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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.

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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.

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Asian Food Fest : Philippines

Asian Food Fest: Indochina hosted by Kelly has ended with lots of entries. Hop on over here to see more of the entries. Now let’s move to another part of Asia, the Philippines! I’m glad to host even though I’m not familiar with Philippines cuisine at all. Before I went to Boracay in April this year, I only have very little knowledge about the Filipino Cuisine. Well, it still is a something new for me and I’m hoping to learn more with all the entries submitted this month.

Asian Food Fest is a virtual event where we cook dishes for each designated country/region of the month right in the comfort of our own kitchen and share it on Facebook. Everybody is welcomed!


The Philippine cuisine had its influence from Malay, Spanish, Chinese and American culture. Spain’s culture is one of the most influential on food in the Philippines. Spanish colonizers and friars in the 16th century brought with them produce from the Americas like chili peppers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes and the method of sauteing with garlic and onions. Spanish dishes were eventually incorporated into the Philippine cuisine with the more complex dishes such as arroz a la valenciana (similar to a paella). Spanish chorizo also influenced to having Philippine longganisa (sausage).

Having said that, the type and flavour of food eaten varies from area to area in the Philippines. The staple food in some areas are rice whereas it may be cassava in some. Rice is most commonly available in every meal in the Philippines. The Bicol people of the southernmost portion of Luzon and western Mindanao Muslims are the only groups that extensively use hot peppers in their cooking. (more…)


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