Monday, May 03, 2021

3 Filipino heritage dishes: warek warek, calandracas, and minukmok (with recipes!)

Cooking is one of the essential skills we parents can impart to our children. In fact, I would rest easy once my sons know how to cook because I know they won't ever go hungry if they know their way in the kitchen. Right now, they know how to bake brownies, cook pancakes, and make pizza. My second son is the only one who knows how to cook ulam. Adobo, bistek Tagalog, menudo. 

It's on my To-Do list that all my boys know how to cook Pinoy food. That's why when Lamudi, the leading real estate platform in the Philippines, asked me to share these distinctive Filipino heritage dishes with you from three unique provinces, I said yes! Let's try out these recipes this summer!

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GUEST POST - The Philippines is known for its rich cultural heritage. One of the things that contribute to the essence of being a Filipino is our food. However, some traditional foods that our ancestors have grown up with are now on the verge of extinction. To make sure that my kids and grandchildren will taste these culinary delights in the future, I selected three Filipino heritage foods to learn with my family.

Warek Warek

Photo screengrabbed from YouTube/Eats My Putahe

This dish from Abra is similar to sisig and dinakdakan in ingredients, preparation, and taste. The difference is that this dish uses the offal of a black pig. Black pigs are often raised in Abra by couples planning to marry. A few days before the marriage ceremony, the black pigs are butchered, and the people check their entrails to determine what their gods have to say regarding the decisions made by the couple that will influence their future.

The preparation:

To cook this traditional dish, combine pork neck and ears in a pot with garlic, ground black pepper, bay leaf, and salt. Add water and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for 45 minutes or until the meat is tender.

Drain the pork pieces, season it with salt, pepper, and baste it with ¼ cup of calamansi or lemon juice. Broil or torch each side for five minutes or until crispy.

Slice them into small strips and place them in a mixing bowl. Add ginger, onion, pepper, calamansi juice, salt, and mayonnaise or pork brain. Place on a platter, then serve.


Photo via Ang

Now that we have a meat dish, it is best to prepare a vegetable dish to make sure my family has a well-balanced diet. Calandracas is a traditional vegetable dish that originated in Tanza, Cavite, and is still enjoyed by residents of Phirst Park Homes Tanza and other CaviteƱos.

In the olden times, this soup dish was made out of the livestock, vegetables, and spices offered as tribute to the departed during burials. These ingredients are chopped and cooked together in a simmering kawa with a chicken soup stock. Ingredients often included in this traditional dish are string beans, eggplant, banana bell (or banana blossom), sweet potato, and sotanghon (a transparent bean noodle). This satisfying dish is served to the family and other guests who are present at the burial.

The process:

Saute onions, then add chicken and shrimp stock.
Add sotanghon.
Add all the vegetables.
Toss in toasted garlic and fish sauce.
Let it simmer until all vegetables are half cooked and then serve.


Photo via Facebook/Food Holidays

It is always ideal to end a good meal with a dessert. Minukmok is a traditional delicacy from Majayjay, Quezon Province. It is sometimes made out of boiled sweet potato but is often made with boiled saba. Other ingredients include sugar and butter or margarine. You can also add grated coconut, peanut butter, and condensed milk.

This delicacy is often prepared by potential lovers giving them enough time to spend time together while their parents watch them. The end product is also believed to determine the state of their feelings for each other. Males would be the ones to pound the boiled saba, and the females would mix the banana to make sure all are mushy. Once this is done, she adds in the other ingredients, and he will pound it repeatedly until all is well blended.

The process:

In a big mortar, add in boiled bananas and brown sugar. Make sure that the banana is mushy and everything is mixed well together.

Add in other ingredients and pound it again until all is mixed together.

Coat a small bowl with butter or margarine. Place the minukmok mixture. Turn it upside down on a plate. Add grated coconut and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Serve.

The ingredients to all these dishes are easy to find, and these are all easy to prepare. Learning how to make these Filipino heritage dishes allows us to teach our kids the skill of cooking. This is also an opportunity to preserve traditional dishes and make sure the future generations still enjoy them.

Interested in buying property like houses in Abra, townhouses in Tanza, and farmland in Majayjay? Go to Lamudi to check out the thousands of real estate for sale all over the Philippines.

*This is a guest post, with my edits. To place a guest post, email for my rates. Food photos courtesy of Lamudi.

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