Christmas in the Philippines – Merienda, Noche Buena, Fiestas

Filipino’s don’t mess around when it comes to preparing Christmas meals. They pull out their famous family recipes for kare-kare, paella, leche flan, and more for the numerous christmas parties during the holiday season.

I went to quite a few xmas parties: with my friends, extended family, visiting relatives, family friends ++ over the break so you can just imagine the amount of delicious food prepared. I couldn’t help but try every dish served. My justification was that I’d be back in Vancouver, cooking for myself (which means salads and instant food), so might as well enjoy the well-made dishes while it’s in front of me! Here’s some of the food I had over the holidays:

My mom’s amazing slide-off-the-bone roast beef with potatoes, carrots, and gravy. SO GOOD.

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It’s not a Filipino party without some Paella. (Tasty rice, prawns, chicken, chorizo, hard boiled eggs, lemon, peppers, mussels…)

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SEAFOOD!!!!! Seafood. SEAFOOD. I literally love seafood and am deprived of it in Vancouver. Prawns and crabs are my favourite so it makes me really happy when my relatives get the biggest catch for our meals.

Prawns in olive oil and sautéed garlic, topped with bacon bits, dipped in lemon butter sauce.

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Prawns with melted cheese (can’t remember what kind) but it was delicious.

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Fried Tawilis. The Philippines has a wide variety of fish to offer but this is probably one of my favourite. Since it’s fried and tiny, you can eat the entire fish. Yes, including the head and fishbones. It’s crunchy goodness that should be accompanied with garlic rice (well, every meal should have rice).

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Crabs. Must be eaten with your hands. Dipped in either vinegar or lemon butter sauce.

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When you finish the main course and think you’re so full you couldn’t possibly eat any more…the dessert table is there to prove you wrong.

There’s banana bread, ensaymada, food for the gods, fruit cake, hot chocolate, coconut macaroons.

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This is only a third of the food I had over the break (go figure I need to get back to working out). Can’t wait to have some lechon and paella again!

Pam x

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