RECIPE : Espasol

Espasol is a Filipino rice-flour treat in the shape of a slender tube. It is distinguished not only for having glutinous (sticky) rice as a main flour, but also for being finished with a dusting of rice flour.

This simple espasol recipe yields 4 servings.

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RECIPE : Puto Maya

Puto is the classic Filipino rice cake traditionally made by steaming. But since it is intensive work, Filipinos came up with an easy version based on using rice from a regular cooker or pot.

The Tagalog phrase gaya-gaya puto maya is used to mock someone who is trying to copy someone else (gaya means “to imitate”). The inclusion of the phrase putomaya is not only a rhyme; it could also be an allusion to the fact that puto maya is trying to be a replacement for real puto.

This recipe for Puto Maya yields 12 servings.

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Recipe for LECHE FLAN

Leche flan is a rich milk custard that Filipinos enjoy eating year-round. It is slightly denser than the Mexican or Spanish flan that Americans are familiar with. In the Philippines, leche flan has traditionally been cooked in oval-shaped metal molds. There are now countless variations on this Filipino favorite.

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RECIPE: Leche Flan

Leche Flan is the Filipino version of crème caramel, a rich custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top. The traditional mold used in the Philippines is an oval-shaped metal baking pan called llanera. These days ceramic ramekins or custard cups are used for convenience.

It takes some luck making it just right so that the leche flan will hold its shape when removed from the mold. This simple recipe sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. Follow at your own risk.

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The base for the classic Filipino lechon sauce is atay ng baboy (pork liver).

Mang Tomas is a popular Filipino brand of bottled sauce used for lechon in the Philippines. But you can make your own liver sauce with this easy recipe!

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Kakang gatâ is the first pressing of coconut milk, thicker than subsequent pressings.

coconut milk

coconut “cream”

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RECIPE: Palitaw

Palitaw means “to surface” and this refers to the flat oval-shaped pieces of rice dough floating to the top of boiling water once they are cooked. This easy palitaw recipe is for making 20 servings.

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These days in the Philippines, the term mechado is used to refer to any stew (usually beef) with potatoes, tomatoes, bay leaf and soy sauce.

The traditional dish mechado uses a Spanish culinary practice of threading strips of pork back-fat through thick pieces of cheaper lean beef to render them more tender and less dry.

The name mechado from the Spanish mecha meaning “wick.” It is transliterated into native Tagalog as mitsa.

The larded pieces of beef are marinated, browned quickly on all sides in hot oil, and then slowly braised in its marinade with the addition of soup stock until the liquid is reduced to a thick flavorful gravy.

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