Thursday, July 14, 2005

On cooking longanisa



Longanisa. What looks like just a sweet, innocent Filipino sausage will reveal itself as a diabolical porcine attack on your cookware.

Let me explain.

Longanisa is a high maintenance sausage. It ain't a Hormel hot dog. You can't eat it straight out of the package. You can't throw it in the microwave and expect a meal in 20 seconds.

No. Longanisa starts out as raw meat, and it has to be fully cooked, i.e. submerged in an inch of water and cooked for half an hour until the water has evaporated. Think you're done? No again.

After the water is gone, you must fry the sausages in the pooling fat which has escaped from the recesses of the casing. This is where the assault on your fry pan begins. Discreetly, and slowly, the sugar, protein and grease hidden inside your sausage will ooze out onto the cooking surface. By the time you get a nice sear and crust on your sausage, that ooze becomes the sludge that soon burns into a solid mass of carbon.



It's enough for anyone to give up cooking longanisa altogether.

That would be a shame, since longanisa is, I think, is one of the most delicious and unapologetically fatty sausages in world cuisine. If you're going to have a sausage, you might as well make it a longanisa.

The flavor is uncomplicated, just sweet and piggy. In every bite, you will almost always get little chewy pieces of fat and gristle along with meat. I serve it with rice and a dipping sauce of vinegar to cut through the sweetness.

To spare my cookware, I cover what ever pan I intend to use for the job with aluminum foil. Then I cook on this protective covering until the sausage glistens and gets crusty.



The brand of longanisa I chose this time did not impress me. It was on sale at 99 Ranch (a Buy One Get One Free offer). These sausages seemed too cloying. Next time I will stick to the my usual brand (the name escapes me at the moment) which were more lively and complex.

58 Comments:

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Xericx said...

Awesome post. I LOVE longanisa. I never cook it, but my parents and relatives do. One of my favorite foods....so good for breakfast with some vinegar, banana ketchup, rice and a fried egg.

I'm going to attempt to cook it one of these days using your guide.

 
At 7:06 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Me too...Love Filipino breakfasts with longanisa, garlic fried rice and a fried egg! Can't beat it!

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Daily Gluttony said...

oh my!

uh, yeah, sounds really high maintenance--i don't know if I'd ever have the patience for that--but boy, do those look good!

 
At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Kirk said...

Hey Elmo - You know they make "skinless" longanisa, right? I know lower in fat - less carmilization, it defeats the purpose...but I just thought I'd ask...But the technique I learned for the longanisa is to cook with H20, when it evaporates, score with a fork so some of the fat escapes - thus no need for oil! And then brown until you can't stand it anymore.... Martin's (sp??) is the brand...I'll check for sure - probably next week...when I head down to the Filipino Market -I need some Da Tu Puti Soy Sauce & Vinegar...

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Pam,

They are indeed good. But not so much the brand that I pictured. Still can't remember the brand that I like...will have to go back to 99 and remind myself.

Kirk,

No I didn't know about the skinless variety. I bet it's tasty though...and brown even more evenly. Although, I relish the pop and texture that comes from the casing. But I did know not to add oil. There's plenty of fat in those sausages to brown itself nicely. And oh is it good fat!

 
At 7:03 PM, Blogger BoLA said...

Wow! That looks and sounds absolutely delish! I'll have to try it one day with some eggs and rice. Reminds me of breakfasts in Hawaii. :)

 
At 7:22 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

kn,

It truly is the breakfast sausage to beat!

 
At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i cook longanisa every so often but i dont get into the trouble you find. all i do is boil in a pot for 15-20mins, and then transfer the sausage to a non-stick pan and toss in a little olive oil until the skins get a little brown.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Anon,

I think I'll try your method next time. Sounds pretty fool proof actually.

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger mg said...

I love longanisa. It's one of my favourite food which i've added on my meme i'm due to post.

Please would you mind if i use your photo for this? I really hope you don't mind.

Thanking you in advance...

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Mae,

Go right ahead! Thanks for asking!

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger mg said...

THANK YOU!!!

Now everytime i miss longanisa, i just look at the photo. Works for me though it's strange...

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger Leah said...

I google searched longanisa and got your blog site. I linked this post to mine. hope you dont mind.

Thanks

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Leah,

Don't mind at all! Glad you found me.

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Emmanuel said...

Dude, longanisa is now being sold pre-cooked at Filipino groceries. You can nuke it to crisp. Although your Teflon adds flavor to it, it's time to stop eating it even if Dupont say it's ok.

Now, if they can only make pre-coooked version of the other pan-killer, Tocino!

 
At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey!!!

I love longanisa and Tocino, its one of the greatest food i introduce my friendz to and i look for when i go back home...I love the picture it made me so hungry though lol.

 
At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please could someone tell me where to purchase Longanisa sausage...

I dont know where to start...

thanks

 
At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love some help as well -- I've googled my heart out and I cannot find a source for these yummy sausages! I live in FL so 99 Ranch is no help... closest one to me is ATL, GA. Can anyone p l e a s e help?

 
At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I AM ADDICTED!! I first tried it when visiting family in California. Loved It! My problem is I can't find it in my neck of the woods of Georgia. I brought some home frozen in my suitcase!
Would love a recipe.

 
At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Wunderbred.Sask said...

I agree longanisa is an assult on your cookware. My pilipina friend told me about it so I decided to try it, I bought it from the local asian market but can't remember the brand, it explained on the package how to cook it basicaly how you said but I didn't know what to expect. Washing the pan afterwards is worth it though, however I will use tinfoil next-time

 
At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about throwing them on the grill after you boil them. This is how bratwurst sausages are generally cooked (boil then grill)

 
At 8:39 AM, Blogger Michelle in T.O. said...

Funny.. I came across your blog when I was try to find out how to spell Longanisa for my blog. I've never tried the foil thing but that sounds like a great idea. Makes a wicked breakPast.

 
At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol i tried cooking and it took a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time for me. But i t was all worth while.

 
At 4:34 AM, Blogger Han said...

Holy CRAP, i love longanisa... gooogled it and i came here...
Holy crap its good

 
At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an American who dates a Filipino. Being hungry at her house and about to leave I found a pack of Longanisa in her fridge. Her mom has cooked sinangag with it for breakfast....simply amazing. I discretely put one in a plastic baggy and took it home with me. Now I cooked this before reading any directions or posts on the internet on how to cook it. You guys make it seem like such a hassle. So any way i throw that delicious sausage in a skillet on low heat and brown the outside. Once all sides are brown i grab a for and knife and cut it in half in the skillet and continue to cook the inside face down. Being the American that I am... I toast a hot dog bun and put the Longanisa right in there. WOW!!! was that good. It really impressed my filipino girlfriend too. Its soo easy and very tasty. I recommend you all to try it. I cant wait to grill them over charcoal in the summer. I hope you guys give this a try because it was very simple an very very delicious.

 
At 4:19 AM, Anonymous Marya said...

Longanisa is one of my son's favorite foods. I don't cook it often, but when I do, he attack the dang thing like there is no tomorrow. LOL He can eat a pot of rice when longanisa is on the table.

I clean the pot/pan that I used to cook longanisa by covering the blackened sugar, grease, what have you, with a generous amount of water. I then let this boil with the pot covered. As soon as it comes to a boil, I lower the heat, and let the water simmer for 10 minutes. I then let the water sit in the pan until it cools before I proceed to wash it. I know, long process, but that’s how I roll. :) And hey, it works.

I encourage you to try more Filipino dishes, and I hope you like most of them.

 
At 9:33 AM, Anonymous HiPath Open office said...

I had longanisa at a barbecue recently. Oh my God, i think i'm addicted.

 
At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xerxes X says:
Instead of putting them in a frying pan I boil them in a pot of water first. I also stick dem bitches with a fork so some of the fat runs out while day be cooking. After boulen dem bitches for I while I likes to put dem bitches on a grill that is lined with the alumium foils. Works out pretty good for me.
Peace

 
At 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in CA so I buy this at Seafood City but if you are trying to find it in other citys look for your local Asian market and you should find it there.

 
At 9:31 PM, Blogger ZenKimchi said...

Thank you for sharing this warning--um, technique. I have recently been introduced to longanisa while exploring the Filipino Sunday market in Seoul.

LOVE IT!

Don't love the destruction it does to cookware. I did the aluminum foil thing, but some still did leak through. I'll have to be more A-Team in armoring my pans from now on.

 
At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Filipino-American, of Kapampangan decent, so naturally, I'm pretty used to the food, and my grandmother makes a fantastic variation of Tocino (with soy sauce, much sweeter, and darker in color), which I'd love to learn how to make one day.

Living in CA, it isn't too hard to find Asian specialty stores, my current favorite is a Filipino chain called Seafood City, they have a huge store down in South Sacramento, where they make fresh longanisa, tocino and other meats, as well as many brands of frozen longanisa/tocino.

Normally, cooking isn't too much of a problem for me, I try to avoid Teflon, as I find it imparts a flavor (and toxicity). I do on occasion, however, grill the tocino and longanisa, after putting down a layer of aluminum foil on the grill surface (after boiling of course). I recommend this method actually, as cleanup involves simply crumpling up the aluminum foil and tossing.

Usually, I eat longanisa and tocino with a side of fried egg and rice, and a tiltilan (dip, or sauce) made of soy sauce or white vinegar, and small quartered tomatoes.

 
At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boyfriend is filipino and ive been thinking about doing something nice and sinigang and longanisa are his favorite...and this site has put me n the right direction...can anyone else help me with trying to cook these 2 things?

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Anon with Pinoy Boyfriend,

Sinigang is easy to make -- the trick is to use those pre-packaged Knorr seasoning things. I don't know anyone that does it from scratch, which involves using actual tamarind (hard to find and prep)! Follow the directions in the packet and add his favorite veggies!

Young taro, eggplant, string beans, daikon are my favorites.

 
At 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a question - not a comment. Has anyone have a recipe for a whole chicken skin stuffed with a Philipino Sausage. An old freind use to make for our parties but I never got the recipe. Please email me at ohsnyder@aol.com

 
At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this off of a random google search...I was reading this when I saw that you shop at 99 ranch

I thought, "awww, this person lives in my hometown!"

I'm from Irvine, but I moved to Georgia a few years ago and I'm so homesick
you mentioned something familiar and it made me so happy ^__^

a little random but I still thought I'd comment

 
At 10:48 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Anon,

I hope you get your answer!

Anon 2,

You should read the rest of my blog! A lot of Irvine posts!

 
At 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the brand that I think you talking about is Manila's Ihawan. so far that is the best longanisa and Tocino brand that I have tasted.

 
At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in boston ma it's available at the 88 markets.

 
At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Yolie Parshall said...

You should put how to make it. I am a mexican and I am trying to make the longanisa. I love longanisa with rice, and eggs. My husband (who has philipino decent) took me once to a philipinoi restaurant and FEEL IN LOVE with it!

 
At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just ate some longanisa with fried eggs and rice for lunch~ This is hands down one of my favorite meals! So simple yet so filling! :-)

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Marki said...

great post.. love filipino food... realy good on the tummy for breakfast

LONGANISA-SAUSAGE-PINOY-RECIPE

 
At 5:08 PM, Anonymous sneakatoke said...

high maintenance sausages rule. Hormel dogs can suck my dog. Love your post dawg.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Jonathan said...

I discovered longanisa today. I did not know I came raw. So I fried it for about five minutes and took my first bite. Haha, didn't work out. That's when I realized the directions on the packaging says to boil it first. Now I know. =)

 
At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Del Monte Kitchenomics has a recipe of the skinless longganisa. It is easy to follow. I try to make the longganisa myself so I have control on its fat content. In addition, this recipe doesn't have any preservatives in it like nitrites/nitrates. And yes, boiling the longganisa (the one with the casing) until the water has almost evaporated, and poking through the links with a fork will allow the oil from the fats of the longganisa to seep out. No need for any oil.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger Red said...

Great news to all Filipino longanisa lovers! There is a cooked/smoked variety of this wonderful sausage- Martin Purefoods pork and chicken Hamonado longanisa. You'll find them at Seafood City supermarkets and most asian stores. Enjoy!

 
At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

love to cook it right on the grill myself. i cook it slow till it's nice and crispy. as far as a brand type i usually get it from the meat counter at 99 ranch.

 
At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My step mother who is 100% Philippino only puts enough water to cover 3/4 of the longanisa, lets it evaporate, then browns it perfectly (something i have yet to do) and never has the mess afterward... she adds something (idk what) to the left over bits in the pan to make a sauce for the rice. Ill have to ask her what it is cause its amazing.

 
At 1:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys the easiest way to cook longganisa is to steam them, you'll just have to get a rice cooker with a steamer and steamed the longganisa, just put 2 1/2 cup of water and steamed it for an hour and a half and then boom! nice and clean longganisa sausage,

i am a filipino and i used to cook longganisa every other day. its a part of my diet, i usually eat them with fried rice in the morning i also put some maggi savour(filipno brand)chili sauce on thr longganisa... thats how easy to cook longganisa in filipino style :)

 
At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am responding to someone looking to purchase Longanisa sweet sausage. I just bought some yesterday a Costco in Hayward, CA. They came in a 4-pack of 12 ounces each for $9.99. I never had these before and was searching for a way to cook them. That's how I found this site about this sausage. Very informative. Thank you.
Silvia

 
At 11:15 PM, Anonymous 60s-deadhead said...

Im trying to cook longanisa for the first time tonite. Got the sweet ones from 99 ranch today. Im boiling them in a pan with one inch of water on my wood stove right now. After water evaporates im placing foil in the pan and cook then covered for 20 minutes. Ya know, trying something new and different in life is what makes this life worth living. Ya gotta live for today! L8

 
At 4:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could grill or broil to avoid pan broblems

 
At 11:55 PM, Blogger Jose A.'s English blog said...

I love longanisa. My parents sometimes cook it in the morning for breakfast and we always eat it with rice.

 
At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it! I get mine from 99 Ranch as well, but I use Orientex brand. I boiled it then split them in half, pulled off the casing and diced them. Transferred them to a pan and cooked them till brown (no additional oil necessary). I let them cool in a bowl then later added them in to a fried rice dish I was making with shrimp and pineapple. My fam loved it!

 
At 9:59 PM, Blogger August said...

I picked up some Chicken Longanisa at 99 Ranch yesterday. I didn't know what it was.

The directions on the Masagan package said to cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer. No mention of how long. Definitely NOT boil it dry. By the time it was at a full boil, the sausage had plumped up to where I had to add more water and bring it back to a boil. With all the fat, etc. coming out in the water, the pan boiled over, so that's where I stopped. I figured that it had all come to "safe" temperature if it boiled over.

The directions said to discard the water, add oil, and fry until brown. I drained the water and added a bit of olive oil. Cut them apart so I could turn them individually, and fried until nearly all of them had developed a bit of black in the brown.

I had not known anything about it at the time, but your mention of all the sugar explains why the got browned black so quickly.

They came out GREAT and no problems with any damage to my cast iron saute pan. It was after I'd eaten a couple that I decided to look the name up.

Thank you VERY much for EVERYONE's suggestion about vinegar. I used 1/2 and 1/2 Seasoned Rice Vinegar and Balsamic Vinegar and it was a MAJOR LEAP ABOVE the basic longanisa by itself. Either of those vinegars by themselves didn't quite make it but the combination was wonderful.

I ate them until I HURT. I should have stopped. There's still two left and I KNOW I'll be sorry if I eat them tonight. Damn that was good.

Thanks again.

 
At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip about the foil in the frying pan .... Now I can make longanisa more often since cleaning is easier.

 
At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Alana said...

I know how you feel! The first time I cooked them it was just awful, but I came up with a super EASY way to cook them! You need a toaster oven. I preheat the toaster oven to 400 degrees and line the tray with foil. Bake frozen or thaw for about 30 mins (turn have way through) keep an eye to make sure they dont burn. I personally like when mine split open. Tada! No mess, no hassle, yumm hot sausages that cook while you can prepare the rest of your breakfast!

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey guys, a friend of mine said to post here. I am filipino and live here in New York. For years I really wasn't happy about how packaged longanisa and tocino taste like. If you get tired of them we do ship our own authentic Kapampangan longanisa, tocino and tapa. You'll never go back to the packages! we ship all around the USA.

 
At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Use a castiron skillet. Easier to clean

 

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