Monday, November 1, 2010

Cucina Manila!

I visited Surrey's Cucina Manila last week and enjoyed a huge almusal (breakfast in Filipino) consisting of two meat dishes with rice, at 10:30am! Traditional almusal features:
  • Sinangag (fried rice with salt and garlic)
  • Egg (fried or scrambled)
  • Desired meat: pork tocino (sweet cured pork), longganisa (sausage), sauteed corned beef, fried spam (yikes!), well the list goes on.
A light almusal traditionally consists of homemade hot chocolate with toasted ensaymada (cheese-topped pastry) or pan de sal (small Filipino bread roll) with butter.

It was a rainy morning so I opted for my favorite childhood comfort foods, kare kare (ox tail stew in peanut-based sauce) and caldereta (spicy beef stew) on white rice. These dishes are usually for a heavier lunch or dinner but I was treating myself and there are no time restrictions when eating Filipino food! The moment I sat down and started drizzling the sauces on the rice, the fragrant aromas reminded me of my mom's home cooking and immediately started digging in.
Did you know: Caldereta is derived from the Spanish word caldero (cooking pot).
I enjoyed the caldereta, which in my opinion, the boeuf bourguignon of Philippine cuisine. It’s made from simple ingredients, but the way they come together elevates simple beef and vegetables to tasty new heights!

One of my favorite Filipino blogs is Burnt Lumpia by Marvin where he features a recipe for spicy beef caldereta (scroll down half way down the page). In this version he adds chicken livers but if you're not a fan of livers, like I'm not, feel free to use a more subtle liver pâté that will give the added richness in the stew.

Stay tuned for my mom's recipe for kare kare in an upcoming blog post. So, what's your favorite comfort food?


  1. I just took grandma their for her 80th birthday. She loved it! Total Pino!

  2. Hello Candice, Can you submit this to our news editor? We have a spot for your recipes in our 'Filipino Recipes' section.

  3. I know, it's good Filipino home cookin at Cucina Manila! Glad you're grandma had a good time;)

  4. Alright, Ray will do! Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. Next time we are in Vancouver we will be sure to try this diner out. Thank-you for your great recipes and info! Ako po ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat :)

  6. Your most welcome, Marikit. Stay tuned for more Filipino recipes to come!

  7. mouthwatering! I might even try the pork!!

    1. Hey Heather, I hope so! We should go eat some Filipino food and know you'll love it;)

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