After my first post on Filipino spaghetti, I was pretty satisfied with myself and didn’t really have a desire to make drastic changes to my methods. But during my appearance on Kababayan LA last week, I told host Jannelle So that I had Martin PureFoods red hot dogs in hand and was ready to make a more “authentic” version of Filipino spaghetti. Over the weekend, I dropped by Island Pacific Market in Union City and picked up two more items—a bottle of Jufran banana sauce (ketchup, really) and a blue can of Kraft Cheddar “Cheese” (or as a reader called it…”Krap Chis”)—to complete the Holy Trinity of Filipino Spaghetti.
Many of you have probably never seen this blue can of “Kraft Pasteurized Processed Cheddar Cheese Spread” but it’s a pretty vivid food memory from my childhood. The best way to describe it is that it’s like Velveeta in a can. Here’s what it looks like after I removed 1/4 of it to use in the spaghetti (I ended up using half a can).
At room temperature it breaks into pieces easily, especially when using a Microplane to grate the stuff, but it does grate well if you’re careful with it. For the sauce, I ended up doing a rough chop. Here are some shards of “cheese” next to about five red hot dogs that were cut on a bias to make them a little “fancier.” My friend Euge said he mistook the hot dogs for char siu when he first saw this picture and that he was disturbed by them. Mass-produced hot dogs can be disturbing for several reasons aside from some red coloring, but we won’t get into that discussion now. ;)
I started making the sauce as I normally would, sauteeing onions and garlic in a wok for a bit and then adding a pound of ground beef and mixing it all together. After the ground beef was browned, I removed it from the wok and then added the hot dogs, cooking them until they had a nice crust going before adding back the ground beef. Next, I added a whole 26.5 oz can of Del Monte Traditional Spaghetti Sauce.
I was wary of adding any of the banana ketchup to the sauce because I thought it might become overpoweringly sweet, but in the end, I decided to add the whole bottle. The result was really nice because the Jufran gave the sauce a different kind of sweetness than sugar provides, and it also thickened it up a bit and gave it a richer red color. I added salt, pepper, a little brown sugar and about half a can of chopped “cheese” to the sauce and cooked it for about half an hour. I was a little disturbed at how long it it took the chopped “cheese” to melt…grating it into the sauce should accelerate this process.
Here’s how it turned out…don’t forget to grate a little “cheese” on top to garnish.
There was some sauce leftover, and my wife liked it so much that she started using it as a dipping sauce for pandesal. Despite my misgivings about the banana ketchup, this was my favorite version of Filipino Spaghetti of all the ones I’ve made so far and will be the standard that I turn to in the future.
14 replies on “Filipino Spaghetti 2.0 (Holy Trinity Version)”
The best way to grate Krap Chis is to take a fork to it…Use the tines and grate right off the top of the open can.
damn. That’s hardcore. I am a lover of all things fake cheese and I have never seen that stuff before.
I am intrigued and terrified all at the same time. :)
[…] Filipino Spaghetti 2.0 (Holy Trinity Version) […]
this looks like something my mother would have made for me as a kid in Okinawa. She wasn’t much of a cook, but it was always GOOD!
I haven’t had Filipino spaghetti in years! I’m going to make this soon. Gotta find a place that sells those hot dogs, though.
I swear I haven’t seen that kind of cheese in more than a decade.
How did you feel working with canned cheese? I remember seeing it for the first time and I just had a smirk on my face. But yes, the canned Kraft cheese is a must.
Lando, I used the canned cheese for nostalgic reasons, but it was a little disturbing. :)
i ate this with gusto when i was younger but when i realized the ‘fake’ ingredients, i just stopped eating it.
i wonder if someone came up with a modified version of this (more natural) a different type of sausage and cheese
I just found your blog and love it! I was wondering if you know where I could find the canned cheedar cheese spread. Thanks….Kathy
[…] A little 101 on the traditional Filipino spaghetti dish. The dish is mainly sweet, spicy, and cheesy. That sounds delicious right? The one thing I’m not fond of is how sweet it sometimes is and that’s because they add banana ketchup. Say what? Banana Ketchup? Yes, in most Filipino markets you’ll find something called Jufran (there are other brands, but Jufran is my favorite) and it’s basically banana ketchup. They bottle up two different flavors: the original, which is just a sweet, savory ketchup, and the banana ketchup which is spicy. It’s the same thing except it’s a lot spicier and stronger in flavor. Unfortunately, I can’t indulge on that delicious condiment anymore because I’m highly allergic to bananas. If you’re looking for the more traditional dish, here’s a link I found to a great recipe. […]
Hi, I’m just curious. Where can I buy the canned cheese? Thank you.
Michael, I can generally find them at Asian markets…and Middle Eastern ones seem to carry it as well.
Okay, thanks for the help.