Jimmy Dean hissed furiously in the kitchen. I had been living off two-for-one Jimmy Deans ever  since I emptied my pantry of corned beef and Spam.  Those twofers were lifesavers back in the day when I was a cash-strapped student.  They were deals too hard to pass like those sugar-laden cereals that were perpetually half-price. I never really cared for their cloying sweetness but I always felt compelled to buy them by the bulk, nevertheless.  I was too foolish, I know.

It was breakfast for dinner once again. Leftover rice fried with lots of garlic. Eggs sunny-side-up. Maple sausages charred to a crisp. I never tire of eggs and rice. A perfectly fried egg flecked with salt and paired with rice, either steamed or fried, is an immensely satisfying meal in my book. You can have eggs and toast all you want but I will have my eggs and rice. Nothing compares to the comfort that cooked rice steeped in golden yolk brings.

As I browned the sad sausages in the pan and a mist of grease rained on the stove, I couldn’t help but miss home.  My breakfast for dinner would be infinitely better if I had longganisa [long-gah-nee-sah] instead of my miserable Jimmy Deans.  My mind longingly drifted to our butcher back home.  I dreamed about the stubby links of longganisa hanging handsomely under bright incandescent bulbs next to cuts of liempo (pork belly), kasim (shoulder), and tadyang (ribs).  My mind wandered back to our kitchen. I could hear breakfast. I could smell the garlic.  I could taste the charred skin of the sweet sausages. I could taste home.

I opened the windows in my empty apartment and hoped that a cold Fall breeze would whisk away the smell of the burnt sausages. I sat down to dinner with Jimmy Dean.  This would do for now, I thought.  Sweet longganisa would have to wait.

 

Longanisa

 

Longaniza is Spanish sausage, similar to chorizo. Longganisa is the Filipino counterpart made with native spices and ingredients. In her book Palayok, Filipino food writer Doreen Fernandez writes about the two general types of Filipino-style sausages: jamonado, which is sweet like ham, and de recado, which is spicier or vinegar-flavored.

The spices and flavorings used in making longganisa vary from town to town across the archipelago.  In the northern part of the island of Luzon, in a town called Vigan in Ilocos Sur, longganisang Vigan is marinated in garlic and basi or sugarcane vinegar.  Longganisang Lucban from Lucban, Quezon in the southern part of Luzon is made with oregano while the sausages in Pampanga, not far from Manila, are sweet and intensely garlic-flavored.  Traditional longganisa is made with ground pork and diced pork fat but versions that use chicken and beef abound.

Lala, my Pampangueña friend  and the voice behind the blog This Little Piggy, makes the best sweet Pampanga-style longganisa.  She makes them skinless and nitrite-free with lots of freshly ground black pepper to cut through the sweetness of the pork.  She uses achuete powder for color, which I substitute with achuete oil.

If you plan to make a big batch to freeze, Lala suggests laying them out on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Place another layer of plastic wrap and sausages on top until you have stored them all and then place everything in a sealed plastic bag or container. In this way, the sausages freeze individually.

 

Longanisa

 

Sweet Pampanga-style Longganisa Recipe
Recipe adapted from the blog This Little Piggy, makes 6 to 8 three-inch sausages

1 pound ground pork shoulder
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon achuete oil, more if making skinless sausages
hog casing, optional
canola oil, for pan-frying

Combine all ingredients except the hog casing and canola oil.  Mix very well. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. Adjust the taste by frying a spoon of the marinated ground pork and tasting it.

To make skinless longganisa, shape the marinated ground pork into 3-inch sausages using achuete oil. Fry in a lightly oiled skillet until cooked through and golden brown.

To make longganisa links, wash the hog casings thoroughly with warm running water before stuffing them with the sausage.  Food writer Hank Shaw has an excellent how-to on making homemade sausages in the blog Simply Recipes.  His instructions are very clear and are accompanied with equally clear step-by-step photographs.

Place the sausage links in a skillet and pour enough water to come about halfway up the sides of the links.  Simmer over medium-to-high heat, turning the sausages until all the water evaporates, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Add oil and fry until golden brown.

 

Longanisa

Longganisa

 

Learn the alphabet of Filipino food through our glossary. So much is lost in translation, I know, but I hope this glossary will help those unfamiliar with Filipino food become more informed.

A is for Achuete
B is for Barako Coffee
C is for Camarón
D is for Dinuguan
E is for Ensaimada
F is for Fish Balls
G is for Gata
H is for Himagas
I is for Itlog na Maalat
J is for Jackfruit
K is for Kamayan
L is for Longganisa

  • Jo Zalea Matias

    Longsilog is the best breakfast out there. I remember lazy mornings where I would run out to get a glass of taho, then come back inside for my lola’s fried rice, eggs, and longanisa. I would finish everything off with a sweet, juicy mango. That kind of breakfast would definitely be in the running to be my death row meal.

    Thank you so much for the recipe! I’ve been having English breakfasts for so long that I’ve almost forgotten what longanisa tastes like.

  • Samantha

    Yay!! A recipe for longaniza that doesn’t require funky nitrates or salt peter!! If I could eat one sausage forever, this would be it! Thanks always for the food lesson and great recipe.

  • http://www.saffronlane.com/blog Elizabeth @ Saffron Lane

    This is comfort food at its finest and is something I could easily eat every single morning.  Just lovely.

  • Amelia from Z Tasty Life

    L is for L-uscious meat, L-ick-my-fingers-good, and L-ove you Jun!!!

  • http://www.confessionsofachocoholic.com/ Bianca Garcia

    Longganisa! Yum! My dad is Kampampangan and I do love Pampangga longganisa, but not as much as lucban. Have you had Brazilian pork sausage? It reminds me of longganisa too.

  • http://www.delishiono.com/ Michelle Mista

    Drooling here, seriously. I’m not sure why but actually making your own longanisa never occurred to me and I’m surprised that it’s so uncomplicated!  Guess I know what I’m making for brekkie this weekend. Hello longsilog!!

  • http://www.happyjackeats.com Jacqui

    Oh yes. Fried egg + rice is my absolute favorite comfort food! Nothing soaks up runny egg yolk better. :) Love Filipino breakfast!

  • http://www.asianinamericamag.com Elizabeth @Mango_Queen

    You just read my mind, Jun! I have a couple of pounds of ground pork in the freezer waiting and I was thinking of making homemade longaniza with it. And instead of using my old recipe, I think I will try yours here. I’m sure it’s even better than what we used to make back home. Thanks for sharing. Will let you know how it turns out!

  • bambiman

    Wow!  These made me crave sinangag with rice and longganisa too!  My favourite is Lucban longganisa, but sadly cannot be imported here in Oz for some quarantine reasons.   Thanks for sharing this simple preservative free longganisa recipe!  Definitely in my kitchen-cooking-to-try list soon!

  • Tracey@Tangled Noodle

    I’m currently on a longganisa quest, trying every different kind that I can get my hands on. Lucban is a definite favorite but there’s a longganisa for every taste! Thanks to you and Lala for sharing this recipe – even though I can easily find any style, I’d love to try my hand at making it myself. 8-)

  • http://twitter.com/kitchenkwento Aileen Suzara

    As if I needed one more reason to get a hand-cranked meat grinder…the smell of longganisa in the morning just pulls at my heartstrings. 

  • http://wokwithray.net wok with ray

    This reminds me of our old meat business  in the palengke in Manila.  Thank you for bringing back memories, Jun.  It’s a wonderful post.

  • Fred

    awesome jun! This seems like something my kids would love to do. I amtrying these for thanksgiving!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Taho with longsilog, and a ripe, fresh mango? Your childhood breakfast sounds perfect, Jo.

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    You should definitely try this recipe, Samantha.  I think you’ll like it.  And, yes, it’s nitrite-and-food-coloring-free!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    I’ve never had the Brazilian-style sausages and now that you’ve mentioned it, I’m curious to try.  Are they sweet like the longganisas from Pampanga?

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Thank you, Michelle.  Yes, making your own homemade longganisa is no too complicated.  Try making it skinless first, which is a lot simpler than making the links.

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    I know, right? Yolk-soaked rice is delicious.  Sprinkled with a little salt and it’s perfect!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Thank you!  I think I have a recipe for longganisang Lucban from one of my Filipino cookbooks.  I’ll make it soon and I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  • delia zita

    What a yummy post Jun! The  original LongSiLog with tomatoes on the side, and kapeng barako! san ka pa? 

  • http://80breakfasts.blogspot.com joey

    This is one of my favorite Filipino breakfasts ever (longsilog)!!  Gosh…people that make their own longanisa impress me to no end.  I’ve got to try this one day!

  • http://twitter.com/SBayRantsnRaves SouthBay RantsnRaves

    I love longanisa. I never realized how much I missed it til I went off to college & there wasn’t any around. I would stock up on semester breaks. Nothing like the sweet sausage, garlic fried rice, & scrambled eggs! Thank you for sharing & I hope many will be inspired to try!

  • http://twitter.com/didipaterno Didi Paterno

    I LOVE LONGGANISA! My most favorite meat in the Filipino breakfast :) My favorites are from:
    Vigan
    Alaminos Pangasinan
    Baguio
    Imus, Cabita
    Lucban, Quezon

    Perfect with sinangag and egg OR stuffed in pandesal with may spread :) YUM!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Thank you! And I really hope, too, that many will be inspired to try.

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Thank you, Didi! WOW! That’s an impressive list.  I have tasted Vigan and Lucban and I just recently heard about Baguio but I have never tried Alaminos and Imus.  Are they sweet or savory?  Spicy?

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Thank you, Aileen.  The hand-cranked meat grinder is awesome! And the one I got from Sur la Table comes with a sausage stuffer spout!

  • http://twitter.com/didipaterno Didi Paterno

    waaah sorry for the late reply. I have a bias towards more savory, garlicky longganisas. so these are the on that side of the flavor spectrum with varying degrees of fat content and intensity of garlic flavor. The alaminos has stronger achuete orange color and is characterized by the toothpicks (instead of string or knotting the intestine casing) that segment each sausage. Imus longganisa is super fatty as well. 

  • Jo foodepix

    This looks delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at foodepix.com.

  • Raquel

    I’m staring at your longganisa photos and am revisited by today’s sad discovery – the frozen sausages I was thawing out for our New Year’s Day breakfast were not longganisa, but Chinese sausages masquerading as my favorite Filipino meat treat.  I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment (and the movie cliche shot of me dropping to my knees and screaming “NOOOOO!!!”)  and hopefully moved to some appropriate level of pity for me. 

    Anyway, love the blog – so glad I stumbled on it this year. 

  • Dada Hillda

    That is so delicious! I love longganisa….. Angeles City Pages

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Thank you, Raquel, and so sorry about the sausage mix-up.  Well, now you can make your own with this recipe!  Happy New Year to you!

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  • http://inhousemum.com/ Rochelle

    I love longganisa when my mum used to make it. An alphabet series of Filipino food would be a interesting early learn experience for my toddler. Great idea. Beautiful photography, too.

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

     Thank you for the kind compliments, Rochelle.  I hope you’ll come back for the rest of the alphabet and for the recipes.  Thank you.

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  • Liliasoriano

    What do you know?  I am seventy-five years old,have  lived in the States over 40 years and still learning something new every day like I can buy meat grinders with sausage maker features at Sur L’table, thanks to you! Heck, at my age I STILL GET EXCITED over authentic Filipino cooking.  But tell me, where can I get sausage casings?  Unfortunately in San Diego where I live, there a lack of ingredients for our cooking  which is not a problem if one lives say in SFO or NY.  Bless you!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    You are never too old to learn something new.  Thank you for your wonderful note.  I asked around for places in San Diego that sell sausage casings and someone pointed me to Talones Meat  Market in Escondido.  Is this close to you?  I’d try to look for butchers and meat markets, they most likely will have sausage casings.

    Good luck!  And if you cannot find any, you can always just make skinless longganisa.

  • Neontada

    great blog…like it….

  • Monay

    I have to try this….yummm with poached egg to make it a little healthier….
    How about Cebu longganisa? They’re the best too!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    I’ve never had Cebu longganisa before.  What does it taste like?

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  • emma

    there are sausage casings available online. i got mine from a local cabela’s store. they ship also.

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Thanks for the tip, Emma!

  • gary

    im australian i love it to yum yum

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