We are currently experiencing a winter storm here in the Midwest. About a foot of snow has piled-up outside and it will still accumulate overnight. I wanted to shoot some videos but I felt so lazy – must be the weather. (This post was published on Feb. 2010)
After having some hot soup for dinner, I thought of writing an article about Filipino foods that can help us feel warm and comfortable during the cold days – and this is it. Since its almost midnight, I don’t have the time to create a long list and do some extensive research. I’m thinking of starting with 10 foods that we already featured before and I am relying on you guys to help me add more.
A sour soup dish cooked by boiling meat or seafood and adding a sour base such as tamarind; other variant bases vary per region. The most commonly used souring agent is tamarind. However, other fruits such as guava, tomato, bilimbi (known as kamias), green mango, pineapple, and wild mangosteen (santol) can also be used. This dish will always be appreciated as long as the soup is sour enough and the flavor of the meat or seafood blends well. Here are some of our Sinigang recipes that you ought to try: Pork Sinigang, Sinigang na ulo ng Salmon, and Sinigang na Hipon.
2. Arroz Caldo
(translated as “warm rice”) A type of rice porridge (or congee) that resembles the risotto. This can be eaten as breakfast or as a mid-afternoon snack. Though this is of Chinese origin, the name was actually dubbed by the Spaniards because of pronunciation issues. The use of chicken makes Arroz Caldo different from other rice porridges. Safflower (wild saffron), toasted garlic, and scallions are added to enhance the flavor, color, and aroma. A hot bowl of this congee is just enough to make you feel warm during cold days. Here is our recipe for Arroz Caldo, incase you want to give it a try.
3. Nilagang Baka
Nilagang Baka or “Boiled Beef Soup” is probably the easiest and simplest Filipino Soup to make. Beef (usually brisket) is simmered in boiling water until tender. Vegetables such as chopped potatoes, long green beans (Baguio beans), bok choy (pechay), and carrots are added afterwards. Fish sauce and lemon (or calamansi) can be used to provide additional flavor. Having this soup on a cold winter night can make you feel more comfortable. Give Nilagang Baka a try!
A type of beef stew that resembles the “Nilaga”. This stew has a unique mild sweet and sour flavor. Plantain bananas are used to provide a gentle touch of sweetness. Another important ingredient, the tomato sauce, gives color to this dish; it is also responsible in giving this dish the mild sour taste. Beef Pochero is best enjoyed when served with hot steamed rice.
A tender beef shank soup with marrows intact. This is one of the most popular Filipino dishes; it is often consumed during the cold days. One serving of bulalo will definitely make you feel warm. However, having this regularly is not recommended since it is high in cholesterol. Follow this Bulalo Recipe once in a while.
Tinola is a ginger and onion based soup that uses chicken as the core ingredient. This is an authentic Filipino main dish that is best complimented with green papaya wedges (an alternative is chayote) and chili pepper leaves. As a traditional dish, the chicken is usually cooked in low heat to bring out the natural flavor. It is best served during cold and rainy weather because of the warming effect of the soup. Here’s our Chicken Tinola Recipe.
A type of rice porridge or congee that uses ox tripe as one of the major ingredients. This can be considered either as a breakfast food or a heavy snack. Usually served hot, this food is commonly consumed early in the morning to break hunger brought about by several hours of deprivation. The Goto Recipe is available here.
8. Beef Mami
Beef Mami is a type of Beef Noodle soup that is of Chinese origin. This is basically composed of tender beef brisket and egg noodles in hot beef stock. A typical meryenda or mid-afternoon snack (sometimes eaten as breakfast), a hot serving of this noodle soup with some additional hot sauce will definitely keep you warm. Check out our Beef Mami Recipe.
A sweet chocolate rice porridge that uses sweet glutinous rice (locally known as malagkit) and cocoa powder. A more traditional approach is the use of tableya (pure cocoa blocks) as a replacement for cocoa powder. This porridge can be served hot or cold and is mostly eaten during breakfast. In winter months, nothing soothes like a hot bowl of champorado topped with condensed milk. I love to give more details but I thought that it will be better if you browse through this Champorado recipe instead.
10. Molo soup
Molo Soup or or Pancit Molo is a soup dish that contains a mixture of ground pork wrapped in wonton wrapper, shredded chicken meat, and shrimps. This dish resembles the Chinese wonton soup but the array of ingredients and flavor makes this dish stand out. This is a perfect tasty soup to have during a snowy day. You can learn more through this detailed Molo Soup recipe.
Are there other foods that you wish to add? Let me know.