Filipino Garlic Fried Rice

This classic Filipino dish is known colloquially as “sinangag” and consists of rice that is fried with fresh garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper. It is usually eaten for breakfast in the Philippines and is often served with dishes such as fried eggs, corned beef or fried beef tapa. In my home we sometimes eat it in place of toast when we have a fry up (eggs, bacon, sausage and beans). However it can also be made as a dinner time side dish. This is a brilliant way of using up any left over rice you have – in fact it actually works better with day-old rice that has been stored in the fridge as it is firmer than freshly prepared rice, therefore the grains will tend to stay whole as they are fried. This is such an easy dish to make and is so full of flavour.

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Filipino Garlic Fried Rice Recipe

Serves: 6

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 600g cooked basmati rice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 0.5 tsp salt

METHOD

  1. Add the oil to a wok or a heavy bottomed frying pan and heat using a medium heat.
  2. In the meantime use a large wooden spoon to break down the cooked rice and separate the grains.
  3. Add the garlic to the wok and stir for around 2-3 minutes until it is soft and is starting to go brown.
  4. Add the rice and the garlic powder, pepper and salt and stir four 5-6 minutes until the grains are tender.

NOTES

  • For a Filipino breakfast serve with fried eggs, beef tapa or fried corned beef and onions.
  • This is also perfect as a dinner side dish.

Filipino Beef Tapa

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Beef Tapa typically consists of pieces of lean beef marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi (a kumquat-mandarin orange hybrid fruit) juice, garlic and brown sugar, before being fried with onions. This dish is commonly eaten in the Philippines for breakfast along with garlic fried rice (sinangag) and fried egg (itlog). When all three are featured together in a meal it is known colloquially as “tapsilog”, a blend of the words “tapa”, “sinangag” and “itlog”. In my home we actually eat this as a dinner dish instead of breakfast.

The beef itself is tender a little tangy due to the calamansi in the marinade. It has that rich deep and savoury unami flavour from the soy sauce and the fried onions. Then there is the sweetness from the sugar which caramelises slightly in the frying process. It’s so tasty.

This dish is really easy to prepare, but needs a bit of organisation due to the long marinating time – marinating is a must! The calamansi juice for the marinade can also be difficult to obtain, so this can be substituted with lemon juice. I also include an additional step, which is to boil the marinated meat in water to tenderise it further, before frying. However, this is not a necessary step, I just prefer my meat to be a little more tender, also my fussy toddler is more likely to eat this dish if the meat is a little softer.


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Filipino Beef Tapa Recipe

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Marinating Time: 8 hours to overnight

Cooking Time: 30 – 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 750 g beef steak strips
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed or grated
  • 4 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 15 ml calamansi juice (you can get this here) or juice of half a lemon
  • 120 ml reduced salt soy sauce
  • 1 and a half medium onions sliced
  • 450 ml water
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil or vegetable oil

METHOD

  1. Place the beef in a non-metallic bowl. Add the garlic, brown sugar and calamansi juice and mix well. Add in the soy sauce and mix well again. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 8 hours or over night.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to drain the marinade from the meat.
  3. OPTIONAL: Place the meat in a tall frying pan or wok – I would recommend the Sky Light Wok Pan, it’s a versatile good quality wok, you can find out more about it here. Add the water and boil on a high heat until the water has evaporated. This takes around 20-25 minutes.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to a clean pan. Add the onions and fry on a medium high heat until soft and translucent. Set onions aside.
  5. Add the remaining oil to the same pan and fry the beef on a medium high heat for 7-10 minutes. Stir in the fried onions.

NOTES

  • Serve with garlic fried rice, fried egg and slices of fresh tomato for the classic Filipino tapsilog.
  • Sautéed mushrooms also work really well as a side for this dish.