Typical Pinoy Breakfast

“Mom, what’s for breakfast?”

Filipinos love to eat. We can have five to six meals in a day.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are the three major meals and 2 or 3 snack times in between. We love waking up early in the morning for a pre-breakfast snack. “Pandesal” or sweet buns with white cheese or a sandwiched slice of Dairy Cream butter dipped in a cup of coffee is the usual appy at around 6 o’clock in the morning. The moms usually prepare for the main meal while the rest of the family enjoys the early morning treat. On rainy days, we love going back to bed after a nice and satisfying “pandesal” treat.

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At 7 o’clock, breakfast is already served. School time is early and moms are used to preparing easy-to-cook recipes. The typical Filipino breakfast is usually fried rice and sunny side eggs with any of the basic breakfast favourites such as beef tapa, tocino, fried chicken, sweet sausage or “longganisa”, red Tender Juicy Hotdogs, marinated-deboned-fried milk fish, corned beef with minced potatoes, embutido and salted fish or “tuyo”. Spiced vinegar, banana ketchup, sliced tomatoes and pickled papaya are always good on the side.

Cooking the above mentioned favourites is a piece of cake, effortless. It’s just about heating a frying pan,  a tablespoon of canola oil and fry any of the dishes in 5-10 minutes.

ImageTapsilog means “Tapa + Sinangag + Itlog” (marinated tenderloin beef tips fried to perfection, garlic fried rice and sunny side eggs). Pampanga’s Best is a good brand for processed breakfast goodies or if you want you can make your own beef tapa as well. Tapa are slices of beef flank or tenderloin cut into thin strips marinated for 12 hours with a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, sugar, salt, lime and black pepper. It’s almost similar to beef jerky. The meat soaks all the flavours after immersion.

ImageTocilog means Tocino + Sinangag + Itlog”. Tocino is cured slices of pork shoulder blades that has a sweet taste. They are available in Filipino Stores as well but I prefer making it myself to avoid nitrites in our meal. I use the Mamasitas Tocino Marinade Mix, it makes my life easier. I sometimes add more sugar to the mixture to make it even tastier. It’s lovely with vinegar and soy sauce.

ImageLongsilog means “Longganisa + Sinangag + Itlog”. Longganisa came from the Spanish word Longaniza which pertains to a spicy pork sausage. Well, I don’t know how to make this one. It’s a bit complicated for me and Neil. It can be bought from a wet market in the Philippines and is also available in Filipino Stores. Longganisa is made up of ground pork mixed with minced garlic, sugar, black pepper, vinegar and salt. The combined ingredients are pushed into a hog casing and tied in knots at even intervals. Some are called “Skinless Longganisa” which are molded and without the sausage skin. They make different flavours such as sweet, garlicky, spicy and regular.

ImageCornsilog means Corned Beef + Sinangag + Itlog.”  We add diced potatoes and lots of onions to it. Sometimes we add a tablespoonful of soy sauce and brown sugar to make it more enjoyable.

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 Bangsilog means “Bangus + Sinangag + Itlog”. The Bangus also known as Milk Fish is scaled and cut into a butterfly form and marinated for hours with a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, black or white pepper and chopped garlic. After marinading for hours, it is fried until crispy. It’s one of my favourite. Pancake House serves the best Bangsilog, pricey but worth it.

ImageHotsilog means Hot Dog + Sinangag + Itlog”. The famous red Tender Juicy Hotdog in the Philippines is the best hotdog I’ve ever tasted. They have the brown ones as well with cheese in it and it was just divine. Any brand of hotdog would do to have Hotsilog for breakfast. This is the easiest one to prepare. It’s best when you have UFC Banana Ketchup on the side.

The other types of Silogs are : Chiksilog (fried chicken), Embusilog (embutido – sausage like) and Litsilog (lechon kawali), Spamsilog (spam), Dangsilog (with “Danggit” or rabbitfish) and Chosilog (chorizo).

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Aside from “Silogs”, Filipino’s also likes porridge. It’s not the oatmeal one but the sweet chocolate rice porridge. We call it Champorado. We have acquired it from the Mexican traders who stayed in our country in the early years. It is made by boiling a special kind of mucilaginous rice with cocoa powder or Milo (popular chocolate drink in the Philippines) which gives a chocolatey color. We usually add milk and sugar to make it taste sweeter and yummier. Some would add Tuyo or salted dried fish which contrasts the sweet taste of Champorado making it more enjoyable.

Filipinos love to have coffee as well with the breakfast and fruits are served after the meal.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for Filipinos. A heavy breakfast gives us energy to get through the summons ahead. A good breakfast gives brain power.

Pinoy breakfast is one of the world’s best. Simple buy delicious and satisfying.

One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.” 
― Robert A. Heinlein, Friday

Photo credits to the following :

http://kuboresto.com/, http://www.islakulinarya.blogspot.com, http://www.yelp.com, http://www.flicker.com, www.bubblenews.com, http://www.angsarap.nethttp://www.mommyandmatt.blogspot.com

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Coffee or Not

Coffee. Why is coffee so good that I can’t go on with my day without having a cup?

I have been addicted to coffee since my college years. I used to drink a cup in the morning before going to school, another cup on a lunch break and the last cup before going to bed. I know that the caffeine in coffee is a stimulant, for some reason I react atypically from it. I did not have any sleeping problems at all even if I drink coffee before bed. Sometimes the coffee makes me drowsy. Maybe I put too much powdered milk in it. I love the Nescafe brand and I still use it up to now. I do not use a brewing machine for my coffee. I did not have a fancy Keurig or any kind of brewing machine back in my college days. A teaspoon of the Nescafe Great Taste Instant Coffee and 2 tablespoonful of Bear Brand Powdered Milk simply makes my day. Sometimes I buy a cracker or a bun to go with it for a more satisfying coffee break.

In the province, I had the habit of waking up early in the morning with my mom and dad and have a nice and hot coffee. 6 o’clock in the morning, my mom turns on the radio and we listen to news while we enjoy the scent and the creaminess of our morning addiction. We also buy sweet buns from the Poot-poot boy, a boy on a bicycle with a huge basket of freshly baked sweet buns and dip it in our cup of joe. We call our sweet buns “Pandesal“. Pandesal are always good with coffee.

I used to drink only 3 cups of coffee a day until I started studying for Canadian Evaluating Exam for Pharmacists. I ended up drinking 5 cups a day. I got more addicted to it that I experience headaches if I drink less than 5 cups of joe. A cup in the morning, a cup at lunchtime, a cup at 3 o’clock, a cup at suppertime and the last cup at bedtime. I know the adverse effects of caffeine but I can’t stop my routine and having said that I ended up having acid reflux. I had to stop for sometime and suffer from withdrawals but when I feel better I get back to the routine.

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I had severe gastritis one time and swore not to have coffee ever again. I cried for that matter as I love coffee too much but I have to prioritize my health. After a few months of not having coffee, my tummy felt a lot better and never had episodes of acid reflux again. I thought of the promise I made to myself, I thought I did it. Since the tummy felt better, the stubborn head can’t stop thinking about coffee again. And so I tried a decaffeinated one which is not as good as the regular coffee. Slowly, I started shifting from decaf to the old addiction.

What is it about coffee that makes people over consume it? I know it has an idiosyncratic effect on me but I still crave for it. It gives me a bit of stimulation in the morning, a burst of energy to keep me awake but it damages my stomach. I felt brainwashed by caffeine. I’m giving myself good reasons of drinking coffee instead of looking at the harmful effects it can possibly cause me.

Pros:
Antioxidant Property
Improve Mental Performance
Lowers the risk of kidney stone formation
Improve asthma symptoms
Reduces the risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Cons:
Stained Teeth
Induces stomach problems
Reduces sperm count
Sleep disturbances
Increase risk of osteoporosis
Risk of cardiovascular diseases
Increase stress level

Coffee is truly addicting but what is the key? “Everything in moderation”, an old ground rule which holds true for coffee. It is not deleterious unless you abuse it. Coffee has its own disadvantages, but offers an adequate amount of satisfactory points to make it a worthwhile drink.

Best of Luck!