Every Independence Day deserves a showstopper of a cake, and this Flag Cake delivers! My husband is from the Philippines, so we always like to have a little celebration to honor their Independence Day, which is June 12th. Filipinos actually have a second day, July read more
I love traveling: discovering new places, seeing new things, and especially eating new things. Even though exotic destinations have been put on hold, there are still plenty of fun and interesting destinations here at home. One city I visit often that always inspires me in the kitchen is Chicago. And this summer I stopped by for a quick breakfast at the cute and insta-ready Wake N’ Bacon. There are lots of creative and over the top breakfast places in Chi-Town but what drew me there was the Filipino influence on some of their menu items. And the one thing that caught my eye immediately was their Halo Halo Chia Pudding. A combination of chia pudding with colorful fruity toppings? Yup, ordering one right up.
Breakfast For Dessert
Don’t you love when breakfast can double for dessert? Such is the case with Halo halo. Halo halo means “mix-mix” and it is one of the iconic sweet dishes in the Philippines. Endlessly customizable, I modeled my chia pudding after Wake N’ Bacon’s and loaded it with fruit, coconut milk, and protein packed chia seeds. Since there’s no sugar in this chia pudding, I added a couple of sweet touches that you typically see in halo halo. Some cubes of coconut jelly and a dollop of condensed milk give it just enough sweetness that you could legitimately serve it as either breakfast or dessert. Day or night, the combination of textures and flavors will have you clamoring for more.
Plus, you will love the convenience of making it ahead and having a fresh, colorful grab and go breakfast in the fridge. Perfect for easing back into the school routine…
What is Halo halo?
Typically enjoyed as a dessert throughout the Philippines, this summer time treat is a playful mix of everything from shaved ice, scoops of ice cream, chunks of flan, and every variety of fruit, jellies, cereal, and sweet beans, all artfully layered in tall glasses or big bowls. It’s served with a spoon to “mix-mix” it all up.
For our breakfast version though we are going to forgo the ice cream, flan, and shaved ice, for a streamlined and healthier version. I opt instead for chia pudding layered with coconut jelly and fruit.
The chia seeds are so light that they have a tendency to float on top of the liquid, so you need to mix them really well, and then mix them again a few minutes later to make sure they aren’t clumping together.
After about 10 minutes, the chia pudding should have thickened, and it will thicken more as it chills. While the chia seeds are busy absorbing the liquid, I prep the fruit.
Pour the chia pudding on top of the berries. Then top with more fruit and chill for a couple of hours.
A few things: if you are making these the day before, leave the cereal topping off until right before serving so they are the right crunchy texture. You can also make these in storage containers to pack in the fridge and take on the go. They last a couple of days but no more than that or the fresh fruit will not be so fresh.
If you want to make these dairy free/vegan, you can omit the condensed milk. There is canned condensed coconut milk you can use instead. And if you are a thief of joy and want to use a healthier cereal than Fruity Pebbles, go for it, but Fruity Pebbles add the perfect crunch and pop of color. Nothing turns that first day of school frown upside down faster.
I hope you love this breakfast treat as much as we do. If you make it, let us know. Leave a comment or rate the recipe below. And let’s see those beautiful Halo halos-tag us @funkyasiankitchen.
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut cream or milk
- 3/4 cup water
- ½ cup condensed milk
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup nate de coco (coconut jelly)*
- 8 tablespoons fruity pebbles or other crunchy cereal
- In a medium bowl or tall mixing glass, mix together the chia seeds, water, and coconut milk. The chia seeds are very light so you need to mix well. After a couple of minutes, mix again to make sure all of the chia is soaking in the coconut milk and there are no pockets of dry grains.
- Let the chia seeds continue absorbing the liquid and thickening, about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, prep the fruit:
- Wash the strawberries. Next cut off the stems of the strawberries and cut into quarters. Set aside.
- Wash the blueberries and set aside.
- Use 4 clear wine glasses or small clear bowls for your puddings. At the bottom of each cup put 2 tablespoons each of the nate de coco, chopped strawberries, and blueberries.
- Evenly pour the chia pudding on top of the fruit in the four glasses. Next top each pudding with 2 tablespoons of nate de coco, strawberries, and blueberries.
- Cover the chia pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve, pour a couple of tablespoons of condensed milk on top of the pudding and top with the fruity pebbles.
- Then mix-mix (halo halo) and enjoy.
*Nato de coco, little cubes of coconut jelly, can be found in Asian markets. You can also use any of the flavored ones used for bubble tea.
*This pudding chills up firm. If you prefer a looser, softer pudding, increase the water to 1 cup.
Keywords: halo halo, chia, chia pudding, healthy breakfast, filipino food
Sometimes you just want a simple but delicious dessert-you know, when you’re done with dinner, but still craving a little sweet bite. Turon, a Filipino specialty, really fits the bill. Basically a dessert version of the famed Lumpia spring rolls enjoyed all over the Philippines, read more
For several months now, I’ve been hearing about this start up company called Omsom. From Food and Wine to Vogue to Epicurious, it keeps showing up in all my buzzy food media. Founded by the daughters of Vietnamese immigrants, Omsom aims to bring authentic and complex South Asian flavor to the home cook in under 30 minutes- you just supply the veggies and protein. I’m always happy to support Asian women entrepreneurs, but after the devastating events in Atlanta last week, it seems more important than ever to amplify and support their voices. So, I ordered their Southeast Asian starter pack to see what all the fuss was about.
The first thing you notice is Omsom’s packaging: bold, bright, and colorful. It really lives up to their motto of “loud and proudly Asian”. Each starter pack also comes with recipe cards. The sisig starter has cane vinegar and calamansi puree, two Filipino ingredients that can be hard to find. Calamansi is a tiny little citrus fruit that has a sweet zest but intensely sour juice.
What is Sisig?
Sisig isn’t widely known outside of Filipino communities, probably because traditional sisig is made from the parts of the pig that we rarely use here, and may be a bit squeamish eating. Pig’s head/ears/snout are combined with some chopped pork, then stir fried with intensely aromatic ingredients. As you can probably guess, it’s a dish that was created to use up all of the scrap meats that remain from lechon (roast suckling pig) and other pork dishes: a wisely frugal way of avoiding food waste! Sisig is considered a bar snack so it’s almost always served with ice cold beer-which is something we can all get behind…
Let’s (Loudly and Proudly) Go!
For my version of sisig, I went with ground dark chicken and chicken gizzards to add a similarly earthy flavor, while making it more accessible. Don’t skip the gizzards! They add interesting texture and depth to an otherwise soft dish, but if you’ve never cooked with them before don’t worry, I will walk you through prepping them.
First, peel off any ‘skin’ if there is any, it will be greenish and leathery. Next, remove the cartilage between the lobes with a knife. The cartilage is pretty hard to chew, almost like a rubber band, so it’s best to remove it. And finally, cut the gizzards into smaller pieces so they are easier to cook and mix into the ground meat.
Once the gizzards (we really need to come up with a more appetizing name) are cleaned and prepped, it is time to start cooking. This is a simple stir-fry that starts with lightly browning some onions to boost the flavor. The key when stir-frying/sautéing ground meat is not to touch it before it has had a chance to brown. Moving it around as soon as it hits the pan is a recipe for disaster. You’ll create a soupy mixture that’s bland and takes forever to dry out. Don’t be scared to leave it alone!
These packets from Omsom are called starters for a reason-they are meant to be a starting off point for you to customize dishes to your taste. They give you the hard to find ingredients in one convenient package, and you bring the rest. My family likes a lot of seasoning and assertive flavors, so I added plenty of salt and lots of lime juice and threw in some extra chilis as well. Salty, citrusy, spicy-that’s our jam.
Punch Up The Flavor!
At the very end, raw eggs are stirred in, which is traditional and necessary. They create a very loose scramble that gives the dish body and structure. Once you’re about ready to serve, it’s time to add whatever additional flavors you want. Stir in some may0nnaise if you want added creaminess. Jazz up your finished Sisig with the reserved chopped onions for some crunch, lime juice or a splash of vinegar for tang, and chili flakes or hot sauce if you want more heat. As with most dishes Asian, feel free to serve it alongside some steamed rice as an accompaniment. And don’t forget the beer!
This was a really fun cooking experiment, and Omsom has lots of different starters available. Try some today to both support a small family business, and expand your repertoire of Asian dishes. If you try my take on their sisig, we want to hear about it! Leave a comment down below, rate the recipe, and of course tag us in your insta pics @funkyasiankitchen.
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
- ½ large red onion, finely chopped divided
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 packets Omsum Sisig Flavor Seasoning
- 1 pound ground chicken (preferably dark meat)
- 1 pound chicken gizzards
- 2 eggs
- 1 lime, cut into quarters
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
- 1–2 red chilis (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- First clean the gizzards. Peel off any hard skin if there is any (it will be leathery and slightly greenish). Next trim off the white band of cartilage between gizzard sections. Then cut the gizzards into small pieces. Set aside.
- Heat a heavy 10 inch skillet over high heat. Add the oil and ¾ of the chopped onions, saving the rest for garnish.
- Stir fry for 1 minute, constantly moving the onions around. You want the onions softened and slightly browned. Add the minced garlic and cook for 10 seconds.
- Move the onions to the side of the pan and add the chicken and the gizzards.
- Let the meat brown for 2 minutes before breaking it up and stirring (Ground meat has a tremendous amount of liquid. If you start stirring the meat when you add it to the pan you will end up with a ton of liquid in the pan).
- Break up the meat with a wooden spoon or chopsticks and continue to cook on high heat for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to cook off the majority of the liquid.
- Add the spice paste and stir it into the meat. Taste the mixture and season with salt, pepper, and chilis as desired. Add mayonnaise if using and stir it in.
- Make a well in the middle of the meat mixture and crack the eggs into the well. Turn off the heat and stir the mixture gently. The heat from the pan will gently cook the eggs making the dish rich and saucy.
- Add the remaining onions and serve with the limes.
Keywords: sisig, omsom, filipino food