'Imelda: Power, Myth, Illusion' Philippine Recipes and Photos

by Celeste Heiter, Dec 28, 2006 | Destinations: Philippines / Manila
Lumpia Wraps

Lumpia Wraps

Lumpia Wraps
Chicken Skewers with Lime Coconut Dipping Sauce
Beef and Chorizo Empanadas
Asadong Manok (Piquant Chicken Stew)

This tasty tropical menu features a variety of classic Philippine dishes, including  Grilled Chicken Skewers with Lime Coconut Dipping Sauce, Lumpia Wraps, Beef and Chorizo Empanadas, Asadong Manok (Piquant Chicken Stew), and Iced Melon in Coconut Milk.  

Grilled Chicken Skewers with Lime Coconut Dipping Sauce

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" strips
1 tablespoon sesame oil
12 bamboo skewers

Thread the chicken strips onto the bamboo skewers. Brush with sesame oil. Using an electric grill, stovetop grill pan or outdoor barbeque, grill the chicken skewers until done, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with Lime Coconut Dipping Sauce.

Lime Coconut Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 lime, juice only
1 tablespoon patis (Asian fish sauce)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Combine coconut milk, lime juice, patis, sugar, and chicken stock in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add cornstarch mixture. Simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and serve with Grilled Chicken Skewers.

Lumpia Wraps


2 eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
Pinch of salt
3 T 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 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 12 wrappers, making sure to recoat the surface of the pan with oil before cooking the next wrapper.

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


1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound firm white fish fillet (halibut, cod, catfish, etc.)
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Brush shrimp, fish and chicken with sesame oil. Using an electric grill, stovetop grill pan or outdoor barbeque, grill the chicken skewers until done, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Allow to cool. Cut the chicken breast into 1/2" strips. Cut the shrimp in half lengthwise. Crumble the fish into large chunks. Arrange on a serving plate.

Stir-fry Filling

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small carrot, julienned into fine matchsticks
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon patis (Asian fish sauce)

Heat the oil in a wok and saute onion and garlic until tender. Add carrots and scallions and stir-fry until just tender. Add oyster sauce and patis and and stir-fry until the liquid is evaporated, being careful not to overcook. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and 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 shrimp, chicken or fish. Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper toward the center and snugly roll the wrapper into a cone around the filling. Serve with dipping sauce. Makes 12 lumpia wraps.

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 teaspoon 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.

Beef and Chorizo Empanada

2 cans flaky biscuits (16 total)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 pound chorizo
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
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 ground beef and chorizo until lightly browned. Add onion and garlic and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add patis and chili paste. Stir to blend. Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until all liquid is absorbed.

Preheat the oven to 375. Open the cans of biscuit dough. Separate into individual biscuits. On a large cutting board sprinkled with flour, roll the biscuits into 5" rounds about 1/8" thick. Place a teaspoon of fillilng in the center of each biscuit, moisten the edges with water, fold the biscuit over the filling, and pinch the edges to seal. Bake on the top rack of the oven until golden brown, for about 15 minutes, checking frequently to ensure that the pastry does not overbake. Serve warm. Makes 10 empanadas.

Asadong Manok (Piquant Chicken Stew)

2 pounds chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil    
2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced     
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped     
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely minced
2 bay leaves     
1/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika     
1 cup water     
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a large kettle and fry the chicken thighs until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside. In the same kettle, add garlic and onions and saute until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, chili pepper, bay leaves, vinegar, paprika, water and salt. Stir to thoroughly blend. Return the chicken to the kettle, cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until chicken is tender, about 45 minutes. Serve with Jasmine Rice. Serves 4.
Jasmine Rice

2 cups jasmine rice
3 cups water

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

Iced Melon with Coconut Milk

1 ripe cantaloupe or honeydew melon     
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk     

Use a tiny scoop to shape the melon flesh into marble-sized balls. Place melon balls in a container with a tight fitting lid and add coconut milk. Shake gently to thoroughly mix. Chill in the freezer, shaking gently from time to time, until coconut milk becomes slushy and melon balls are icy, about 1 hour. Serve in small bowls or parfait glasses. Serves 4.

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