Global Breakfast: Filipino Comfort Food and Typhoon Relief

eat well and give generously

By Sara Markel-Gonzalez


(Photographs by Sara Markel-Gonzalez)

Editor’s Note: This installment of Global Breakfast focuses on the Philippines, which is very much in our thoughts right now, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. There are many ways to help the victims in Tacloban by contributing to relief efforts organized here in New York. We’ve listed a few of our favorites here:

Attend: Filipino American Museum’s “Bayanihan Spirit” fundraising event (Nov. 21; 8p.m.; tickets $10)

Eat: Fundraising brunch at Purple Yam (Nov. 24, $40, call to reserve a seat: 718.940.8188)

Eat: Other NYC restaurants are also donating proceeds to relief efforts (via Eater)

Give: Donate to Team Rubicon’s Operation: Seabird

We hope you enjoy reading about these delicious Filipino breakfast dishes—but first, take a moment to think about how you can help ease the suffering in the Philippines.

At Krystal’s Cafe in Woodside, Queens, Filipino breakfast is served daily. Try the tapsilog ($6.95; shown above), a combo platter that includes tapa (dried beef), sinangág (garlic rice) and itlog (egg).

The beef is chewy and slightly sweet, the garlicky white rice is a flavorful base, and the over-easy egg (runny yolk intact) adds extra richness to the meal. The accompanying vinegar-based sauce and raw onion and tomato salad add freshness and bite. The flavors are simple and familiar—like steak and eggs, but more exciting.

Another excellent breakfast option is the tocilog ($5.95; above), which swaps the beef for thick, chewy bites of sweet tocino (ham). (Sausage, milkfish and corned beef are the other options for these breakfast silog platters.) The complimentary basket of warm, soft pan de sal (Filipino bread rolls) rounds out this hearty meal.

On chilly mornings or when you’re feeling under the weather, try the arroz caldo with tokwat baboy ($6.95; below)—the Filipino cousin to Chinese congee, simmered with chicken and bolstered with pork and bean curd.

The thick porridge of white rice and chicken broth is studded with fresh ginger and large pieces of chicken on the bone. Add to that as much of the soft, fatty chunks of pork belly and tofu marinated in vinegar, onions and hot peppers as you like. The flavor and spice level of this dish are entirely in your hands.

You may not be able to control where your day goes from there—but at least you’ll have a warm, full belly to see you through. As the reporting from Tacloban has shown us in the past week, that’s not something to take for granted.

Krystal’s Cafe
69-02 Roosevelt Ave. (map)
Woodside, NY 11377

Global Breakfast, an occasional series, celebrates the diversity of the foods eaten for breakfast throughout the world—from arepas to dim sum to corned beef hash—as found in New York City.

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