It’s no secret that the majority of Filipino dishes are heavy meals that can be fulfilling for hours and most Filipino recipes are centered around eating pork and heavy ingredients with a lesser percentage of the typical Filipino cuisine consisting of healthy veggies.
I mean, healthy green Filipino dishes are definitely there. It’s just that, they’re not as celebrated as the more well-known Filipino meat recipes so the greeny Filipino dishes are not served daily and has lesser serving portions compared to the meat.
I started noticing some time ago that I’ve been consuming a disproportionate amount of meat in my diet and along with the added carbohydrates from rice, I know I’m not eating the best foods for myself, healthwise. So I’m making a conscious effort to incorporate more healthy dishes in my diet.
I’m not going through a drastic change in diet, I just want some added nutritional value to what I’m eating. And one night, I came across an alugbati croquette recipe by one Chef Boy Logro (you may have heard of him). This recipe was also featured in a nationwide TV network. I was instantly curious because the end result of the recipe doesn’t look at all that healthy.
The alugbati is the main ingredient of the dish and needs to be dip fried which isn’t really the ideal form of cooking for a healthy dish but I think, this recipe is a great one for those wanting to transition into a healthier diet but also wanting to maintain a bit of delicious grease in their food.
Plus, alugbati as an ingredient in and of itself is packed full of nutritional value with very low contents of calories and fat. A lot of its nutritional properties helps with the body’s healing process and there is plenty of evidence that shows alugbati consumption can help combat neurodegenerative disorders as one gets older. There are many more wonderful benefits for the body that consuming alugbati can provide but that’s a much longer discussion.
Read more: Health Benefits of Eating Alugbati
It’s an easy ingredient to get a hold of as the alugbati plant is native to the Philippines is grown in practically every island, especially the Visayas region.
Fun fact: alugbati is commonly referred to as Malabar Spinach in the other countries, especially the West, but alugbati isn’t actually a type of spinach. It’s actually a vine with large green leaves that looks very and tastes similar to spinach leaves so that’s probably where the confusion stems from (pardon the pun).
Anyway, back to the recipe which is a recreation of Chef Boy Logro’s alugbati croquette recipes with a few tweaks here and there.
For this alugbati croquettes, we’re going to need 250 grams of cheese that are cut into cubes, 500 grams of squash that we need to boil and smash, 1 cup of alugbati leaves that should be coarsely chopped, 1 white onion that’s finely chopped, 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 3 pieces of eggs, 2 cups of breadcrumbs, cooking oil, and salt and black pepper as needed. These are all the ingredients we need for the alugbati croquette.
Now for the ingredients of the dip, we’ll need ½ teaspoon of minced garlic, ½ cup of mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons of water, and salt and pepper as needed.
Ones all the ingredients are prepared, let’s start with the cooking process for this recipe. In a bowl, mix the mashed squash, alugbati leaves, white onion, salt, and pepper. Form the mixture into individual balls and insert one cube of cheese into each one.
Create a mixture of the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs, and roll the balls into this mixture. Once all individual balls are covered in the mixture, deep fry them in medium heat until they’re crispy. Once they’re done, drain the alugbati balls and set aside.
The process for the dip is quite simple, we just need to mix all the ingredients together and season as needed.
Serve everything together and we now have a delicious and healthy alugbati croquettes with a homemade dip.
- 250 grams cheese, cut into cubes
- 500 grams squash, boiled and smashed
- 1 cup alugbati leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 pc white onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 pcs egg
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- Salt and black pepper as needed
- Cooking oil
- In a bowl, mix mashed squash, alugbati leaves, white onion, salt, pepper.
Form into balls and insert one cube of cheese.
- Roll in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Repeat process.
- Deep-fry alugbati croquettes in medium heat until crispy.
Drain and set aside.
- 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper as needed
- 3 tbsps water
- For the dip, mix garlic, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, sugar and water.
Serve together with croquettes.