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The Perfect Longganisa

The longganisas of the Philippines are as varied as its people.  Each are unique and very special and to many, it holds such profound gravity, to a point that it conveniently became one of the key factors on one’s regional identity.  For example, the longganisas of Pampanga are sweet like its people.  The northern conterpart, Vigan, is renowned for their savory and garlicky longganisa.  Other regions are interestingly shaped smaller or larger.  Then again, all of those are special at their own ways.  However, in my 20 years in the States, I have never encountered a longganisa close to the flavours of home.  I call it the “Perfect Longganisa”–lots of native garlic, a little sweet, a little salty, a hint of vinegar, and just the right amount of fat and meat.  And since I’ve been home, I’ve been trying to make up for all those years I’ve missed Isabela longganisa.  Don’t worry, I don’t eat it everyday or every week.  It’s served every other week and in small quantity–I’m not lying!

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Cooked gently by first placing these freshly made Isabela longganisas on a dry kawali. Cover and turn on heat, keep it to the lowest setting. These beauties will cook in its own juice, avoid lifting the lid too much. After about 20 to 30 minutes, remove the lid and turn longganisas once with a pair of tongs. Let remaining juice evaporate and encourage caramelization, turning longannisas as dim feet for even coloring. The rendered fat will aid browning.

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