'American Adobo' Filipino Dinner Recipes

by Celeste Heiter, Dec 27, 2004 | Destinations: Philippines / Manila

Chicken & Shrimp Lumpia Wraps with Ginger Lime Dipping Sauce


2 eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
Pinch of salt
Cooking oil

1 small head of leafy lettuce (butter, red leaf, etc.)
1 small jicama root, julienned

Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add water and whisk until blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir until until thoroughly blended, making sure there are no lumps in the batter.

Lightly coat the bottom of a small, non-stick skillet with oil and place over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, pour a small puddle of batter into the pan. Holding the pan in one hand, gently rotate your wrist, tilting the pan to thinly and evenly distribute the batter over the surface. Return the skillet to the burner and cook for 1 minute or less, until the batter appears dry and the underside is lightly browned. Using a small spatula, separate the edges of the wrapper from the surface of the pan and carefully flip or turn the wrapper over to lightly brown on the other side. Remove the wrapper from the pan and set aside. Repeat the process with the remaining batter to form about 10 wrappers, making sure to recoat the surface of the pan with oil before cooking each wrapper.

Carefully separate the head of lettuce into individual leaves. Wash, pat dry, and set aside.


1 T sesame oil
1/2 onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/4 lb shrimp, shelled & deveined
1 small carrot, julienned into fine matchsticks
2 scallions, finely sliced
2 T oyster sauce
2 T patis (Asian fish sauce)

Heat the oil in a wok and saute onion and garlic until tender. Add chicken and shrimp and stir-fry until tender and cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken and shrimp from the pan and set aside. In the same wok, lightly stir-fry carrots and scallions until just tender. Return the chicken and shrimp to the wok, add oyster sauce and patis and and stir-fry until the mixture is hot and the liquid is evaporated, being careful not to overcook. Allow the mixture to cool.

To assemble the Lumpia, place a small piece of lettuce in the center of each wrapper. Top with a small amount of the filling mixture and a few pieces of jicama. Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper toward the center and snugly roll the wrapper into a cone around the filling. Secure with a toothpick. Serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 lime (juice only)
1 tsp sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp sugar

Mix all ingredients in a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously and allow to stand for one hour to marry flavors.


2 cans crescent rolls (16 total)
1 T oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 lb chorizo
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small potato, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 T patis (Asian fish sauce)
1/4 tsp chili paste

Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry meat until lightly browned. Add onion, garlic and potato and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add patis and chili paste. Stir to blend, cover and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, until potato cubes are tender and all liquid is absorbed.

Heat the oven to 375. Open the cans of pastry dough and unroll carefully. Separate the rolls into individual triangles. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each one, Fold the short corners of the pastry toward the center, wrap the long point across the top and tuck under to form a tight envelope. Bake on the top rack of the oven until golden brown, checking at about 10 minutes to ensure that the pastry does not overbake. Serve warm.

Tamarind-Ginger Soup

1 T sesame oil
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 T ginger root, finely grated
2 T tamarind paste
3 T patis (Asian fish sauce)
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 lb shrimp, with shells
1 cup baby spinach, washed & trimmed

(Set aside a few fresh spinach leaves for garnish)

Peel and devein the shrimp, saving the shells. Boil shrimp shells in 4 cups of water for 5 minutes to make a broth. Strain off the shrimp shells, dissolve tamarind paste in the broth and set aside. Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry onion and garlic until tender. Add shrimp broth, patis and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer until pink and tender. Add spinach leaves and simmer for about 1 minute, until just tender. Serve soup into individual bowls, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with fresh spinach leaves.

Kinilaw with Mango & Coconut Cream

1 lb fresh, firm white fish cut into 1/2" cubes
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk (do not shake)
1 T ginger root, finely grated
2 firm mangos, peeled and coarsely diced
1/4 tsp jalapeno pepper, seeds & veins removed, finely minced
1 head of butter lettuce, separated into individual leaves

(Save 2 T of lime juice and several wedges of mango for garnish)

In a glass bowl, mix together fish cubes, lime juice and vinegar. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Without shaking the can, open the coconut milk and spoon the thick coconut cream off the top and save the remaining juice for another purpose. Remove the fish from the refrigerator. Stir in ginger, jalapeno and diced mangos. Arrange lettuce leaves on a salad plate. Place two wedges of mango on the plate to form a circle and sprinkle with fresh lime juice. Spoon fish cubes into the center of the plate in a mound inside the mango wedges. Drizzle with coconut cream.

Tilapia Escabeche

1 small whole Tilapia fish (about 2 lbs.)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
3 T cornstarch

1 T sesame oil
1 cup water 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 T soy sauce
1 T patis (Asian fish sauce)
1/2 tsp chili paste
1/4 cup ketchup
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 T ginger root, finely grated
1/2 small onion, finely sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded & finely sliced
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 T water
2 cups cooking oil for deep frying

Mix together water, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, chili paste, and ketchup. Blend thoroughly and set aside. Heat sesame oil in a wok and stir fry onioin ginger and garlic until tender. Add bell pepper. Stir-fry until tender, add sauce mixture and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add cornstarch mixture and simmer over low heat, stirring until sauce thickens.

Heat 2 cups of cooking oil to 375 degrees F in a heavy skillet large enough to hold the whole fish. While the oil is heating, score the fish on both sides with a sharp knife, sprinkle with salt and dust with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Deep fry the fish until golden brown, turning once to brown evenly on both sides (about 3 minutes per side). Remove from the oil and drain on several layers of paper towels, turning once so that all excess oil is absorbed. Pour half the sauce on an attractive serving dish, place the fish on the platter and spoon the remaining sauce over the fish. Serve immediately.

Chicken Adobo

4 chicken drumstick and 4 thighs with skin
3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
1/4 cup water
3 T cooking oil
1 bay leaf
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 T water

In a large kettle, combine vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, sugar, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and toss the chicken pieces in the mixture. Allow to marinate for 1 hour. Add water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for about 1 hour, until chicken is done all the way through to the bone. Remove the chicken pieces from the sauce and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and return to a simmer. Add cornstarch mixture and stir over low heat until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat cooking oil in a wok and fry the chicken piece until evenly browned on all sides. Place the browned chicken pieces in the thickened sauce and stir to coat. Serve the chicken on a large platter with the remaining sauce in a small bowl on the side.

Jasmine Rice

2 cups jasmine rice
3 cups water

Rinse the rice and place in an electric rice cooker or heavy sauce pan with 3 cups of water. Cover and steam until tender (about 25 minutes).