Filipino cuisine is a melting pot of several different types of cuisine, but it is said that 80% of Filipino dishes have been influenced by Spanish cuisine. The Philippines was a Spanish colony from 1521 to 1898. Almost 400 years of Spanish rule certainly left its mark, many Filipino specialties are local adaptations of Spanish dishes.
One of our family favorites is Escabeche, or a Sweet & Sour Fish dish. Escabeche is a common Spanish dish that is popular in Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine. Typically it refers to a dish of poached or fried fish that has been marinated in an acidic sauce before serving. It can also composed of other meats including chicken and pork, or vegetables. The Filipino version of Fish Escabeche is fried fish in a Sweet & Sour sauce. It is a favorite Filipino party food, specially when it’s made with a whole fish that’s artfully arranged on a platter and topped with colorful veggies and sauce.
I’ve made it the traditional way using whole fish, but my grandsons have difficulty with the small fish bones. To make it easier for them to eat I have started making Escabeche using fish fillets than have no bones. Any kind of white fish will work. We have used Tilapia, Flounder, Orange Roughy, and other white fish we find in the market.
Like many Filipino dishes Escabeche isn’t difficult to make, but it is “fussy” meaning its preparation requires several steps; in this case dredging, frying, chopping, and making the sauce. It takes about an hour or so tho cook so it’s not something I make very often, but when I do my family loves it!
6 – 8 Fish Fillets (any white fish: Tilapia, Flounder, Halibut, etc.)
1 Large egg – slightly beaten
1 Cup Flour
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
1 1/2 + 1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Ketchup
2 Tbls. Corn Starch
1 Large Onion Sliced into strips
2 Medium Green Peppers Sliced into large chunks
4 Cloves Garlic roughly chopped
Mix flour and spices in a shallow bowl
Place egg in another shallow bowl
Pat fish fillets dry with a paper towel
Heat oil in frying pan
Dip fish fillet in egg, then dip in flour mixture, shake off excess flour
Fry in hot oil until both sides are cooked
Remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain oil
Repeat with the rest of the fish
Keep fried fish warm by placing it in the oven at about 200 degrees
Dissolve cornstarch in 1/2 cup water and set aside
Place sugar, vinegar, water, and ketchup in a medium pot and bring to boil
Stir in garlic, peppers, and onions
Make sure cornstarch solution is still dissolved, if not stir until it is
Slowly stir in cornstarch solution until you get desired thickness. Sauce should be the consistency of gravy.
Place fish fillets on serving dish and pour sauce over it
Serve right away. It goes great with steamed white rice.
Escabeche - Filipino Sweet & Sour Fish
Popular Filipino dish featuring fried white fish in sweet & sour sauce.
Combine flour, garlic powder, salt & pepper and place in a shallow dish.
Heat oil over medium - medium high stove.
Rinse fish fillets and pat dry with paper towel.
Dredge fillets in flour mixture and place in heated oil.
Fry fish until cooked and turns golden brown - about 4 - 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness
Remove from pan and place on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb some of the oil. Set aside.
Combine sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and 1 1/2 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. About 10 minutes.
Mix 1/4 cup water with corn starch until smooth.
Slowly stir corn starch liquid into the boiling vinegar mixture to thicken. Reduce heat to low and let sauce gently simmer. Keep an eye on it, you don't want it to get too thick. If it gets too thick add a bit of water to thin.
Saute onions in the oil you fried the fish in until it starts to turn a bit soft.
Add garlic, saute until cooked.
Add green peppers and cook until peppers turn slightly soft.
Return fried fish fillets to pan with veggies.
Gently stir fish mixture for about 3 - 4 minutes.
Arrange fish and veggies in a platter.
Pour sauce over all.
The most efficient way to make this dish is to start making the sauce while the fish is frying. Keep the sauce simmering over low heat while you finish sauteing the veggies. Stir the sauce periodically to keep a skin from forming on the top.
When you drain the fried fish and set it aside keep it warm by placing it in a warmer or on the stove top. Don't cover the fried fish, it will get soggy.
When you replace the fish in the pan gently stir it so that the fillets warm up a bit. Transfer fish and veggies on to your serving dish (or you can keep it in the frying pan) and pour the hot sauce over all.
This dish is perfect served with steamed white rice.
Spring and summer are definitely ideal for barbecuing. So what are you grilling? Tired of the same old same old? Why not grill some finger licking good Barbecued Chicken?
Barbecued Chicken is one of my summer favorites and it took me a while to figure out how those barbecue joints make their delicious barbecues. Was it the sauce? Or is there a marinade? Well, after much searching I found out it takes both! Yup a really good rub AND a really good sauce is what it takes for some restaurant style Barbecue. Click here for my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub you’re going to need it to make your Best Ever Barbecued Chicken this weekend!
So really there are 3 steps to making the Best Ever Barbecued Chicken:
Rub the chicken parts with my Basic BBQ Chicken Rub and let rest AT LEAST 30 minutes and not more than 24 hours in the refrigerator. (Use 1/4 of the BBQ Chicken Rub for 8-9 pieces of chicken. Drizzle 2 Tbs. Olive Oil on the chicken parts then massage the rub into each piece making sure it’s completely covered. I use boneless chicken thighs but you can use any part or parts you like. The rub works better on skinless parts so I’d advise you to remove the skin. Place chicken in ziplock bag and let rest for at least 30 minutes and no more than 24 hours. If using chicken that has been resting in the fridge for more than 30 minutes place chicken on counter 30 minutes before grilling so that temperature goes down to room temp.)
Summer officially begins in 4 days! So get out that grill and get ready for some finger licking barbecue meats smothered in homemade Barbecue Sauce!
When it comes to barbecue sauce nothing beats homemade! I know why bother when there are literally dozens of different bottles and jars of barbecue sauce out there; each one boasting that they’re the very best! Not to mention there are so many different types of barbecue sauce on supermarket shelves you don’t know which one to buy. I know I get confused and end up pretty much choosing one at random, or choosing the one that’s on sale, then getting home only to find out I really don’t like it.
Well making your own barbecue sauce takes the guess work out of it and you know you’ll the it! But before I give you my recipe for homemade barbecue sauce let me ask you if you’ve got the rub. Yup that extra yum comes from the meat rubs you use before you slather on the barbecue sauce!
So if you don’t have your own recipe for meat rubs or don’t have a favorite brand to use then check out my chicken rub and my beef rub. They’re both delicious! I always have a jar full of these spice combos to use year round. Just click on the rub for the recipe and tips about using them.
Once you’ve rubbed your meat down and let it soak up all those spices you’re ready to grill!
Grill your meat until it’s almost done then brush on the barbecue sauce and grill just until it almost reaches your desired doneness. Then remove meat from grill and place it in a covered pot to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Don’t forget to serve a bowl of barbecue sauce on the side for those folks who want to add more.
Now scroll down for my homemade barbecue sauce recipe. Happy grilling!
I’m not a big fan of barbeque sauce, specially the bottled varieties. But every so often I get hungry for that sweet and tangy sauce that’s slathered on chicken, as long as it doesn’t result in in sticky greasy grill that’s so difficult to clean. My answer to this is my Oven Baked Barbeque Chicken using my simple homemade barbeque sauce.
I’ve been making this Baked Barbeque Chicken for years. The sauce is simple and can be mixed up in just a couple of minutes. It’s sweet and tangy and very delicious. I use it on short ribs too! My family loves it!
For this recipe I use bone-in chicken thighs. I’ve tried it on chicken breasts but it gets dry and doesn’t soak up the sauce the way thighs do.
Here’s the recipe!
8 Bone-in Chicken Thighs
1 Onion, sliced
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 Cup Ketchup
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Bottle of Beer, any type
Clean and arrange chicken thighs in oven proof pan.
Arrange onion slices around chicken thighs.
Sprinkle Garlic Powder over all and set aside.
Mix Ketchup, Brown Sugar, and Beer together in a mixing bowl until sugar dissolves.
Pour sauce over chicken thighs.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 – 60 minutes or until chicken is done.
Serve with corn on the cob, baked potatoes, or your choice of side dishes.
Tocino (Sweet Cured Pork) is made from pork and the preparation is similar to ham and bacon although chicken and beef sometimes can be used as an alternatives.
Pork Tocino was said to be named after the Spanish word (Tocino) which is used to describe cured meats. It is often reddish in colour and has a savoury and sweet taste.
It is usually served for breakfast together with fried garlic rice or steamed rice. Preparing it is nothing more than lightly frying it until it caramelizes on the edges. You can find this dish in many “Carinderia” or small restaurants and even in big fast food chains in the Philippines. It’s a very easy to prepare yet a tasty dish.
I like dipping it in a garlic vinegar sauce!
This is my version of Homemade Tocino (Sweet Cured Pork) Recipe, I’m sure you will love it.
1 kg. pork shoulder (boneless, cut into thin strips)
1 cup sprite soft drink or 7-up
4 tbsp. soy sauce (add a little water to avoid dark colour, it should be light or not too black)
1 cup pineapple juice
6 tbsp. ketchup
2 cups brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tbsp. garlic powder
5 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and cover and make sure that all the meat are covered with the marinade.
Store it in the fridge (chiller) for at least 2 days to cure the meat properly.
If its ready you can process to the next step.
In a pan over medium heat, pour some of the marinade and few tbsp. of water.
Let it simmer until all the liquid evaporates.
Add a little bit cooking oil and fry it.
Serve with steamed or fried rice, eggs and tomatoes.