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It’s exactly one month before we have our most awaited feast every year! Noche Buena, here we come! As families start to gather again around the table, what better way to celebrate Christmas than a hearty feast, right? With lots of international cuisines to choose from, the options for your family’s Noche Buena food menu are infinite! That’s why we’re here to help you with some Noche Buena recipes that would be a great addition to your traditional Filipino Christmas Eve dinner!
Noche Buena Recipes That Will Be A Crowd Favorite This Christmas
Besides the usual Noche Buena food that we serve, it would be exciting to have new cuisines filling up the Christmas table! With these recipes from different countries, your family and guests will surely be tempted to munch on the feast – even before the clock strikes midnight.
Appetizers and Side Dishes
1. Charcuterie Board (French Cuisine)
Calling all the Titas of Manila! Wow your tita friends this Noche Buena with a simple charcuterie board spread that will make them full even before the main course. It might look intimidating and overwhelming at first, but good thing we can guide you with a beginner set-up. With a few simple ingredients, you’ll be able to create a wonderful charcuterie board that’s inexpensive and easy to do! While you’re at it, pair it with some of your favorite wine brands that will definitely go well with this appetizer. To start off, you’ll be needing a charcuterie board, as a base plate of all the goodness you’re about to serve. For the ingredients, be sure to include at least 2-3 kinds of each variant.
(yields 5 to 6 servings)
- 125 grams brie
- 125 grams camembert
- 225 grams cream cheese
- 150 grams gouda
- 350 grams queso De Bola (for that Filipino twist!)
- Crackers – Fita, Skyflakes, pretzels
- Fruits – strawberries, cranberries, cherries, grapes, raisins,
- Nuts – almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews
- Spread – fruit jam, honey
- In your chosen charcuterie board, lay out your pre-cut cheese and arrange them across the board. Don’t put it all together though!
- Next, put your spread and cream cheese in ramekins beside your cheese for easy access.
- For the meat, you can fold and tuck it in different patterns. Or you can just overlap it on top of each other for that light and airy look.
- After putting your meat and cheese, that’s the time where you can spread around the board the other ingredients such as the crackers, fruits, nuts, and small chocolates.
- You can be creative as much as you like, and include any ingredient that you please. But make sure there’s no leftovers at the end of your Christmas Eve dinner!
2. Japchae (Korean Cuisine)
Our love for all things Korean will definitely stay, so it’s only natural to include one of their popular noodle recipes, Japchae, for our Christmas feast! With its sweet and chewy flavor, it’s one of those unique noodles that you’ll fall in love with over and over again! Undoubtedly, there’s no harm in trying new recipes because your family might even love it once they taste this Japchae recipe. Let’s say goodbye to pancit for now, but we’ll see you for our Media Noche celebration instead!
(yields 6 to 8 servings)
- 250 grams Korean glass noodle
- 100 grams rib eye fillet; cut into strips
- 1 carrot (120g); sliced into thin strips
- 110 grams spinach
- 1 red bell pepper (50g); sliced into thin strips
- 1 white onion (105g); sliced into thin strips
- 100 grams shiitake mushroom; cleaned, stems removed, and thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice wine (mirin)
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar
Noodles and Mushroom Marinade:
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 eggs
- Sesame seeds
- Place the beef strips in a bowl, add beef marinade, then mix together. Afterwards, place it in the fridge.
- Put sliced mushrooms into a bowl and add 1 tbsp of your mixed noodles and mushroom marinade.
- Blanch spinach in boiling water for 5-10 seconds. Drain the water and cool down the spinach with running cold water. Squeeze the spinach to remove excess water, then add it with the spinach seasoning in a large mixing bowl.
- Boil water in a large pot. Cut noodles into half and add when the water is boiling. Boil it for 6-7 minutes. Afterwards, drain the water and rinse the noodles in cold water. Pour into a mixing bowl and add the noodles and mushroom marinade.
- Crack and whisk eggs in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Pour eggs into a pan and cook on both sides on low heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan, cut into strips, then set aside.
- In the same pan, cook onion with a pinch of salt over low to medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove and transfer to the large mixing bowl with the spinach. Repeat for carrots and red bell peppers.
- After cooking the vegetables, pour the marinated mushrooms and stir fry until cooked for 1-2 minutes. Mix into the large mixing bowl.
- In the same pan, cook the marinated meat and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to the same large mixing bowl.
- Lastly, stir fry the marinated noodles until the noodles are well coated by the sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes over low to medium heat to avoid it from being burnt. Transfer to the large mixing bowl.
- Add some sesame oil and sesame seeds into the large mixing bowl. Then gently mix around with your hands until well combined. Serve and enjoy!
3. Lasagna (Italian Cuisine)
Are you tired of having spaghetti at every single party? That even for Christmas, it has been a repeating tradition for it to be part of the Noche Buena menu? If you’re looking for a new pasta recipe to try, lasagna is certainly our top pick for a spaghetti substitute! It still has the same tomato-based sauce, but excitingly has layers of bechamel white sauce and ground beef. What’s even better is this recipe is authentically Filipino style. After trying this lasagna recipe, you’ll definitely add it to your Noche Buena recipe list!
(yields 12 servings)
Red Meat Sauce:
- 1 ½ lbs ground beef
- 2 tomatoes; chopped
- 6 cloves garlic; minced
- 1 large onion; chopped
- 2 cups Filipino-style spaghetti sauce
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2-3 tbsp cooking oil
- Salt and pepper; to taste
Bechamel White Sauce:
- Boil the pasta according to package directions. After cooking, drain the pasta and lay it out flat on a plate or tray.
- Going to the meat sauce, in a large wok, heat oil over medium heat. And then sauté garlic and onion until soft. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Lastly, add chopped tomatoes and stir around and let it cook for 5 more minutes.
- Next, add the spaghetti sauce and let the mixture boil for 25 to 35 minutes, while stirring occasionally. If the sauce seems to be drying out, add ⅔ cups of water gradually. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Let it simmer for 5 more minutes, then you’re done with the sauce!
- In making the béchamel white sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Once it bubbles, add the flour and constantly stir the mixture with a wire whisk or spoon until lightly browned. Slowly add milk and evaporated milk while stirring the mixture constantly. In about 4 to 5 minutes, the mixture will start to thicken. Aim for a consistency that is thick but still pourable. Season with salt and pepper, then stir for 1 to 2 minutes before removing from heat.
- In this last step, preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Get a rectangular baking pan, and first spread a thin layer of the béchamel sauce. Lay out the lasagna pasta or sheets, enough to cover the whole pan. Afterwards, spoon red meat sauce to cover the lasagna sheets. Spread with white sauce again, then top with lasagna sheets and cover with meat sauce.
- Repeat the steps, until all the lasagna ingredients are used up. Afterwards, spread all the remaining white sauce on top and generously sprinkle mozzarella and cheddar cheese as a final topping
- Next, bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving for your Christmas feast!
Seeing food decorated with Christmas embellishments is definitely something to look forward to every holiday season! Your feast won’t be complete with a Noche Buena dessert. And who wouldn’t know the famous gingerbread man cookies? With their cute appearance and limitless designs, it could be something you and your kids can enjoy baking during the holidays as you prepare this Noche Buena dessert!
- 10 tbsp (⅔ cup; 145g) unsalted butter; softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- ⅔ cup (200g) pure molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cups (438g) all-purpose flour; spoon and leveled
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- optional: easy cookie icing or royal icing
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Next, add the brown sugar and molasses and beat on medium-high speed until it looks creamy. Lastly, add the egg and vanilla extract and beat on high speed for 2 minutes
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves together until combined. Afterwards, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough should be thick and slightly sticky. Next, divide the dough into two and place each in a plastic cling wrap. Wrap each tightly and compress into a disc shape and then chill the discs for at least 3 hours until 3 days to enhance the flavor of the gingerbread cookies.
- After chilling the cookies, preheat the oven to 177°C (350°F). Then line several large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Get your chilled discs from the refrigerator. In your working space, be sure to flour the surface, your hands, and the rolling pin. Then roll out the dough until it’s ¼ inch thick. If the dough is cracking and a bit crumbly, it will be helpful to pick it up and rotate it as you roll.
- Next, cut the dough into shapes using a gingerbread cookie cutter. Then place the cut cookie dough 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. After that, re-roll the remaining dough scraps and shape it again, to avoid any waste.
- Bake the cookies for a certain period depending on the size of your cookie cutters. But if cookie cutters are smaller than 4 inches, bake for 8 minutes only. And if larger than 4 inches, bake for 11 minutes. The longer the cookie bakes, the harder and crunchier the final result will be. So if you prefer softer gingerbread cookies, bake them for a shorter time.
- Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet. And then transfer to the cooling rack to cool completely before decorating as desired.
Feast On These Noche Buena Recipes That Will Level Up Your Holiday
Whether your family prefers a traditional Filipino feast, or you’re looking for new recipes to spice up your Noche Buena, what’s important is we get to celebrate it with the people we love! Nonetheless, it’s not so bad to try something new every now and then, because we get to create new memories with our loved ones. With these Noche Buena recipes, we’re sure that your cooking will be a family Christmas staple in the years to come!
If you ever forget some ingredients from this list, take a look at the best grocery delivery services you can count on this Christmas. Speaking of the nearing holiday season, if you have not gotten around to wrapping your gifts yet, check out these Christmas gift wrapping ideas that will surely wow your friends and family!