The New Year is just a few days upon us and what better way to celebrate it than with merriment and a whole lot of feasting that’s very traditionally Filipino. We love to wait for New Year’s Eve or Media Noche, as we call it, and celebrate with our loved ones with dozens of celebratory Filipino recipes.
Media Noche is a Spanish term that means “midnight” and Filipinos have been celebrating the coming of the New Year with a huge feast and merrymaking.
The tables will be filled with platters of food for the first celebration of the year along with a basket of round fruits to symbolize good luck. The more of the table the better because it’s believed to bring prosperity for the rest of the years.
Here are some of the best Filipino Recipes for Media Noche:
Morcon is a Filipino recipe that’s only cooked for special occasions because of its somewhat complicated and time-consuming preparation and cooking process. That is why the New Year’s Eve or Media Noche is the perfect special occasion to serve this filling beef recipe.
Morcon is beef meat that’s filled with various other ingredients including boiled egg, sausages, and other vegetables. It’s often mistaken for another Filipino recipe, embutido. But the recipe for morcon, usually doesn’t ground the meat and is a much more filling dish.
2. Pancit Bihon
There’s this Filipino superstition that if you eat something noodles or other types of pasta that because of the “long” form of the ingredient, you’ll live a longer life. Other superstitions include wearing polka dots for good luck and jumping high at midnight for kids to become taller but I digress.
Pancit Bihon or other kinds of bihon and pasta recipes have become a popular dish to serve during Media Noche because of this superstition. The Media Noche feast is even considered incomplete without it.
Filipinos love their rice cake delicacies and it’s popularity doubles during the holiday season. There’s also another Filipino superstition that eating kakanin or rice cake delicacy will make good fortune stick for the year. Biko is one of the most popular kakanin delicacies served during the New Year’s feast.
Biko can be bought in huge platter size portions in the market or prepare it right at home. This filling delicacy’s main ingredients are glutinous rice and coconut milk, like most other rice delicacies. But it also makes use of other earthy ingredients like pandan, black rice, and latik to give it its distinct flavor.
Another rice delicacy is the next entry on this list and it’s the sweet and light palitaw. As a fun fact, palitaw means ‘to float.’ It got its name because of its unique cooking process where the flattened oval-shape rice dough is dropped into a bowl of boiling water and floats up to the surface to indicate that it’s fully cooked and ready.
It’s a fun activity to do with kids and the oval-shaped dough is then topped with grated coconut, coated with sugar, and topped again with sesame seeds.
Sapin-sapin is the last rice delicacy for this entry and it’s a great one that embodies the holiday and the merriment of the New Year. It’s a multi-colored sweet rice cake and it’s a fun treat on the eyes and the palate. Like with other rice cake delicacies in this list, you can easily buy a platter of this at the market or make your own at home.
There are three layers on the sapin-sapin rice cake and each layer has a different flavor which also gives it its different colors. It creates a great festive touch!
See also: Top 12 Best Filipino Kakanin Recipes
This next entry can’t be not mentioned on a Filipino recipe list for special occasions, much less for the New Year feast. Pinoy pork barbeque is basically just skewered meat, grilled to perfection before brushing with special barbeque sauce that just tickles the Filipino palate.
There’s usually a big plate of pork barbeque in any celebration piled up on top of each other and it’s usually the first plate that’s empty during the Media Noche feast. Everyone wants at least a stick of the skewered meat which makes it easy to eat and mingle at the same time.
There’s this weird superstition that during the Media Noche feast, there should be no chicken or fish dishes allowed because it will bring bad luck. Although, it’s unclear where it came from. Luckily, that superstition is slowly being phased out and more and more households are serving chicken and fish dishes during the New Year’s Eve celebration.
Rellenong manok is just the perfect recipe for such an occasion. The chicken is stuffed with flavorful ingredients and after the cooking process, brings dynamic flavors that tickle the palate.
See also: Chicken Relleno Rolls Recipe
8. Crispy Pata
Another entry on this list that would make a celebration feast incomplete without it. Crispy pata is a whole pork leg that’s traditionally from leftover lechon. But nowadays, the whole pork leg can be bought from the market and freshly cooked at home for special occasions like the Media Noche feast.
The whole pork leg is first boiled in water with salt and baking soda for several hours, dried, seasoned, then deep-fried. The finished product is delicious pork with crunchy skin and tender meat below.
9. Pata Tim
This next entry is a Chinese influenced dish and also makes use of a whole pork leg but with an entirely different cooking process. Some may find it intimidating to cook because the finished product is just so delicious but the whole process is fairly simple.
Pata Tim is prepared by just basically boiling the entire meat with water, seasoning, and its ingredients until it’s tender the meat is nice and tender. The broth will also turn into this dark rich sauce that’s done along with the boiling process of the tender meat.
See also: 18 Best Filipino Pork Recipes
This next entry is called pochero that’s meat stewed with delicious healthy vegetables and seasonings. You can cook pochero with any type of meat you want but the most commonly used is beef, pork, and chicken.
It creates an intimate addition to the Media Noche feast. The meat is boiled in a pot of water with vegetables like peppercorn and onion. It’s left to simmer for an hour and a half then added then intermittently added with vegetables, simmer, then added in with more vegetables and seasoning until the meat is tender and the broth is deliciously flavored.
This next entry is the bite-sized siomai, a Chinese influenced dish that’s brought to the Philippines to which the Filipinos adapted it to their own. Siomai is basically a mini dumpling with meat fillings. It’s a very versatile dish in terms of what ingredients you want to fill it with. In this recipe, ground pork and shrimp are used.
The mini dumplings are then steamed and served hot. After which it’s topped with calamansi juice and soy sauce. Filipinos love to munch on these bite-sized treats because of their delicious flavor that can also be eaten as a whole meal.
This is another Chinese influenced dish that’s also brought to the Philippines by Chinese traders and the Filipinos, of course, adapted it as their own. Like siomai, lumpiang shanghai is a dish that wraps fillings. The difference is that lumpia shanghai is longer in size and uses ground meat and diced vegetables as it’s filling. But of course, there can be a variety of ingredients you can use for filling with this dish. All that’s left is to fry and serve.
13. Leche Flan
There are a variety of leche flan desserts all over the world but the Filipino’s version of leche flan is probably the sweetest and heaviest one of them all. Leche flan is the most common dessert you’ll find served at celebrations and children will always come looking for it at the table.
Leche flan uses simple ingredients that are easily found at home so it’s an easy dessert dish to prepare at home but you can always buy several platters of it at the market.
See also: How to Make Banana Leche Flan
The Filipino style spaghetti is a dish that can never be absent on the table during special occasions, much less during the Media Noche feast. This style of spaghetti or ‘spag’ as some Filipinos call it are a lot sweeter than original Italian recipes and are usually topped with slices of sausages. It’s one of the dishes that children go crazy over during feasts.
See also: Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti Recipe
15. Buko Fruit Salad
We’re ending this list with a dessert. Buko fruit salad is one of the most common Filipino desserts because of the convenience of finding its ingredients. All you’ll need is coconut milk, sugar, and slices of loads of different fruits. Combine all these ingredients in a container, freeze it overnight and you’re good to go. It’s a very refreshing dessert to serve after feasts.
See also: Top 10 Salad Recipes