If you’ve ever held an interest in cooking Filipino fare, chances are you’ve come across Panlasang Pinoy—a Filipino food-focused cooking blog owned by Chicago-based Filipino IT professional Vanjo Merano. With a repertoire that ranges from everyday ulam fare to special-occasion desserts and from their classic roots to modern reinterpretations, written in an accessible yet informative manner, it’s no wonder the Panlasang Pinoy has become a hit with Filipinos and foreigners alike.
“I grew up eating mostly Filipino food,” shares Merano, who defines Filipino food as “any type of food recognized and enjoyed in the Philippines by Filipinos”, including both traditional fare as well as dishes borrowed from other cultures and adapted to the local palate. “My mom is a great cook, so I had the privilege to taste and experience the real flavor profile of certain dishes.” Merano would begin observing her as she cooked his favorite dishes, and soon, she would pass on the gift and teach him the basics of cooking as the years went on. He opened the Panlasang Pinoy blog in 2009, as a way to share his love for the craft and encourage readers to cook.
Moreover, the blog aims to share the joys of Filipino food to the world. “I observed that not all people know what Filipino food is all about. If you ask a random person here in the US about Filipino food [for example], chances are that they do not have an idea,” he laments. By publishing recipes and sharing his knowledge, however, he hopes to be able to help bridge that gap. “I believe that Filipino food is worth bragging about . . . I want non-Filipinos to learn and acknowledge our culture by trying our food.” Though he emphasizes putting a focus on traditional techniques and flavors, Merano acknowledges that traditional ingredients might not always be available or accessible. He keeps an open mind and makes it a point to suggest alternative ingredients wherever possible—for as long as the original essence of the dish is still preserved.
For our recipe, we took two hit Panlasang Pinoy recipes—Pork and Chicken Adobo, a dish of pork and chicken braised in a mix of soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, and other seasonings; and Lumpiang Shanghai, a popular finger food of fried spring rolls filled with a ground meat mixture—and merged them into a one-of-a-kind creation. We take the adobo and incorporate it into rice, which happily soaks up its juices while giving the dish a starchy, filling backbone. This tasty melange is then stuffed into spring roll wrappers, rolled into the emblematic lumpia form, and deep-fried to a golden brown hue. We made use of a special ingredient: Knorr Pork Cubes, which lends a meaty umami undertone that helps bring out the other flavors and tie all parts together. The resulting dish combines the best of both worlds: adobo’s flavor-packed, salty-tangy goodness, and the flaky crunch of lumpia that contrasts beautifully with the rice, into one tasty, handheld package that’s hard to stop at one piece of.
“Knorr products make Filipino dishes taste better by bringing out flavors that should stand out,” shares Merano. One bite of this dish and you’ll see why we couldn’t agree more.
Adobo Rice Lumpia
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients: Adobo Rice Lumpia
- 1 tbsp. cooking oil
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- ½ cup diced leftover adobo, plus ¼ cup sauce
- 1 tbsp KLS
- 8 pcs. lumpia wrapper
- Oil, for frying
- Pickled ginger, optional
Procedure: Adobo Rice
- In a pan over medium heat, heat oil.
- Add garlic and saute, about 1 minute.
- Add rice and toss. Add adobo, sauce, and Knorr Liquid Seasoning and stir until heated through.
- Set mixture aside to cool.
Procedure: Adobo Rice Lumpia
- Heat oil in a deep skillet.
- Take about ¼ cup of the rice mixture and wrap in lumpia wrapper, sealing edged with water. Continue until all the rice is used, making about 8 pieces of lumpia.
- Fry lumpia in the oil until golden brown and crispy, about a minute per side.
- Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel and serve with pickles.