7 Ways To Make Corned Beef More Filling

If you have ingredients that need to be used up, adding it in is not a bad idea.
PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

You can go beyond the usual chunks of potatoes in your corned beef! That can of salty, seasoned beef is a super ingredient that you can use for many recipes. You can make a corned beef lasagna or baked macaroni from it, make a simple tortang corned beef, stir the last little bit into fried rice, make potato balls from leftover ingredients, or even make empanadas with corned beef stuffed into the filling.  

The possibilities of transforming a can of corned beef into a meal that's more than just itself can be daunting. What else can you add to it other than the classic cubes of potatoes? 

This is the time to get creative and raid your kitchen of ingredients that can make that already super flavorful can of beef into a meal that's more than just beef. Here are some ideas on what else you can add:  

  1. Sweet Kernel Corn

    Take advantage of your canned food inventory, and make it a pantry meal. Grab a can of canned corn, drain it, and add it into the sautéing corned beef. You introduce a contrasting burst of sweetness in an otherwise salty dish that we Filipinos naturally love. 

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  2. Mushrooms

    Who has a can of mushrooms in their kitchen? We're sure many of you do! So why not add these slices into your corned beef? You boost the umami of your dish and add even more meatiness to your dish that's not salted. 

  3. Pechay or bok choy

    You'll want to chop these up into small chunks and while you're at it, add more water to the corned beef mix! These leafy greens, whether it's pechay or bok choy, stay crunchy even after a little simmering so it's perfect for absorbing some of the salty flavors that the corned beef already has. Despite it being so hardy in boiling liquids, you'll want to add these leafy greens near the end of cooking so that it will remain a bright green and still crunchy.

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  4. Mixed Vegetables: Corn, Carrots, and Green Peas

    We know many people who love corn. We know many who like carrots. However, we also know many who do not like green peas. Poor vegetable! That's why mixed vegetables need to earn a better reputation. 

    Hear us out: These verdant orbs probably got this reputation because it's not being cooked right. Green peas are like corn. It needs time to become tender and become softened. It's much like potatoes and these can be mashed, too, if you're even inclined to try it. 

    For this corned beef tweak, you'll want to saute your ginisa first and then add the mixed vegetables together with some water so as it simmers, the vegetables, especially the green peas, have a chance to soften. 

  5. Scrambled Eggs

    No, we don't suggest you make a torta although that's not a bad idea if you have enough eggs to use. You don't have to make a torta but instead, push the beef to one side as it sizzles, and drop an egg or two in the space you just made. Mix it up and let it cook until just cooked through before mixing it together with the beef. You can also just top it off with a beautiful fried egg, too.

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  6. Tomatoes

    This usual ingredients for ginisa (onion, garlic, and tomatoes) usually disintegrates into our food, leaving you with just the taste of it and just a little hint to what it was that added that delicious tangy flavor. Instead of cooking the tomatoes until it dissolves into just the skins, quarter a few of the fruits and heat it up just enough so that it softens. It's another kind of flavor burst that you might develop a liking to.

    No fresh tomatoes? You can use canned diced tomatoes, strips of sundried tomatoes, tomato sauce, a small spoonful of tomato paste, or even ketchup for a richer flavor. 

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  7. Cooked Rice

    Why not make your corned beef an one-bowl meal? To do that, you just need to add cooked rice to the pan! You can do this two ways: as a fried rice or a soup. What's fantastic about the fried rice version is that you don't need a lot of it to make your fried rice extra tasty. What's even better is that you can add other ingredients (see list above!) to make that fried rice a hearty meal. 

    The same goes for the soupy version of this dish! Just add about half a cup to one cup of cooked rice to the corned beef and add water to make the ingredients swim. However, instead of just plain water, you might want to augment the soup with beef or even pork or chicken broth since there will be more water added in. Why a soup? A soup is one of those instantly filling meals that you can bolster with other ingredients. It's super tasty on its own so when it's beefed up with other ingredients (again, see above!), it's a filling as well as a satisfying meal.  

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