Saturday, January 8, 2011

sweet surrender

I wanted a fancy dish to kick start the new year. Something sweet and divine perhaps, or something rich and savory.  Well that was the plan but then again work and life got in the way.   

So I was sitting at my desk when I received an email from my daughter.  She sent me pictures of what she had for lunch.  She took the photos just before devouring the spaghetti I prepared for her that morning.  

Mom you should blog about this... Filipino spaghetti is the bomb!

My husband chimed in, "When I was a kid I loved the spaghetti at Makati Supermarket, it was so sweet with very little meat and I had to add extra ketchup, but as a child I thought it was the best.", he reminisced.

"Then the sweet taste is distinctively Pinoy", my daughter added.

It sounds foreign indeed, but yeah we Pinoys have our own version of our spaghetti.  And you'll be surprised with some of the ingredients included.

My conversations with my daughter reminded me of a commercial I heard over the radio in my hometown some years back.  The radio ad for a new Chinese restaurant blared :  "Leng-lengs's Chinese Restaurant, It's authentic Chinese cuisine... try our spaghetti!"

Authentic what? Spaghetti?  Really?  I know the Italians got noodles from China, but Chinese noodles use rice flour.  And in tomato sauce??  Really?  

Before I digress further, let me share with you what my daughter said is a must-try Filipino food.  And yeah it prompted me to include it as my first post of the year, forget fancy, forget gourmet cooking, I just loved the idea that my daughter took time to plate the dish the way I wanted it to be, and to take photos of it just the way I do.

Filipino Spaghetti ala Jollibee


1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground beef
5 pcs hot dog, sliced diagonally
1 packet of deli salami, sliced (you could also substitute it with other deli meats like pastrami)
1 c diced ham
1 large can tomato sauce
1 cup banana ketchup
1/2 c pineapple juice or juice from a jar of pickles (cucumber)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bulb onion, chopped
bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c brown sugar (if you want it sweeter, you may add more)


Saute the beef and pork with garlic and onions in a pan.  Add  black pepper and bay leaf.  Stir until golden brown or when the mixture is almost dry.  This may take about 5 - 10 minutes

Add the tomato sauce and ketchup. Add a cup of beef broth and let it simmer on low heat.  Make sure to stir it so you won't burn the bottom.  

Add the hotdogs, ham and salami.  Let it simmer and allow all the flavors to fuse.  Pour the pineapple juice or juice from pickled relish. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. 

Pour it over a bowl of cooked spaghetti noodles.  Grate some cheddar cheese on top... voila, that's Filipino Spaghetti for you.. it's sweet and tangy... you'll love it and that's a promise!

watch my you tube posting on HOW TO MAKE SPAGHETTI ALA JOLLIBEE here:


  1. Love This, Malou! This is how my Nanay used to do spag, too_with pickles and hotdogs. Big fan of Makati Supermart sweet spag and of course Jollibee's. Spag for breakfast is tops. Yum yum!

  2. That sauce looks very full of flavour. Now I wonder whether there's a Malaysian spaghetti. I guess it has to be spicy, and with coconut if there is...haha.

  3. Memories, Malou! Our loyal houseboy ended up working in the Makati Supermarket coffee shop, and as kids we would drop by after school to see him, and snack on their famous spaghetti. My kids request for "Filipino Spaghetti" every now and then, and I would simply sweeten my usual recipe. Thanks for your very authentic version!

  4. lovelovelove ur spaghetti!! simple yet encompasses all the necessary flavors to make the pasta yummy :)

  5. Adora: You have spag for brekkie? Wow never had it before but I guess I could have my leftover for tomorrow haha
    Mary: Maybe you should try to concoct a Malaysian Spaghetti and why not?

    Annie: Now Im thinking are we on the same genre hahah. I just feel like we do have so many things in common...

    Jean: I hope you could try it because it's really something different from the usual spaghetti the world has known.

  6. LOL! I'm sure my story is not unique among Pinoys, but the first time I had spaghetti outside of the Philippines, I was so bitterly disappointed - where were the hot dog pieces?! Thank you for bringing back the memories - I now have a craving for Jollibee-style spaghetti. 8-)

  7. @Tracey: that happened to my kids as well, until their discovery of the "real" spaghetti. haha!

  8. Ha! I was disappointed too when I had spaghetti outside the Philippines, took me a while to get used to the Italian version which tasted to sour. This was a bestseller in our restaurant and I remember a huge cauldron of this simmering in our restaurant.
    Thanks for reminding me how much I love filipino spag. :)

  9. Of all the Filipino dishes this one seems the strangest to us (non-Filipinos) in the U.S. Even dinuguan doesn't get the odd looks when I explain what it is as does sweet spaghetti. I think it is because when you take such a well known dish and change it acceptance is hard to come by. I'm not Filipino and have only heard of this dish from friends (including being told it was a fav at jollibee) so I have no history with it. Will I make it instead of adobo etc. some day? Ummm....we'll see.

  10. Could this post be any timelier? I have my favorite bolognese recipe but lately I've been craving a big plate of flipino spaghette, specifically my mom's. In fact, I meant to ask her about it today since it's been years since I last enjoyed it. Your pictures just had me craving it more. Thanks for the reminder.

    I hope your year is off to a good start, Malou. :-)

  11. i had filipino spaghetti over the holidays and now i can't get it out of my head.

    funny cuz i used to HATE our sweet spaghetti. well, i dislike sweet-ish dishes in general. but now. well, age has made me wiser, lol!

    i'll try it sometime soon i hope. thx for the recipe cuz i would've forgotten about the sweet pickles.


  12. Malou, this is Spoon after a long break! Well, my blog life hasn't got the normality yet, but feel happy to leave my comment here and read your yum blog again. A happy New Year from Tokyo :)

    Will talk to you soon
    Spoon x

  13. Oh my, I don't get to eat this often but there are just some days I crave for it, and your post is seriously making me think of driving-thru Jollibee after work!

  14. Whoa! Leng-leng's spaghetti? Never tried that one. But Filipino spaghetti is indeed still the best!

  15. I haven't had Jollibee's in FOREVER!!!! I think close to 10 years now. Maybe more. LOVED going there and pigging out!

  16. Sweet spaghetti is the bomb!!!

  17. Been in italy for quite sometime now... but I still prefer the "real" spaghetti sauce.... I will definitely try this one out.... looks yummy

  18. Been in italy for quite sometime now but I still prefer the "real" spaghetti sauce. I will definitely try this one out... looks yummy. Thanks

  19. looks yummy,,,let me try this tomorrow...thank's malou!!!

  20. thank you for sharing this recipe. a Must-try Spagg!! :)

  21. I love pasta and nothing beats Jollibee's sweet blend spaghetti! I do make my own too Ate! and my brother's friends compliment my version that it tastes like jollibee daw! Mas prefer ko talaga yung sweet kesa sa maasim. I also don't prefer using banana ketchup... tomato sauce lang talaga ako, sometimes, lalagyan ko ng tomato paste. :)


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