28 May2013


I have been meaning to experiment more with our chorizos. We currently offer a fresh (no preservatives) large, rather lean chorizo flavored with paprika, garlic and vinegar that some find extremely different from the sickly sweet chorizos that have become so common in Cebu these days… The ones in the market hang out in the open, drying away, and conjure images of botulism just wanting to happen. As flies swirl around the sausages, I often shiver at the issue of hygiene… But they seem to use an incredible amount of pink salt or sodium nitrates, so presumably the threat of botulism is reduced greatly… I have been wary of nitrates, but recognize that many sausages around the world rely on them to be properly and safely preserved.


So we have finally purchased some pink salt, or prague powder, or sodium nitrate, and after careful research and measuring and re-measuring, I made a batch of chorizos which included the pink salt, as I wanted to also hot smoke the sausages before chilling them or freezing them before cooking. I am still wary of getting to the point of just leaving them out hanging around like in the markets, but I wanted the smoking step to dry off the skins and infuse the sausage with smokey flavor.


We simply hung freshly made chorizos (with pink salt) several feet away from lechons roasting away over the coals. The temperature was probably between 180-200F and the sausages rendered fat slowly over a three-hour smoking period. The smoke warded off flies or any other bugs and it infused the sausages with a surprisingly distinct and appealing aroma and taste. The sausages took on a really healthy burnished color, almost like a fresh olive tan…


Sister once mentioned that our Lola used to smoke casajos or beef tapa in the rafters of her bakery which had two wood-fired brick ovens, so I was taking a chance that this was a similar way to do that. The results were brilliant. A whole kilo worth of smoked chorizos were fried up and the office crew wiped them out at a late-afternoon impromptu merienda. We still have to tweak things a bit more and I hope it will result in a uniquely delicious “lechon-smoked” chorizo. :)




  1. marilen says:

    You are well on the way to being a grand master of charcuterie!!! Always did admire your persistent nature and experimentation, young man!!

    May 28, 2013 | 9:54 pm


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  3. natie says:

    …Yes, Marilen,and the amount of hygienic measures!! We here in the US are aware of the way many chorizos are prepped for the markets in the Phil ( we have Filipino Channels), and we are repulsed!!!!! Including the news about the “double dead” meats! Never again will we buy longganisa from unreliable sources…

    hmmm, maybe I should make my own since I will be far from Cebu when I retire…Or order and have it freight delivered…

    May 28, 2013 | 10:51 pm

  4. Papa Ethan says:

    We’re pretty sure you’ll get to perfecting your unique chorizos infused with the “spirits” of your famous zubuchon. And we do earnestly hope that these would be easier to procure here in Metro Manila eventually! =)

    May 28, 2013 | 11:30 pm

  5. Khew says:

    Killing 2 pigs with one smoke. Great idea.

    By the way, what happens to all that ash from your roasting pits? I hope you don’t throw them away because they make a terrific amendment to the typically acidic soils of the tropics.

    May 28, 2013 | 11:32 pm

  6. sophie says:

    oh oh, looks so yummy and I can smell the lechon in the chorizo. yum yum

    May 29, 2013 | 12:02 am

  7. Corrine says:

    MM, noticed that the chorizos we buy in cebu have gotten smaller. Also, saltier and sweeter than before. Looking forward to your chorizos!

    May 29, 2013 | 1:07 am

  8. netoy says:

    MM – Please consider marketing this product (once perfected to your satisfaction) nationwide and not only for Cebu consumers. Might as well think about marketing globally especially in Souther California where Pinoys abound… :)

    May 29, 2013 | 3:01 am

  9. Footloose says:

    Last pic is mouthwatering.

    A finger sleightly pressing on the scale is the least of your worries with an untrustworthy butcher. There is that constant threat of salvaged tainted meat too finding its way into sausages and tocino. Living within reach of a reliable butcher would be a dream come true in my book. Short of that, just as with any animal viscus, I simply avoid eating them unless they were prepared at home.

    May 29, 2013 | 3:05 am

  10. Lili says:

    Botulinum is an anaerobe and wouldn’t survive such an environment. I’d be more wary of salmonella or E. coli.

    May 29, 2013 | 8:08 am

  11. Mari of NY says:

    All I can say… YUM!

    May 29, 2013 | 8:34 am

  12. Betchay says:

    You are always brilliant with your ideas! Cann’t wait to try these mouthwatering lechon-smoked chorizos….yummy!

    May 29, 2013 | 12:12 pm

  13. Fred says:

    I can almost smell the smoke and the hanging meat :D I smoked a few kg of bacon using a modified barbecue grill. I haven’t been able to get sausage casings to try making sausages.

    May 29, 2013 | 12:20 pm

  14. Yette says:

    Its as if I can taste the chorizos in the pictures. The smoky taste and melt in your mouth goodness. This really looks sPORKtacular MM.

    May 29, 2013 | 12:30 pm

  15. general says:

    mm, i picked beef tapa in your survey but only because it’s usually less messy to cook than longganiza. that said, i’m willing to make the sacrifice of being splattered with hot oil if the product looks as yummy as these! maybe you could make them available through juan longganiza (loved the tuguegarao ones you recommended last time. was also able to try the calumpit. unfortunately, haven’t had a chance to buy again) in the future? hahantingin ko talaga yan! fingers crossed!

    May 29, 2013 | 1:43 pm

  16. present tense says:

    Botulism ? E. coli ? what about OPS in the vinegar dip – other people’s saliva

    May 29, 2013 | 3:15 pm

  17. sonny sj says:

    @present tense – LOL! but i guess street vendors of fish/squid balls etc are now more aware of the health/hygenic issues. most of those i see here in the metro no longer allow their suki to just dip the balls into the sauces. instead, they serve the fish ball on disposable saucers and ladle the sauce on top.

    May 29, 2013 | 4:43 pm

  18. Pink Carnations says:

    This blog is the best! This blog is HOME! I learn many, many things here, for grand occasions, for simple gatherings and all elegant even in it’s simplicity. This blog speaks straight to one’s heart. Thank you marketman! May you be blessed for sharing so much ;-)

    May 29, 2013 | 7:47 pm

  19. Nadia says:

    Hi MM. It’s been a while since we last heard from you. I was ecstatic to learn about the fresh (no preservative) chorizos you’re offering in your resto, which you mentioned in your first paragraph, but then quickly got dismayed a bit when you described your experiment that used the notorious sodium nitrate. My husband and I recently (as in just a week ago) agreed that we would stop buying or eating at home any preserved meats that uses sodium nitrates and avoid them in restaurants as well. This was after we read a recent article discussing the overwhelming evidence from scientific/medical research throughout the past decade that consumption of sodium nitrates is strongly linked to and significantly increases the development of certain cancers.

    Sadly, my immediate family carries the genes for cancer, so as much as I love my bacon, cold cuts and German sausages, I will have to make a sacrifice for the sake of my health and my children’s future. But I am hopeful that people like you will come up with no-preservative ‘preserved’ meats…if at all possible. If there’s a will, there’s a way :)

    May 29, 2013 | 8:57 pm

  20. Marketman says:

    Nadia, we do currently sell a fresh all natural chorizo in our current line up of products at Zubuchon. The sodium nitrate is used to prevent bacterial growth I gather. I have also featured a terrific bacon we made at home that is preservative free (except for the salt) as well as a fresh ham without preservatives, so you may wish to look those up as well. As for the chorizos that are smoked, all material I have researched suggests using the sodium nitrate, in strictly recommended amounts, is safe from the point of view of bacterial growth, but as you mention, repeated/heavy/frequent use may have other side effects.

    May 30, 2013 | 2:47 am

  21. jakbkk says:

    interesting post given all the interest preservatives are having right now. anyway, i saw this on another website and thought it might be useful: “Our Iberian-style chorizo sausage is spicy and garlicky, with bold smoky flavor from paprika. We make it by hand, in small batches with all-natural ingredients. No nitrates or nitrites are used; instead we rely on celery powder, which acts as a natural preservative.”

    first time hearing “celery powder” so a bit curious as well.

    website here: “http://www.dartagnan.com/51179/565805/Sausages–Hot-Dogs/Chorizo-Sausage.html”

    PAHABOL : “http://ruhlman.com/2011/05/the-no-nitrites-added-hoax/”

    May 30, 2013 | 10:12 am

  22. jakbkk says:

    and this is more interesting: USDA, FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service)

    Use of celery powder and other natural sources of nitrite as curing agents


    May 30, 2013 | 10:20 am

  23. Marketman says:

    jakbkk, thanks for that, will have to get my hands on sufficient amounts of celery powder… a classic infusion of celery was a “tonic” many decades ago… so this is interesting… :)

    May 30, 2013 | 10:30 am

  24. lee says:

    I had a full physical recently with decent results but still showing blood sugar levels typical of someone from Negros Occidental. Cholesterol levels are ok therefore reading this post is still ok.

    May 30, 2013 | 12:13 pm

  25. present tense says:

    you may also want to consult FAO of the UN for a global perspective of pesticides este preservatives generally classified as safe . dont know if this parallels US standards though. the challenge may be to use current ingredients in such amounts that the preservative effect is achieved and flavor enhanced. cheers !

    May 30, 2013 | 12:37 pm

  26. Khew says:

    The question is whether the celery powder has been so distilled/extracted to the point that it has become a chemical which in this case being nitrites.

    To illustrate, MSG is naturally occurring in cheese, mushrooms, red wine, seaweed…etc which is why these foods are tasty. However, when distilled into pure MSG, it becomes a questionable chemical purported to induce all sorts of problems. So don’t get excited when MSG apparently is made from sugarcane, tapioca or yeast extract. It ends up as MSG no matter the source.

    Likewise, a concentrated sugarcane juice is probably healthy but white sugar definitely isn’t. Salicylic acid naturally occurring in plants for their growth and defense when distilled into aspirin and anti bacterial agents cause more harm than good in the long run especially when abused.

    Since the discussion is about nitrates and nitrites, I won’t jump into the cholesterol debate. Suffice to say, cholesterol isn’t your enemy.

    May 30, 2013 | 5:44 pm

  27. mark says:

    I finally made it to cebu! the highlight of my trip is my visit to zubuchon! loved every single item I ate. the dinuguan, monggo, salads and of course the lechon. we loved the lechon so much that we had 3 kilos of it everyday while we are here in cebu! and who would not love the santol juice and the shakes? I am on my back to San Francisco…. my luggage is filled with the kalamansi jam!!!!!

    I am a big fan!!!!!

    Jun 1, 2013 | 12:20 pm

  28. Joel says:

    MM, while you are into experimenting with smoking, can you try to make your own bacon? Naturally smoked pork belly is always to die for!!! That would be the signature Zubuchon product. :)

    Jun 1, 2013 | 3:34 pm

  29. Marketman says:

    Joel, I have made bacon at home several times before, I blogged about it and there is a post in the archives, based on a Saveur or Gourmet recipe. I haven’t smoked any bacon yet, but yes, I would imagine it would ramp up the flavor more…

    mark, so happy you were pleased with your visits to Zubuchon, but 3 kilos a day?! I hope you were a big group! :)

    Jun 1, 2013 | 7:10 pm

  30. Monty says:

    If bacon isn’t smoked, then it more like pancetta isn’t it? We have made dry cured bacon with nitrites, which we then smoked with hickory wood. Even with the nitrites, the bacon did not seem as pink as commercial bacon, and it didn’t get crisp when cooked in a pan. Will try it without nitrites to check the taste difference. As bad as it is, a Cook’s Illustrated taste test proves people prefer nitrites in their bacon, maybe because of its familiarity in both taste and appearance.

    Jun 2, 2013 | 8:42 am

  31. Anne says:

    aww how i wish you have an online shop so I can send to my family back in manila!!!
    http://www.zubochon.com please!!!!

    Jun 2, 2013 | 3:51 pm

  32. Slightly Epicurean says:

    Hello MM! I hope you can make the chorizos and bacon available in supermarkets here in Metro Manila. Me and my husband are trying our best to cut back on eating cured meats or if talagang may craving, I buy organic lucban longganisa from The Farm Organics at Landmark.

    Jun 4, 2013 | 5:57 pm

  33. Gigi says:

    Jun 4, 2013 | 10:29 pm

  34. Food Pick says:

    Brilliant Idea! I hope you can make it available in the market :)

    Jun 7, 2013 | 10:41 am

  35. Gerry T says:

    Woww that looks awesome MM! I notice the chorizos are getting sweeter.This will be simply tasty & better. Hopefully when we have the chance to go to Cebu it will be on your stall so we can enjoy it as well. :)

    Jun 10, 2013 | 12:10 am

  36. beboy says:

    amazing! chorizo lechon flavor?…:)

    Jun 24, 2013 | 2:29 am

  37. ding says:

    Can I order the smoked lechon chorizo? Am ordering a zubuchon for 02 July.

    Jun 27, 2013 | 1:00 pm

  38. Marketman says:

    ding, sorry, we don’t have this product in stores yet. We have a regular chorizo, but it isn’t advisable to be sent airfreight as it may not remain frozen in transit due to its small size…

    Jun 27, 2013 | 4:29 pm

  39. ding says:

    I just paid for the small zubuchon. Thanks for the info on smoked chorizo. looking forward to try it when there’s a chance to visit cebu. I have tried the zubuchon bought in kilo portions at the airport. Now I hope the full lechon tastes the same!

    Jun 28, 2013 | 2:06 pm


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