This holiday season, why not add something unique to your menu of traditional Noche Buena dishes by adding ferments?
Fermented foods contain live microorganisms that aid in digestion and support immunity. Ferments can help transform the flavor of any dish by adding some complexity, tanginess, or depth where needed. By adding fermented food to your spread, you can create a memorable holiday meal. Not only are these dishes delicious and healthy, they also are great conversation starters as they are sure to intrigue and satiate any palate.
Add something new and exciting to your holiday meals with these five recipes to try this season.
1. Fizzy Pandan Soda
With all the sweets we’re sure to consume this season, fermented sodas are a welcome alternative to sugar-laden drinks. This recipe is quite possibly the easiest way to introduce good bacteria into your gut this holiday season. It is also very budget-friendly! This pandan soda recipe is a variation on the usual fermented ginger beer with its distinct pandan flavor so it is great for parties. Creating the starter is actually easy and in fact is the top ferment most viewed on our website. A surefire way of impressing family and friends while telling them about your fermentation journey, you can find the recipe here.
2. Adobo Tempeh sa Gata (Tempeh Adobo in Coconut Milk)
Got a vegan or vegetarian in your family? Here’s a delicious main that you can serve. In the Bicol region, we have adobo sa gata (chicken adobo cooked in coconut milk), the dish that inspired this creation. This kid-tested dish plays on the flavor profile of tempeh, the familiarity of adobo, melded beautifully with coconut milk. With pineapple chunks to amp the nutritional profile and to add a bit of natural sweetness and fiber, it is a great way to introduce this protein-packed, low in fat meat alternative to your gatherings. Find the full recipe here.
3. Kimchi Sotanghon Salad
Noodles are a staple when it comes to celebration spreads in Pinoy households and this is a great recipe to try. While this dish was designed to be consumed cold, this dish also works well in cold weather. As a fairly spicy dish, it might make you sweat, which helps our bodies regulate its temperature. It is a great make-ahead dish and can be prepared using whatever noodles you have on hand, including quick-cooking angel hair pasta for those surprise guests you might have this season. Simple, flavorful, and sure to make an impact, explore the recipe and the various substitutions you can make here.
What goes well with pandan leaves? Buko (young coconut)! We decided to make this fizzy buko pandan soda for something familiar. Using our pandan ginger bug, this refreshing drink has a mild flavor and does not have the condensed milk typical in buko pandan. If you want a stronger pandan flavor, you can swap one cup of strong pandan tea for one cup of buko juice. You can also make some pandan-infused sugar syrup and use that as sweetener. Check out the recipe and tips here.
5. Burong Musta Fried Rice
No meal–holiday or otherwise–is complete without rice. This dish is inspired by temple food (literally food served to the monks in temples) which are very simple dishes that use humble seasonal ingredients, often harvested from small farms or gardens within or near temple grounds. This recipe uses our burong mustasa in a very easy and approachable dish: friend rice. With fermentation mellowing down the sharpness of the mustard greens, the ginger and sesame oil making the rice aromatic, this fried rice recipe will not disappoint. Find the recipe here.