My Grandmother’s Pandesal French Toast Is the Star of My Family’s Silog Plate

published Oct 1, 2022
Silog Plate with Longanisa, Garlic Fried Rice, and Pandesal French Toast Recipe

French toast made from lightly sweet pandesal is the star of this Filipino breakfast plate.

Serves8

Prep30 minutes

Cook1 hour

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
The Carvajals Silog plate on a large serving platter.
Credit: Photo: Paul Crispin Quitoriano; Food Stylist: Jenn de la Vega; Prop Stylist: Charlotte Havelange

When I think about Filipino breakfast recipes, I remember how every morning of my life my mother and grandmothers have always been the first ones to wake up. It’s as if they have an internal alarm telling them that the rest of the family needs to be fed.

When I was a child, I’d hear the roosters caw and know it was time to rise. I’d hear the taho vendor yelling and I’d know it was time to come running with my cup. At the crack of dawn my Tita would walk back home from the palengke with a fresh bag of pandesal.

Credit: Photo: Paul Crispin Quitoriano; Food Stylist: Jenn de la Vega; Prop Stylist: Charlotte Havelange

When my family came to America, that alarm changed: It was the door when my dad came home from his graveyard shift, or the sound of VH1’s morning music videos as my sisters and I got ready for school. The roosters cawing turned into cellphone alarms, and the pandesal was harder to get.

What remained the same was my parents cooking — always filling us up so we wouldn’t worry about going hungry. Breakfast meats like tapa, tocino, and longanisa were made in our house (I actually never had the pre-made frozen breakfast meats until adulthood). They were made from original recipes I only saw my family making, including the savory longanisa that my father’s mother (Nanay Enyang) made and the pandesal French toast from my mother’s mother (Nanay Mameng). It’s the kind of food that you make in new places to remember where you come from.

Silog Plate with Longanisa, Garlic Fried Rice, and Pandesal French Toast Recipe

French toast made from lightly sweet pandesal is the star of this Filipino breakfast plate.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 1 hour

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the longanisa:

  • 2 heads

    garlic

  • 2 pounds

    cold ground pork

  • 1/4 cup

    soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For the garlic fried rice:

  • 3 tablespoons

    vegetable oil or unsalted butter

  • 4 cups

    cold or room-temperature cooked white rice

  • 1/4 cup

    fried garlic

  • 1 teaspoon

    MSG

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

For the French toast and fried eggs:

  • 4

    large or 8 small pandesal buns, preferably day-old or left out overnight

  • 1 (14-ounce) can

    sweetened condensed milk, plus more for serving

  • 1 (12-ounce) can

    evaporated milk

  • 12

    large eggs, divided

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, unsalted

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons

    plus 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided

  • Kosher salt

Instructions

Make the longanisa:

  1. Peel 2 heads garlic. Crush in a mortar and pestle or grate on a Microplane into a fine paste with no visible chunks (about 3 tablespoons). Transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Add 2 pounds cold ground pork, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Mix by hand until well combined into a smoother paste that’s uniform in color.

  3. Scoop out the mixture into 2-tablespoon portions and form each portion into an oval-shaped sausage about 2 1/2 inches long. Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (line the baking sheet with aluminum foil first if you plan to bake the longanisa).

  4. Option 1: Air Fryer: Heat an air fryer to 375ºF. Working in batches if needed so there is space between each one, place the longanisa in the basket or on the middle rack in a single layer.

  5. Option 2: Oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF.

  6. Bake or air fry for 8 minutes. Flip the longanisa and air fry until browned all over and the internal temperature is at least 165ºF, about 7 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm, or keep warm in the turned-off oven. Make the rice, French toast, and eggs while the sausages are cooking.

Make the garlic fried rice:

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or unsalted butter in a wok or large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering or melted. Add 4 cups leftover cooked white rice and sprinkle with 1/4 cup fried garlic, 1 teaspoon MSG, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Fry, tossing often, until heated through and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and cover to keep warm.

Make the French toast:

  1. Split 4 large or 8 small pandesal buns in half with a serrated knife. Place 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk, 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk, and 4 of the large eggs in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. Add the pandesal and toss until evenly soaked, pressing on the buns so they absorb the custard. Let soak while you heat the pan.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Cook the pandesal in 3 to 4 batches so as to not overcrowd the pan: Add the pandesal, letting the excess custard drip back into the bowl, into the pan in one layer. Fry until golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter and cover to keep warm, or keep warm on a baking sheet in the turned-off oven.

  4. Wipe out the pan used for the French toast. Add the remaining 1/4 cup vegetable oil and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 4 of the large eggs and season with kosher salt. Fry, occasionally using a spoon to baste the eggs with the oil, until the edges are crispy and the yolks are still runny, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Using a flat spatula, transfer to a large plate. Repeat frying the remaining 4 large eggs.

  5. Divide the rice onto plates and top each with a fried egg. Serve with the longanisa and French toast. Drizzle the French toast with more sweetened condensed milk.

Recipe Notes

Stovetop longanisa cooking: Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Working in 3 batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the longanisa. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over and the internal temperature is at least 165ºF, 8 to 11 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Add more oil to the pan as needed between batches.

Make ahead: The longanisa can be shaped and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead or frozen for up to 2 months before cooking. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Storage: The longanisa, French toast, and garlic rice can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers for up to 4 days.