Is it Noche Buena or Buenas Noches? It may appear that these two phrases have the same meaning, but one of them refers to a beloved Filipino tradition of dining and enjoying a delicious spread of home-cooked meals on Christmas Eve. But a more important question than learning the difference between the phrases is: What are you and your family having for Noche Buena?
Still in the middle of planning your main Christmas meal? You’re in luck! Read on for some tasty Paskong Easy Sarap dishes for a merry Christmas eve!
The Secret to a Joyous Season
Still in a time of worry due to the global threat of COVID-19, you can expect that this year’s Christmas and New Year will be far from how Filipinos traditionally celebrate the season’s festivities. No christmas carolers on the streets, shorter mall hours, simbang gabi (or masses held in the early hours of 9 mornings before Christmas) will possibly be held online, and family gatherings will definitely be limited. But hey, while these activities may be different for now, you can trust that Prime Moms know just the trick to pulling off a memorable Holiday season.
You see, at the heart of the season’s festivities and its gatherings is one thing that Prime Moms are so very good at. And that’s lovingly-cooked and prepared dishes! So even if you plan to keep everyone safe at home during this time, remember that you can always bring out the merriness of the season with yummy meals straight from the kitchen!
What’s for Noche Buena?
Just to close on the subject: Buenas Noches and Noche Buena are both Spanish phrases for “good night”. The main difference would be on their literal translations. Noche Buena is a little more grand with its translation which is “a night of goodness.” It’s the biggest feast of Christmas, and in some traditions, families skip dinner (or fast) until midnight. In most of the Philippines, it’s a big night of families coming together and eating a grand spread of dishes.
Now while Noche Buena this year may likely be celebrated at home with limited guests, there’s no stopping Prime Moms from cooking up meals to get you in the jolly spirit of the season. Planning for Noche Buena? Got ya! Check out these tips and tasty recipes.
Appetizer: Creamy Mushroom Dip
Start off Christmas dinner with small snacks that’s sure to whet your guests’ appetite! It can be a simple salad, a soup or chips with a dip! Here’s a Creamy Mushroom Dip you can pair with tortilla chips, crackers or veggie sticks.
- 1 can (425g) Mega Prime Pieces & Stems Mushrooms, finely chopped
- ½ tsp. oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¾ cup (185g) all-purpose cream
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, or to taste
- Pinched cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the chopped Mega Prime Mushrooms ½ teaspoon of salt.
- In a bowl, combine cooked mushrooms (make sure to cool down first) with remaining ingredients.
- Season with salt and pepper, and serve with tortilla chips, crackers or fresh vegetable sticks.
Catch more tips and recipes on Finger Foods for Special Dinners.
Main: Braised Chicken in Oyster Sauce
Tired of the same fried chicken dish? Switch it up to a saucy, fragrant and savory dish of Braised Chicken in Oyster Sauce. Here’s how you make it.
Serves 3 – 4
- 3pcs. chicken legs, chopped into 3-4 parts
- ½ Tbsp. light soy sauce
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 inch ginger knob
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 stalks spring onion
- 3 dried scallops
- 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- ½ Tbsp. Chinese wine
For the Sauce
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tsp. chicken seasoning powder
- ½ tbsp. Mega Prime Oyster Sauce
- 2 tsp. light soy sauce
- ½ tsp. thick dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 – 2 tsp. corn flour, mixed in 1 tbsp. water
- Season chicken with light soy sauce and pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes.
- Peel and slice ginger knob and garlic cloves. Cut the white part of the spring onions into 1-inch lengths, and chop the green part.
- Soften scallops in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain, but save the soaking water for later. Shred the scallops.
- Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
- Heat pan and oil over high heat. Stir fry the ginger, garlic and white spring onion parts. Add in shredded scallops and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Throw chicken chunks into the pan and toss until the meat cooks. Drizzle Chinese wine and stir until well combined.
- Scoop the stir fry and transfer to a saucepan or cooking pot. Pour the combined sauce ingredients and the scallop’s soaking water. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Let mixture braise for about 30 minutes or until chicken chunks are evenly cooked and tender (check with fork).
- Season sauce, and thicken with corn flour mixture.
- Garnish with chopped spring onions before serving.
Browse through more Noche Buena mains and pasta dishes.
Dessert: Pinoy Fiesta Leche Flan
Nothing caps off a nice, filling dinner with sweet desserts that leaves both kids and adults delighted and ready to open presents. Try this colorful, fruity version of a well-loved pinoy dessert.
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 can (300mL) condensed milk
- 1 can (300mL) evaporated milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup Mega Prime Tropical Fruit Cocktail, drained
- Prep caramel by heating sugar in a pot. Pour caramel into llaneras. You may also opt for the traditional way of melting sugar that’s distributed into your llaneras. Before the caramel hardens, add pieces of Mega Prime Tropical Fruit Cocktail unto the melted sugar. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, condensed and evaporated milk. Stir thoroughly, until mixture is well-blended. Then fill llaneras with caramel and pieces of fruit cocktail. Cover molds with foil and steam for 25 minutes.
- Do the toothpick test. Once flans are ready, remove from steam and allow to cool before storing in the refrigerator.
Here’s more tasty twists to leche flan, along with other sweet suggestions for Noche Buena such as Fruit Salad.
Mega Prime products are available online via Megamart, Shopee, Lazada, and in Robinsons, Puregold and other leading supermarkets and groceries nationwide! Catch more #EverydayEasySarap pinoy ulam recipes.