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5 Ways To Cook And Serve Local Longanisa

The ideal breakfast, according to me, would be a plateful of sizzling hot longanisa fried to perfection, with garlic fried rice, eggs fried sunny side up and a pot of black coffee. Longanisa, those luscious links of pork encased in hogskin casings, are our local answer to the Spanish chorizo. Every region in the Philippines has its own signature longanisa, each with its own distinct flavoring and coloring. Respected food writer Doreen Fernandez observed that Philippine longanisa fell into two categories: the hamonado or sweet, and the recado, which are the spicy, vinegar-flavored sausages. And while they make for wonderful breakfast food, these little links are packed with so much flavor that using them as an ingredient makes the resulting dish so much better. Even a little bit will go a long way. Cotton Sevilla of Sevilla&Sons shares some easy ideas to get creative with longanisa. She says the best way to enjoy longanisa is still in its simplest form, just fried or grilled, with the fattiness of the meat offsetting its crispy charred skin. We say, try it five ways:

 

Punch up your salad 

This Spanish-style longanisa is perfect on its own, but it certainly gives heft to any salad. We suggest you experiment with a variety of salad styles and ingredients. Toss with tomatoes, scallions, garlic, black pepper, sea salt, olive oil and cherry vinegar to get a refreshing side dish. Crumble sausages and add to your potato salad. The possibilities are endless. 

 

Spanish Sausage Salad 

Serves 4 to 6 

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 6 cups salad greens 
  • 1 cup red kidney beans, soaked in water and boiled 
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced Spanish sausages, cooked 

1. In a jar, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and shake to mix. Set aside. 

2. Place salad greens in a bowl. Top with kidney beans and slices of Spanish sausage. 

3. Toss salad gently with the dressing before serving. 

 

Quick, tasty and filling 

Bursting with garlicky, salty-spicy flavor, the famous Vigan longanisa is the perfect meat if you want pasta with a Pinoy touch. You can render the fat of the longanisa in the pan and use it as a “sauce” for the pasta, binding the longanisa’s bold flavor even more. You can also punch it up by adding chili flakes. Or add Vigan longanisa to pasta with a cream-based sauce. 

 

 

Vigan Longanisa Pasta 

Serves 4 to 6 

  • 500 grams fettuccine pasta, cooked according to package directions 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup chopped garlic 
  • 500 grams Vigan longanisa, skinless (hubad
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives 
  • fresh parsley or basil, chopped 

1. In a saucepan, heat olive oil. Add chopped garlic and cook Vigan longanisa. 

2. Add cherry tomatoes and black olives. Cook for about 8 minutes. 

3. Add cooked pasta and toss gently to coat with the sauce. Garnish with parsley or basil before serving. 

 

One dish wonder 

There’s nothing more comforting or savory than a rice casserole in all its flavorful glory. Sausage makes for the perfect addition. This dish is so easy to make and lends itself to many variations. Add green peas, bits of chicken and top with fried egg. Cook with jasmine rice and sprinkle with basil, oregano and thyme. Punch up the flavor with chili or cayenne pepper. It’s all good. 

 

 

Spanish Sausage Rice Casserole 

Serves 4 to 6 

  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots 
  • 2 Spanish sausages, sliced 
  • 2 cups rice, uncooked 
  • 1/2 cup cooked red kidney beans 
  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock 
  • salt and pepper, to taste 
  • chopped chives, optional 
  • chopped parsley 

1. In a pot, heat oil and sauté shallots and garlic until fragrant. 

2. Add sausages and fry until golden in color. Add rice and kidney beans, mix well to coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper. 

3. Pour in stock and cook rice until all liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. 

4. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with chives or parsley if desired. 

 

Build a burger 

The sweet, spicy flavor of Cebu longanisa lends special flair to this fresh and easy sandwich. Grilling gives it a distinctive smokiness. To up the ante, you can make your own longanisa patties: remove the longanisa meat from its casing. Form into patties then grill. You can slather with banana ketchup and mayo for a very Pinoy kind of burger. 

 

 

 

Burgers 

Serves 4 

  • 8 Cebu longanisa 
  • 4 sesame buns, split in half 
  • 1 cup caramelized onions 
  • arugula greens or coleslaw 
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese 

1. Fry or grill the longanisa. Slice each piece horizontally in two. 

2. Put longanisa slices on sesame bun. Top with caramelized onions, arugula greens or coleslaw and cheese. Top with the other sesame bun half. 

3. Heat in an oven toaster until cheese melts. 

 

Simple skewers 

Inspired by grilled chorizo kebabs popular in tapas bars all over Spain, this is so easy you can make it every weekend. And your guests, if you have any, will love them. The bold red Ilonggo longanisa is sweetish and fatty, but you can use any longanisa you want. A nice variation is to thread longanisa with cherry tomatoes, fish fillets, red onions and serve with baguette—perfect for your cookout party. 

 

 

Grilled Ilonggo Longanisa Skewers 

Serves 4 

  • 12 Ilonggo longanisa 
  • 1 zucchini, cut into cubes 
  • 1/4 cup roasted garlic 
  • 8 shallots, peeled 
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, drained 

1. Preheat the griller. 

On 4 metal skewers, thread Ilonggo longanisa, zucchini, roasted garlic, shallots and pineapple chunks. 

2. Grill skewers for about 15 minutes or until longanisa are cooked through. 

 

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This article was originally published in Food Magazine Issue 1, 2017

Photography by Paulo Valenzuela

Styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz

Set styling by Athena Fregillana