I guess I’m feeling really homesick lately for NoVA. Last time I wrote about Sunday dinners in my new home, which made me feel a little bit more like home since it reminded me so much of home. Today, I’m talking about Sunday brunch. Specifically, how to eat a Filipino brunch.
Oh, brunch! There’s something so guilty-pleasure fulfilling about being able to eat lunch around breakfast time, and letting it be okay because it’s brunch. (Yes, I know that’s not why people go to brunch, but it’s what I like!) There’s also mimosas, which also falls under a similar category. That of, it’s okay to drink alcohol in the morning because brunch. These are reasons why real people really love brunch.
Why do I love it? Because it reminds me of home. Lately, I’ve been missing home a little, and feeling nostalgic about some of the things. And yes, I miss my parents too! Every Sunday after church we’d go have brunch at some of our favorite places. And while those places are great, the brunch that I miss the most is the Filipino brunch my mom would make!
What is Filipino brunch?
It’s not brunch made by a Filipino person. Although, that definitely helps, especially if that person is my mama. There are two ways to have Filipino brunch. But it definitely involves at least two things: 1) garlic fried rice and 2) eggs. Rice because we eat everything with rice, brunch notwithstanding. And eggs because it makes it breakfast-y! My two favorite kinds of Filipino brunch are tosilog and losilog. These words are mash-ups. Egg in tagalog is itlog, hence the -log ending of the mash-up. The -si- refers to the garlic fried rice, which is sinangág in Tagalog.
To- and Lo- come from the meat of the dish–literally! They mean tocino and longganisa. Tocino is usually made from pork belly, which is cut into strips and cured overnight. The Filipino store near my house only has chicken tocino, which actually is just as yummy. Longganisa is a pork sausage that is similar to chorizo, but is usually much sweeter. So, all together we got to- or lo-, -si-, and -log.
Hence Filipino brunch is a mixture of tocino and/or (it’s best when it’s and) longganisa, garlic rice, and egg–tosilog and losilog.
How do you cook Filipino brunch?
Eggs: Fried, scrambled, or poached. It’s up to you! Just cook it to your usual preference. Any way truly works.
Garlic fried rice: Mince a lot of garlic and cook rice as usual (in a cooker or boiled stove-top). In a large wok or deep frying pan, heat some olive oil. Lightly fry the garlic. Add the cooked rice. Season generously with salt and fry all over!
Tocino/Longganisa: I have never made my own or tried cooking these meats from scratch–but boy do I want to! I usually just buy them at my local Filipino store. For both, I bring water to a boil in a frying pan and boil until the meat is cooked through. Pull the tocino apart into pieces. This happens pretty quickly, so keep an eye on it! Once it’s done boiling, pour out the water. Add cooking spray and canola oil. Fry on all sides!
How do you eat Filipino brunch?
There is only one way to eat Filipino brunch properly: mix it all up. Make the egg to your preference. Mine happens to be over easy–I like it runny! Then, I mix the egg into the garlic rice like a soup. With each spoonful of eggy rice, I take a piece of the meat. Put all in your mouth and experience true happiness in one bite!
Like I said, I don’t have my own recipes. Though, I’d love to one day in the future change that. But for now, here’s a couple of links to recipes from some other Filipino blogs that I’ve used in the past.
Tocino by Panlasang Pinoy
Longganisa by Kawaling Pinoy
Why should you eat Filipino brunch?
WHY NOT?! Because like most things, Filipinos do it best! As much as I miss home, I will say that one of the best things about living with my brother is that he misses these things too. So, every once in a while, I’ll throw together a brunch just for the two of us–and whoever else happens to be around for lunch! It definitely helps me feel more connected to some of the things I miss, and to make me feel more at home here. But why should you eat it? There are hundreds of reasons why, but I’ll just say the only one that matters: Because it’s delicious, truly a mixture of breakfast and lunch, and because it’s delicious.