Jennifer Aranas

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Pancit Guisado

Serves 6

3-4 dried shiitake mushrooms
½ cup (125 ml) rice wine
½ cup (125 ml) hot water
2 oz (55 g) dried mung bean thread noodles, approximately 2 bundles
2 tblsps olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp minced ginger
¼ lb (115 g) Chinese sausage or chorizo de Bilbao, diced
¼ lb (115 g) chicken breast, diced
3 tsps soy sauce
2 tblsps oyster sauce
2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
¼ tsp ground black pepper
8 oz (225 g) fresh thin, round egg noodles
1 med carrot, peeled and julienned
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
2 cups (175 ml) napa cabbage, finely shredded
1 scallion, sliced


Pancit Guisado

The Chinese are largely responsible for the wide range of Filipino noodle dishes that are collectively termed pancit. A national staple offered in the most modest food stall to the refined dine-in establishment, pancit dishes are almost as essential as rice. Often distinguished by the type of noodle used, pancit bihon (rice stick noodles), pancit miki (wheat noodles), pancit sotanghon (mung bean thread noodles), or pancit mami (egg noodles) are among the many dishes that Filipinos have imbued with their own style and flavor.

In this pancit recipe we’re using a combination of mung bean thread noodles and fresh, egg noodles that resemble homemade angle hair pasta but without the semolina. Don’t be alarmed by the number of ingredients in this and other pancit recipes, which may seem a little daunting, especially with all of the slicing, dicing, and shredding inevitably required. Once you’ve gathered and prepared your ingredients, the actual cooking time is very short.

It really is worth the trouble of trying several pancit recipes. Different combinations of noodles and toppings produce unique dishes, each with its own distinctive flavor and texture.

Place dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl with rice wine and hot water. Soak mushrooms 15-20 minutes until softened. Remove mushrooms from bowl, reserving the soaking liquid. Remove and discard woody stems and slice mushroom caps thinly. Set aside.

Soak mung bean thread noodles in warm water for 5 minutes until softened. Drain water and set noodles aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, and ginger for 1 minute making sure that the garlic does not burn. Add sausage and chicken. Continue sautéing another 4-5 minutes, until chicken turns opaque. Add soy, oyster sauce, chicken stock, reconstituted mushrooms, mushroom soaking liquid, and black pepper. Reduce heat to a low simmer for 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Add the egg noodles and bean thread noodles making sure that they are completely submerged in the cooking liquid. Simmer 5-7 minutes until noodles are tender. Add carrots, celery, and napa cabbage. Toss all ingredients together so that they are well combined. Garnish with sliced scallion. 

Beer / Wine
Grolsch Ale (Holland)
Michael-David Vineyards Incognito Viognier (USA)


Lumpia Shanghai

Shanghai Eggrolls
Lumpia Shanghai

These eggrolls are unique for a few reasons. The pencil-thin rolls have an elegant, striking appearance very different from the thick, stuffed eggrolls typically seen at the local Chinese take-out restaurant. They are primarily filled with a thin line of seasoned pork and wrapped with a special lumpia wrapper, which once cooked, have a perfectly smooth surface and an extra crispy crunch.

Makes 30 lumpia

1 pound lean ground pork
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 ½ teaspoon minced ginger
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch ground black pepper
½ cup finely shredded Napa cabbage
1 package (11 ounces/311 g /25 sheets) lumpia wrappers or spring roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten

Make the filling: Combine pork, garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and black pepper in a large bowl and mix very well so that the seasonings are evenly distributed throughout the meat. Add the cabbage and mix again to evenly distribute through meat. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Prepare the wrappers: Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the square of wrappers in half through the center so that you have two stacks of rectangular wrappers. Gently pull apart each wrapper. They are much easier to separate once they have been cut into smaller sheets. Once separated, keep the wrappers stacked together and covered with a towel or in a plastic freezer bag so that they do not become dry.

Form the eggrolls: Place one rectangular wrapper horizontally on your workspace with the long edge facing you. Take a tablespoon of filling and form it into a thin, continuous line about ½-inch above the wrapper’s bottom edge. Lightly moisten your fingertips with water to prevent the meat from sticking to them. Pull the wrapper’s bottom edge over the filling and roll it up like a cigarette. Brush the top edge with beaten egg to seal the eggroll. Lay eggroll seam side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Continue rolling eggrolls with remaining meat and wrappers.
Cook the eggrolls: Fry in 350°F oil for 3-5 minutes, until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels and cut in half to form 4-inch pieces. If lumpia are frozen, fry 5-7 minutes until golden brown on all sides and meat filling is cooked through.



Serves 4

3 cups shaved ice
1 cup diced mango
1 cup diced pineapple
1 cup diced jackfruit, with juice
1 cup macapuno strings
1 cup preserved purple yam (ube)
1 (12 oz/340 g) can evaporated milk
Vanilla ice cream, garnish


Filipino Fruit Sundae

If there is such a thing as a national dessert of the Philippines, halo-halo proudly holds the title. Meaning “mix-mix” this multi-layered dessert is a sundae-milkshake-slushy hybrid that’s sure to quell summer’s simmering heat. Halo-halo features an assortment of tropical fruits and sweetmeats chilled with shaved ice, ice cream, and evaporated milk. As the name indicates, halo-halo ingredients are a mélange of flavors and textures ranging from fresh bananas to sweet corn to preserved delicacies such as coconut gel (nata de coco), purple yam paste (ube), and sweetened kidney beans. Master halo-halo makers even go so far as to include flan custard, agar-agar, puffed rice (pinipig), or garbanzo beans.

Perhaps it’s my Western upbringing, but I’ve always preferred more fruit in my halo-halo than anything else, which is why this recipe is subjectively fruit-sided. The signature flavor of jackfruit is fundamental as are the chewy strands of coconut sport (a variety of the coconut palm plant) that you’ll find jarred under the name macapuno.    

In 4 tall sundae or milk shake glasses place ¾ cup shaved ice.  On top of that, add ¼ cup each of mango, pineapple, jackfruit, coconut sport, and purple yam. Pour ½ cup evaporated milk and some of the jackfruit juice into the glass. Top the halo-halo with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Serve with long ice cream spoons to mix the layers together

- Enjoy!

Read Book ExcerptsThe Filipino-American Kitchen