Pyanggang is a Tausug dish similar to a chicken barbecue only it’s black but not because it’s burnt. One of the ingredients, coconut meat, is burnt before it is grounded. It is then combined with other spices to make a paste or marinade sauce for the chicken.




2 chicken, use leg quarters

2 chicken, use chicken thighs

1/4 cup coconut (buko), burnt and ground

1 1/2 tablespoons red onion, chopped

1 piece lemongrass bulb (tanglad), (use stalk part), white part only

1 tablespoon luyang dilaw, chopped

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon ginger, chopped

1 teaspoon cilantro stems, chopped

3 tablespoons spring onions, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil

salt, to taste

finger chilies (siling pangsigang), Optional

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons white onion, chopped

1 piece lemongrass (tanglad), white part only, bruise with the back of a knife

1 tablespoon ginger, sliced

1 teaspoon fish sauce (patis)

coconut curry paste

1 cup coconut milk (gata)

1/2 cup coconut cream (kakang gata)

salt, to taste

finger chilies (siling pangsigang), optional, add for a spicy sauce



How to Cook Chicken Pyanggang:

Method for burnt coconut flesh:If you can get your coconut market vendor to separate the flesh from the husk, discard the husks and burn the flesh directly over your charcoal grill until black on both sides—burnt. If you can’t get them separated, break niyog in half or quarters then burn all sides directly over charcoal until you can separate the husk and then continue to burn the flesh until burnt black on both sides.


Grind the burnt coconut flesh in a food processor or use a mortar and pestle. Use as needed.

To make the paste: combine burnt coconut, red onion, lemongrass stalk, fresh turmeric, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, spring onions, canola oil, and green chili (optional) and pound on a mortar and pestle. Mix well until you have a paste. Season to taste. Take half of the paste and combine with the chicken, mix well and marinate for about 4 hours.

Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat and sear the chicken on all sides until lightly brown then remove the chicken from the pan. On the same pan, sauté garlic, onions, lemongrass, ginger, patis, and the rest of the paste.

Add coconut milk and coconut cream and bring to a slow simmer. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a slow boil then maintain at a simmer for 12 minutes or so or until the chicken is cooked through. Season to taste. Add green chilies to the paste or sauté for heat, if desired.


Northern Mindanao is proud to present its unique spin on kinilaw. Sinuglaw is a mix of sinugba and kinilaw – two dishes common in Filipino palate.
Sinugba is grilled pork belly while kinilaw (ceviche-style) is raw fish, usually tuna, soaked in a cocktail of vinegar and citrus juices. The kinilaw in Mindanao is unique because of the suwa and tabon-tabon included in the mix. Tabon-tabon is a tropical fruit that grows in the wilderness of Mindanao, that looks like the more familiar chico.
You can find the sinuglaw in almost all the restaurants in the city. The dish is a favorite appetizer because of the vegetable medley and the choice pulutan (best paired with alcoholic drinks) for its sharp acid taste.




  • 1 lb Inihaw na liempo grilled pork belly, chopped
  • 1 lb fresh tuna meat cubed
  • 2 cups cucumber seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup vinegar cane, white, or coconut vinegar
  • 1 medium sized red onionsliced
  • 2 tablespoons gingerjulienned
  • 4 pieces finger chilies sliced
  • 1 piece lemon
  • 4 to 6 pieces Thai or Bird’s eye chili chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place the tuna meat in a bowl then pour-in 1/2 cup of vinegar. Soak for 8 minutes.
  2. Using a spoon of fork, press the tuna meat lightly.
  3. Drain the vinegar then combine cucumber, onion, ginger, finger chili, Thai or Bird’s eye chili, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Squeeze the lemon until all the juices are extracted then pour-in the remaining 3/4 cup vinegar. Mix well and soak for 10 minutes.
  5. Put-in the Grilled pork belly and mix thoroughly. Let the mixture stand for at least 1 hour (you may place this inside the refrigerator).
  6. Transfer to a serving plate then serve.
  7. Share and enjoy!



Throughout Zamboanga, you’ll see various Spanish influences in their architecture, their awesome language (Chavacano!), and the food. Country Chicken Restaurant may sound like an American eatery but their seafood paella is simply divine. Topped with prawns, clams, peas, and green beans, the turmeric rice is very flavorful. I could have a huge serving all to myself! Of course, don’t forget to try Country Chicken Restaurant’s other Filipino dishes and their crispy fried chicken.


Image result for Seafood Paella


  • 6cups clam or seafood broth
  • 1tsp thread saffron
  • 1 1/2pounds firm-fleshed fish, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 1dozen mussels
  • 1dozen small clams
  • 12large shrimp in shells
  • Spanish sea salt
  • 2tbsp parsley, minced
  • 8cloves garlic, minced
  • 1tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 8tbsp olive oil
  •  1medium onion, chopped
  •  6scallions, chopped
  •  1red bell pepper, finely chopped
  •  1large tomato, chopped
  •  2cups Bomba paella rice or Calasparra paella rice
  •  Lemon wedges
  •  Alioli (garlic mayonnaise)


Heat broth in a large pot. Stir in saffron. Pat fish and shrimp dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let sit 10 minutes. Use a mortar and pestle to mash parsley, garlic, thyme and 1/8 tsp salt into a paste; stir in paprika. Add water if necessary to form a paste.
Heat 6 tbsp of oil in 15″ paella pan over medium high heat and quickly brown the fish 1-2 minutes. Do not fully cook. Remove to warm platter. Add remaining 2 tbsp of oil, onion, scallions and bell pepper to paella pan and cook until the vegetables are slightly softened. Raise heat, add tomato and cook until it becomes sauce-like, 2 to 5 minutes. Pour in the hot broth and bring to a boil. Sprinkle the rice evenly across the pan. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring rice and rotating pan occasionally. Add all reserved fish (but not shrimp). Stir in parsley paste. Taste for salt. Do not stir after this point. Lower the heat, continue to simmer until rice is no longer soupy but enough liquid remains to continue cooking the rice (about 10 min.). Add extra liquid if necessary.
Arrange shrimp, clams and mussels over rice, placing edges of mussel and clam shells so they open facing up. Cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until rice is almost done. Remove pan from the heat and cover with foil. Let sit 10 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with fresh alioli.





Curacha is famous in Mindanao, especially in Zamboanga. It’s a spanner crab or red frog crab, a crustacean hybrid native to the waters of Zamboanga and Sulu. It can be cooked with sauce or steamed.



  • 1 kilo curacha or crab
  • 1/2 kilo grated coconut
  • 1/2 kilo Alavar sauce
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1/2 thumb of ginger
  • 4 pinches of salt
  • 4 pinches ajinomoto
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
1. Wash curacha or crab. Place in cooking pot. Set aside.
2. Place grated coconut in a mixing bowl. Pour water and mix. With your hands, squeeze all milk from the coconut. Set aside.
3. Mince garlic and ginger into tiny pieces. Set aside.
4.Sprinkle the salt, MSG, garlic and ginger all over the curacha or crab. Pour coconut milk all over the curacha or crab.
5. Turn stove on high heat until the coconut milk comes to a boil. Then drop the alavar sauce into the pot and lower the knob to medium heat.
6. When the coconut oil starts to surface, turn off the stove.