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Filipino Christmas Rolls

The Philippines is dubbed as the country with the longest celebration of Christmas, across the stretch of the first day of September until the Feast of the Epiphany, this is the feast of three Kings who visited baby Jesus. Filipinos prepare a lot during the Yuletide Season, from the aesthetics of their house to different Pinoy ulam recipes and other dishes that will fill up their guests with their house specialties. Needless to say, days or weeks of preparation will never be enough for the Filipinos to showcase their gratitude for a year’s blessings.

Filipinos have unlimited ways of expressing themselves in this season of hospitality, warmth, and celebration, not to mention the resourcefulness of Filipinos in using various items to make the season more festive. It can range from singing to cooking various holiday dishes. There are also lot of “rolls” you’ll encounter around the Filipino Christmas Season and here are some of it that you can be familiar with:

Filipino Christmas Rolls

  • Carols “Ka-rolls” (Christmas Hymns and Tunes)

Filipinos’ love for music amplifies during this season. Children and sometimes adults, mark the beginning of Christmas season with door-to-door singing of Christmas carols. This tradition showcases both the talent and generosity of Filipinos.

  • Parol “Pa-rolls” (Christmas Decorations)

As the “Ber” months enter, Filipinos start to decorate their houses with Christmas trees, lanterns, garlands, and flowers called poinsettia. Even corporate offices and the academe set competitions for the “Best Christmas Decorations.” Some even stretch the competition for an extra mile by utilizing recycled products in decorating – saving both money and the environment.

  • Food rolls (Christmas Food)

What is Christmas without the food? The focal point of the celebrations will always be the food showing the abundance of Filipino households in whatever state you are. Food items for this special occasion usually cost you more than the usual. This include ham, Queso de Bola, wines and other luxurious food items. On the other hand, some thrift folks munch on street-side like Bibingka and Puto Bumbong equally send in the Christmas mood. Salabat and Tsokolate, meanwhile, are the usual drinks for church-goers attending the Simbang Gabi. But the real deal in terms of Christmas food is the food served during Noche Buena.

The food rolls mentioned above are very easy to make. It can be a fun activity with the whole family or a dedicated gift to them that’s worth the wait. Be sure to prepare everything in advance so that you have enough ingredients and prep time for these recipes as these  Pinoy ulam recipes call for a long preparation and cooking. This makes Christmas meals worth the wait. Be patient when making each dish and always cook with passion from your heart. Here are four Christmas roll recipes using Aji Seasonings to help you prepped up this yuletide season:

  • Chicken Embutido Roll – Since it is easy-to-cook and has a long shelf life, making embutido for Christmas becomes essential. Basically, it is a matter of 3 things: mixing, wrapping, and steaming. You can mix Chickensavor™ in your embutido to add natural chicken flavor and aroma. Then, you can store it for a couple of days up to a week if it’s cooked properly. You can also sell embutido rolls to give you extra income this holiday season.

Chicken Embotido

  • Pork Hamonado Roll – Hamonado is another Christmas favorite. Pork is marinated in sugar, pineapple juice, and spices, then cooked in its own juices with low fire until the sauce thickens. Long cooking time over low fire enables the meat to be tenderized and to produce a flavorful rich sauce. Use Porksavor® to add meaty goodness in every bite of your hamonado.

Pork Hamonado

  • Beef Steak Roll – Deviating from the usual Morcon, this roll comes with the same sirloin beef, flattened, filled, then rolled, seared to seal in the juiciness and serving it with a gravy-like sauce. This Pinoy ulam recipe is made with Aji Ginisa® to level up your regular Bistek.

Beef Steak Roll Ups

  • Seafood Spring Roll – Made from different seafood, this recipe is the upgrade of your favorite lumpia. Shifting from the regular ground pork, this spring roll calls for shrimp and crabmeat as the main ingredient, extended with tofu making the filling silky, and moist. To amplify the umami taste of seafood, add AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning. Experiment on different dipping sauces to match this special spring rolls.

Seafood Spring Roll

Storage and shelf life might not be a problem during these times of celebrations. You’ll probably finish up all food served at the table. But if you managed to leave some shy pieces of spring roll, there’s a relative or guest willing to take that home. This season of celebration is also a season of sharing. Share these recipes with your friends and family. Have a bountiful Christmas everyone!

ChristianJosephBaluyot_AjinomotoCulinaryNutritionist

Christian Joseph S. Baluyot, RND is AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION’s Culinary Nutritionist. As a licensed nutrition-dietitian, he specializes in providing culinary services and conducting nutrition researches.

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