It was the egg slices that were my kids’ favorite part. My boys ate the embutido slices as fast as they could, to get to the hardboiled egg. Before they got to the middle of the Filipino meatloaf, embutido (say “emh-boo-tee-doe”), they’d first dig through the ground pork mixture of onions, garlic, white bread slices soaked in milk, tart-sweet pickle relish, the crunchy grated carrots, the surprise of raisins, and heartily flavored with the Filipino banana ketchup.
This was our embutido, the Filipino food’s classic meatloaf. I’ve cooked it forever. From the time my kids were little and I could mash it up even further for them. To when they were of school age and I’d pack it in their lunch boxes paired with boiled jasmine white rice. And when they went off to college and to this day, now that my sons are young adults on their own. I still cook a couple of embutido loaves and send it back with them to their apartment.
I learned this recipe from my late mom. It was a classic, like many Filipino family recipes she taught me. How I wish my mom was still around for the many cooking questions I still have. This is why when I read about “The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook” on Amazon.com my interest was piqued. Even better, when author, Patricia Tanumihardja sent me a copy, I was elated.
The “Asian Grandmothers Cookbook” is a kitchen companion for all levels of cooking. Whether you’re a newbie, an intermediate cook or a gourmand, this is one of the best references for Asian cooking. First of all, every Asian recipe refers to a grandmother. How can anyone beat grandma’s wisdom, prowess, expertise and love she showered by way of food. These 100+ recipes in the cookbook cover dishes from grandmothers of these Southeast Asian countries : China, Japan, Korea, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and yes, the Philippines, my own roots.
The author has patiently put together everything a cook needs for menu planning. There is a list and explanation of various Asian ingredients, cooking methods and techniques, measurements, gorgeous photographs to illustrate ingredients and dishes, and best of all, background stories of several grandmothers from these Asian countries.
The author, Pat described the recipes in this cookbook typical of Asian culture “ Most of the recipes can be served family-style. “
She further said in the book “ an Asian meal tends to be a communal affair with everyone around the table helping themselves to the various dishes and composing a personal meal. Hence, most of the recipes serve 4 to 6 people.”
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the cookbook from end to end, and will be cooking lots more Filipino and Asian cuisine from it. Like an array of a Asian dishes, the sumptuous variety of grandmother’s recipes in this cookbook is like a steady, dependable, dear old “lola”–a Filipino grandma, with wise words, advice and love abundant in every menu offering.
Embutido Pork Meatloaf
- 2 slices white bread cut in cubes, about 2 cups
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 whole onion chopped (3/4 cup) onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 whole small carrot peeled and grated ( about 1/2 cup)
- 1 whole small red bell pepper seeded, white membrane removed, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground pork
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
- 11/2 teaspoons ground black pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 whole hard-boiled eggs sliced
- banana ketchup (Filipino brand) for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, soak the bread cubes in the milk until soft, about 5 minutes. Mix in the beaten egg and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until it becomes runny and starts to shimmer. Add the onion, garlic and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the carrot and bell pepper and cook until heated through, another 1 to 2 minutes. Let the vegetable mixture cool for about 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetable mixture to the bread mixture, followed by the ground meat, raisins, relish, pepper and salt. Mix well.
- To assemble the embutido: pre-grease a 12-inch loaf pan. Scoop one-third of the mixture (about 2 cups into the pan. Place some sliced hardboiled eggs nestled in the center, in between the ground meat mixture. Cover the top of the loaf pans with enough ground meat. Cover the entire loaf pan with aluminum foil. You should have three loaf pans of embutido.
- Place the wrapped logs on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, at 375 dgrees F, or till the center is no longer pink.
- When cooked, remove from oven and cool completely before serving. Unwrap the foil, turn the embutido meat loaf over on a platter. Slice into 1-inch thick slices. Serve with banana ketchup.
- Disclaimer : I was not paid to review this cookbook. But I will gladly recommend it to anyone who needs a good reference for Asian recipes.
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Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.