Filipinos everywhere commemorate the 30th of December as Rizal Day. It marks the day Jose Rizal was executed by Spanish authorities at Bagumbayan, which help bring about the Philippines’ independence from Spain. So why not celebrate this historic event by enjoying some of our national hero’s favorite dishes? You can either prepare it yourself or you can ask assistance from the best Manila catering available.
This Filipino-famous dish is made of stewed green mung seeds and other ingredients such as garlic, onions, tomatoes, malunggay leaves, ampalaya leaves, little chunks of pork meat, and a few grams of tiny fresh shrimps. Jose Rizal used to enjoy this meal with his wife Josephine Bracken during his exile in Dapitan, Zamboanga.
Chopped garlic, onions and ginger are heated over a pan at medium temperatures. Once properly sautéed, chicken cuts are added to the ingredients and cooked for a few minutes. Then water is added and once boiling, you can add some chopped sayote or vegetable pear, pepper leaves and seasoning. Apparently, Jose loves this dish so much that he even mentioned it the first chapters of his book Noli Me Tangere.
Sinigang na Ayungin
One of the most popular dishes you can get from Philippine cuisine, this stew derives its sour yet savoury taste from tamarind. Recipes vary according to the meat or fish used, with pork, chicken and milkfish as the most popular. However, Jose prefers it with ayungin or silver perch, a native freshwater fish that used to be plenty during his lifetime (today, it’s a rare delicacy). Like tinolang manok, he also mentioned it in Noli through Tia Isabel.
Tuyo, Tinapa at Kamatis
Salted and smoked fish served with chopped tomatoes makes it to Rizal’s list of favorite breakfast. Eaten with rice fried with garlic, it makes a delicious and satisfying morning meal indeed! He might even ask for it sometimes during lunch and dinners whenever there’s ginisang munggo on the table (those two dishes make a remarkable combination) as some of us are wont to do.
Rizal also enjoyed a bowl or two of some malagkit rice and chocolate stew (a favourite comfort food among Filipinos), with a few small pieces of tuyo or tinapa on the side, as his breakfast during the rainy season. He might have even added in a few cups of milk and spoons of sugar for extra flavor!
Suman at Tsokolate
Made from glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk and wrapped with banana or palm leaves, this rice cake goes great with sugar and shaved coconut meat. It’s one of the most popular snacks in the Philippines, and recipes vary from one province to another. According to many sources, Jose Rizal enjoyed this regularly after school when he was a kid, sometimes served with a steaming mug of hot chocolate drink.
Aside from these meals, the recipes of which he might have brought along with him on his journeys around the world, Jose Rizal also enjoyed a lot of foreign food. These dishes make wonderful meals for special occasions and regular days alike. You can even serve it on your New Year’s Eve party if you like; your guests will definitely enjoy these wonderful Philippine culinary masterpieces!