Delicious and body warming
Elena Peña (The Freeman) - July 6, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — As the rains have come once again, people long for food that is effective in warming the body. Most Filipinos would think of hot soup or hot “lugaw” (rice porridge). But some would have something else in mind, something more sophisticated.

Sophisticated means not organically Filipino, because original Filipino dishes are simple, in both ingredients and cooking procedure. A sophisticated dish is often something of foreign origin, and has been assimilated into the local cuisine. Perhaps from Spain, since that country has had ruled the Philippines for several centuries.

There’s no question about the strong Spanish influence in contemporary Filipino cuisine. It is said, humorously though, that when Spanish and Chinese dishes are combined the result is Filipino cuisine. The most common Spanish dishes among Filipinos are paella, afritada, estofado, callos and the sweet leche flan.

Of those, perhaps callos is one that not so popular among the masses. Many people think it is reserved for the well-to-do. But anyone who has tried the dish surely longs for the taste and texture. It is rich but not necessarily oily, a good body warmer during the rainy season. Caution though, callos is in high fat and cholesterol.

Also known as ox tripe stew elsewhere, callos is a stew common across Spain, and is considered traditional to Madrid, where it is referred to as “callos a la madrileña.” It contains beef tripe and chickpeas, sausage and bell peppers. Chorizo Bilbao is often the sausage used.

The Filipino version of callos is simpler. The beef tripe is boiled until tender, sliced it into strips, and then cooked in pork and beans with bell peppers. The cooks that want to get closer to the original Madrid version won’t do it without chickpeas and sausage. They even tend to extend it at times by including beef shanks or sliced ox feet and carrots.

The Filipino version of callos tastes great when made with the right ingredients, which are easy to find in the supermarket. For tenderizing the beef tripe, pressure cooker may be used to save on time. Contrary to popular belief, callos does not at all have to cost much or be difficult to do.

The following callos recipe shared by Vanjo Merano at is good to try at home:

Pinoy Callos


2 lbs Beef Tripe, pre-cooked and sliced in strips

4 pcs Chorizo Bilbao, sliced diagonally

1 can (8 oz.) Tomato Sauce

1 cup Beef Broth

1 can (16 oz.) Pork-and-Beans

6 pcs small Sweet Peppers (red and yellow), sliced

1 medium Onion (yellow), diced

1 teaspoon whole Peppercorn

½ teaspoon Garlic Powder

3 tablespoons Cooking Oil

Salt to taste


1. Heat the oil in a cooking pot. Sauté the onion, and then add the whole peppercorn and continue to cook until the onions get soft.

2. Add the cooked tripe. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add the Chorizo Bilbao. Stir and cook for 2 minute.

4. Pour-in the tomato sauce, then add the beef broth. Stir. Let boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Add the pork-and-beans. Stir. Cook for 5 minutes.

6. Put-in the sweet peppers. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes.

7. Add the garlic powder and salt to taste. Stir.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve. Share and enjoy! This recipe serves four persons.


Note: Pork-and-beans is a convenient alternative to chick peas (garbanzos).

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