10 Budget-Friendly Filipino Recipes for New Year’s Eve (Media Noche)

Like Christmas Eve (Noche Buena), most Filipinos celebrate New Year’s Eve (Media Noche) with a delicious feast to welcome the coming year filled with hope and positivity. It’s even believed that preparing as much food for Media Noche will bring abundance all year round. However, with the prices of ingredients skyrocketing, how do you make a festive feast for Media Noche?

If you’re wondering what to prepare for this Media Noche, read on as we share 10 budget-friendly Filipino recipes for New Year’s Eve!

10. Pork Barbecue

Pork Barbecue is an all-time favorite grilled Filipino dish you can find anywhere in the Philippines. This classic ihaw-ihaw specialty is sold in the streets, karinderia, fast foods, and restaurants – a mouthwatering dish usually served as an appetizer or viand in Filipino gatherings!

It’s made of marinated pork slices skewered in bamboo sticks cooked over a hot charcoal grill. The Filipino-style Pork Barbecue is known for its sweet and savory flavor with a hint of smokiness that is hard to resist. It is served with a special spicy vinegar sauce that complements flavorful Pork Barbecue.

9. Ilocos Bagnet

If you’re on a budget but want to make something as tasty as Lechon, the Ilocos Bagnet is a sure hit on New Year’s Eve! This recipe is a specialty from the Ilocos province, usually served during birthdays, events, or special occasions – a “putok batok” pulutan (appetizer) best enjoyed with an ice-cold beer.

Ilocos Bagnet is made of pork belly deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. Before frying, the pork belly is boiled in water with lemongrass, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper until tender. This Filipino favorite is a guilty pleasure dish dipped in a special vinegar sauce.

8. Pininyahang Manok sa Gata

Pininyahang Manok sa Gata is another popular Filipino dish you can serve for Media Noche. While chicken is traditionally avoided for New Year since it’s associated with food scarcity, this recipe looks lavish and vibrant. That’s why many Filipinos serve Pininyahang Manok sa Gata on New Year’s Eve or any occasion. Plus, it’s healthy too!

The dish consists of chicken simmered in pineapple juice and coconut milk – a sweet and savory Filipino stew! It looks like chicken curry but without curry powder. Also, it includes pineapple chunks, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion, and garlic. 

7. Rellenong Bangus

Another budget-friendly Filipino recipe you can try this New Year’s Eve is Rellenong Bangus – a stuffed milkfish often served as a viand or appetizer. The dish can be stuffed with a rich mixture of pre-cooked ingredients, including fish, pork, onion, garlic, carrots, green peas, and raisins.

However, making this recipe requires a lot of time and effort since you should remove the fish bones and flesh while keeping the head and skin intact. From there, you should make the filling, stuff the milkfish skin, and deep fry it. So, it’s no wonder Filipinos only serve the dish on special occasions.

6. Lumpiang Shanghai

One of the best budget-friendly Filipino recipes for New Year’s Eve is Lumpiang Shanghai – a tasty spring roll recipe to hit on any occasion! Although the dish originated in China,  Filipino celebrations and gatherings would not be complete without Lumpiang Shanghai.

It’s served throughout the country, from sidewalks and karinderia to office cafeterias and restaurants. The dish contains ground pork, carrots, onion, garlic, kinchay (parsley), egg, and other seasonings wrapped in a spring roll wrapper. Then, it’s deep-fried until golden and crispy. When serving Lumpiang Shanghai, don’t forget its ultimate dip – the sweet and sour sauce.

5. Chopsuey

If you’re wondering what dish to prepare for the elders this Media Noche, you can never go wrong with Chopseuy. It’s a tasty and healthy recipe to add to your New Year’s Eve menu! Chopseuy, which means “mixed pieces,” is a popular dish in the Philippines with Chinese influence.

The dish contains bite-sized ingredients, including pork, shrimp, quail eggs, and chicken liver. It also has plenty of vegetables, such as baby corn, cabbage, string beans, onion, carrots, cauliflower, celery, and bell pepper. You can also use chicken stock broth instead of water to make the dish more flavorful.

4. Filipino-Style Spaghetti

Aside from white rice, Filipino-style spaghetti is another must-have for every occasion and gathering. This classic dish is a staple in the Philippines, commonly served during big celebrations, fiestas, and holidays. Filipinos love this recipe so much that they serve it even on normal days as a breakfast, merienda, or any time of the day.

But how does this recipe differ from other spaghetti? The Filipino-style Spaghetti is known for its distinct meaty and sweet sauce that kids of all ages will surely enjoy. It contains ground pork, beef, hotdogs, tomato sauce, banana ketchup, sugar, onion, garlic, bell pepper, and other seasoning.

3. Pancit Bihon Guisado

Pancit Bihon Guisado is one of the top budget-friendly Filipino recipes for New Year’s Eve – a traditional noodle dish associated with good health and long life. Thus, Filipinos, especially elders, like serving pancit during birthdays, special occasions, and gatherings.

There are also many types of pancit, which differ in the noodles used, while the rest of the ingredients are almost the same. But for this recipe, you’ll need Bihon Rice Noodles, pork, liver, onion, garlic, carrots, cabbage, Baguio beans, and other seasonings. Additionally, you can top the Pancit Bihon Guisado with calamansi, spring onion, fried garlic, and Lechon Kawali.

2. Leche Flan

Of course, Filipino New Year’s Eve won’t be merry without a sweet dessert, like Leche Flan – a custard dessert topped with caramel sauce. It’s commonly served during special occasions and gatherings – a traditional Filipino dessert everyone loves to devour.

Leche Flan is made of egg yolks, condensed milk, evaporated milk, sugar, and Dayap (lime) rind. Pour the caramelized sugar into the llanera mold before putting the egg yolk mixture. Steam your Leche Flan for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until it’s cooked. Afterward, set it aside and chill it before consuming.

1. Rice Cakes

Rice cakes are not only budget-friendly. But a must for a prosperous New Year’s Eve celebration. Like other Asian countries, Filipinos believe sweet and sticky rick cake represents closeness and harmony with family and friends. Serving rice cakes during the New Year is also thought to bring good fortune all year round.

So don’t skip rice cakes for this year’s Media Noche. You can also try Filipino rice cake recipes, like the Putong Bigas, Sapin-Sapin, Palitaw, Biko, and Kutsinta. If you’re not an expert in making these sticky treats, don’t worry. You can buy rice cakes before New Year at the market or order from online sellers.





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