You don’t have to step on a plane to bring Philippine flavours into your kitchen. With restrictions easing, all you have to do is go to your local Filipino store to get those food cravings in check.
Here are seven must-have items to stock in your kitchen to prepare traditional Filipino dishes – with a gourmet twist – to get you through the wintry months.
- Mama Sita’s Heirloom Rice Champorado – deep purple, midly sticky and chewy ancestral Balatinaw rice harvested from the mist-hugged mountain terraces of Bauko, Mountain Province. Mix it with chocolate from heirloom cacao trees from Davao to enjoy a traditional Filipino breakfast (or afternoon snack!). The best of the north and the south of the country combined.
Pesticide-free ingredients because, you know, it’s gourmet champorado, dahling!
- Mama Sita’s Vinegar Sampler – before apple cider vinegar became a thing in the world of health and fitness, vinegar was already a condiment regularly found on Filipino diniing tables. Check this three-in-one box featuring coconut vinegar, spicy vinegar and sweet black pepper vinaigrette.
- Mama Sita’s Labuyo (Bird’s Eye Pepper Red Hot Pepper Sauce) – three times a charm. Any self-respecting Filipino foodie or chef should have at least three items from famous Filipino brand Mama Sita. This world-class food manufacturer has done so much to fix OFW homesickness that the Philippine government has issued a postage stamp in honour of the founder Mama Sita Reyes (just like the Queen!).
All Mama Sita products are available in more than 2,000 retail outlets (Asian and non-Asian) in Australia and New Zealand so you won’t have trouble shopping around for them. IG: @mamasitarecipes
- C Coconut Water – you’d need a cool drink after all that yummy Filipino food. While there are many coconut water drinks to choose from, this one stands out for two reasons – it’s 100% coconut water grown in organic farms and owned by an Australian company that supports sustainable farming in the Philippines. Help boost two economies – that of your birth country and your adopted one! coconutwater.com
- Absolute Organic Coconut Amino Sauce – this is a healthy alternative to soy sauce if you want more of the flavour but less of the sodium (76% less, in fact). Go on, you know you want to try it next time you cook chicken adobo!
Available in over 1,000 retail shops and select health stores around Australia.
- Jimalie Organic Virgin Coconut Oil – when you have more than 7,000 islands, you can’t help but enjoy coconuts as a drink, condiment and cooking ingredient. We love Jimalie because it’s an Australian start up business giving back to the communities in Davao, where this coconut oil product is from. And because they apply a chemical-free, low-temperature process to patiently extract coconut oil, Jimalie promises a product that is as close to raw coconut oil in flavour and consistency as you can get. Perfect for salads, smoothies and as a general health supplement. www.jimalie.com.au
- Dried mangoes – there’s dried mangoes and there’s 7D dried mangoes. This is probably one of the more familiar products available, even making it to the hallowed aisles of Australian supermarket Woolworths and Coles. An alternative to other sugary snacks because of its fiber content and, most of all, it will transport you to one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, Cebu City.
The Australian Filipina proudly supports sustainable farming in the Philippines. With thanks to the Philippine Trade & Investment Centre in Sydney for the sample products especially delivered from the Philippines to our Sydney HQ. Salamat!