Three-Ingredient Ulam Recipes To Try

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You may not know it but many delicious recipes can easily be made using just three ingredients

Salt, pepper, oil, and even sugar are staples that everyone has in their kitchen. These are basic ingredients for most recipes and if you remove these staples from the ingredients list, you might discover that there are much fewer ingredients you actually need to make a recipe. 

The wonderful thing with easy recipes is that there is a short list of ingredients, and this is not a bad thing. With fewer ingredients, you will taste the individual ingredients you added better.  

Three ingredients may be all you need to cook something delicious. Here's how you can mix and match these ingredients to make any of these easy recipes:   

Photo by Jun Pinzon

Giniling +  mixed vegetables + tomato sauce 

What else do you need to make ground pork delicious? This classic dish can be simplified to be even easier to make! Just saute your choice of ground meat until cooked, add thawed mixed vegetables, and seasoned the mix salt, pepper, and a little tomato sauce for a delicious tang. You can elevate this mix with soy sauce for a menudo-tasting giniling.    

Photo by Zoe del Rosario
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Giniling + potatoes + eggs 

Any tortang giniling recipe is easy to make! Just whisk some eggs and an easy omelet is ready in minutes! To make this just a little more hearty, cook potatoes until tender with the giniling before mixing it with beaten eggs to make this omelet better with rice. You can even swap the potatoes for mixed vegetables for less prep. 

Photo by Mark Jesalva

Chicken + sayote or malunggay leaves + ginger  

If you think about it, tinola is all about the chicken, the malunggay, and the ginger. If you simmer the chicken in the water to create a delicious homemade chicken broth with the ginger slices, you will end up with a super tasty chicken soup. Switch the malunggay for sayote if you can't find the leaves but the main flavor is still there. Some salt to make the soup flavorful and you should be good to go. 

Invade your condiment stash and use patis instead of salt to make it taste even better. You can even change the chicken for pork for another twist to this simple flavor combination.  


Photo by Majoy Siason

Beef + broccoli + oyster sauce

This awesome dish of tender beef strips stir fried with broccoli florets tossed in a delicious, umami-packed sauce made with oyster sauce. You can toss these three ingredients together and be done. The crispy garlic is totally optional but highly recommended especially if you love the aromatic herb.

Photo by Patrick Martires

Fish + garlic + oyster sauce 

A steamed fish recipe can be super simple yet incredibly tasty. The addition of crispy garlic added to the steamed fish as it simmers in an oyster sauce-based liquid elevates an already super tasty dish. All you have to do is season whole fish fillets with salt, pepper, and oyster sauce. Top it with chopped garlic and steam until flaky and tender. Add crispy garlic for that appetizing crunch.  

Photo by Bianca Laxamana

Pork chops + mushrooms + all-purpose cream 

Now, this is a lunch or dinner meal that is sure to appeal! Tender pork chops, seasoned with salt and pepper is simply pan-fried. Use the oil you just used for frying the pork chops to start the base of your sauce. Make a super simple sauce by sauteing mushrooms in that oil and then adding all-purpose cream to make the sauce. Easy, simple, and delicious! This meal comes together in minutes! 

How many ingredients do you really need to make a meal? We think you can simplify many other dishes if you can pinpoint the ingredients you love in each one. Make salpicao, nilaga, and a simple chicken curry meal with just a few ingredients, too. 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!


Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here! 

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