Use This Kind of Longganisa To Make Incredibly Tasty Dishes

We need to use this longganisa more.

IMAGE Aldwin Aspillera

Longganisa, or our local sausages, are incredibly flavorful links of meat. These are usually highly seasoned and depending on where you are located, the local versions can vary from sweet to spicy and garlicky. There are about as many kinds of longganisa recipes as there are regions in the Philippines, and this is what makes our sausages unique and comforting. 

Filipinos love sweet flavors so it's the hamonado or sweet longganisa varieties that are the typical sausage links we love to have for breakfast. For those who love their breakfast sausages less sweet and more garlicky, there is the de rekado, or garlicky longganisa. Whichever is your favorite kind, there is one longganisa that you can serve like your other silog meals and is considered more of an ingredient you use in recipes. 

The longganisa? The chorizo de bilbao

Gambas is a sauteed spicy shrimp dish that's even more flavorful because of the chorizo. 
Photo by Patrick Martires
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Chorizo is available in supermarkets, and it's a fantastic flavoring for dishes. It's highly seasoned just like all other longganisa but what makes this sausage different from the breakfast varieties is the fact that it's a dried and cured sausage. That makes the chorizo de bilbao's flavor more intense, more flavorful, more everything since it's ingredients are allowed to meld together through time. (Time, after all, is sometimes the only other ingredient you need to make flavors be more extra.) 

If you look through recipes that have chorizo, it's almost never the main ingredient but a flavor component. This is the best way to enjoy this sausage because of its intense flavor. Just one sausage is enough to flavor an entire dish. It's a salty, spicy, and paprika-laden sausage that complements many other ingredients. 

Learn how to make chorizo a flavorful ingredient in your own dishes by mimicking how these recipes use it, too:  

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Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

1 Saute chorizo slices in oil.

Oil is not usually considered an important ingredient in recipes but it is, especially when a recipe has as few ingredients as this Pasta Chorizo Aglio Olio Recipe. Known as a pasta simply tossed in garlic and oil, the addition of chorizo not only amplifies the flavors of the olive oil and the garlic, the oil extracts the flavors from the chorizo as it is sauteed, which it gives the entire dish a spiciness that perfectly melds with both flavors. Potatoes and shrimps also make fantastic food pairings.

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Photo by Aldwin Aspillera

2 Season a stew with it. 

This Chicken and Chorizo Stew Recipe is a perfect example of how powerful the flavor of a chorizo link can be. This otherwise simple and somewhat ordinary chicken stew is made a little spicier, more flavorful with the chorizo. As with the pasta, the oil helps get the flavors of the sausage out and into the sauce. However, unlike the pasta, this has had more time to cook, simmering and thus infusing everything in the stew with its flavor. 

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Photo by Patrick Martires

3 Use it in the stuffing. 

Chop it up finely or make your own fresh chorizo meat mix. This creates the most flavorful ground meat mix that you may want to use as a stuffing such as in these Chorizo-Stuffed Rice Balls Recipe. You can even use it to make even the most ordinary ingredient extraordinarily flavorful, too. 

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Photo by Patrick Martires

4 Make soups more flavorful. 

It's not just sauces that chorizo can make taste better. Soups will benefit just as well by the chorizo's spicy paprika flavor. Since the chunks of the sausage simmer in a liquid that includes oil, the flavors become even more infused than usual. What results is an even more tasty soup that has notes of spicy, smoky paprika with every sip and meaty chunks in every spoonful. Make it even richer and more satisfying by thickening up the soup like in this Chicken and Chorizo Soup Recipe or by pairing it with a sweet ingredient like camote.

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There are many ways to mix in chorizo into your dishes. Add a few slices into your fried rice to add spice to your usual garlic fried rice, mix it with your tomato-based pasta with salty feta, jam a flavorful mixture with chorizo into a roast chicken, and many more recipe ideas. The flavor of this under-used local dried and cured longganisa is just waiting for you to make your dishes tastier. 

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