3 Genius Ways to Upgrade Everyday Dishes

Make any dish taste better with these easy cooking tips.

This article is part of a series produced for Maggi Magic Sarap. To view other articles, click here.

When it comes to cooking, it's easy to just stick with the traditional dishes that you've already mastered over the years, or are tried-and-tested audience pleasers. After all, with the million things on our to-do lists, who has the time and energy to whip up something new?

The good news: You can level up your usual fare into something more special, all by switching up a few ingredients or changing up some steps. Here, we show you how simple, everyday dishes can be transformed into party-ready offerings with just a little diskarte.

Tip 1: Don't be afraid to combine flavors.

An oldie but goodie can become even better with a little ingenuity-like by adding another classic flavor to the mix. Since Filipino celebrations are never without the presence of noodle dishes (for long life!), here's a novel take on one of the usuals: the pancit canton. Made extra filling with the addition of crunchy sisig, this can also double as a pulutan for your holiday after-party. Check out the full recipe here.

Pancit Sisig

For the sisig:

1/4 kilogram pork cheek, blanched

1 piece bay leaf

50 grams chicken liver

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, mashed

1 red onion, chopped

1/2 red chili, sliced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons calamansi juice

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the pancit:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 piece small onion, cut into strips

1 sachet Maggi Magic Sarap® (8g)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 kilogram pancit canton

1 piece small carrot, cut into strips and blanched

1/4 head small cabbage, sliced and blanched

1 tablespoon sliced spring onion

6 pieces calamansi

Tip 2: Try a new cooking method.

Want to instantly elevate a humble recipe? Instead of going for the usual fry, steam, or sauté route, experiment with new ways of cooking, like by popping it into the oven. Here's an example: A staple in Filipino pantries, the eggplant may be the last thing you'd think to serve on a special occasion. But this baked talongdish is sure to change your mind, as it hits the perfect spot between healthy, savory, and festive. Follow the recipe here.

Baked Eggplant with Cheese

4 eggs

1/2 sachet Maggi Magic Sarap® (8g)

1 cup breadcrumbs

3 medium eggplants, sliced at an angle

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup vegetable oil

For the sauce:

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup tomato sauce

1 sachet Maggi Magic Sarap® (8g)

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped basil

6 tablespoon melting cheese, grated (topping)

Tip 3: Season to perfection.

Never underestimate the magic of proper seasoning-it's powerful enough to transform an everyday dish into something more celebratory! You can take your simple liempo, for example, and turn it into a favorite with a generous Maggi Magic Sarap® rub and a flavorful marinade, plus the infusion of aromatics. The result: A tasty pork dish that's sure to delight the whole family. Follow the complete cooking instructions here.


1 1/2 kilogram whole boneless pork belly, score the flesh side

3 sachets Maggi Magic Sarap® (8g)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 large onion, sliced

2 heads garlic, crushed

4 stalks scallions

2 stalks lemongrass, pounded

1/4 cup oyster sauce

2 tablespoons vinegar

For the vinegar-soy dip:

1/2 cup vinegar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 pieces large red onion, chopped

1 piece red chili, sliced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons brown sugar

With each dish, all it took was a quick tweak that resulted in a more festive and flavorful finish. And with the addition of Maggi Magic Sarap®, a simple yet key ingredient that instantly and magically adds extra flavor, cooking has never been this easy.

To know more about Maggi and its products, visit its official website and follow the brand on Facebook.

This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with Maggi Magic Sarap.

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