Zamboanga Z-Food Recipes: A Collection of Favorite Filipino Foods


(A local name given to this sea crab species that is uniquely found in the waters around Zamboanga, and no where else in the world. It is popularly described as a highbred crustacean, with crossbreed characteristics of a large sea crab and the big spiny lobster.  Thus, it is unusually large [reddish-pink in color] for a hybrid crab and quite meaty, and oh so delicious! A special Zamboanga City treat.)


Cooking Instructions:
Steam or boil in plain water, until cooked to desired level.  Curacha is best experienced in its natural exotic flavor, cooked minimally so as to preserve flavor.


***If you care to add a little exotic taste to it, mix in some lemongrass and about 3-5 cups of coconut milk to sauce, and boil until done.

Serve with: Steamed rice and Latu (seaweed/sea grapes) or salad.

Ensalada de Latu (seaweed salad)


1 kilo latu (seaweed)

2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 medium onion, sliced

1 calamansi


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

½ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper


Wash the seaweed and discard the roots and wilted parts. Arrange latu in a salad bowl and garnish with tomato and onion.

Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, sea salt, fresh-squeezed calamansi juice, and pepper, then pour generously over the seaweed.


Note: If desired, top salad with red chili pepper or toasted coconut meat.

Chicken or Pork Adobo

One whole chicken cut up into small pieces, 3 tablespoons vinegar, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1ripe tomato cut up into small pieces, salt and pepper, 7 cloves of garlic, 3 or 4 bay leaves.

Cooking Instructions:
Mix the chicken, vinegar, soy sauce, and cut up tomatoes in a pot. (For better taste let marinade stand for 30 min. to an hour and then cook).  Add salt and pepper to taste. Add bay leaves.  Cook in pot with lid for 40 or 45 minutes in medium heat.

Serve with: Steamed rice.

Zamboanga Octopus

From: Rodolfo C. Kintanar, M.M.

Kintanar Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic
La Purisima St., Zamboanga City 7000
Tel. (63-62) 991-3375
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2001 3:05 PM

1 kg. Octopus
3 tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, one onion, and bay leaf
3 tablespoons Cooking oil
1 cup Coconut milk
(optional four pieces chili)

Cooking Instructions:
1.  Wash octopus in water.
2.  Place octopus in a covered kettle.
3.  Place kettle on  electric or gas stove and cook on high heat for 20 minutes. (The octopus will release water.)
4.  Remove octopus from kettle and allow to cool down.
5.  When cool, slice.  Remove and throw away beak.
6.  In a saucepan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoon cooking oil.
7.  Sauté garlic, onions, and tomatoes.
8.  Add sliced octopus.
9.  Add a cup of coconut milk (gata).
10. When the coconut milk boils, season to taste and remove from fire.

(Alternate flavoring: flavor with a small piece of cinnamon stick - remove after cooking).

Serve with: SM Beer.

Zamboanga Moresqueta Frito


A. 2-3 cups long-grained rice cooked separately in rice cooker or pot (for steamed rice).

B. ½ kg. (or 1 lb.) pork cut into small chunks, 2-3 chorizo sausage sliced thinly, 1 sliced white onion, 1 bundle (or ½ cup) green onions cut about 1” length, 3-4 cloves crushed garlic, 1 big peeled & diagonally-cut carrot, ½ cup shredded young coconut meat (butung) or similar, 2 tbspn. diced ginger, ¼ - ½ cup peanuts or mixed nuts, ¼ cup coconut or sugar cane vinegar, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tspn. black pepper, 2 squeezed ripe calamansi or ½ lemon, 1 bay leaf, 3 chopped oregano leaves, 2 eggs – beaten, and 3-4 tbspn. cooking oil.

For spicy-hot (caliente) alternative: add 2-3 diced red chili peppers or 1-2 tspn. chili/cayenne pepper powder, 1 more tspn. black pepper, and/or your choice of hot sauce.


Cooking Instructions:

Brown pork and chorizo first with cooking oil in medium-high heat and add the crushed garlic and peanuts/mixed nuts midway; then add the white and green onions, carrot, ginger, and stir for about 1 minute; add vinegar to marinade and stir until it’s absorbed and evaporated; then add coconut meat (butung), black pepper, bay leaf, oregano, squeezed juice of calamansi or lemon, and soy sauce; stir in and cover with lid for about 1 minute, allowing steam to cook and tenderize (at this point, you can add the caliente ingredients for a spicy-hot alternative); then add eggs in, scramble and mix with rest of ingredients (at any time, you can add some oil and vinegar as needed if it starts to dry up); finally, add the steamed rice and mix in thoroughly.

Serve with: Your main course, or eat as is.  SM beer to cool the spice and quench your thirst.


Recipe #1:

Caramelize 3/4 cup sugar in pan. In a separate bowl beat six eggs until lemon colored. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 quart milk (whole), and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into pan (on top of the caramelized sugar). Bake at 325 degrees 1 hour (or longer) until knife inserted in flan comes out clean. This is the real stuff, smooth and light.

Recipe #2:

(Serving for six): 3 whole eggs; 3 egg yolks; a bit of grated lemon rind; 6 tbspn sugar; 2.5 cups milk.

CARAMELIZED SUGAR: 10 tbspn sugar & 5 tbspn water: Heat sugar and water in small skillet over moderate flame, Stir constantly. When the sugar is golden brown remove and pour in six oven proof cups.

Custard (flan): Beat whole eggs and yolks together, lightly. Add lemon rind sugar & milk. Pour into caramelized cups and place cups in a pan of hot water (without letting the water in the cups). Cook on the stove for an hour, medium flame. Transfer to 350° F oven and cook for another 25 min. A knife inserted in the custard must come out clean. Remove cups from the water, cool and the refrigerate. To serve, loosen custard with a knife and invert cup to a little dish.

Recipe #1
I kilo galungung or yellow fin tuna fish - Fresh fish - Canned or frozen will make the kilawin slimy and soft.
1 cup Vinegar
1/2 cup of calamansi juice ( lemon or lime will substitute)
5 tablespoons of ginger
I medium onion (orange size)
1 bulb of garlic
Hot chili Pepper (labuyo) to taste. Heat of pepper varies with the type.
Salt to taste
** Clean fish, remove heads fins and tails. Wash fish with 1/2 cup of vinegar. Discard vinegar and drain fish.
Cut fish into small 1" pieces. Mince ginger, onion, garlic, and chili pepper fine.
Mix all ingredients together. Let marinate for at least two hours or longer. The longer the better.
Serve with crackers or the way you like it.

Courtesy: Lori Maletsky -

Arroz Valenciana de Lola Say
From:  Marichu Macrohon-Regino (Macky)
Brent International School, Manila
South Campus, Brentville Subdivision
Mamplasan, Biñan, Laguna

Sent: Monday, June 16, 2003 12:33 AM



3 cups of cooked white long grain rice
½ cup oil
1 young chicken, cut into serving pieces
½ kg. pork, cut into serving pieces
2 Tbsp. Garlic, macerated
1 large onion, sliced
1 8-oz tomato sauce  or 6 large fresh tomatoes
1 Tbsp. Salt
¼ tsp. White pepper
¼ tsp. Paprika
6 potatoes quartered and fried
1 small can sweet peas
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced


1. Fry the chicken pcs. in hot oil.  Set aside.
2. In the same fat, render off color the atsuete seeds; discard seeds.
3. Sauté garlic, onion and add tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add the fried meat and simmer until tender.
6. Add the cooked rice; blend well.
7. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine lightly.
8. Arrange on a platter and garnish with hard-boiled eggs.

If you would like to contribute a recipe to our Z-Food Collection, we will post it with attributes to you.  Send your recipes to: Z-Food Recipes.

In order for this recipe collection to grow, we urge those who have benefited from this recipe page to submit your own personal favorite recipe for others to try.  This recipe page is here to benefit everyone, wherever they may be in the world.  We would like for this recipe page to be an open resource for our city's Chavacano food culture and other Filipino food varieties.  We hope you can reciprocate in kind as much as you can benefit from our efforts and those special contributors mentioned above.  Muchas gracias.  Come ya kita!