Chef Myrna Segismundo Prepares Filipino Flavors for a Special Christmas at The Maya Kitchen

From working the kitchens of the finest hotels in the Philippines and New York City, serving food and teaching classes in her restaurant New Manila: A Private Kitchen, helping aspiring chefs as the organizer and chair for The National Food Showdown, holding Filipino Food Festivals all around the world, serving as editor-in-chief of a food magazine and host of two cooking shows, and authoring two books—Chef Myrna has been perfecting and promoting our local cuisine, making her one of the most-respected chefs in the Filipino food scene. Now, she is bringing her expertise and passion to The Maya Kitchen Culinary Elite Series.

For Chef Myrna, Filipino food does not need to be made gourmet or fused with other cuisines to be good. For people who didn’t grow up with it, they will appreciate its sheer deliciousness and uniqueness. But for us Filipinos, our cuisine holds a special place in our hearts. It’s special because of the memories and emotions we have attached to it. It reminds us of home, of family, and of comfort.

That’s why, for a holiday that’s so meaningful and family-oriented, there’s nothing better to serve our loved ones than the Filipino Flavors of Christmas. Chef Myrna is teaching the Culinary Elite Series participants how they can whip up a special feast for family and friends this season. Learn how to make a delectable appetizer of Adobo Pate, a fresh Salad of Ubod and Pomelos with honeyed-patis dressing, a hearty and filling Morcon a la Emilia, and a sweet ending of the Turones de Manila with a bit of whiskey and ice cream.

By keeping the flavors and ingredients local, traditional dishes such as adobo and turon can be made with a twist, yet still give us the familiar and cherished memories we have of our Filipino food favorites. And because Chef Myrna’s dishes highlight the tastes we’ve grown up with, cooking these holiday dishes will be more fun than challenging.

Pick up cooking techniques and lessons and a renewed appreciation for Filipino food when you join Chef Myrna at The Maya Kitchen Culinary Elite Series. Anyone with a passion for food, cooking, and learning can join the best chefs and restauranteurs in the country as they share their skills and knowledge in the Culinary Elite Series.

For more information on this and on other course offerings, log on to, e-mail, or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City. You may also call us 8921185 or 892-5011 local 108 or +63929 679 6102.

Like and follow Maya Kitchen on Filipino cuisine deserves to be celebrated— not limited as our comfort food favorite at home, but as something to be proud of and shared to the world. That’s what Chef Myrna Segismundo believes, and has passionately advocated for throughout her long and illustrious career.

Facebook and Instagram @TheMayaKitchen1 and follow us on Twitter @TheMayaKitchen.

Pepper Jelly and Toast Points
Serves 6 - 8
For the Adobo:

1 head Garlic, peeled and pounded
2/3 cup Cane Vinegar  
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 tbsp Black Peppercorns, cracked
1 pc Bayleaf (optional)
1 kl Pork Shoulder, boneless, cut into stewing pieces
Enough water to cover meat
2 cups Fresh Cream
1  bar (227 g) 100 g Unsalted Butter, divided
  1. Combine garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, pepper  and bay leaf in a wok or saucepot.  Add pork,  and water and marinate for 30 minutes.  Simmer over medium heat until pork  is cooked.  Continue simmering the pork in the pot till it is tender.  Some oil will be expressed from the pork.  Fry the pork in the remaining oil until golden brown.
  2. Gently toss cooked meats.  Some of the meat will stick to the pot so scrape the sides to include those to mixture.  Set aside.
  3. Add the fresh cream and half of the butter and continue simmering for another  5 minutes.
  4. Remove the bayleaves from the adobo and allow to cool down.
For the Pate
In a blender,  pour adobo mixture  and process till smooth.   Transfer to desired container and top with the remaining melted butter to seal the pate.  Chill before serving with toast points/crackers and pepper jelly.

Pepper Jelly

25 grams Red Bell Pepper, seeded and minced
1 cup Honey
1/2 cup Water
3 tbsp Butter
3 tbsp Juice from fresh lemon or calamansi
2 pcs Bird’s Eye Chili, seeded and minced

Combine all ingredients in a pot.  Simmer, stir and reduce by half.

Honeyed-Patis Dressing
Kinilaw of Shrimps
Serves 4 - 6

1 kl Ubod (hearts of palm), julienned
Soaked in water with calamansi juice (drain before use)
2 pcs Jicama, peeled, julienned
2 pcs Carrot, peeled, julliened
2 pcs Red Bell Pepper, seeded, julienned
2 pcs Green Bell Pepper, seeded, julliened
1 whole Pink Pomelo Segments, peeled and seeded
1 recipe Honeyed-Patis Dressing

1/4 cup Dayap or Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Patis (fish sauce)
1/3 cup Honey
1/2 tbsp Dayap Zest, grated
Pinch White Ground Pepper

1           kl Fresh White Shrimps, peeled, headless and deveined
1 cup Cane Vinegar
2 pcs White Onion, minced
2 pcs Ginger (approx 1 inch), peeled and minced
Bird’s Eye Chili), chopped
Juice from 10 pcs. Calamansi
2 tsp Fish Sauce

In a bowl ,  marinate shrimps in vinegar  for 2 minutes, squeeze shrimps lightly and discard vinegar.  Strain the shrimps, set aside.

In a separate bowl, toss marinated shrimps in onion, ginger, and chilli.  Drizzle with calamansi juice.  Season with fish sauce, if needed.

Serves 4 - 6

2 kls. Beef Sirloin, cut into 2 portions, each measuring
         8 x 5 x ½-inch slices (pound lightly if needed)
Juice from 2 lemons or limes or 10 pcs calamansi
1 cup Soy Sauce
1 head Garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp Black Peppercorns, cracked
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
8 -10 pcs Sweet Pickles, quartered
4- 6 pcs Spanish Sausages (Chorizo) each cut into 4 horizontal strips
200 gms Pork Fat, cut into 1/4 x 2-inch strips
1/3 kl Edam Cheese or Queso de Bola cut into 1/4 x 2-inch strips
150 gms Ham Strips
1 can Pimiento, sliced into strips
5 pcs Eggs, boiled, peeled and wedged
Butcher’s Thread
2 pcs White Onions, minced, sautéed in a little oil
4 pcs Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped, sautéed in a little oil
Enough  Water to cover meat
1 cup Tomato Sauce
3 pcs Potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup Green Olives
Salt and Pepper, to taste

  1. Marinade beef slices in lemon, lime or calamansi juice, soy sauce, garlic and pepper for 2 hours
  2. Remove beef from marinade and spread slices  flat on tray.  Reserve marinade.  Spread top side of each slice with butter.  Line each center of the slices horizontally with strips of pickles, sausages, pork fat, cheese, ham, pimientos and boiled eggs.  Roll each slice into a cylinder and tie with butcher’s thread to bind beef and stuffing .  Rub and coat rolls with the sautéed onions and tomatoes.
  3. Place beef rolls in a pot or casserole .  Pour marinade.  Add water and tomato sauce.  Cook rolls covered over medium heat for about 30 minutes until sauce thickens or until beef is half-done.  Add quartered  potatoes and olives and continue simmering till beef is tender.  Season with salt  and pepper.
  4. Cool beef rolls thoroughly.  Remove string.  Carefully slice the rolled beef into half-inch thick cuts making sure the stuffing is intact.  Arrange slices neatly on a platter.  Heat sauce  with potatoes and olives .  Pour sauce over slices and garnish with the potatoes and olives .  Serve warm.


8 pcs Saba
10 pcs Lumpia Wrapper (Rectangular Springroll Wrappers), quartered
1 ½ cups Langka (Fresh or Bottled Jackfruit,  sliced into 1/4 –inch strips
2 tsp All- Purpose Flour or Cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
Oil for deep-frying
1 ½ cups White Sugar
1/2 gallon Vanilla Ice Cream
Dash Whisky
Coffee Powder for dusting Gelato

  1. Peel and slice each banana,  lengthwise into 6 strips.    
  2. On each piece of the cut spring roll wrapper, arrange 1 banana strip with 1 or 2 strips of jackfruit on one side.  Roll into small cylinders and seal the end of the wrapper with a little flour  or cornstarch dissolved in water.
  3. In a preheated pot with oil, deep-fry rolls over medium heat, tossing  continuously  while sprinkling  with the sugar, a little at a time.  This will coat  each roll  with caramelized sugar.
  4. Place cooked turron on a tray rack to drain excess oil and to cool.  To prevent pieces  from sticking  together, allow some space between the pieces.
  5. Serve with Vanilla Gelato spiked with Whisky and Coffee Powder.

Pears and Apples Poached in Red Wine
with Vanilla Gelato topped with Turrones de Manila

Serves 4 – 6

2 cups Red Wine
1 cup White Sugar
Juice from 6 Lemons
1 pc Cinnamon  Stick
6 pcs Red Apples, peeled, cored and halved
10 pcs Pears, peeled , cored and halved

  1. Combine the wine , sugar, lemon juice  and cinnamon  in a sauce pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat  and reduce heat to maintain  a gentle simmer.
  2. Add apples and pears and poach for 30 – 45 minutes or until the fruits are tender.  Remove fruits from the poaching liquid to avoid over cooking.
  3. Cool the poaching liquid and return the fruits to the mixture.  Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Garnish with Mint Leaves.

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