Cooking With Family Flavours

Home is Where the Food is!

When Candy and Paolo Delos Santos welcome us for a taste of Filipino cuisine, we are met by their two boys, Lukas (5) and Markus (4), in a sunlit apartment with a stunning view. The boys are excited to be hosting us and disclose some of their favourite dishes on the menu today: inasal and adobo!

“As a family,” says Candy, “we cook soup regularly with ginger and garlic and we have adobo at least once a week.”
Paolo, who has been working in Jordan this past year for an international organisation, explains that “the choice for today’s menu was inspired by typical and simple dishes from our country, which come from different regions.” He points out that both he and his spouse are from the south, Mindano, yet enjoy recipes from all provinces in the Philippines, including the tasty adobo from the north.

As we sample the variety of savoury and sweet dishes, we admire the colourful and aromatic ingredients. The couple stress that all ingredients are found in Jordan due to the large Filipino community living in the Kingdom.
“When you are able to prepare home-cooked food from your native country, you feel you’re home away from home,” Paolo points out. “We were so thrilled when we found moringa being sold in Amman.”

Candy explains that the Moringa plant – also known as Malunggay in Tagalog – is very important for breastfeeding women in the Philippines to increase
milk supply. It is used in a dish called Tinola – a clear soup with chicken stock, moringa and ginger (see recipe on p96).

BBQ Chicken Inasal

Ingredients and Tools
1 whole chicken chopped into 6 pcs
Wooden BBQ skewers
The marinate
1 head garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, chopped
2 tsp lemon extract
2 stalks lemon grass
1 cup lime soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
Basting Sauce
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp annato powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil (to mix the annato in)

1. Mix all ingredients into a bowl
2. Marinate the chicken and refrigerate
3. Turn over the chicken pieces every 30 minutes for a total of one hour
4. Prepare the basting sauce by heating a small saucepan with olive oil and mixing the annato powder in for one minute. Set aside
5. In another saucepan, melt the butter. Add salt, pepper and annato oil
6. To ensure that the basting sauce is absorbed into the chicken bone, slit each side of the chicken pieces
7. Skewer meat and grill with charcoal baste sauce frequently. Ensure there is a good gap between the meat and charcoal for best results

Adobo in Coconut Milk
This dish is common in the northern parts of the Philippines
2 tbsp cooking oil
½ kg beef cubes
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup vinegar
2 pcs bay leaves
1 can coconut milk
1 can coconut cream
¼ cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup water
Salt and pepper
For garnish
Red and green chilli pepper
Fried garlic

1. Sauté onions and garlic and add beef until colour changes
2. Add vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste
3. Simmer for five minutes or until sauce is reduced and then add water until beef is tender
4. Add coconut milk and pepper, and cook over low heat for eight minutes. Pour in coconut cream and bay leaves

Sweet & Sour Achara

The achara can also be eaten with the chicken to create a sweet and sour experience

1 medium green papaya (young and firm), cut into short and very thin strips
3 cups cane vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tbsp salt
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 thumbs ginger, peeled and cut into short and very thin strips
2 carrots, peeled and cut into short and thin strips
1 red pepper, cut into short and thin strips
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced

1. Boil the vinegar with garlic and ginger in a saucepan and pour in the sugar and 1 tbsp salt. Stir until dissolved
2. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat. Set aside to cool. Seal and chill for 10 hours
3. Season again with the remaining 2 tbsp salt, seal and chill overnight (this time with carrots, onions and pepper)
4. Drain excess liquid and store in an airtight container

Chicken Tinola
½ kg chicken or 6 pcs (washed)
2 tbsp cooking oil
4 cups of water
4 thumbs ginger, crushed
1 medium onion thinly sliced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
3 tbsp readymade fish sauce
1 cup green papaya (young) peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
1 cup fresh moringa leaves
(without stem)
1 tsp salt
1 piece fresh chilli pepper

1. Sauté onions in a large pot on medium heat until translucent
2. Add chicken pieces and sauté with garlic and ginger until the meat is brown
3. Remove chicken and set aside
4. Pour water and stir in fish sauce, salt, and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and put the chicken back in the pot, simmering for 20 minutes
5. Add the cubed papaya and simmer until it is tender
6. Add the moringa leaves and let simmer for one minute

2 tbsp jackfruit, sliced into strips (you can find them canned)
2 tbsp sweetened banana “saba,” cut into small cubes (found in jars)
1 tbsp sweet purple yam spread called ube (found in a jar)
2 tbsp coconut gel (found in green and red)
2 tbsp ice cream (strawberry, vanilla, ube)
1 can evaporated milk (frozen in plastic dish)
2 tbsp mung beans
Crushed ice
For garnish
Corn flakes
Wafer sticks

1. Place crushed ice at the bottom of your long glass
2. Follow with remainder of ingredients, except evaporated milk and ice cream3. Top off with crushed ice, the evaporated milk and ice cream sprinkled with corn flakes and wafer stick

Leche Flan
10 large eggs (egg yolk only)
9 tbsp white sugar
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
Cooking tools you’ll need
3 tin molds (capacity per mould: 300 grams)
Wooden thong
Aluminum foil
Mesh strainer or cheese cloth

1. Spread 3 tbsp of sugar per mould and set the mould over the stove burner (low heat and holding it with wooden thong) until sugar is melted and golden
2. Let the three moulds cool
3. Separate the yolk from the egg whites. Gently beat the egg yolk clockwise until all eggs are beaten in a medium bowl
4. Slowly pour condensed milk and mix in the same clockwise direction followed by evaporated milk, this time adding slower to avoid bubbles from forming
5. Add the vanilla extract and mix evenly
6. Strain the mixture using a mesh strainer or cheese cloth several times until mixture is rid of impurities and bubbles
7. Transfer the mixture unto each mould and cover with foil (pop tiny bubbles with fingertips)
8. Cover each mould with aluminum foil and place in a steamer
9. Steam for 20 to 30 minutes. To check the doneness, use a fork to dip after 20 minutes. The fork should come out clean after the dip
10. Remove from steamer and allow to cool, still covered with the aluminum foil.  Refrigerate overnight after it reaches room temperature
11. To serve, turn the mould upside down onto a serving plate. You might need to run a knife along the sides of the mould for easy transfer