Shredded Chicken and Rice Wrapped in Banana Leaves
What is Pastil?
Pastil is a rice dish with either shredded chicken, beef or fish but the most common protein that many people use is chicken. It’s usually Halaal, it’s a Muslim (Moro) delicacy that was said to have originated in Maguindanao which has spread throughout the other parts of Mindanao and now all over the Philippines. Pastil or Pater recently became a trendy street food that was made popular in Quiapo in Manila, Philippines. Because of its exposure online and for being budget friendly costing 10 pesos only! For the Dabawenyos and Maguindanao people this meal has always been popular in Mindanao, it’s delicious, affordable and ‘Baon’ (packed lunch) Friendly.
Maguindanao was a province of the Philippines located in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. From 2014 to 2022, its provincial capital was Buluan, but the legislative branch of government, the Maguindanao Provincial Board, convened at the old provincial capitol in Sultan Kudarat. – Wikipedia
The Maguindanao people are also known as “people of the flood plain,” they are most heavily concentrated along the shores and in the flood lands of the Pulangi-Mindanao River basin, although many now live in the surrounding areas. – Britannica
Pastil is similar to a Tagalog dish called ‘Binalot sa Dahon’ except for the way it’s wrapped in Banana leaves.
I love discovering unknown Filipino food and for a while now I have been very fascinated with the food from Mindanao. It’s my dream to visit Mindanao and eat their food! This is my take on their recipe and I do my best to respect their cultures and their methods of cooking.
Swap it & Common Questions
Chicken – for this recipe I used normal chicken, you are very welcome to use Halal chicken and you can also use halal beef or fish. I used chicken thighs but you can use chicken breast if you prefer that.
Soy sauce and Vinegar – I strongly advise that you use Filipino brands for this as it will make the food taste even better. The Filipino brands available in the UK are Datu Puti, Silver Swan and Mamasita.
Smaller portions – if you want to make smaller portions, you can use 2 chicken thighs or 2 chicken breasts.
Banana Leaves – I used banana leaves because I want to experience eating Pastil as you get it in the Philippines but if you can’t get hold of banana leaves you can just put them on your plates. I buy fresh banana leaves from Chinatown or you can get them in Wing Yip. Wilting the banana leaves so they are pliable and won’t break when you wrap them, I used my clean hob but if you have a gas cooker, that’s even better.
Chilli – I added chillies at the end as a topping because one of my children is not a fan of spicy food so this way, all can enjoy the Pastil.
Boiled Eggs – I put this as optional so it depends on how you want your Pastil, I like mine with boiled eggs for more proteins because protein is life too.
Using a large pot, add water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling add the chicken and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn the heat off, take the chicken out and let it cool down on the side.
If you’re using fresh banana leaves, cut them into smaller sizes about 10-12 inches wide. Wash them with water, then dry them with clean kitchen cloth or paper towers and to make them pliable when you wrap them, one by one wilt them on top of a fire until they turn bright green. Put them aside for later. Boil your eggs at this point and make your rice.
When the chicken has cooled down, debone them and shred them into string pieces. Put them aside for later.
In a frying pan, on high heat, heat oil, then add onions and cook for a minute. Next, add garlic, cook for another minute and then add the shredded chicken. Season your chicken with soy sauce, vinegar and pepper. Mix them all well until the chicken is coated with the seasoning. Turn the heat down to medium, let the chicken simmer down until all the juices are gone and you see the oil at the bottom of the chicken. If you want your chicken a little saucy, you don’t have to reduce them as much as I did. Continue cooking the chicken, mixing it often until you see some of the chicken going a little crispy. Turn the heat off. Leave it on the side while you assemble the pastil.
To assemble your pastil, take your banana leaves and lay it flat on the table, then add your rice, chicken, eggs and chillies if you’re adding it. You can wrap the pastil close or you can leave it open. Best serve warm or hot.
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