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A Few Food Tips from Pepper.ph Amid the COVID-19 Community Quarantine

March 15, 2020

With the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Metro Manila has been put under “general community quarantine.” Everyone is encouraged to stay at home and to practice proper hygiene and social distancing. There’s still a lot we need to learn about what’s happening in order to mitigate the spread of the virus, as well as to protect ourselves. And as a food website, we hope to help inform the public about useful info on food amid crisis situations such as this. Here are some recipes and tips that can help you get through the next few weeks. Stay safe, everyone!

Canned Goods/Dried Food Taste Tests

We recommend stocking up on canned goods and dried food, since these keep longer than fresh ingredients. Peek through some of our taste tests to help you decide which ones to pick up at the supermarket.

Pork and Beans

Believe it or not, but this American classic is relatively good for you.

Sardines in Tomato Sauce

With over 15 brands in the supermarket, we had to split this taste test into two.

Pancit Canton

We ranked this favorite childhood snack, but eventually realized that the best flavor is all of them together.

Meatloaf

Get your meaty fix from one of these local canned meat loafs.

Sisig

Sisig has leveled up from just pulutan fare. It’s now a beloved ulam for everyone. See, they’ve even made some ready-to-eat.

Spaghetti

If you’ve got the time anyway, why not just make your own fresh spaghetti? Though, there’s nothing wrong with these easy-to-make dried ones.

Vienna Sausage

Spoiler alert: Libby’s wasn’t part of this taste test.

Luncheon Meat

Taste Test: A Guide to the Best Luncheon Meat on the Market

Here’s a quick fix for anyone craving meat but is helpless in the kitchen.

Recipes using Canned Goods/Dried Food

Extend the life of your canned goods by using them in several different recipes, instead of just cooking them as what they are. Get inspired with these easy recipes.

Fabada

Use canned pork and beans to make our under PHP200 version of this Spanish dish. It uses ham and chorizo, which also have a pretty long shelf-life; as well as pork shoulder, which can keep for a while when frozen.

Kimchi SPAM Musubi

The SPAM and the kimchi in this Japanese-inspired Hawaiian dish will last forever… or at least a very long time. If you don’t have time to assemble it, you can just cook the SPAM in the glaze, and serve it with kimchi rice.

Tortilla Española

Use your corned beef to make this Spanish breakfast dish, made of potatoes (which actually keeps for some time when stored properly) and eggs.

Seared Pork chops with Pineapple Glaze

Don’t be scared to buy meat. If you keep them in the freezer, they should keep for a long time. Get a couple of pork chops to make this noche buena-inspired recipe, which uses another shelf-stable ingredient: canned pineapples.

African Pulled Chicken Curry

Dried spices may just be your new best friend during this temporary quarantine. They can bring a whole new dimension to any simple dish, just like it did in this pulled chicken recipe. Another pro-tip: pickle your veggies to extend their life.

Dried Pasta Recipes with Shelf-Stable Ingredients

Dried pasta is also a great food item to stock up on because of its long shelf life. It’s a blank canvas, so you can really do whatever you want with it. Here are a few of our quarantine-friendly pasta recipes (with shelf-stable mix-ins!).

Olive Pesto Pasta

This alternative to basil-based pesto pasta uses bottled olives. You can make the sauce ahead, and store it in the fridge for a month.

Cibo Penne al Telefono

Our Cibo hack‘s main ingredient is shelf-stable canned tomatoes, which we recommend keeping on-hand anyway to make a variety of pasta sauces quickly.

Dried Fish Pasta

Dried fish can be a great ingredient to add saltiness to pasta, rice, stir-fry, etc., as it did to this recipe. They’re very shelf-stable, too.

Mamou Lorenzo Truffle Cream

This Mamou food hack is a fancy-ish lazy recipe; and the fact that its ingredients, including the cream (unopened, duh) and truffle oil, can keep long make it a great back-pocket recipe for the quarantine.

Dry Spicy Udon

Cured and processed meats (like the Chinese sausage used in this recipe) are ideal alternatives to fresh meat if you’re worried about expiration dates. Omit the green garnish, and swap out fresh shiitake for dried ones here.

How to Extend the Lives of Your Fruits and Vegetables

Nothing beats the flavors of fresh ingredients. But there’s really not a big window of opportunity to enjoy them at their peak; and with the recent quarantine, we’re challenged to look for ways to extend their lives. Pickling and fermenting fruits and vegetables are a great way to prolong their shelf-life and to give your dishes a different flavor.

Burong Mangga, Mustasa, and Hipon

This guide gives you three different ways of pickling three different ingredients.

Basic Pickle Brine

We walk you through a basic pickle brine you can use for any fruit or veg of your choice.

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