The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

AFF Philippines : Tofu Sisig


Here’s another dish which I recently tried in Boracay, Philippines when I travelled there in April 2014; tofu sisig. I first tasted Tofu Sisig in Mesa, one of the more ‘atas’ restaurants serving modern Philippines cuisine when we asked the hotel caretaker on whereabouts to eat authentic Filipino food.

Sisig refers to sizzling. It usually is a dish made from parts of pig’s head and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers. In this case, there’s no pork here, as it’s made with only tofu. It comes in a sizzling pan, piping hot with sweet, creamy sauce.

Tofu Sisig in Mesa, Boracay

Tofu Sisig in Mesa, Boracay


It had a sweet, salty sauce and creamy as well. At that time, I couldn’t figure that it was mayonnaise, it could have maybe be condensed or evaporated milk; like our version of ‘nai you’/butter sauce ala chinese style. Until I did a little google and found out that it has mainly mayonnaise and oyster sauce for the saltiness. Serving on a hot sizzling plate also makes it easier to eat as the creamy sauce can sometimes be a bit gluggy if the dish is cooled.

The one in Boracay was sweet! I mean, I do realize that there’s quiet a bit of sugar in Filipino cooking, especially the use of condensed milk in desserts!

tofu sisig

Recipe adapted from Sassy Chef.

AFF Philippines : Tofu Sisig
Serves: 4
  • 500-gram pack Chinese firm tofu
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • ½ bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 red chilies, sliced
  1. Heat oil in a deep pan.
  2. Cut up the Chinese tofu into small cubes and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain in paper towels.
  3. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, oyster sauce, sugar, and pepper. Mix well, and add water until desired thickness is achieved. (I added 1 more tbsp). Adjust taste accordingly.
  4. Heat the mayo mixture in low heat while stirring for two minutes, then add the bell pepper and continue stirring for one more minute.
  5. Take your heated sizzling plate and add a small amount of vegetable oil. Saute garlic and onions until cooked, add in the tofu and mayo dressing and mix well.
  6. If not using a sizzling plate, pour excess oil from the pan (from frying), with a little oil left, sautee garlic, onions and bell peppers. Once they sweat, turn to low heat, add in the mayo sauce and let it cook for 1 minute. Pour in the tofu and toss.
  7. Sprinkle with sliced chili and more onions.

chicken inasal and tofu sisig

I brought it to lunch and just heat it up. The sauce was still alright. I used pressed tofu / like beancurd, you can use Japanese firm tofu but definitely not silken tofu as it will be difficult to fry up.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – Philippines hosted by The Sweet Spot.

AFF Philippines : Chicken Inasal

Hello! Pardon my absent but have been busy busy!

chicken inasal AFF

A couple of months ago when I was in Boracay, we dined in this place called Andok’s, which is similar to our KFC + Nandos. Well it is fast food but mainly grilled chicken and fish. The grilled chicken and fish was soooo good that we bought and ate at a nearby restaurant to Kalibo Airport before we flew.

andok's chicken manok

Andok’s Chicken Manok

So anyway, I wanted to make it again because it was so yummy! And when I came back, I thought it was Chicken Inasal, so I went all the way (no la actually my friend from SG) to buy coconut vinegar and annatto powder back for me. Turns out, as I’m writting this post, Andok’s chicken has a easier marinade and it’s called Lechon Manok where it is roasted over charcoal fire, stuffed with lemongrass. Another grilled item that we liked was the Bangus, chargrilled boneless stuffed milkfish.

Oh well. Anyway I still got to try something new especially in roasting chicken. Most of the time, I just use herbs and lemon. This one calls for calamansi juice, coconut vinegar and soda water. Chicken Inasal is grilled over charcoal fire and uses a basting liquid that contains Annatto oil (Aswete oil) for that golden colour.

Annatto, sometimes called roucou or achiote, is derived from the seeds of the achiote trees of tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The seeds are sourced to produce a carotenoid-based yellow to orange food coloring and flavor. Its scent is described as “slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg” and flavor as “slightly nutty, sweet and peppery”. (from wiki)

chicken inasal ingredients

Ingredients for the marinade and basting liquid, calamansi juice, coconut vinegar and soda water makes up the majority of the marinade. Just marinade for 1-3 hours and the grill it. I air-fried it actually and every 5 minutes, I baste the chicken with the annatto mixture. I didn’t have annatto oil, so I used the powder and mixed it up with some corn oil. Recipe is adapted here

chicken inasal philippines


AFF Philippines : Chicken Inasal
I used the air fryer to grill the chicken, you can also grill it in the oven
Cuisine: Philippines
Serves: 2
  • Ingredients
  • 2 whole chicken legs
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup lemongrass, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut vinegar
  • ½ cup calamansi juice (about 300g of calamansi with before juicing)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (or palm sugar)
  • 1 cup lemon soda (soda water)
  • ½ tablespoon ground black pepper
Basting Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons annatto oil (atsuete oil) (or 1 tsp Annatto powder mixed with 2 tbsp oil)
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon calamansi juice
  1. In a freezer bag or large bowl, combine chicken, lemongrass, salt, ground black pepper, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, soda, and calamansi juice.
  2. Stir or shake the mixture until every ingredient is well incorporated. Marinade for 1 to 3 hours.
  3. In a bowl, combine margarine, annatto oil (aswete oil), salt, and lemon juice then stir. Set aside.
  4. Grill the chicken while basting generous amount of the margarine mixture.
  5. If using a air fryer, preheat air fryer at 180 for 2 minutes. Put the chicken leg in skin side down, brush some of the basting sauce over it and 'fry' for 5 minutes.
  6. Once done, turn the chicken to skin side up and apply the basting sauce again and fry for 5 minutes. Repeat until chicken is cooked (about 20 minutes)
  7. Transfer the grilled chicken to a serving plate.
  8. Serve calamansi and rice.


Overall it’s a nice marinade flavour with a little bit of spice and coconutty taste. The annatto powder don’t really have much flavour,, except a little smokey. Otherwise it is just used for colouring purpose, like tandoori chicken.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – Philippines hosted by The Sweet Spot.

AFF Philippines : Leche Flan

Hi all,

Sorry it took me a while to churn out the first AFF Philippines food post since I’m the host for this month. But you know let’s start with something sweet :)

Leche flan is the Filipino version of creme caramel. You can say that I don’t make the regular creme caramel often enough. Actually the last time I made it was …………. maybe easily 5-6 years ago. It can be a little tedious to make cause you gotta cook the custard then bake it over a waterbath. The filipino version isn’t that much different. Nope. It’s alot of difference!

AFF Philippines Leche Flan

In the Philippinesleche flan (the local term for the originally Spanish flan de leche, literally “milk flan”) is a heavier version of the Spanish flan made with condensed milk / evaporated milk and more egg yolks. Leche flan is usually steamed over an open flame or stove top, although rarely it can also be seen baked. Leche flan is a staple in celebratory feasts in the Philippines.

It is also probably the first time I will be steaming it, it makes sense you know, like how one would steam those savoury egg custard dishes, same logic here. And you dont’ need to use your oven, or set up a water bath for it.

aff leche flan

The ingredients are also simple, eggs, evaporated milk, and sugar. Traditionally, condensed milk was also used but based on this recipe that has been passed down from Trissalicious’ grandma, it doesn’t use condensed milk, but the whole of evaporated milk.

It’s very easy to make and you can also make it at home even if you do not have an oven! I’m sure you have a stove right ? Please tell me you have. :)

Leche Flan
adapted from Trissalicious
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 375 ml evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup sugar (additional)
  • 5 egg yolks plus 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla beans
  1. Boil the sugar in the sauce pan until dark brown and pour in a 23 cm metal cake pan and allow to harden.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine the evaporated milk, ¾ cups sugar, vanilla beans and eggs, whisk lightly. Place over a gentle heat and mix gently for a minute (you don’t want the eggs to cook). Pour the milk and egg mixture into the cake pan. Cover with foil.
  3. Steam the flan over slow heat for 40 to 45 minutes until the flan is set.
  4. Allow the flan to cool. Refrigerate the flan for a few hours. When ready to serve, run a knife around the sides of the cake pan. Place a large serving plate over the cake pan and flip over. Pour the extra caramel over the flan.

I loved it and it was very easy to make. My mom (surprisingly) said it was yummy and my bro loved it too! He said that it would put a smile on your face after the first spoon. :)

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – Philippines hosted by The Sweet Spot.

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