Tutorial: How to cook like a Filipino

Since I took a break from FFF for a while, I thought it would be appropriate to ease back in to food blogging by showing you guys some basic techniques. So today’s post isn’t so much a recipe but more of a how-to: How-to cook longanisa, how-to make rice in a rice cooker, and how to turn said rice into garlic fried rice!

So, I would like to share more food from my childhood – longanisa. When we were little, my brother and I called this “sweet sausage” because it is just that, sweet! The sausage has a nice sweet taste while still being savory (think breakfast sausage dipped in maple syrup, but not cloyingly sweet). Filipino’s will eat longanisa for any meal of the day, including breakfast, which is my favorite way to eat it. Longanisa paired with garlic fried rice topped with a fried egg… it’s heaven! Cardiac-arrest-inducing heaven!

I always buy longanisa, since sausage-making isn’t something that I want to venture into….. yet. You can get some really good longanisa at Filipino stores in the freezer section, the ones I cooked up recently were from Pampanga and they were delicious.

Tutorial: Cooking longanisa

To cook longanisa, place the longanisa links in a nonstick skillet and fill with about an inch or so of water. Simmer over medium heat, while rotating the longanisa every few minutes. You will notice the longanisa change in color and also it will release some juices. Continue to simmer until the water evaporates, about 15-20 minutes. Then brown the longanisa in the juices and fat from the sausage. The juices in the pan will get very dark and look burnt when the longanisa is done. It is important that you use a nonstick pan or else it will be a pain to clean.

Tutorial: Making rice in a rice cooker

Since I make a lot of rice, I decided to show how I make it using a rice cooker. I know a rice cooker is a uni-tasker, but with the amount of rice I make it’s a good investment for my kitchen. My measuring procedure for the ratio of water to rice is slightly different, my mom calls it the “finger trick”. Basically you touch the top of the rice and pour as much water as it takes to reach the first line of your index finger.

I find that this trick works best when you are making 1 1/2 to 2 cups of rice. If you are making less rice, use a little less water (measure to just below the line), or if your making more rice, use a little more water (measure to just above the line).

It’s a pretty fool-proof way of making rice and I use this trick alllllll the time.

Tutorial: Making Garlic Fried Rice

For garlic fried rice you need: rice (preferably day-old rice but fresh rice will work), canola oil, garlic, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of light colored oil, like canola, in a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat. Mince up 4 to 5 garlic cloves and add to the pan. Cook for 30 seconds until lightly brown and fragrant. Make sure not to burn the garlic or else it will taste bitter and you will have to wash out your pan and start all over again and all the world will look upon you with disapproval in their eyes and you will be sad…. So watch your garlic. Add the rice and toss in the garlicky oil. Pour in a couple tablespoons of soy sauce and stir, you just want to change the color of the rice a little (see picture below). Season with lots of pepper and a little bit of salt (you may want to omit the salt entirely, make sure to taste it). And you have Garlic Fried Rice! You are a true Pinoy!

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5 thoughts on “Tutorial: How to cook like a Filipino

  1. Pingback: The Filipino Cure to the Common Cold: Arroz Caldo « Flora's Food Foray

  2. Gotta love wordpress! I ran into the sausages in my local international market and thought I’d give them a try! The garlic fried rice looks good too!… Thanks for a great post!

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