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Valenciana Recipe

All Soul’s Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve are often the top occasions to have this delectable Bacolod-style Valenciana. What’s not to love about this dish? Aside from being incredibly tasty, it’s colorful and a complete meal by itself.

Those who are from overseas, possibly including some from other parts of the country, might be a little confused with this dish and its name. After all, when one says Valenciana, or Arroz Valenciana, it can easily refer to the Spanish dish and it’s varieties in the different regions of Spain, and it can refer to a more orange-colored rice dish. But Valenciana in Bacolod, or many parts of the Negros and Iloilo provinces, begs to be slightly different. It is yellow rice, colored so by using turmeric or saffron…and possibly tastier! (Ok, that’s just our opinion.)

If you would like to make this dish for your next party, or simply because you miss it, here’s a recipe to help you out:

VALENCIANA

1 1/2 cup plain rice (uncooked)
1 cup glutinous rice (uncooked)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 piece white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
200g chicken or pork, sliced into small cubes
200g chicken liver, sliced into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
4 cups chicken broth
165mL coconut milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup green peas
100g shrimps, cooked and shelled
Cayenne powder to taste (optional)
4 boiled eggs

Combine plain and glutinous rice. Rinse with water a couple of times, drain and set aside.

In a large pan, heat cooking oil. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Add chicken/pork and liver and cook for 5 minutes. Add turmeric, salt and pepper to taste and stir. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk and mix well. Allow to boil.

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Add the washed rice mixture to the pan. Stir and cover. Let it simmer for 10 minutes before adding raisins, red bell pepper, and green peas. Add cayenne powder, if you choose to include it. Mix well and continue to simmer until rice is cooked. You may need to add a bit of water if the mixture starts to dry up before the rice gets well cooked. Also, remember to stir the mixture occasionally, so the bottom part doesn’t get burnt. Add shrimps and mix well. Remove pan from the stove.

Serve warm, topped with slices of boiled eggs.

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