Afritada recipe

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Introduction to Afritada Recipe

Afritada Recipe, a popular Philippine dish, features braised chicken, beef, or pork in tomato sauce with carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers. Typically served hot over rice, it’s a Filipino meal staple and can also be a base for seafood dishes.

The name “Afritada” comes from the Spanish “fritada,” meaning “fried.” This refers to the initial step where cooks pan-fry the meat before simmering it in tomato sauce. The process starts with sautéing garlic and onion. Then, diced meat is added and fried until tender. Next, water, tomato paste, and vegetables are added. Cooks season the mix with salt, pepper, bay leaves, and fish sauce, then simmer it until the vegetables are tender.

Origins and Evolution

The name “Afritada” is derived from the Spanish word “fritada,” which means “fried.” This refers to the initial step in the dish’s preparation where the meat is pan-fried before being simmered in tomato sauce. The dish is first prepared by sautéing garlic and onion, then adding diced meat to fry until tender. After the meat is browned, water and tomato paste, along with various vegetables, are added to the pan. The mixture is then simmered until the vegetables are cooked.

Afritada has different variants based on its main ingredients. The most common ones include chicken Afritada (afritadang manok), beef Afritada (afritadang baka), and pork Afritada (afritadang baboy). There are also seafood versions of the dish, like fish Afritada (afritadang isda) or mussel Afritada (afritadang tahong). Another popular variant is cooked hamonado-style, with pineapple chunks, known as “pineapple Afritada.”

Cultural Significance

Afritada is a significant dish in Filipino cuisine, reflecting the culinary traditions and influences in the Philippines. Its preparation method, which involves frying and simmering, is a common cooking technique in Filipino households. The dish is not only a reflection of the country’s culinary practices but also its agricultural products, as it incorporates locally available ingredients like chicken, pork, beef, and various vegetables. The addition of pineapple in some variants of Afritada also highlights the influence of tropical fruits in Filipino dishes.

Afritada is often compared to other Filipino dishes like Menudo and Kaldereta due to their use of tomato sauce or banana ketchup. However, each dish has unique ingredients and preparation methods that distinguish them from one another. For example, Menudo includes sliced liver, while Kaldereta primarily uses goat meat. These dishes, including Afritada, showcase the diversity and richness of Filipino cuisine, providing a taste of the country’s culture and history through food.

Ingredients for Afritada Recipe

Essential Ingredients:

  • Chicken (mix of thighs and drumsticks)
  • Lemon juice
  • Soy sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic cloves
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Red and green bell peppers
  • Bay leaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • Water or chicken broth

Optional Additions:

  • Hot dogs or sausage, sliced
  • Green peas
  • Fish sauce
  • Sugar
  • Hard-boiled eggs


  1. Marinate Chicken: Marinate the chicken pieces in lemon juice, soy sauce, and black pepper.
  2. Sauté: In a large pot, sauté garlic, onions, and tomatoes in olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned.
  3. Add Vegetables: Add potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers, and stir well to combine with the chicken.
  4. Simmer: Pour in the tomato sauce and water or broth, then add bay leaves, salt, and other optional ingredients. Let it simmer until the chicken and vegetables are tender.
  5. Serve: Adjust the seasoning if necessary, then serve hot with steamed rice.

Selecting the Best Ingredients for Afritada Recipe

Choosing Meats

  • Type of Meat: Afritada can be made with chicken, beef, or pork. Select fresh, high-quality cuts. For chicken, thighs and drumsticks are ideal as they remain tender during cooking. For beef, choose chuck or brisket, and for pork, shoulder or belly cuts work well.
  • Freshness: Ensure the meat is fresh. Look for a bright, natural color with no off-odors. The meat should be firm to the touch.
  • Fat Content: A moderate amount of fat enhances the dish’s flavor. Look for well-marbled cuts, which will render down during cooking, adding richness and depth to the Afritada.

Picking Vegetables

  • Tomatoes: Choose ripe, juicy tomatoes as they form the base of the sauce. Look for bright red, firm, and plump tomatoes with smooth skin.
  • Bell Peppers: Select firm, glossy, and brightly colored red and green bell peppers. They should be heavy for their size with no wrinkles or cracks.
  • Potatoes: Opt for waxy potatoes, which hold their shape during cooking. They should be firm, smooth, and free of sprouts or green spots.
  • Carrots: Pick bright orange, firm, and smooth carrots without cracks or dry spots.

Always wash all vegetables thoroughly and use them while they are fresh to ensure the best flavor and texture in your Afritada dish.

Preparing Ingredients for Afritada Recipe

Afritada is a hearty Filipino stew that requires careful preparation of both meat and vegetables to achieve its signature taste and texture. Below are the steps for preparing the meat and vegetables for Afritada:

Meat Preparation

  1. Select the Meat: Choose between chicken, beef, or pork. For chicken Afritada, use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks for more flavor. For beef or pork Afritada, select a cut that is good for slow cooking, like beef chuck or pork shoulder.
  2. Cut the Meat: Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. If using chicken, you can leave the pieces larger. For beef or pork, cut into 1 to 1.5-inch cubes.
  3. Season the Meat: Season the meat with salt and pepper. You can also add a bit of soy sauce or fish sauce for extra flavor.
  4. Brown the Meat: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the meat and cook until browned on all sides. This step enhances the flavor of the meat and the overall dish.

Vegetable Preparation

  1. Select and Wash Vegetables: Choose fresh carrots, potatoes, red and green bell peppers. Wash them thoroughly under running water.
  2. Peel and Cut Vegetables: Peel the carrots and potatoes. Cut the carrots into round slices or half-moons, and the potatoes into bite-sized cubes. For the bell peppers, remove the seeds and membranes, then cut them into strips or squares.
  3. Prepare Optional Vegetables: Afritada can also include peas, chickpeas, or beans. If using, wash and drain these as well. If using canned chickpeas or beans, rinse them thoroughly to remove the canning liquid.
  4. Set Aside: Once all the vegetables are prepared, set them aside until it’s time to add them to the pot.

Additional Tips

  • For a sweeter version of Afritada, you can add pineapple chunks. Ensure to drain the canned pineapple chunks if not using fresh ones.
  • Some recipes also include sliced tomatoes. If you choose to add tomatoes, select ripe ones and cut them into wedges.
  • Always adjust the seasoning to your taste. You can always add more salt, pepper, or fish sauce as needed while the dish is cooking.

Preparing the ingredients meticulously is crucial for a delicious pot of Afritada. Taking the time to prepare the meat and vegetables properly will result in a dish that is flavorful and comforting, making it a perfect meal to share with family and friends.

Storing and Reheating Afritada Recipe

Storage Guidelines:

  • Refrigeration: After cooking Afritada, let it cool completely. Transfer the cooled dish into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. When stored in the refrigerator, Afritada can be kept for about 3 to 4 days.
  • Freezing: For longer shelf life, you can also freeze Afritada. Use a heavy-duty freezer bag or another type of airtight container suitable for freezing. When properly stored in the freezer, Afritada can last for approximately 3 to 4 months.

Reheating Instructions:

  1. Thawing: If you have frozen the Afritada, remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw completely.
  2. Microwave Reheating: Once thawed, transfer the Afritada into a microwave-safe container and reheat it in the microwave.
  3. Stovetop Reheating: Alternatively, you can also reheat Afritada on the stove. Place the dish in a pot and reheat it over the stove until it reaches the desired temperature.


  • Ensure that the Afritada is stored in airtight containers to prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors from the refrigerator or freezer.
  • When reheating, you may need to adjust the seasoning of the Afritada as flavors can change slightly after storage.
  • Always check the temperature of the reheated Afritada to ensure it is hot enough before serving.

Common Mistakes When Cooking Afritada

Below are some common mistakes people often make when cooking Afritada, along with brief explanations:

Overcooking the Meat:

Afritada is a Filipino dish that usually features chicken, pork, or beef. Overcooking the meat can result in a tough and dry texture, which is not pleasant to eat. To avoid this, monitor the cooking time closely and consider using a meat thermometer to check for doneness.

Not Using Fresh Ingredients:

Fresh ingredients are crucial for achieving the vibrant and rich flavors characteristic of Afritada. Using stale or old ingredients can lead to a dish that lacks depth and taste. Always opt for fresh vegetables, tomatoes, and meats when preparing this dish.

Inadequate Seasoning:

Afritada requires a balance of savory, sour, and sometimes slightly sweet flavors. Failing to season the dish properly can result in a bland or overpowering taste. Taste the dish as you cook and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Not Searing the Meat:

Searing the meat before simmering can enhance the flavor of Afritada. If you skip this step, the meat might lack the rich, caramelized taste that searing provides.

Using the Wrong Type of Tomatoes:

The type of tomatoes used can significantly affect the taste of Afritada. Using overly ripe or too sour tomatoes can throw off the balance of flavors in the dish. Choose tomatoes that are ripe and firm, with a sweet and tangy taste.

Rushing the Cooking Process:

Afritada needs time for the flavors to meld and develop. Rushing the cooking process can result in a dish that tastes disjointed. Allow the dish to simmer gently until the meat is tender and the flavors are well-integrated.

Not Adjusting to Personal Taste Preferences:

Everyone has different taste preferences. Some might prefer their Afritada spicier, while others might want it milder. Don’t be afraid to adjust the recipe to suit your taste buds or those of your family.

Remember, cooking is both an art and a science. Don’t be discouraged if your Afritada doesn’t turn out perfect the first time. With practice and attention to detail, you’ll be able to avoid these common mistakes and master the dish in no time!

Afritada Recipe for Special Occasions

Afritada can be prepared in various ways to suit both everyday meals and special occasions. Below are two recipes: one for a festive, special occasion Afritada and another for a simpler, everyday version.

Festive Afritada

This version of Afritada is richer and more flavorful, perfect for celebrations and special gatherings.

  • 2 lbs of meat (chicken, beef, or pork), cut into serving pieces
  • 1 can (8 oz) of tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Pineapple chunks (optional)
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the meat and cook until lightly browned.
  2. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
  3. Add tomato sauce, broth, and bay leaves. Allow the mixture to boil for a few minutes.
  4. Add potatoes and carrots and cook until tender.
  5. Add bell peppers, peas, olives, and raisins. Cook until vegetables are tender and the sauce is reduced.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add pineapple chunks if desired.
  7. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Everyday Afritada

This is a simpler and quicker version of Afritada suitable for everyday meals.

  • 2 lbs of meat (chicken, beef, or pork), cut into serving pieces
  • 1 can (8 oz) of tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the meat and cook until lightly browned.
  2. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
  3. Add tomato sauce and enough water to cover the meat. Allow the mixture to boil for a few minutes.
  4. Add potatoes and carrots and cook until tender.
  5. Add bell peppers and cook until tender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve hot with steamed rice

Whether preparing Afritada for a special occasion or a regular meal, these recipes offer flexibility and richness in flavor. Adjust the ingredients and seasonings to suit your taste and enjoy a delightful Filipino dish that is both comforting and festive.

Health Benefits of Afritada Recipe

Nutritional Value

  • Protein-Rich: Afritada is a good source of protein, especially if you use lean cuts of chicken, beef, or pork. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, producing enzymes, and maintaining strong and healthy muscles. Learn more about the importance of protein.
  • Vitamin-Rich Vegetables: The vegetables in Afritada, like bell peppers and carrots, are rich in vitamins and minerals. Bell peppers provide a good amount of vitamin C, while carrots are high in vitamin A. Read more on vitamins and minerals.
  • Low in Calories: When prepared with careful consideration to the amount of oil and fatty meats used, Afritada can be a low-calorie dish that’s suitable for those watching their calorie intake. Understand more about calorie counting.

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten-Free: Afritada is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Find more on gluten-free diets.
  • Customizable: You can easily adjust the recipe to fit various dietary needs. For a lower fat version, use lean meats or opt for a vegetarian variant by using tofu or more vegetables. Explore vegetarian diets.

Afritada recipe FAQS

What is Afritada made of?

Afritada is a Filipino stew primarily made of:
Protein: Chicken (commonly thighs and drumsticks), though pork or beef can also be used.
Vegetables: Potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers.
Sauce Base: Tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Seasonings: Garlic, onions, bay leaves, ground black pepper, and salt.
Optional Additions: Hot dogs, green peas, fish sauce, sugar, and hard-boiled eggs.

What is the history of Chicken Afritada?

Chicken Afritada, also known as “Afritadang Manok” in Filipino, is a dish with Spanish influences, introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period. The name “afritada” is derived from the Spanish word “fritada,” meaning fried. Over time, Filipinos have adapted and incorporated this dish into their cuisine, making it a household staple

What country is Afritada from?

Afritada originated in the Philippines. It is a well-loved traditional Filipino dish, reflecting the culinary influence of Spain on Filipino cuisine.

How many calories are in Chicken Afritada?

The calorie content in Chicken Afritada can vary based on the specific recipe and ingredients used. Generally, a serving of Chicken Afritada may contain approximately 300 to 400 calories. Factors like the amount and type of oil, the cuts of chicken, and additional ingredients can affect the calorie count. For precise calorie information, refer to the specific recipe you are following or use a nutritional calculator with the exact measurements of ingredients.

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