Skinless Longanisa

The sausage impossible to find in America

So I've been craving some Filipino longganisa for quite a while now. Meat is an important part of our diet and I try to eat it whenever I can, sausage is the most convenient way to eat meat for breakfast but I don't like the typical American breakfast sausage unless it is incorporated into something like biscuits and gravy, so my cravings went back to the Philippines and I eventually found myself in a place that had a Filipino store where I could buy some longganisa.

But this longganisa had two problems, first it was a bit expensive so it wasn't a practical long-term breakfast plan, and second for some inexplicable reason it contained soy which is something that we should all eliminate from our diets, so I decided to look into making it myself which is what I should have done months ago when I first got this craving.

I looked at probably a dozen recipes and I liked the one from this video the best, although I have adapted it as well. I could of course tell you to watch the video but most of you don't understand Tagalog so you'd probably prefer me to write it out for you, and I've actually included measurements this time which I encourage you to not take seriously (this is why I rarely include them).

What You'll Need

  • 2 lbs Ground Pork (with a good amount of fat)
  • 2 heads of Garlic
  • 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon Coarse Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Pepper
  • Some Wax Paper
  • Cooking Instructions

    First mince your two heads of garlic, this is of course a lot of garlic so it would be a great time to use a mortar and pestle if you have one, I don't so I just used a food processor, but if you don't have one of those either doing things by hand is always fun.

    Next throw all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly, this is best done with your hand. Once it is all mixed cover it and let it sit in the fridge for about two hours.

    After that the longganisa needs to be shaped, there are many ways to do that but the guy in the video I mentioned before had a pretty neat trick that makes it easy and mess free. I'll probably do a terrible job explaining how to do it so here is a link that will take you to that point in the video so you can see how he does it. But since the video is in Tagalog I have to explain it anyway. Scoop out some sausage mixture and plop it onto a sheet of wax paper a few inches from an edge, fold the wax paper over the scoop of meat then, starting away from the meat, run the edge of an object with a straight edge (the guy in the video used an old credit card, I used a spatuala since that is a much more normal thing to use cooking) across the wax paper you just folded over pressing it at about a 45 degree angle from the table into the meat. Once the scoop of meat is a cylindrical sausage (as it should be) put it on another piece of wax paper and repeat the process with the rest of the meat.

    Once that is done you can stick them all in the fridge, freeze them, or cook them up right then, you're free to do whatever you want with them. I guess I should note that Filipinos do have a special way to cook these where they'll fry them with some water and wait for it all to boil off mixing the longganisa around in the water and while they do taste a bit better like this (and go better with rice like this) cooking it that way is likely to leave a sticky residue on your pan so I just recommend cooking these like you would a normal breakfast sausage, but again you can do whatever you want.


    Of course when you travel through different areas of the Philippines people will all make Longganisa differently depending on what region of the country you are in, and of course this is true when you leave the Philippines as well since many hispanic cultures also have something similar. As I said before I looked at a dozen or so Filipino recipes and learned that the two main kinds you'll find there are ones made to be sweet and ones made to be heavy on garlic, this recipe was designed to be a balance between those two but you can of course do whatever you want with the proportions of stuff you put in your longganisa. You could have more garlic, less garlic, more sugar, less sugar, other ingredients like soy sauce and vinegar are quite common and you could also mince up some hot peppers with the garlic to make a spicy longganisa, I may experiment with substituting honey for the brown sugar, or I may even try it with no sugar at all, we are all free to do whatever we want with this recipe.

    Also I think that this is also a great place where you could incorporate some healthy organ meats into your diet. If I had a meat grinder I would have saved some money by making my own ground pork and I would have thrown some liver or something like that into the mix of the stuff I was grinding up so that I could take advantage of the dense amount of nutrients found in those organ meats. If we look at many traditional European sausages most of them contained at least some organ meat and sadly due to various regulations it is hard to find sausage like that here in the United States because it has to be labeled differently (it's not impossible though), so for those of you who grind your own meat I encourage you to throw some heart or liver in with the stuff you are already grinding to sneak those vitamins into your regular diet.