As second generation Americans, we continue to embrace our Filipino roots and take every opportunity to share the culture with others!
Our grandparents cooked Filipino food for us growing up, always putting their time, heart, and soul into EVERYTHING they made for us. We have made it a point to learn some of their best-loved dishes so that we can pass it onto future generations.
Please feel free to try making any of our grandparents’ recipes – you will NOT be disappointed!
Grandpa Salindong’s Chicken Adobo
Mamasita’s Adobo Mix (1 packet)
1 package chicken thighs (cut thighs in half to cook faster, remove skin)
7 garlic cloves
½ yellow big onion (or ¾ small onion)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of vinegar
Soy Sauce for coloring and taste.
Marinade chicken in Mamasita adobo mix and water for 15 minutes.
While marinating, mince garlic and chop onion.
Add about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to large pot, medium heat.
In large pot, sauté garlic until brown.
Add onion. Saute until clear.
Put chicken in and pay fry each side in hot oil, approximately four minutes on each side.
Pour in marinade (adobo mix and water). Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Add soy sauce for coloring and taste. Cover and bring to boil.
Lower heat and simmer the meat until tender and sauce has thickened. Check chicken with fork and knife.
Once sauce thickened and chicken cooked, ready to serve!
Grandma Camaisa’s Chicken Adobo (2nd Version)
10-12 pieces of chicken thighs. Make sure to keep the skin on, adds to the flavor.
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
Black pepper (to taste)
3 tablespoons of vinegar
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 small piece of ginger, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 bay leaf (optional)
Put everything in pot, mix together.
Marinade for two hours in the fridge.
Add small bit of oil.
Sautee garlic and onion until translucent.
Add everything else in the pot.
Place chicken bottom side down. All pieces of chicken should be touching the bottom of the pan. Put cover over pan, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Pot will accumulate liquid during this time and chicken will be able to cook in its own chicken stock.
After, flip chicken so that the top side is down. With all pieces touching the bottom of the pan. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
After, check to see if chicken is done by using a fork. If still not done, simmer for additional 10-15 minutes.
If you would like to thicken, use bread crumbs.
Grandpa’s Famous Pancit
Cooked chicken and/or pork pieces (boil to cook prior, shred into little pieces)
2 whole Garlic heads, minced
½ Onion chopped
3 carrots, cut into shredded pieces
1-2 celery stalks, chopped into small pieces
About ½ head of cabbage, chopped
Chicken broth (can of chicken broth or broth from when chicken was boiled previously)
Pancit bihon (2-4 packets depending on service size)
Ground annatto (also known as achute) for coloring
Soy Sauce (two ladles worth)
Step 1: Preparing the meat and veggies:
Use a wok. Put on medium heat.
Add about 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or until bottom is covered.
Add the minced garlic, sauté for about two minutes
Add the chopped onion, sauté for about one minute
Add the chopped carrots, sauté for about one minute then cover for 30 seconds to soften.
Add the chopped celery, sauté for one minute
Add the pieces of previously cooked chicken and/or pork.
Cover again and reduce heat. Leave for about four minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the chopped cabbage, stir then cover for one minute
Add a little chicken broth, sauté altogether. Make sure there is a little liquid to absorb, but not too much that it is soupy.
Take everything out (veggie and chicken/pork) and set aside.
Step 2: Preparing the pancit bihon:
Take out of package and soak in cold water until noodles soften. About 8 minutes.
Take pancit bihon out of water and add to wok. Turn wok up to low heat.
Step 3: Putting the pancit together.
Add about three cups of broth (approx a soup can size) to wok, mix together, let sit for about two minutes
Add annatto for coloring, mix together.
Cover the wok. Bring heat to medium. Leave for about three minutes.
Add the veggie and chicken/pork back into the pancit, mix together and wait a couple minutes
Add can of chicken borth and two ladles of soy sauce into pancit, mix together.
Cover to cook for about ten minutes. Put wok on low.
Mix again, turn up heat if pancit is still wet, leave cover off.
After most of liquid evaporated, turn off and put cover on to keep warm.
Grandpa Salindong’s Tinola
3-4 garlic gloves minced
1 ginger root peeled and cut into small pieces
1 package chicken thighs. (Cut chicken thighs in half to cook faster. Use hammer on knife to cut. Be careful!!)
3 sayote peeled and cut into big pieces (make sure to handle with gloves or your hands will dry out completely, TRUST ME!)
Lots of fresh spinach – 3 bushels (Important: wash thoroughly, rinse twice, and cut spinach ends. I just buy the prewashed bags.)
Preparing the tinola:
Fill large pot with peanut oil. Put on medium to high heat.
Saute garlic until brown. Then put head on medium heat.
Saute onion until clear.
Add chicken thighs cut in half. Chicken pieces should all be able to touch the bottom of the pot, even if very close together. They should not be layered on top of each other.
Add patis (fish sauce) to taste.
Add salt and pepper to taste
Cover on low to medium heat until juices come out of chicken, about 5-10 minutes. Chicken should be about half to nearly cooked. Can turn over chicken halfway through if desired as it will be pan frying with the oil at the bottom.
Add three glasses of water. Cover, bring to high heat, bring to boil.
After boiling, bring to medium/high heat. Chicken should be about cooked.
Add sayote, cover for about ten minutes to continue cooking chicken and to cook sayote. Check chicken to make sure fully cooked.
Add spinach to pot. Pot will feel very full, but spinach will shrink and wilt. Keep on medium heat until spinach wilts.
Put on simmer until serving.
There are many variations of the filling. This is my favorite! Also, filling measurements don’t need to be exact, just what you want more of when you bite into your delicious lumpia.
- 2 lb ground pork (You can also sub for ground beef)
- 1-2 lb shrimp – peeled and devined, and chopped into small pieces (Shrimp is optional)
- 4-5 carrots, grated
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 3-4 medium sized potatoes, finely chopped
- Soy sauce to taste
- Oyster sauce to taste
- Sesame oil to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lumpia Recipe
Commentary: I like to have my vegetables to have equal portions. For shrimp, I’ll do just 1 lb if I don’t feel like much and I’ll do 2 lb if I want the shrimp to be the main star of the show. For the soy sauce and oyster sauce to taste, I think maybe half a teaspoon, but really I just eyeball it. I start with a little, taste, and add more as needed to get to the right taste. Sesame oil is very light because it is powerful. And just a little salt and pepper, not too much since the soy sauce has a ton.
Cooking the filling
- I use one pot and waiver between medium and medium-high heat.
- First I cook the ground pork. Add a little oil. When that is finished cooking, I take it out and put aside in a bowl.
- Next I cook the chopped shrimp. Add oil. This goes fast. Once cooked, I then put aside in the same bowl as the cooked ground pork.
- Next the veggies! Add oil. I start with the onion until translucent. Then I add the carrots for a minute or two, then I add the celery for a minute or two, then I add the potatoes for a minute or two. Lightly salt and pepper for taste if you would like. Mix all the veggies together and let them cook together for another few minutes. You just want to make sure the potatoes are not super hard, but they don’t have to be super tender either. You can try it just to make sure none of the veggies are crunchy. They don’t need to be mashy, just softened.
- Once the veggies are complete, add in the cooked ground pork and cooked chopped shrimp and mix together.
- Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt/pepper as you would like. For the oyster and soy sauce, start small, try it out, and add until you get the taste you like.
- Filling is complete!
- The filling needs to a) cool completely and b) be drained of liquid prior to wrapping. I usually just let it sit out with the cover off (just put a paper towel over) for like a half hour and off the burner. Then I drain it. The filling is ready for wrapping.
- While the filling is cooling, take out your spring roll wrappers from the freezer to start thawing.
Second step: wrappings
- Spring roll wrappers. You can get these add an Asian market. These are the ones I like to use: https://www.amazon.com/Spring-Home-Roll-Pastry-Grams/dp/B0052MRT14. They should be stored in the freezer when not in use. I usually use 2-3 packs.
- Water and cornstarch
Get everything ready:
- First you need to separate your wrappers. You don’t want to wait until it is all the way defrosted. Maybe wait 20-30 minutes, open them, then slowly and carefully peel each wrapper away from each other and pile them on a plate. If you try this while they are frozen, they may break. If you try this when they are all the way defrosted, they will cling together and break. There is a happy medium time of when they are still cold and you can easily pull them apart. This recipe can make 50 to 75 lumpia depending how much filling you use.
- Set up your station!
- First I get out a baking sheet. This is where I set down my wrapped lumpias. You can easily use a plate.
- Next, what holds the lumpia together? It is water and cornstarch. I heat a small bowl of water up in the microwave, maybe 30 sec to a minute, just needs to be warm. Then add a spoonful of cornstarch and stir.
- In front of you, you should have your filling, cornstarch with water, your baking sheet, and a plate to do the wrapping.
- Now wrap! Start at 8 minutes to see how to separate your wrappers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPwVIAy8Jnc
- Note in the video: his lumpias are very skinny and also raw, mine are cooked and large. I like to put a heaping tablespoon in my lumpia. As long as you can wrap it up, it is good! Though you don’t want to overfill it because the spring roll might break. If they break, just start with a new spring roll wrapper.
Third step: Fry em up or store them!
- Vegetable oil
Fry em up:
- Fill a pan with vegetable oil so that half the lumpia can submerge. Sort of deep fry, but half the lumpia will be out of oil and the other half will be in frying. Bring to medium heat.
- Put lumpias in – fry on one side until it is golden brown. Then turn over and fry the other side until golden brown. Just look at the color of the wrapper. If you take out while it is still white looking, it looks cooked on the outside, but the wrapper on the inside will be chewy. Wait for that light golden color.
- Eat with La Choy sweet and sour sauce
- You don’t need to cook all the lumpia you make. What I do is store them in Ziploc bags, one even layer of lumpias, don’t overcrowd them otherwise they will be stuck together. I put sprinkle a tiny bit of flower in the bag so they don’t stick. I usually have to 6 ziplocs with lumpias laying one by one next to each other. I put the date on it. They should be good for the next 4 to 6 months I think, though I eat them all before then usually within 2 to 3 months. I bet they could last longer, I just feel the need to eat them.
- You can cook from frozen. Just fill your pan with vegetable oil, add your frozen lumpia, flip once to cook both sides, and done!