Native paella

Native paella


7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

Friend and food lover, Poch Jorolan, has introduced me to countless new dishes and ingredients. His family is behind Pampanga’s renowned Everybody’s Café and Poch carries the flame as an ambassador of Kapampangan food. According to Poch, this indigenised version of paella originated here. It is another fine example of the region’s rich cuisine, widely regarded as the country’s best.

This adapted recipe comes from the Jorolan family collection. While bringhe is made like paella with a signature thick crust, banana leaves infuse a unique aroma, and sticky rice and coconut milk transform the flavour.


Quantity Ingredient
600g white glutinous rice
60ml vegetable oil
1 garlic bulb, cloves chopped
1 large onion, chopped
8cm piece turmeric, peeled and finely grated
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 whole chicken, jointed into 4 pieces
2 dried chorizo, sliced on diagonal
800ml coconut milk, plus extra for drizzling
2 banana leaves, softened and halved
1/2 large carrot, peeled and cut into batons
1/2 red capsicum, seeded and cut into thin wedges
1/2 green capsicum, seeded and cut into thin wedges
115g fresh or frozen peas
60g raisins or sultanas
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered


  1. Wash and drain the rice three times, then set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a paella pan or large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring until fragrant. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes, or until softened. Squeeze the turmeric over a small bowl to extract the juice (you should get about 3 teaspoons), add to the pan with the fish sauce and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium–high, add the chicken, skin side down, and then the chorizo and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk, bring to the boil, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the rice, then reduce the heat to low–medium and cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is half-cooked and the liquid has almost absorbed (the crust will have partially developed). Transfer the mixture to a bowl and wipe the pan clean (don’t worry about keeping the crust intact).
  4. Use half of the softened banana leaves to line the pan. Return the rice mixture to the pan over medium heat, spreading out evenly. Place the carrot and capsicum over the top, then press into the rice. Loosely cover with the remaining banana leaves and cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is almost tender. Drizzle over some extra coconut milk to moisten, scatter with the peas and raisins, then cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the rice and vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt flakes and top with the hard-boiled eggs to serve.

Where does it come from?

  • In her essay, Culture Ingested: Notes on the Indigenization of Philippine Food, food historian Doreen Fernandez writes poetically on bringhe’s origins: ‘Paella was created from the Spanish country landscape — the rabbit scampering by, the chicken bought from a farmer, the saffron which is the most expensive spice in the world and grows in Spain … Eating bringhe, however, is ingesting the Philippine landscape — the chicken running around on the farm, the coconut from a nearby tree, and the malagkit (sticky rice) for esta cakes.’
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