Tuesday, December 21, 2010


also spelled as pastel in Maguindanaon
patel or pater in Maranao
paster in Iranun

pastil  (pas-tíl; Maguindanaon packed meal) [n.] rice and viand rolled in banana leaf

It is closely similar to the Tagalog binalot sa dahon except the way on how it is wrapped in banana leaf

A scoop (about a cup) of steamed or boiled plain rice is placed on the center of a spread of banana leaf and topped with shreds or flakes of sautéed meat or fish called kagikit

The cut of banana leaf is wilted first in fire or ember to soften and make it a pliant wrapper. 

The scoop of cooked rice is then molded by folding the banana leaf. Before finally wrapping the rice, it is topped with kagikit (sautéed shredded meat) usually that of shredded meat of braised fish or chicken. Then the leaf is finally rolled around the topped rice. It is sealed by folding both ends similar to that of suman (Tagalog rice stick), only that pastel is wider and flatter in shape than that of suman

Special version of pastel has more meat, plus a hard-boiled chicken egg (shelled and cut into halves) as toppings, and the rice is mixed with little amount of glutinous rice that would bind well the molded meal.  

Pastel is considered as the budget combo meal of our Muslim brothers in Mindanao. 

In Manila, it is sold and readily available in the ubiquitous Halal restaurants and eateries near the Golden Mosque in Quiapo district and in Maharlika Village in Taguig City

A Maguindanaon food stall vendor skillfully packs the ingredients of pastel.

 The molded rice topped with kagikit or sauteed shredded chicken meat (left) from Cotabato City, and flakes of fish adobo (right) from Quiapo, Manila.

Mounds of pastel is a common sight at the many foodstands along Sinsuat Ave ext. cor Quezon Ave. in Cotabato City.

This mound of pastel is sold at a Halal eatery at the Welcome Rotunda in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. Boiled eggs complement with the packed meal.

In Metro Manila, you can have pastel from the ubiquitous food stalls and eateries near the Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila. I bought a bag of my first pastel experience from this place. 

In Metro Manila, you can also buy pastel in Maharlika Market and in talipapa and eateries nearby the Blue Mosque in the Maharlika Village in Taguig City. 

You can eat pastel with bare hands, but make sure to wash your hands before eating to conform with the Muslim law on hygiene in dining Halal food. Here, I'm eating pastel with a pair of spoon and fork at home.

For more about Pinoy foods, see also my OPEN & FREE food dictionary.

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With valuable information, etymology, history, nutrition, how to cook it, culinary tips, how it is called in other dialects, and more...

Texts and photos by Edgie Polistico



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