Sinugba nga Baboy

Sinugba nga baboy

Sinugba nga baboy

Sinugba nga Baboy
Grilled Pork Belly with a soy ginger marinade and rosemary.

The marinade is the foundation of the Ilonggo chicken Inasal. I just love the addition of rosemary and olive oil in it, adds a nice western touch. Perfect for the grill!

Recipe for the marinade:
Soy Sauce
Lemon (Calamansi is best)
Crushed ginger (lots of it)
brown sugar

Lemongrass and chili (if you have it for the extra oomph factor)

Annato Seeds
Olive oil (if you want it decadent and originally Ilonggo, use chicken fat as the oil.)
and some of the marinade. Simmer them together to create annato oil.

This recipe is easy to prepare, marinate the pork overnight and grill!





Hearty Vegetable Stew

I think Laswa is a good example of what Ilonggo cuisine is all about. It is simple to prepare and the ingredients has to be fresh. My Lolo (grandfather) used to have a vegetable garden in his backyard and on some days my Lola (grandmother) would go there and pick whatever vegetable is in season and make it into a stew.

The flavor of Laswa is clean and sweet from the different vegetables you add to it. There is really no standard vegetables that you can use, but I would suggest that Okra should be there because it gives body to the stew and squash for added sweetness and color and whatever vegetables that are in season. I use shrimp as my soup base but you can use chicken stock or pork if you prefer, some use dried fish as a soup base too. This stew is a great side dish for grilled or fried food to counter balance the richness of the meat.

The crucial part of making Laswa is understanding the cooking point of the vegetables, there has to be a hierarchy when adding the vegetables to the stock. That is why this dish is best prepared at home, I don’t like eating this dish at turo-turo restaurants since they are continually getting heated up and thus the vegetables get overcooked.

Panakot (Ingredients)

  • 1 tbsp Hibe (dried shrimp)
  • 1 cup of Shrimp (head on)
  • 2 cups Squash
  • 5 pcs Okra
  • 1 cup String Beans
  • Spinach (I prefer Chinese spinach if you find some)
  • Chicken stock or Rice washings
  • Salt
  • Dried Scallops (optional but I have some I brought back from Hong kong and it’s great with soups or stews)

Paagi (Procedure)

– Bring the soup stock to a boil (This is crucial before adding the vegetables, you want everything to cook fast to preserve the texture, taste and the color of the vegetables)

– Add the dried Shrimp let it sit there for a minute or two

– Add the fresh Shrimp

– Once the fresh Shrimp turns pinkish, add the okra then after a minute or two add the squash. (Depending on what squash you use the cooking point may differ, I use butternut squash and they cook fast)

– When the previous vegetables start to slightly be fork tender, add the string beans

– Add salt to taste

– turn off the heat then add your leafy vegetables, they will get cooked by the residual heat so it won’t get overcooked.

Serve Immediately

Arroz Caldo with Crispy Chicken Adobo


Arroz Caldo

Arroz Caldo with Crispy Chicken Adobo
(Saffron infused Chicken and Rice Porridge)

This is my take on our venerable Arroz Caldo, instead of just boiling the chicken along with the porridge, I opted to make it more flavorful by crisping up some chicken adobo to top my Arroz Caldo.

Arroz Caldo is a favorite soup/snack for those rainy days back home and it’s perfect here on the cold winter months. I know it’s summer but it can really be enjoyed anytime.

It’s also great for people on a diet, because it actually has low carbs, a bowl of porridge probably has 2 tbsp of rice because it expands.

Panakot (Ingredients):
1 cup rice
1 Liter water (you can add more if the porridge is too thick)
Chicken (separate the dark meat for the stock and create adobo out of the breast meat)
a pinch of Saffron
3 cloves Garlic
a thumb of Ginger
1 small Onion

optional: Chicken Bouillon (If you don’t have a lot of bones for the stock use this)

– Green Onions
– Fried Garlic
– Hard Boiled Egg

Paagi (Procedure)

-Saute garlic, onions and ginger
-Add chicken bones
-Add the rice and saute it for a minute, you want the oil to coat the rice
– Add water and bring to a boil
– add the saffron to give it color and aroma
– Simmer until the rice breaks and the porridge thickens up
– Garnish with crunchy fried garlic, hard boiled egg, green onions and your crunchy adobo.

Welcome to the Ilonggo Cook

Filipino cuisine is as unique and diverse as its 7,107 Islands. My blog will focus on recipes that I’ve learned and observed from my Lola (Grandma), my Nanay (Mother) and the people that I meet during my travels. I will focus on the cuisine of the islands in the middle part of the country. The western part of the visayan islands, home of the Ilonggo.

My birthplace Roxas City, is dubbed the seafood capital of the Philippines. I live about 10 minutes away from the beach and on some afternoons we would watch the local fishermen bring home their catch from their “pukot” (a style of netting fish) and we would have a bed of hot coals waiting for the fresh fish. The cuisine in my hometown is all about simplicity and freshness. Sometimes sea salt is all we add to fresh fish to enhance the flavor of the seafood and not cover it with sauce.

It is also my goal to help bring awareness of Filipino cuisine to the world. We are a country not only diverse geographically but we are a melting pot of cultures. Spanish, Chinese and Malay cultures have made their mark on our soil and on our cuisine. In a local “handaan” or banquet, you would see food on the table like Spanish Paella, Chinese spring rolls or Chicken curry along with the rest of the local delicacies.

It’s time for Filipino food to come front and center, but in order to do that we have to elevate it into an art form. So it can belong not only in our beloved carinderia but also in fine restaurants anywhere in the world.

Chicken Binakol Roxas Style

Here is my first recipe. This recipe is not only Visayan, but it is uniquely Ilonggo. We call this dish “Binakol”. What’s unique about this dish is it uses the water of a young coconut as part of the broth and they used to cook this inside a makeshift bamboo pot and slowly cooked over hot coals. So you can imagine the aroma of the lemongrass, the coconut and the bamboo permeating the soup. Namit!

Chicken Binakol

Chicken Binakol


  • Free range chicken or Cornish hen (Back home we use a variety they call “Bisaya”, it is basically a native free range chicken that is very flavorful. )
  • Kamias (Iba in visayan)
  • Lemongrass (Tanglad)
  • Ginger (julienned)
  • Garlic (chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chili (Siling haba)
  • Young coconut
  • Chicken bouillon (If you don’t have enough chicken bones and time to prepare the stock)


  1. Saute the ginger and garlic until fragrant
  2. Add the chicken and continue to saute until slightly brown
  3. Add the coconut water and coconut meat, add some water to cover the chicken
  4. Bring to a boil for a couple of minutes
  5. Bring the pot to a simmer and add the Kamias and the lemongrass.
  6. Depending on how spicy you want the dish to be you can add the Chili sooner, but I like to add it towards the end.

Serve hot and Enjoy!

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