This is the BEST EMBUTIDO ever! Made special with ground pork, cheese, and vegetables. It's moist, tender, and won't fall apart when sliced. Make it for Christmas, New Year, or just when you feel like celebrating.
Embutido is a Filipino-style meatloaf formed in the shape of a large sausage. The name is of Spanish origin which means cured sausage. However, embutido is anything but that. It is, in fact, more of a Filipino version of American meatloaf with lots of other ingredients which you'll see later.
Traditionally, embutido is cooked by using the steaming method but oven-baking works wonderfully too. To add color and boost the flavor, even more, it is seared in hot oil until slightly charred just before serving.
Much like lumpia, Embutido is a popular dish enjoyed at Filipino parties and gatherings and is almost always present at Christmas Eve dinner (Noche Buena) and the New Year celebration.
What you need
And here are the ingredients you need to make the best Filipino Embutido.
- Ground pork - For moist and flavorful embutido use ground pork with fat. Tip: You can get your butcher to grind fresh pork for you and specify the amount of fat you want.
- Luncheon Meat - Spam has become a popular addition to embutido as it enhances the overall flavor of the meatloaf. It also adds a slightly firmer texture and interesting contrast within each slice. You can also use vienna sausages as a substitute.
- Carrots and Bell Peppers are the dynamic vegetable duo that takes center stage in embutido. Bell peppers, in particular, are the secret behind embutido's unique flavor and aroma.
- Garlic and Onion - Use fresh garlic and onion for the best flavor.
- Raisins - Not only add a touch of sweetness but also give embutido its signature appearance.
- Panko Breadcrumbs and Eggs act as a binder in meatloaf, helping to hold the ingredients together. This binding effect prevents the meatloaf from falling apart.
And here's the secret to making the most delicious Filipino meatloaf:
- Ketchup and optional sweet pickle relish add flavor, sweetness, and a tangy kick while also enhancing the dish's moisture and texture.
- Bouillon - Adds depth of flavor. You can use chicken or beef bouillon alternately.
- Cheese adds creaminess, savory flavor, and texture, making the embutido richer and more flavorful.
- Salt and Pepper
How to Make It
And, here are my best tips on how to make embutido:
1. Chop the vegetables
Minced the vegetables using a sharp knife. For convenience, you can also use a food processor if available.
Use the pulse function of the food processor rather than continuous blending. Pulse in short bursts (about 1-2 seconds each) to control the chopping process. This allows you to stop and check the texture frequently.
2. Make the Pork Embutido Mixture
Combine all the ingredients and seasonings in a large bowl. I recommend combining the eggs and panko breadcrumbs together before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.
Mix using your hands to thoroughly combine. Use food-grade gloves if you need to.
💭Top Tip! Fry a small amount of the mixture in hot oil. Taste and adjust salt and black pepper based on preference.
3. Wrap and Roll
- Use heavy-duty aluminum foil - it's thicker, and tough enough to withstand the twisting, rolling, and high heat.
- Brush foil with cooking oil to prevent the meat from sticking.
- Spread 1 ⅓ full cups of the meat mixture on the aluminum foil, and form it into a rectangular shape that is at least ½ inch thick. Don't spread it too thinly especially if you're making it with fillings.
- Arrange slices of egg and sausage in the center. Carefully roll into a log, apply pressure, and compress. Be sure that the meat is completely wrapped over the fillings. Twist both sides tightly.
4. Cook in a Steamer
Pre-heat steamer on high heat. Once it's boiling, lower the heat to medium heat.
Place the embutido rolls in the steamer basket and cook for 1 hour. Long cooking time is needed to thoroughly cook the meat all the way through. It also helps retain moisture within the embutido, preventing it from becoming dry.
How to Cook Embutido in the Oven
Yes, you can cook embutido in the oven. If you don't have a steamer, it's a perfect alternative cooking method.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) while you prepare the embutido.
- Once the embutido rolls are ready, prepare a water bath using a roaster with a rack. Pour hot water into the pan.
- Place the meatloaf rolls into the rack then place inside the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour and it is done!
The smell, taste, and aroma of Embutido always put me in a Christmas mood. My favorite part is having the leftovers for breakfast the next day. It's so good with fried eggs and garlic rice (a.k.a. EMBUSILOG). Best served with ketchup, of course!
💭 Tip: To prevent the cooked embutido from crumbling, let it cool for a few hours or overnight before slicing.
Storage and Shelf-life
Store embutido in an airtight container. It should last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and 1 month in the freezer.
To reheat, defrost overnight in the fridge then pan-fry in hot oil until all sides are brown.
Why does embutido fall apart?
Because the mixture wasn't mixed enough or it wasn't rolled enough firmly. Using the right amount of eggs and breadcrumbs is also another key to a firm yet moist and tender meatloaf.
What's a good substitute for bread crumbs?
Use slices of white bread as an alternative to breadcrumbs. Finely slice into small pieces then soak in the egg and milk mixture.
Watch How to Make It
Try these next...
More Filipino recipes for your Christmas menu!
- Pork Ribs Caldereta
- Juicy Lechon Manok-Filipino Roasted Chicken
- Beef Mechado
- Pork and Shrimp Lumpiang Shanghai
- Beef Caldereta
- Creamy Garlic Pasta with Bacon and Mushroom
- Cheesy Baked Macaroni with Meat Sauce
- Pansit Palabok
- Escabeche (Sweet and Sour Fish)
Sides and Dessert
- Super Soft Ensaymada Bread Rolls
- Filipino Fruit Salad
- Cassava Cake
- Oven-Baked Bibingka with Peanuts and Coconut Strips
Pork Embutido with Cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs (note 1)
- 18 oz ground pork with fat
- ½ can luncheon meat / spam (diced, note 2)
- 1 small carrots (minced)
- 1 medium yellow onion (finely minced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ½ piece green bell pepper (minced)
- ½ piece red bell pepper (minced)
- ⅓ cup raisins (add more if preferred)
- 2 tablespoon pickle relish (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (add more if preferred)
- 1 piece chicken bouillon (crumbled)
- ground black pepper (to taste)
- ½ block processed cheddar cheese (grated)
- 2 tablespoon ketchup
Fillings (optional, note 3)
- 5 small hard-boiled eggs
- 6 pcs sliced sausage
- Place egg in a large bowl. Lightly beat with a fork. Add breadcrumbs and stir until a thick paste forms.2 eggs, 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well using your hands. Fry a small amount of the mixture in hot oil. Taste and adjust salt, and pepper as needed.18 oz ground pork with fat, ½ can luncheon meat / spam, 1 small carrots, 1 medium yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, ½ piece green bell pepper, ½ piece red bell pepper, ⅓ cup raisins, 2 tablespoon pickle relish, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 piece chicken bouillon, ground black pepper, ½ block processed cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoon ketchup
- Prepare 5 pieces of foil that are 18" long and 12" wide. Brush the center with vegetable oil.
- Spread 1 ⅓ cups of the meat mixture on the aluminum foil. Form into a rectangular shape that is at least ½ inch thick. Don’t spread it too thinly especially if you’re making it with fillings. Make sure there's space on all sides, more to the top.
- Arrange slices of egg and sausage in the center. Carefully roll into a log, apply pressure, and compress. Be sure that the meat is completely wrapped over the fillings. Twist both sides tightly. Repeat for the rest of the mixture.5 small hard-boiled eggs, 6 pcs sliced sausage
- Pre-heat steamer on high heat. Once it's boiling, set heat to medium heat, and then place all your prepared embutido rolls in the steamer basket. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
- Cool completely and chill before removing the foil. Slice into pieces before serving. Pan-fry in hot oil to brown each side if preferred. Serve with ketchup or sweet chili sauce. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Panko Breadcrumbs - larger than normal breadcrumbs so they make the meatloaf softer. Nowadays they are found in most supermarkets usually in both the Asian section and alongside normal breadcrumbs.
- Luncheon Meat - use your favorite brand or sausage.
- Fillings - you can omit the hard-boiled eggs and sausage. It will still taste the same. Promise!
- Serving - embutido is easier to slice when it's cold and firm. Slice into pieces before frying.
- Shelf-life: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container, it should last 3 to 4 days and 1 month in the freezer.
- To reheat, defrost overnight in the fridge. Pan-fry in hot oil until all sides are slightly brown.
Originally published October 2019. Updated with new photos, and a streamlined recipe after further testing to improve the recipe! A new recipe video coming soon
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