Filipino Sari Sari Recipe – Hungarian Chef

Last Updated on October 23, 2023

The sari-sari recipe is a vibrant mix of ingredients, colors, and flavors, showcasing the best of the country’s local produce. It’s a warm and comforting stew that brings together a blend of fresh vegetables, seafood or meat, and a savory broth. Each spoonful is a testament to the love and care that goes into Filipino home cooking.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a curious foodie, this guide will help you explore the steps to create your version of the sari-sari recipe, adding a Filipino touch to your culinary repertoire. So, put on your apron, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get started on this gastronomic adventure!

filipino sari sari recipe

What is Filipino Sari Sari?

Sari-sari is a Filipino term that translates to “variety” or “assortment”. In the Philippines, it’s also used to describe a type of convenience store that sells various goods and products. However, in the culinary world, sari-sari refers to a traditional dish that is cooked with an assortment of ingredients. It is often compared to other well-known stews such as gumbo or paella, but the sari-sari stands out for its unique blend of flavors and use of local ingredients.

The roots of sari-sari can be traced back to the pre-colonial era in the Philippines. During this time, Filipinos relied heavily on fishing, farming, and hunting for their food. As a result, dishes were often made with whatever ingredients were readily available. This led to the creation of sari-sari, which was a way to use leftover ingredients and create a hearty and nourishing meal for the family.

Over time, as the Philippines became a melting pot of cultures, culinary influences from China, Spain, and other neighboring countries also made their way into the sari-sari recipe. Today, it is considered a staple dish in Filipino households and remains a popular choice for gatherings and celebrations.

Why You’ll Love this Filipino sari sari?

Aside from its rich history and cultural significance, the sari-sari recipe also boasts a myriad of flavors that make it irresistible to taste. The combination of fresh vegetables, meats or seafood, and a flavorful broth makes for a hearty and satisfying meal.

Moreover, the sari-sari allows for flexibility in ingredients, making it customizable to personal preferences and dietary restrictions. It’s also a great way to use up leftover ingredients, making it a practical and budget-friendly option for meal planning.

Lastly, the sari-sari is a dish that brings people together. In Filipino culture, sharing meals with loved ones is an important tradition. The act of preparing and enjoying a sari-sari meal with family and friends fosters strong bonds and creates cherished memories.

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Ingredients 

  1. Crispy Roast Pork: This is the main protein source in the dish and contributes a lot to its flavor profile. The crispiness of the pork provides a nice texture contrast to the other ingredients. Its rich, savory taste also helps to balance out some of the more potent flavors in the dish.
  2. Small Shrimp: Shrimp adds another layer of protein and a unique seafood flavor that complements the pork. It also contributes to the overall umami of the dish.
  3. Vegetable Oil: Used for sautéing, it helps in releasing the flavors of the other ingredients and also aids in cooking them.
  4. Onions: Onions are a fundamental base in many dishes for their ability to add depth and sweetness. They become caramelized during cooking, which enhances the overall flavor of the dish.
  5. Garlic: Garlic adds a pungent, spicy flavor that’s essential in many recipes. It pairs well with both the pork and shrimp, enhancing their flavors.
  6. Ginger: Ginger adds a spicy, slightly sweet flavor and aroma to the dish. It’s also known for its health benefits, including anti-inflammatory effects.
  7. Patis (Fish Sauce): This is a common ingredient in many Asian cuisines, known for its strong umami flavor. It adds depth and complexity to the dish.
  8. White Vinegar: Vinegar provides acidity to the dish, balancing the richness of the pork and shrimp. It also helps to tenderize the meat.
  9. Tomato Paste: This concentrated form of tomatoes adds a deep, rich tomato flavor to the dish without adding too much liquid.
  10. Salt: An essential seasoning, salt enhances the flavors of all the other ingredients.
  11. Chicken Broth: This forms the base of the soup, providing a flavorful liquid in which all the other ingredients can meld together.
  12. Tomatoes: These add a fresh, slightly acidic flavor to the dish, as well as adding color and additional liquid.
  13. Long Eggplants: Eggplants have a unique, slightly bitter flavor and soft texture when cooked, which complements the other ingredients in the dish.
  14. Long Beans: These add a crunchy texture to the dish, as well as a slight sweetness that balances the stronger flavors.
  15. Bitter Melons: Known for their strong bitter flavor, these add an interesting contrast to the other flavors in the dish. Their bitterness is believed to help balance the richness of the pork and shrimp.
filipino sari sari

Directions 

Step 1: Heat the Oil

Begin by heating vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. This provides the base for sautéing and building the flavors of your sari-sari dish.

Step 2: Sauté Onions

Add the diced onions to the hot oil and sauté them until they become translucent. This initial step imparts a sweet and aromatic base to your dish.

Step 3: Add Garlic and Ginger

Introduce the minced garlic and ginger to the sautéed onions. Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and infuse into the dish. The garlic and ginger lend depth and complexity to the flavors.

Step 4: Incorporate Pork and Shrimp

Stir in the crispy roast pork and small shrimp, continuing to cook for another 5 minutes. These protein elements introduce both texture and savory elements to your sari-sari.

Step 5: Add Fish Sauce and Vinegar

Pour in the patis (fish sauce) and white vinegar, then add the tomato paste. Mix these ingredients thoroughly. The combination of fish sauce, vinegar, and tomato paste creates a unique and slightly tangy flavor profile.

Step 6: Season with Salt

Add salt to taste. Adjust the amount of salt according to your preference. Salt serves as a vital seasoning component that balances the dish’s flavors.

Step 7: Introduce Chicken Broth and Tomatoes

Pour in the chicken broth and follow with the diced tomatoes. This liquid base and the tomatoes add moisture and brightness to the dish.

Step 8: Bring to a Boil and Simmer

Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Simmering allows the flavors to meld and the ingredients to tenderize.

Step 9: Add Vegetables

Add the long eggplants, long beans, and bitter melons to the pot. These fresh vegetables bring color and texture to the dish. Let them simmer for another 5-7 minutes until they’re tender.

Step 10: Serve and Enjoy

Your sari-sari dish is now ready to be enjoyed. Serve it hot with steamed rice and savor the unique and delightful flavors of this Filipino specialty.

Notes 

  • For a vegetarian option, you can omit the pork and shrimp and add tofu or more vegetables.
  • To make it sweeter, increase the amount of sugar. Conversely, if you prefer it less sweet, reduce the sugar content.
  • Adjust the amount of salt and vinegar to your taste preference.
  • For a thicker soup, you can add cornstarch mixed with water to the pot and let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Storage Tips 

  • Leftover sari-sari can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • The dish can also be frozen and reheated for later consumption, though the vegetables may become softer after being thawed.
  • It’s best to freeze the sari-sari without the vegetables and add them in after reheating.
filipino sari sari

Nutrition Information 

Serving Suggestions

  • Sari-sari is typically served as a main dish, along with steamed rice.
  • It can also be enjoyed with crusty bread or other types of carbohydrates.
  • To add some extra heat, serve with chili flakes or hot sauce on the side.
  • For a complete Filipino meal, pair sari-sari with other traditional dishes such as adobo or pancit.

What other substitute can I use for the Filipino sari sari? 

  • If certain ingredients are not available, you can substitute them with other vegetables such as bell peppers or zucchini.
  • You can also use different types of protein like tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian option.
  • For a seafood-free version, you can omit the shrimp and add in more pork or chicken.
filipino sari sari

Filipino Sari Sari Recipe

The sari-sari recipe is a vibrant mix of ingredients, colors, and flavors, showcasing the best of the country's local produce.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Kids favourite
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: filipino sari sari recipe
Servings: 8
Calories: 225kcal

Equipment

  • Pot
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of roast pork (cut into 1 ½-inch)
  • 2 medium bitter melons seeded and cut into ½-inch slices
  • Half a pound of small shrimp
  • 12 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 pound of long beans cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 4 long eggplants cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons of patis fish sauce
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 inches of ginger peeled and crushed

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add diced onions and sauté until translucent.
  • Stir in minced garlic and ginger, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add crispy roast pork and small shrimp, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Combine patis, white vinegar, and tomato paste. Mix well, adding salt to taste.
  • Pour in chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Introduce long eggplants, long beans, and bitter melons. Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve with steamed rice and enjoy the unique flavors of sari-sari!

Notes

  • For a vegetarian option, you can omit the pork and shrimp and add tofu or more vegetables.
  • To make it sweeter, increase the amount of sugar. Conversely, if you prefer it less sweet, reduce the sugar content.
  • Adjust the amount of salt and vinegar to your taste preference.
  • For a thicker soup, you can add cornstarch mixed with water to the pot and let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

FAQs

Q1: Can I use other types of meat or seafood in place of roast pork and shrimp?

A1: Absolutely. Sari-sari is known for its versatility. You can experiment with different protein sources such as chicken, beef, or a variety of seafood like fish or squid to create your unique version of this Filipino dish. The key is to adjust cooking times to ensure your chosen proteins are properly cooked.

Q2: Can I substitute fish sauce with a vegetarian or vegan alternative?

A2: Yes, if you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan version, you can replace fish sauce with soy sauce or a plant-based alternative like soy sauce made from mushrooms. It will provide a similar umami depth to your sari-sari without using fish-based ingredients.

Q3: Can I adjust the level of spiciness in sari-sari?

A3: Absolutely, the spiciness level can be customized to your liking. To make it milder, reduce the amount of spicy ingredients like ginger or chili peppers. If you prefer it spicier, increase the quantities or use spicier varieties of these ingredients. Sari-sari is all about tailoring it to your taste.

Q4: Are there any traditional Filipino drinks that pair well with sari-sari?

A4: Sari-sari pairs wonderfully with traditional Filipino beverages like “sago gulaman” (a sweet and refreshing drink with tapioca pearls and gelatin) or a cold glass of “buko juice” (coconut water). These drinks complement the meal’s flavors and help beat the heat.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the sari-sari recipe is more than just a dish. It’s a representation of Filipino culture, history, and values. Its versatility, delicious flavors, and ability to bring people together make it a beloved dish in Filipino cuisine.

Remember to always use fresh ingredients and infuse them with love and care for the best results. Have fun experimenting with different variations of the sari-sari recipe and make it your signature dish that you can pass down for generations to come. Don’t forget to invite your loved ones to share in the joy of cooking and tasting this delicious Filipino dish. Happy cooking!

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Lori Walker is a passionate dietitian and food lover. She offers simple and nutritious recipes that don't take long to cook. In addition to sharing delicious dishes, she also shares useful advice on saving time and money in the kitchen. She believes that with a bit of creativity, anyone can make healthy meals that won't break the bank. Read more

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