4 Pinoy dishes without the unwanted calories

Chef Patrick Libiran's 'wellnessized' Pinoy favorites -- with just a little twist and imagination, local dishes which are often packed with unwanted calories are made healthier. Chef Patrick Libiran (who is fondly called Chef Pot) was the featured

Chef Pot Libiran

Chef Patrick Libiran’s ‘wellnessized’ Pinoy favorites — with just a little twist and imagination, local dishes which are often packed with unwanted calories are made healthier.

Chef Patrick Libiran (who is fondly called Chef Pot) was the featured chef at the Julius Maggi Kitchen of Nestle Philippines recently.  He holds a B.S. in Nursing degree but the culinary call became stronger “as I got more mature.”

He went to M.O.S.T Culinary Institute to finish his second course, Culinary Arts. Chef Pot says, “I am lucky for one of the best culinarians in the Philippines became my mentor—Chef Dang Arias.  In fact, she also trained me to develop recipes and to do cooking demos.”

Now the resident chef of the House of Wagyu, Chef Pot discloses that he is happiest when sharing culinary information with people such as the very attentive and interactive participants at his Nestle cooking demo. He showed them that Filipino cuisine is getting there, meaning, “It is now receiving recognition worldwide but we have a lot of things to do.”

The jolly chef adds, “We keep the original taste so anyone would know that the dish is from the Philippines. However, we have to level up, all the time, like presenting the food in a way that has lots of eye appeal in order to whet the appetite of the guests by simply looking at the dish.”

Chef Pot is also aware that people today are more health-conscious and are, therefore, looking for healthier foods. And the Julius Maggi Kitchen of Nestle Philippines is one with all Filipinos looking for healthier Pinoy dishes, thus, the birth of “Wellnessized Pinoy Favorites.”

The chef  notes, “Pinoy cuisine has a lot of comfort food such as Ginisang Munggo which traditionally has shrimps and pork. My version has tofu and spinach. To make the tofu tastier, I cut it in half, pat dry and season with Maggi Magic Sarap. I add fresh spinach or alugbati leaves and freshly shredded corn.”

He also presented a tasty pizza without the usual mix of calorie-laden toppings. Instead, Chef Pot used chicken breast fillet and pursued the pizza flavor with mozzarella cheese, a dash of Italian seasoning and marinara sauce.—LML


Chicken Pizza

Chicken Pizza



4 pcs. chicken breast fillet
1 pack (8 gms.) Maggi Magic Sarap
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp.Italian seasoning (optional)
¾ cup marinara sauce
16 pcs. pepperoni
1 mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup fresh basil leaves (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 3750F.

2. Slice chicken breast in half (but not through) to create a pocket. Season with Maggi Magic Sarap, pepper and Italian seasoning. Add a heaping teaspoon of marinara sauce  on each fillet and spread evenly.

3. Add pepperoni slices, cheese (Quickmelt or Cheddar may also be used) and basil leaves on one side of the fillet.  Fold the top chicken breast to cover the filling.

4. Sprinkle top with more Maggi Magic Sarap, Italian seasoning and ground pepper.

5. Add another tablespoon of marinara sauce to cover the entire chicken.

6. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.

7. Bake for 30  minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.



Fish Salpicao

Fish Salpicao



500 gms. tanguigue, diced into small pieces

¼ cup Maggi Savor Classic

2 tsps. Maggi Oyster Sauce

1 pack (8 gms.) Maggi Magic Sarap

1 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil

2 tsps. garlic, chopped

1 pc. medium-sized green sili, chopped

Calamansi juice


1. In a bowl, place fish cubes, Maggi Savor, Maggi Oyster Sauce, Maggi Magic Sarap, chopped garlic and calamansi juice.

2. Mix then leave for 5 minutes until the fish cubes have absorbed the marinade.

3. Drain the fish cubes; set aside. Heat oil in pan set over low heat.

4. Put olive or canola oil. When hot, sauté the garlic then add marinated fish cubes. Cook for 3 minutes and add green sili. Serve hot.



Chicken Bopis

Chicken Bopis



3 tbsps. cooking oil
2 tbsps. ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup water
2 tbsps. bird’s eye chili, minced
½ kl. chicken gizzard*
½ kl. chicken heart*
¼ kl. chicken liver, finely chopped
¼ kl. ground chicken
½ cup annatto seeds soaked in
1 cup water
3 to 4 pcs. dried bay leaves
1 cup water
1 small carrot, minced (optional)
1 pack (8 gms.) Maggi Magic Sarap

4 to 6 tbsps. white vinegar
Ground black pepper


1. Prepare the chicken gizzard and liver—boil in lemon grass and pandan leaves then mince. Set aside

2. Heat a frying pan or wok and pour the cooking oil.

3. Saute ginger, garlic and onion.

4. Add the bird’s eye chili and cook for 30 seconds.

5. Add the minced chicken gizzard, heart, liver and ground chicken then cook for 3 to 5 minutes while stirring once in a while.

6. Pour in annatto water (water from the soaked annatto seeds) and stir.

7. Add the bay leaves and pour in 1 cup water.

8. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

9. Add the minced carrots (if using) and stir. Simmer for 3 minutes.

10. Season with Maggi Magic Sarap and ground black pepper, stir.

11. Pour in vinegar and cook for 5 to 8 minutes more over medium heat.

12. Turn off heat and transfer to a serving platter.




Monggo Guisado with Mais

Monggo Guisado with Mais


2 tbsps. cooking oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1-1/4 cups mung beans, soaked in 1-1/2 cups water overnight
1 cup white corn, shredded & uncooked
2 packs (8 gms. each) Maggi Magic Sarap
¾ cup tofu, cut into cubes & fried
1 bunch fresh spinach
2 cups water




1. Heat oil in pan. Saute onion and garlic.

2. When onion is soft, add tomatoes, stir and cook for 1 minute.

3. Put in the mung beans. Stir and add the corn and 1 cup water. Cover and cook for 15 to 18 minutes. Add more water if necessary.

4. Season with Maggi Magic Sarap and ground black pepper. Add fried tofu and spinach. Stir.

5. Add more water as need, let boil and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl Serve hot.


Photos by: Ivan Llaneta



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