gastronomic love affair for years now. I also love its many variations from the Solid or Chunks in vegetable oil or water to my ultimate favorite - Flakes in Oil (Hot and Spicy)! One of my most successful recipes, if I do say so myself, would be the Century Tuna Sisig. I just love how appetizing it can always be and I keep on experimenting with the recipe every time I make one.
Here's my simple recipe for Century Tuna Sisig.

Crispy Kangkong

While kangkong is mostly associated with Pork Sinigang, Apan-apan and other recipes, it makes a good appetizer and snack when fried ala tempura and partnered with a delicious dip.
Here's a recipe for Crispy Kangkong

Tino-um na Bangus Belly

Tino-um is basically a cooking technique where in the ingredients are wrapped in banana leaves then cooked. But you can also to-um other ingredients including fish, shrimps and vegetables, among others. How about some bangus belly? If it's delicious fried, grilled or in a soupy dish, chances are it will be even more delicious, tino-um!
Here's the recipe for Tino-um na Bangus Belly

Malunggay and Dilis Soup with Egg Soup

One simple recipe at home where it involves a few ingredients and easy cooking is soup made with balunggay (malunggay or moringa), balingon (dilis or local anchovy), tomato and egg. Though it can be considered as a cardillo recipe because of the addition of fresh egg.
Here's the recipe for Malunggay-Dilis-Egg Soup

Laswa with Hipon

Laswa is to the Ilonggos as what dinengdeng and pinakbet are to the Ilocanos. These are mainly vegetables based dishes with a few meats and seafood. What makes laswa different is that guinamos or bago-ong is not part of the recipe. In both Ilocanos dishes, bago-ong is a major flavour enhancer giving both dishes a distinct bago-ong taste. Laswa, on the other hand, is a tamer version since guinamos is rarely used and it just relies on garlic, onion and tomato plus a little salt as flavour enhancer. Thus, it is a perfect combination with fried or grilled fish or pork!

Here's the basic recipe for the Ilonggo favorite - Laswa

Okra and Kamote Ensalada

Give the usual steamed okra, kamote tops and other vegetables a more visually appealing and more appetizing make-over with this simple salad recipe. It just takes a few more minutes of preparation than the usual but gives one big gastronomic satisfaction.
Here's a simple recipe for Okra and Kamote Ensalada

Adobong Tabagak (Tuyo)

This adobo na tabagak recipe is an adaptation of a classic Ilonggo breakfast - binodo. Basically, both are salt cured/preserved but tabagak has been sun-dried while binodo takes more time with the salt without having to see the sun. The basic way of cooking binodo is to first fry this fish (shake off excess salt) then simmer in vinegar. It makes a delicious rice magnet given that (unhealthy) oil, salt and vinegar combination.  
But binodo is not always available in the market or at home thus comes this adapted recipe using tabagak/tuyo which also makes a delicious reinvention.

Here's a simple recipe for Adobong Tuyo/Tabagak.


There are two types of bingka I've grown up with. First is the flat and "coconutty" ( with lots of buko strips) bingka made famous by the bingkahans in the plazas of Iloilo City especially in Molo and Jaro plus Plaza Libertad. But the most famous is the one in Mohon, Arevalo which gave birth to the popular bingka sa Mohon. And second is the one closer to home, in my hometown which before only appears during Semana Santa but now almost year round. This is what we refer to a puto-bingka as it looks and taste like toasted puto.
Here's a sample recipe of this Puto-Bingka