Category Archives: Filipino Delicacies


How to make Ice Scramble

It was not long ago when it was safe to buy Ice Scramble from vendors. Those were the days when water was much cleaner, without risk of Hepatitis A infection. These days, once can easily buy Ice Scramble at the Philippine malls but for those who reminisce this good ole street food treat, you can prepare one at home. One just needs to know the classic Ice Scramble base, and choose your favorite topping.

Classic Ice Scramble base:

1 cup Evaporated milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon banana flavoring (adjust to desired taste)
few drops of red liquid coloring to get the right shade of pink color

3 cups crushed ice

2 Tablespoons milk powder
Chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons rice krispies (optional)

Mix the ingredients of the base and add on to crushed ice. The actual proportion of ice to the ice scramble base might vary so adjust as desired. Mix well and keep in an insulated container. Fill a cup with the mixed crushed ice base. Add milk powder and chocolate syrup and top with rice crispies or any desired topping.

There you go. Such a refreshing treat during warm weather. I think this is our very own version of the smoothie, our Pinoy Smoothie.

I saw another site that has an Ice Scramble recipe but it veers away from the old-school Iskrambol but you might also want to try it out



1 cup Alaska Evaporada
1/2 cup instant chocolate powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
1 pc banana, chopped (optional)
3 cups crushed ice


Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Place in serving glasses and top with a swirl of Alaska Condensada if desired.

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Tasty Biko from Heirloom Violet Sticky rice of the Mountain Province

heirloom rice from ifugao

Biko will never taste the same after using Mountain violet sticky rice (locally known as Ominio) from the Mountain Province. I never realized how tasty Mountain violet sticky rice was until I prepared Biko. Like so many other heirloom foods, the rice is very tasty and has its flavor, aroma, and texture qualities intact.

violet sticky rice

I received a pack of this violet sticky rice from Mary Hensley all the way from the USA. Mary used to be a Peace Corps volunteer in the Cordillera in the 1970s . She also added Tinawon and Ifugao Diket in the package. In 2006, Ms. Hensley started to market the heirloom rice in North America through her company, Eighth Wonder. She was telling me that the farmers are trying to develop an upscale market in the Philippines but the selling price will always be an issue. This is a fair trade product , so the farmers are being paid for a very high price for their rice. The reason the authentic heirloon varieties have never been sold before is because no one offered to buy it at at a fair wage for the amount of handwork needed to grow it in the Terraces. They would prefer to eat it themselves than sell it at a lesser value.

mary hensley in 1970

Since there was no commercial market, and people need cash, the farmers have started to abandon the terraces and many varieties have already been extinct. Mary adds that the project is about developing a business opportunity for the farmers so they can sell their rice to the gourmet food market in Manila, Baguio or tourist areas in the Cordillera. Considering that the “local food movement” has swept the world, it is outrageous that not even the 5 star Banaue Hotel serves this rice to its guest. The good news is that there is now a rice distributor in Manila who plans to distribute this colored sticky rice.

mary hensley
Mary Hensley founded the Eighth Wonder Inc and Cordillera Heirloom Rice project ( to connect growers of the rare mountain rice to the international market and give the people around the world an opportunity to taste the rice.

This Mountain Violet sticky rice is a truly fabulous for Biko.

violet rice from the Ifugao

Let me share the recipe.

1 1/2 cups Mountain Violet sticky rice

1 grated coconut (Extract coconut milk: 1 cup coconut milk for the first extraction and 1 cup coconut milk for the second extraction)

1/2 cup condensed milk

125 grams washed (white) sugar


1. Cook the sticky rice separately .

2. Boil the second extraction of coconut milk and add sugar . Stir.

3. While stirring the mixture , add the 1 cup coconut milk of the first extraction until thick.

4. Mix the boiled sticky rice with the coconut milk mixture. Steam for 10 minutes.

5. Transfer to a pyrex dish. Cool then serve.

biko from violet rice

I tell you, this is the most delicious biko I have ever tasted. I discern an ube flavor in the rice. It is just so divine. Not only that, this purple colored rice has anthocyanin. Anthocyanin pigments and associated flavonoids have demonstrated ability to protect against a myriad of human diseases, yet they have been notoriously difficult to study with regard to human health. And the content is said to be way above the charts . This organic heirloom rice is very very low on arsenic content.

violent heirloom sticky rice

You can buy the Mountain Violet sticky rice at an online store or from Sunny Wood Super Foods Corp . Their website is at . Contact them here or at sunnywood.superfoods @ or telephone number +632-535-4060

You can also order online at

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Tropical Turon1

Tropical pineapple filled Turon

You are all familiar with tur├│n de banana , also known as lumpiyang saging (Tagalog, banana lumpia) as one of the favorite Filipino snacks. This type of turon is made of thinly sliced saba or Cardaba bananas with a slice of jackfruit and finally dusted with brown sugar then rolled in a spring roll wrapper and fried. There are may ways to prepare turon. Try this pineapple filled turon that you can serve with calamansi sherbet and lemon sauce. This recipe was shared by Alessandra Romulo Squillantini, granddaughter of the late statesman Carlos P. Romulo and her husband Enzo Squillantini at a recent Maya Kitchen demo

Tropical Turon1

Try it. The taste of the lemon sauce on the crunchy pineapple filled turon is just heavenly. Not to mention how the ice cream complements the freshly fried turon.

1 kilo fresh pineapple, chopped
250 grams brown sugar
50 grams cinnamon powder
10 pieces lumpia wrapper
75 grams butter
250 grams lemon juice
125 grams honey
125 grams MAYA All-Purpose Flour
250 ml oil, for frying

1. In a sauce pan, combine pineapple and brown sugar and simmer until the pineapple is cooked.

2. Add cinnamon powder to this and let the mixture cool down.

3. Cut each lumpia wrapper into 2 equal pieces.

4. Put 1 tablespoon of pineapple mixture at the center of one wrapper and fold to form a triangle.

5. Heat oil in a saucepan. Fry the turon until golden brown.

6. In another saucepan, combine butter, lemon juice, honey and flour to make lemon sauce. Serve with turon.

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Leche Flan Recipe

leche flan

The original leche flan recipe was from my Mom but my sister Lorna reconfigured it to fit her tastes.

The perfect flan is such that when you slice through it, it barely quivers like jello. There is very little syneresis, that is, no weeping (or lots of holes in it!). I am sharing this precious recipe so you may prepare it for your family.

5 eggyolks
2 eggs
1 can condensed milk
1 can water (use the condensed milk’s can for measuring)
1 tbsp. vanilla to add to the mixture
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup sugar for caramelization

  • Get a pyrex loaf dish (or equivalent oval, square, or round dish).
  • Caramelize 1/3 cup sugar in it. Use your oven. When the sugar is starting to melt, make sure that you watch carefully. You don’t want the caramel to be too dark or it will taste burnt. Manipulate the dish until you are sure that the caramel is evenly placed on the bottom of the pan. Let the pan rest on the stove top.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

These are the cooking times:

For the first 45 minutes: 325 degrees Fahrenheit
For the next 20 to 25 minutes, until the toothpick test shows that the flan is done: 350 degrees Fahrenheit

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Binignit, the Cebuano version of the Ginataan

In my Cebu hometown, Binignit is “traditionally eaten as a snack on Good Friday: Binignit originated from Cebu province. Binignit is a warm root crop and fruit stew consisting of a thick mixture of tubers such as taro, purple yam, sweet potato, as well as bananas, jackfruit, sago, tapioca pearls and sugar, cooked in coconut milk and thickened with milled glutinous rice.” How I miss the Binignit.

When I moved to Manila during college, I never got to taste Binignit. Too bad I never took the time to learn how to prepare Binignit. I never knew how to make the Tagalog version, the ginataan until I became a mother. Even when I took up Principles in Food Preparation in UP Diliman under the late Matilde P. Guzman and learned the technique of Extracting Coconut Cream and Coconut Milk, I still didn’t take time to cook a batch of this yummy filipino merienda fare.

Anyway, by the time I became a mother, I decided to cook it for my kids. Here is my recipe for Ginataan but it is not the original Binignit…One day I will prepare the Cebuano Binignit that includes Landang.


1 coconut, grated
1/4 kilo ube or gabi, diced ( I don’t really like a lot of tubers in my ginataan so I just add a little of each)
1/4 kilo kamote, diced
5 saba bananas, sliced crosswise
8 sections of nangka or jackfruit in strip
3 tablespoons sago (kids love more sago in their ginataan)
1 cup sugar or add more depending your sweet tooth

Optional ingredients include tapioca balls which I didn’t add because of my preference to saba, langka, sago and kamote in my ginataan.


1. Prepare the coconut coconut cream and milk following instructions from Extracting Coconut Cream and Coconut Milk. (For those overseas, you can buy a can of coconut milk and coconut cream at your local grocery similar to the photo below)

Set aside 1 cup of thick coconut milk (first press) and 2 cups of coconut milk.

2. Boil coconut milk. Add sago, gabi or ube.

3. Cook until half-done.

4. Add the bananas, camote and nangka.

5. Blend in sugar.

6. Pour thick coconut cream (first press) before removing.

7. Cook until done.

I like my ginataan to have thick yet runny consistency.

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Ginataang Mongo or Guinataan Rice with Mongo

I am sure all of you enjoy feasting on comfort food. One of my fondest childhood memory is eating Ginataang Mongo. The flavor of toasted mongo and the malagkit is quite distinct. With the rainy season upon us, a hot bowl of ginataang mongo is dish that truly delights my children. Here is my recipe.


1/2 cup malagkit rice
1/2 cup mongo
1 1/2 cups diluted coconut milk from 2 coconuts- (I use a can of 400 ml coconut milk as substitute. The can contains 2 1/2 coconuts)

Sugar to taste

For coconut milk, I use Filtaste Gata (coconut milk) or Thai Heritage Coconut milk if I don’t use freshly grated coconut milk.


1. Roast mongo beans in a kawali until brown.
2. Break the roasted mongo beans with the use of a rolling pin.
3. Combine the malagkit rice with the roasted mongo and boil with coconut milk
4. Stir every so often to keep the rice from burning at bottom of the kawali.
5. Add the sugar and salt to taste when the rice-mongo is tender and cooked well.
6. Serve hot! You can add coconut cream to top it.

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Cassava Cake Recipe (for US bought ingredients)

Even if you’re located in the US, you can still make Cassava Cake. Just buy the ingredients at the Filipino Store. This cassava cake recipe is from my sister in San Francisco. It’s been tested and eaten with gusto by her family.


2 packages grated cassava
1 can coconut milk
1 bottle macapuno strips
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 can condensed milk

Mix all 5 ingredients and 2/3 of condensed milk.
Bake at 350 degrees 45 min to 1 hour
Spread rest of condensed milk on top, cook for another 5 minutes

(I usually use the whole can of condensed milk and buy another one so I can put more condensed milk at the top to my taste.)

Another Cassava Cake Recipe

2 packs frozen cassava
2 packs frozen buko
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cans (16 0z) coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter

1. Mix them together and bake it in a greased pan/pyrex for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
2. Remove the pyrex after an hour so you can put the topping.(see below)

1 can condensed milk
1 bottle of string macapuno.
Mix together and put on top of cassava, then bake again until topping is brown. Maybe 30 or 45 mins.


Dolores graciously shared her own version:

2 pkg. of grated cassava
1/2 pkg. of sweetened shredded coconut
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of coconut cream
1 can of coconut juice, 4 eggs
and 2 tbsp. of vanilla extract (optional).

You can substitute the syrup flavor to almond extract or whatever your heart desires.

Mix all ingredients then pour mix on a large square pan or 2 small ones.

Bake for 1/2 hour at 375 degrees then to 350 degrees to 20 more minutes until mixture is firm and light brown on the side.
Take it out of the oven to cool down and cut them in serving squares.

My mom suggested grated cheese on top which is optional and it is yummy!!! Okay, there goes all my secret.

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Buko Pandan dessert

buko pandanThis is the buko pandan that I ate at my cousin’s birthday party. The taste of Buko pandan dessert never fails to tempt me. The green and white colors lures you to take a bite. Here is a buko pandan recipe .

Buko Pandan Salad

8 leaves of Pandan – cleaned well
5 Buko (Coconut)not too hard, not too soft- Grated to strips
Water from 5 Buko (approx. 10 cups)
3 small cans of Nestle Cream
1 medium can of Condensed Milk
2 bars of Green Gulaman
1 3/4 Cups Sugar (more if you want it sweeter)
1 cup Kaong (optional)

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Puto Bumbong After Misa de Gallo

puto bumbong
It’s December 16 and the first day of the Misa de Gallo. For nine consecutive early mornings before Christmas Day, Catholic Churches throughout the Philippines ring their bells around 3 am to invite the faithful to worship and announce the start of this holiday custom. After the mass, the parishoners including myself headed off to the Puto Bumbong stand where it was sold for 20 pesos per pack.

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