Longganisa, the skinless kind, is a childhood favourite of mine.
For some reason, growing up, we've only had the skinless kind, made at home, most probably because of Yaya's inherent distrust of commercial goods. Among folks of her generation, there was the impression that anybody who makes food to sell for a profit will make that money often if not always at the expense of the consumer, shiny, glittery ads with celebrity spokespeople notwithstanding.
Longganisa, various shapes and sizes
grilled hefty longganisa
The skinless longganisa of our childhood -- Yaya's or others' -- were always about the size of fingers: slender and not too large. Over the years, however, our lack of industry has made them larger and larger, and heftier.
left: finger-sized; look at all those bits of fat!
right: patty-shaped longganisa
I have been enamoured with the kofte shape, which, in the incarnations I've seen, tended to be a kind of flattened oval. I've been making longganisa fatter and stumpier because I think they look cuter that way. So really, it's not all about lacking industry here! ;)
Recently, we've even made patty-shaped longganisa for a burger party. We had "longganisa burger patties" and beef patties. The longganisa ones outsold the beef patties!
Yaya's recipe, updated
In the case of commercially-made longganisa, there was a fear of preservatives and artificial colours. But most fearsome of all was the mysterious "filler" in these sausages -- as in, we didn't really know how much and what kind of "filler" were in these longganisa.
Following Yaya's recipe, which I found to be consistent with other recipes of skinless longganisa among our circle, we have been making these skinless longganisa now for quite a number of years, but lately, I have been somewhat dis-satisfied with the texture of the longganisa.
In the past couple of years, I found that they could be on the "tough" side, perhaps it's because we've been making them so large. Especially eaten after being reheated, these sausages are just too dense and meaty for me!
And so it is time to overcome the fear of the filler and embrace it. Lately, I have taken to adding breadcrumbs to our skinless longganisa to achieve what I think to be a better texture. I could, I suppose, also add more fat, but at this juncture, breadcrumbs are more available.
Since longganisa are eaten with chile-infused vinegar (sinamak) as condiment, I have taken to adding chile peppers and vinegar right in the pork mixture as well, to great results.
After mixing the ingredients -- ground pork, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, "filler" and seasonings -- and forming them into slender "ladyfingers", the longganisa are usually pan-fried over medium/medium-low heat (to prevent the brown sugar from burning).
But, we have also taken advantage of our hefty sausage shape and grilled them!
left: pan-fried; right: grilled
Marvin, at Burnt Lumpia, has a couple of very elucidating entries on longganisa and the regional variations of the genre. One of these days, I have to get myself a grinder and make my own longganisa with skin. I kind of miss the casing in our sausage incarnations.
A Long, Long Longanisa Story
Homemade Longanisa v2.0
Longsilog = Longganisa + Sinangag + Itlog
Skinless Longganisa (Philippine Pork Sausage)
Sinangag (Philippine Garlic Fried Rice)
For more Philippine/Filipino dishes and posts:
[eatingclub] vancouver Philippine food
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Yaya's original recipe; my revisions are in italics.
2 pounds ground pork
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp Maggi or Knorr seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper (1 tsp black pepper)
1 tbsp garlic, chopped (2 tbsp garlic, chopped)
1/2 cup flour (1 cup breadcrumbs OR 4 slices of bread, moistened with the wet ingredients)
(1 tbsp vinegar)
(3 Thai bird chiles, minced)
Combine all ingredients together and roll into sausage form, about the size of fingers. Pan-fry over medium/medium-low heat, careful not to burn the sugar in the sausages.
Serve with plain white rice or sinangag (Philippine Garlic Fried Rice), and with chile-infused vinegar as condiment.