Carinderia fiesta

EAT’S EASY - Ernest Reynoso Gala (The Philippine Star) - December 19, 2013 - 12:00am

Three years ago many people were unaware that there were more than three million carinderias (usually family-owned eateries that made the best family heirloom recipes in the neighborhood), often a part of the home opened up due to the encouragement of relatives and friends so they could savor the best yet affordable dishes. This idea later started the home business, with all the members of the clan pitching in the kitchen or dining area, thus keeping their prices low and attractive to the working class or students on a budget.

San Miguel Purefoods president Francisco “Butch” Alejo, senior vice president Rita “Tatis” Palabyab, national sales director Enrico Zavalla, marketing manager Jake Lugay, product managers Rhoda David and Camille Juan decided to honor the hardworking owners and their staff with a real feast by hosting Carinderia Fiesta at the World Trade Center. This two-day event was open to the public so they could try and learn why these chosen establishments had made names for themselves.

So many small food concessionaires, canteen owners, food and product suppliers set up booths and answered queries from would be food entrepreneurs that filled every inch of the venue: Apples Cabate, owner of Aling Nene’s Restaurant on Zobel Roxas corner Osmeña Highway in Makati, famous for their pork barbecue; Isme Carinderia in Caloocan’s Elvira Chavez; Ma. Luisa Matsushita of Chezta Eatery in Carriedo, Manila; and Lorica Palcan of Mary Ann’s Catering.

San Miguel Purefoods gave a talk on what it takes to become the best in the business, maximizing income by reducing costs and minimizing wastage. Openrice.com gave tips on branding your identity, how to make your carinderia stand out, and how to maximize online marketing, while the National Meat Inspection Services emphasized the importance of proper poultry/meat storage and hygiene. Fashion designer Renee Salud showed how the owners and their staff must also look presentable, from correct grooming to clean uniforms.

People from the culinary world gave various tips on how to upgrade a carinderia to a more upscale image by putting up bigger, more modern signs. Also emphasized were food styling and plating tips from Melawares, where instead of just serving delectable dishes from the caldero (cauldron) onto a worn-out bowl or plate, restaurant owners should invest in plates and serving dishes. I also shared what I had observed during my college days, that the quality and quantity of rice should be good. Customers love eggs cooked any style and generous side dishes such as fried banana saba are greatly appreciated. Mom and I are deeply honored that for the past two years Jake Lugay has invited us to conduct a cooking demonstration two days in a row. Here are some recipes that any novice can follow:

Carinderia-style Magnolia free-range chicken

A) Ingredients:

One Magnolia Free Range chicken – 1 kilo.  Remove top ass, wing tips. 

Cut into 4 pcs.                   

1/4 cup Magnolia Nutri-Oil

1/4 cup very dark brown sugar

2 cups pineapple juice

1/2 cup Datu Puti soy sauce

1 whole star anise

2 heads peeled and crushed garlic           

B) For thickening:  1/4 cup AA cassava starch dispersed in 1/2 cup water.

Garnish:  8 whole parboiled and peeled banana saba

4 pineapple slices – cut each into 2.  8 leaves Baguio pechay – cut into 2-inch wide pcs.

D) Heat oil in a pressure cooker.  Add pechay and stir a few seconds.  Set aside pechay.  Add chicken pieces, skin side down.  When brown, add remaining ingredients in letter A.  Cover and cook over high fire.  When pressure cooker hisses, lower fire and continue cooking 30 minutes.  Release pressure.  Thicken with starch slurry.

E) Arrange pechay, saba, pineapple on serving platter.  Put chicken and sauce.  Serve 8 with rice. Optional: ¼ cup each of black and green olives for the holiday season.

Humba, Pampango Style

A) Ingredients:

500g. Monterey Patariffic

500g.marinated pork kasim from Monterey Pork Blood Trio (save blood for later use)

1/4 cup Datu Puti vinegar

1/4 cup Datu Puti soy sauce

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 whole star anise

1 cup water       

B) For thickening:  2 tbsps AA cassava starch dispersed in 1/4 cup water.

C) Garnish:  4 banana saba (plantain) cut in half, fry ahead of time.  1/4 cup dried, washed soaked and drained banana blossoms; 1/4cup coarsely chopped peanuts.

D) Procedure:  Put all ingredients of letter “A” in a pressure cooker.  Cook on high until pressure hisses. Lower fire and cook 30 min.  Release pressure.  Thicken sauce with starch slurry.

Pampango-Style Dinuguan

A)  Ingredients:

One pack Monterey Pork Blood Trio

Extra pack (300g.) pork blood from recipe #2

2 cups water

1/3 Datu Puti vinegar

3 tbsps dark brown sugar

3 pcs green finger chili  (haba, pangsigang)

B) Procedure:  Heat a medium pan with cover.  Add marinated meat.  Cover and cook on high 5 min.  Add water.  Cover and boil 20 min.  Add vinegar, sugar, finger chili.  Lastly add blood, stirring until thick.

C) Note:  The Monterey Pork Blood Trio is good as is.  We just wanted to use the extra blood from recipe #2.


Congratulations to Kitchen Elf, located at the Las Piñas Evia Lifestyle Center Ground Floor beside PowerBooks. From ingredients to chocolate candy making, sugar craft, showpiece utensils and tools, this one-stop shop is a premier baking destination for serious bakers and enthusiasts.

* * *

My cooking school, Galastars Culinary, will have professional cooking Level I, 20 lessons in the First week February While Level II, Sous Chef Course will also be conducted first week February. For reservations and inquiries, call 671-4498 / 72 / 89 or visit www.facebook/GalastarsCulinary.

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