My Family’s Filipino Favorites Revolve Around Meat. Then I Started Cooking Vegetarian.

I grew up in a Filipino household where meat was always on the table. Some days, we’d have inihaw na liempo, or grilled marinated pork belly; other days, it was corned beef silog—sautéed canned corned beef with garlic fried rice and egg. Every family g…

I grew up in a Filipino household where meat was always on the table. Some days, we'd have inihaw na liempo, or grilled marinated pork belly; other days, it was corned beef silog—sautéed canned corned beef with garlic fried rice and egg. Every family gathering had barbecue pork and offal in skewers; lumpia, or spring rolls filled with ground pork; pancit, thin rice noodles tossed with pork and mixed vegetables; even the occasional lechon—a whole-roasted pig. Whether it was traditional Filipino food or not, meat was always there.

When I first moved out of my parents' house, I cooked the same type of meals: perfectly fluffy white rice paired with any meat dish, and a simply prepared side of vegetables. I lived in a small studio apartment with one working burner and no oven, which meant I had to rely on my rice cooker and a convection toaster oven. But I didn't mind it at all. I loved cooking alone, and it wasn’t too difficult to put together nourishing, no-need-to-overthink meals that reminded me of home.

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The Virtues of Canned Fruit Salad

Nearly eight years later, I can so vividly recall this one New York winter day: I’m with my older sister, Upe, who is in her final days of pregnancy. I’m here to hold her hand and antsy to cradle my nephew. And Esther, her sister-in-law has brought a F…

Nearly eight years later, I can so vividly recall this one New York winter day: I'm with my older sister, Upe, who is in her final days of pregnancy. I’m here to hold her hand and antsy to cradle my nephew. And Esther, her sister-in-law has brought a Filipino fruit salad for the occasion. One that stuns me with its texture, vibrancy, deliciousness, ease and most of all, how powerfully it transports me back to childhood.

Growing up, whenever there was a party at our house (and there were many), from birthdays to “meetings” to other reasons to gather and feast, huge bowls of fresh fruit, diced jelly, and evaporated milk would tailgate Jollof rice, dodo, and other savory delights. We’d enjoy the chilled, creamy fruit salad topped with globes of vanilla ice cream and slices of cream cake, a sundae of sorts.

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The Filipino-Style Flan That Takes Me Back to My Childhood

There are a million ways to cook with eggs and we’ve partnered with Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs—whose family-run, free-range farms produce delicious, all-organic eggs—to share a few of our favorites. Here, Food Stylist and Recipe Developer Amelia Ram…

There are a million ways to cook with eggs and we've partnered with Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs—whose family-run, free-range farms produce delicious, all-organic eggs—to share a few of our favorites. Here, Food Stylist and Recipe Developer Amelia Rampe shares a few creative riffs on the Filipino-style flan she grew up loving (think: spicy horchata, ginger-turmeric, and more!).


Before I moved to Brooklyn, I lived in Seattle for 12 years. I had a wonderful community of women there, and every month or so I would invite them over for wine and cheese parties.

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