First Class

From ‘ube’ cheese ‘pandesal’ to sushi bake: Accessible ingredients, recipes for home cooks

You can do this at home, too! Basque Cheesecake and Ube Basque Cheesecake by San Miguel Culinary Center led by chef Llena Tan-Arcenas.

If there is anything this pandemic has taught us, it is resilience.

Businesses have had to pivot to make ends meet. A furniture supplier for restaurants now sells disinfecting sprays. Many restaurants have created home delivery options. Some have gone from selling food to tableware or plants.


And then there is the birth of a new generation of home cooks, many making items that we have previously taken for granted like “pandesal” and “kakanin” but now stylized on Instagram as “influencers” start to sell them.

What can you do if you want to join the home cooking (or baking) bandwagon but don’t really have experience or training? Not to worry.


First, many chefs are now generously sharing their recipes in their cooking shows via Facebook live or Instagram live. Second, there are a million cooking shows on Youtube, today’s accessible “school” for anything that you want to learn. Third, there are the good old cookbooks like those of Nora Daza’s.

Here’s another option: the recipes and videos from the San Miguel Culinary Center that they have been generously sharing online on their website homefoodie.com.ph and via their social media accounts @HomeFoodiePH on Facebook and Instagram.

Chef Llena Tan-Arcenas, San Miguel Foods culinary services manager, shares they have created what they call “madalicious (combining the words madali or easy and delicious)” recipes.

“Home Foodie brings daily doses of #Madalicious ideas on its social media accounts, from everyday classics with twists, resto-inspired, new food discoveries and few ingredient recipes through short how-to videos and recipe/menu posters.” Arcenas explains.

They offer their versions of global food trends like Dalgona coffee using San Mig coffee, cheesy “ube” pandesal, souffle pancakes, pancake cereals, even sushi bake.

The site is very active, especially the Facebook live sessions starring the resident chefs of the San Miguel Foods Culinary Center. Viewers can interact with the chefs.

A quick scroll also shows their social media accounts share both savory and sweet recipes.


For savories, they have international recipes like Thai fish cakes, soy garlic “karaage,” Hawaiian pineapple rice; Cerveza Negra Vietnamese pork belly and many more.

Then they have recipes for every baker’s dream, from the trendy Basque burnt cheesecake (with an ube version) to the super trendy ube pandesal.

They’ve made everything simple, all you will have to do is buy the ingredients and execute as instructed. Since this is a San Miguel project, you can be sure the ingredients are accessible.

My cousin Bunny, a corporate communications expert and Bukas Palad singer who doesn’t really spend time cooking, tried the San Miguel Mills Mix ‘n Bake pandesal mix and made her first batch of pandesal and they look legit.

I also had the pleasure of trying the Basque burnt cheesecake made by Tan-Arcenas’ team and it was superb, with its creamy body and just the right punctuation of “burnt” even if it used just basic supermarket ingredients (that you can now even buy on Lazada or Shopee or via order.sanmiguelfoods.com). There was no fancy French butter or other hard-to-find ingredients.

This reminds me of the citizen who started selling barbecue with the P5,000 quarantine aid he received and turned it into a business.

With the recipes and accessible ingredients, home cooks can make the most out of the quarantine period and who knows, maybe even earn money from a previously overlooked hobby.

For San Miguel Foods Culinary Center recipes, visit HomeFoodiePH on Facebook and Instagram. To order ingredients, visit order.sanmiguelfoods.com or join the San Miguel Viber community bit.ly/SanMiguelFoods4U.

More from the author at margauxsalcedo.com. Follow @margauxsalcedo on Instagram.

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TAGS: Llena Tan-Arcenas, San Miguel Foods Culinary Center
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