Introduction To Filipino Cooking With Yasmin Newman

Filipino cuisine might not be that well known in Australia, but a beautiful new cookbook by Filipino cooking expert Yasmin Newman is hoping to change that. 7000 Islands – A Food Portrait of the Philippines will appeal to both foodies and armchair travellers, and features over 100 authentic Filipino recipes including adobo, lumpia spring rolls, and leche flan. We chat with Yasmin about her favourite dishes, which ingredients she can’t live without for cooking Filipino dishes at home and why she thinks Filipino cuisine is going to be the next big food trend.

What is a classic dish that’s an easy introduction into Filipino cuisine?
Adobo all the way. This vinegar and soy braise is the Philippines’ national dish, so simple to make and adored by everyone who tries it. Its flavours are both quintessentially Filipino and accessible to a non-Filipino palate.

What are your tips for preparing adobo at home?
It’s all about the vinegar, so get your hands on native varieties (sugar cane, nipa palm and coconut) from Filipino food stores or use the best organic or unrefined rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar you can find.

Why do you think Filipino cuisine isn’t more popular in Australia?
There are a number of theories – a largely educated middle class migrant group in Australia; the peoples’ love of home-cooked Filipino food; and Filipinos’ adaptability to new cultures when migrating overseas, to name a few. Sensationalised media reports have affected the Philippines from a tourism point of view, which has also played a part. But things are definitely changing; there are now more and more Filipino food ambassadors and the country’s popularity as a tourist destination is growing exponentially. I think we’re going to be hearing, seeing and tasting a lot more of the Philippines from here on in!

What is your favourite Filipino snack?
Filipino love to snack – they even have a whole category of food called merienda dedicated to the cause! As a result, my list of favourite snacks is long, from sweets of turon (caramelised banana spring rolls) and halo halo (shaved ice dessert) to savoury chicken empanadas and lumpia singkamas (fresh jicama spring rolls).

Which 3 Filipino ingredients can’t you live without?
Kalamansi, green-skinned native Filipino citrus about the size of a 10-cent coin with an irresistible lemon-meets-lime-and-mandarin flavour, suka (native Filipino vinegar – nipa palm is my favourite) and pork – Filipinos have mastered pork in every shape and form, from lechon, whole-roasted suckling pig to crispy pata, deep-fried pork hock.

What are your favourite grocery stores for stocking up on Filipino ingredients in Australia?
Filipino cuisine has strong historical ties with Spain, China, Mexico and the US, meaning many ingredients are already widely available in Australia at supermarkets and greengrocers. Native Filipino ingredients are stocked at dedicated Filipino food stores or pan-Asian food shops. If you live outside of metropolitan areas, they may be a little harder to source, but you’d be surprised how many Filipino food stores exist – there are Filipino communities hidden just about everywhere! I head to Manila Sari Sari Store in Chatswood, Pasalubong in Mascot and V Plus in Erina. I have plans to sell selected Filipino products online in the future, so keep your eyes out!

Can you recommended any Filipino restaurants?
Sadly, there are currently few Filipino restaurants in Australia. In Sydney, where I live, try La Mesa in the CBD, Sizzling Filo in Lidcome or head to Blacktown where there are a number of authentic turo turos (casual eateries).

Make Yasmin’s Lamb Adobo recipe from 7000 Recipes here!

What’s your favourite Filipino recipe?

August 13, 2013

Win a Stainless Steel Kitchen Package

Legend benchtop blender

Sunbeam and Kraft have teamed up with to bring you this sensational food-lovers competition. You can win one of two deluxe, stainless steel kitchen appliance packages from Sunbeam plus your very own copy of the Kraft Heavenly Moments cookbook!Sunbeam Cafe Series kitchen appliance packs

We have two prize packs each containing a Sunbeam Legend benchtop blender, Stainless Professional Wok, Stainless Deep Fryer and Sunbeam Cafe Grill, plus a copy of The Kraft Heavenly Moments cookbook (total value approximately $650.00 each).

The Sunbeam Legend benchtop blender

Sunbeam has blended classic and contemporary design to create a timeless kitchen essential – the Sunbeam Legend

Stainless Professional Wok

benchtop blender. Even crushing ice is a breeze with its unique stainless steel quad-blade system and specially designed Pulse setting for superior ice crushing. Elegant design and heavy duty power makes preparing anything from soups, smoothies, dips and sauces to desserts and cocktails a breeze.The stylish and functional Sunbeam Legend is available from department stores and electrical retailers nationally.

RRP: $159.95

The Sunbeam Stainless Professional Wok

Surely Australia’s hottest wok, this baby is sure to fire-up stir-fry lovers looking for the ultimate in kitchen equipment. The Stainless Professional Wok includes a 25-year guarantee on its stainless cooking surface and is extremely versatile,

Stainless Deep Fryer

equipped with steaming and tempura racks and a glass lid with steam vent. What’s more, the dishwasher-safe design makes it simple to maintain the sparkle of this innovative wok.The Sunbeam Stainless Professional Wok from Sunbeam is available from department stores and electrical retailers nationally.

RRP: around $199.95

The Sunbeam Stainless Deep Fryer

Create your own fish and chips, tempura or wontons with the new commercial-style Stainless Deep Fryer. Its well-designed stainless steel body and cooking vessel ensures longevity, and blends in easily with the modern kitchen. A two-level safety lowering basket and easy to clean parts make the Sunbeam Stainless Deep

Sunbeam Cafe Grill

an experience you may leave your local takeaway for.The Stainless Deep Fryer from Sunbeam is available from department stores and electrical retailers nationally

RRP $159.95

Sunbeam Cafe Grill

Create your own gourmet-toasted snacks at home with authentic grill marks. The cafe-design floating hinge will accommodate any kind of toasted snack, from a gourmet grilled vegetarian focaccia to chicken wraps or the old

Kraft Heavenly Moments

toasted cheese sandwich. The Kraft Heavenly Moments cookbook

Featuring over 75 recipes from some of Australia’s cutting-edge chefs and the team at Kraft Kitchens, Heavenly Moments is a tribute to the versatility of Philly cheese. From brunch to dessert and everything in between, and featuring gorgeous colour photographs, Heavenly Moments is a must for your culinary bookshelf.

Enter now…

October 15, 2002

Cookbooks of the Month

Check out our new selection of hip and hot cooking books.Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Well-known celebrity chef, Luke Mangan has put together a gorgeous book filled with simple sumptuous recipes. A great pressie for anyone who loves to cook. Order


Donna Hay has done it again with another one of her fabulous and cookbooks. This time it is called Flavours and is filled with themed sections such as Lime, Garlic and my favourite is Chocolate. Order

October 2, 2000