How meatloaf saved the day

hungry_hobbit, a.k.a. my husband, has been lamenting that all we’ve been having at home is Asian food (now c’mon, would you complain?). Well, with all the recipe testing that’s been going on, it’s not like I can help it.  

Then it came time to try Leah Tolosa’s Filipino-style meatloaf recipe, embutido.

hungry_hobbit stopped asking me what’s for dinner months ago but I volunteered the evening’s menu anyway. “Honey, we’re having meatloaf, but with a Filipino twist.” 

Ding! His eyes lit up! 

That evening, hungry_hobbit dined with a smile. The next day, he brought embutido to work for lunch and he ate it again for dinner! 

Thank you, Leah, your meatloaf saved the day!

Filipino-style meatloaf (Embutido)

I read online somewhere that embutido is traditionally wrapped with the skin of pig’s intestines. Does anyone have any input?

All I can say is that I’m thankful modern-day versions like Leah Tolosa’s are wrapped with aluminum foil. Embutido can also be served as a “cold cut.” Lightly pan-fry slices or deep-fry the whole log then slice. However, you choose to serve it, it’s delicious dipped in banana ketchup or Thai sweet chili sauce.

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (30 minutes active)
Makes: 4 to 6 servings

2 slices white bread, cut into cubes (2 cups)
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated (1/2 cup)
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 pounds ground meat of choice (chicken, turkey, pork, veal or beef) (2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup sweet relish
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3 hard boiled eggs, each halved

Three (12- by 12-inch) square sheets of aluminum foil

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, soak bread cubes in milk until soft, about 5 minutes.  Mix in beaten eggs.

In an 8-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add garlic and onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent. Add carrots and bell pepper. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes until heated through. Cool veggie mixture slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add veggie mixture to bread mixture in the bowl followed by remaining ingredients except hard boiled eggs. Mix well.

To assemble embutido, lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the counter. Scoop one third of the meat mixture (about 2 cups) onto the center of foil. Shape into a 9- by 5-inch rectangle.


Lay 2 egg halves, cut-side down, on top of meat mound.


Lifting the 2 longer sides of foil, shape meat mixture into a log around the eggs and hide them in the center.

Wrap completely with foil, rolling back and forth into a tightly packed log about 2- to 3-inches in diameter. Secure by twisting ends shut. Repeat with remaining meat mixture and eggs to form 2 more logs.

Place wrapped logs on a baking sheet or pan and bake for 1 hour.


Cool embudito completely before serving. To serve, unwrap aluminum foil and cut embutido into half-inch-thick slices. Arrange at an angle on the platter to show off hard-boiled egg in the center.


16 thoughts on “How meatloaf saved the day

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  3. I’ve made the embutido from your cookbook The Asian Grandmothers’ and posted it on my blog. It’s a favorite of my readers. You just reminded me to make some again. Thanks for this recipe!

  4. Just a small pointer. When we make pork pies here in the UK its highly desirable that each slice has a cross section of the white and yolk of the egg. So to avoid some slices just being the white, what you can do (for your recipe at least) is use three hard boiled eggs and cut the end white part before you get to the yolk then lay them end to end inside your meatloaf. ensuring every slice will have that beautiful cross section. Pork pies, by the way are circular and cut in wedges, so we make a ‘ring’ of cut off hard boiled eggs.

  5. Leah, we certainly share many similar dishes for the sheer fact that we’re in the same region…. I believe we also share some vocabularies. 🙂

    The stuffed turkey or chicken without bones will definitely look like a shelled turtle. I suppose that’s why the Indonesian call it Ayam Kodok. The chicken now looks more like a frog.

    Pat, if you can find the ayam kodok picture that your mum makes, post it as the rest of us would be curious to see it. Galantine in a tin can should will make a perfect shape. I have never tried it though.

    White On Rice Couple, quail egg will definitely work and can probably be baked on muffin pan. My kids love individual meat loaf baked in muffin pan topped with BBQ sauce 🙂

    Happy Eating everyone.

  6. Marvin, now you can make it at home!

    Tuty, my mum makes galantin in a tin can, I kid you not! Banana leaves seem like a better option to me. And she is very proud of her ayam kodok, she made it for Thanksgiving last year. I should see if I can find a picture :).

    Taj, thanks for the info on sinsal and the other serving tips, AND for pointing out my spelling boo boo. That’s why I’m so appreciative of editors and copy editors!

    Leah, I am also amazed that Indonesian and Filipino dishes have so many overlaps. My family’s restaurant has a Filipina cook and she’s always pointing out the similarities. Thanks again for sharing your recipe!

  7. Hi Pat, I’m glad my embutido (not embudito) recipe was a success in your house. Taj is also right about the vienna sausages, although, we line them up alongside the hardboiled egg to create a nice pattern when sliced. However, I find the vienna sausages sold in US stores are not as tasty as those in the Philippines. Don’t know why… so I leave them out.
    Tuty, I am always surprised by the similar dishes that Filipinos and Indonesians make. We make chicken galantina exactly the way you describe it. I even tried that on turkey once — but without the bones the bird looked more like a turtle. 🙂

  8. first, a slight correction it’s embuTIDO not embuDITO.traditional way was to use the skin of pig’s intestines called “sinsal” to wrap the mixture but that’s too much work to do.another variation is to use chopped vienna sausage with the ground pork mixture to add flavor. and yes you can steam the formed logs instead of baking. then slightly fry before serving. it’s also great for breakfast served with hot filipino bread – pan de sal. yummy!

  9. The Indonesian version of this dish called “Galantin” (sans carrots, bell peppers, raisin, and sweet relish). My mom used to make it when we have family gathering. It is steamed and then briefly deep fried to brown the outside. It is served with potato fries, steamed carrots and green beans. She also made sweet and sour gravy with petite peas to accompany the dish.

    Back in the days, we didn’t have aluminum foil.. so mom used banana leaves to wrap the galantin.

    Now “Ayam Kodok” (Frogged Chicken??) is another dish to bring at parties. The challenge is to debone the whole chicken before putting the seasoned ground meat (usually chicken and pork) and boiled eggs inside the bird’s cavity and sewing the darn thing before roasting the chicken. It’s simply delicious!!

    Your post certainly brings back sweet memories from home. Thank you, Pat.

  10. Embudito! I’ve forgotten all about this dish. I usually only see it at parties, so I never really have embudito that often, but I love it when it’s around.

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