Battle of The Iconic Tomato-Based Dishes: Menudo vs Afritada vs Mechado vs Kaldereta

What Filipino cuisine has a tomato basis, is made with simmering meats, and is a major hit at gatherings like fiestas, birthday parties, and the like?

Is it Afritada? Perhaps it’s Menudo. Wait, how about Mechado or Kaldereta? 

The answer is, of course, all of the above. These four classic recipes have many similarities, but they also have differences that set them apart. Are you unsure which is which? Don't worry, your Pinoy card will not be taken away just yet! Learn more about these favorites by reading on.

First thing’s first, what are the similarities and differences between these four? Well, all dishes are ubiquitous in our food culture, but they are also heavily influenced by the Spanish. When it comes to meat, traditional afritada uses chicken while Menudo is made with cubed pork or kasim. Mechado and Kaldereta, on the other hand, are traditionally cooked using beef—though goat meat can also be used for the latter. 

Ingredients-wise, all four use potatoes and carrots. Menudo uses garbanzos and pork (or chicken) liver while Kaldereta swaps the liver with liver spread. Mechado, compared to the three, also uses thicker tomato sauce on its stew. Despite the small differences, these details are what give the distinct tastes of each recipe. Close cousins or whatnot though, all four share one unifying factor: they are all perfect with rice.  

Do you want to try making these recipes now? Read on for Breville’s version of these iconic dishes below:  

How to cook Menudo:  


  • 2 tsp annatto seeds 
  • 1 red onion 
  • 3 cloves of garlic 
  • 350 g pork kasim, cubed 
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 3 large tomatoes 
  • 1 tsp tomato paste 
  • 2 pcs hotdogs, sliced 
  • 2 pcs potatoes, cubed 
  • 2 pcs carrots, cubed 
  • 80g chicken liver 
  • 32g garbanzo beans, drained and washed 
  • 1 pc green bell pepper, sliced 
  • 1 pc red bell pepper, sliced 
  • 32g cup of raisins 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 cup of water 

    Cooking Instructions:  

1. In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add annatto seeds and cook, stirring regularly, until the oil is infused with color. 
2. With a slotted spoon, remove and discard seeds. 
3. Add onions and garlic and sauté until softened for 3 mins (medium high heat). 
4. Add pork and cook until lightly browned for 5 mins (medium high heat). 
5. Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 minute. 
6. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, mashing occasionally with the back of a spoon, until softened and release juices. 
7. Add sliced hotdogs, potatoes, carrots, liver, bell peppers, garbanzo beans, raisins, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir to distribute. 
8. Add water and bring to a boil.  
9. Transfer the cooking pot inside the Breville Smart Oven™ Air Fryer then slow cook (high setting) for 1 hour. Once cooked, serve with hot rice, and enjoy! 

How to cook Afritada:   


  • 1 ½ lbs. or 680g chicken cut into serving pieces 
  • 3 tbsps cooking oil 
  • 1 piece red onion, chopped 
  •  2 teaspoons garlic, minced 
  •  3 pieces bay leaves 
  • 2 tbsps fish sauce 
  •  8 oz. tomato sauce 
  • ½ cup catsup 
  •  ½ tsp sugar 
  •  3 cups chicken broth 
  •  2 pieces of potatoes, cubed 
  •  1 piece carrot, sliced 
  •  64g green peas 
  •  3 pieces hotdog, sliced  
  •  Salt and ground black pepper to taste 


    Cooking Instructions:  

    1. Pan fry the chicken. Set aside once done.  
    2. For the sauce, saute sliced onion and garlic.  
    3. Add bay leaves.  
    4. Add the cooked chicken. 
    5. Add a dash of fish sauce, then cover and leave the dish to simmer.  
    6. Add tomato sauce, catsup, and tomato paste.  
    7. Add sugar and mix everything together.  
    8. Pour the chicken stock.   
    9. Bake everything in the Breville Smart Oven™ Air Fryer at 425F for 45 minutes. 
    10. Add potatoes and carrots.  
    11. Add green peas and sliced hotdogs. Cover and simmer.  


    How to cook Mechado:  


  • 300g fatty beef 
  • ¼ cup soy sauce  
  • Calamansi juice  
  • Pepper and salt 
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 3 cloves of garlic 
  • ¼ cup of tomato sauce 
  • ¼ cup beef broth 
  • 1 red bell pepper 
  • 2 bay leaves 
Cooking Instruction:

1. Slice fatty beef brisket into cubes. Marinate in soy sauce, calamansi juice, and freshly cracked black pepper for at least 30 minutes. 
2. Fry the sliced medium potatoes.  
3. Heat olive oil and saute the onion and garlic.  
4. Add the beef and cook until browned. 
5. Add the tomato sauce and beef broth. Bring everything to a boil.  
6. Add the fried potatoes. 
7. Add the red bell pepper. 
8. Add salt to taste. 
9. Add the bay leaves.  
10. Slow cook in the Breville Smart Oven™ Air Fryer until beef is tender (approximately two hours). 


How to cook Kaldereta: 


  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
  • 1 red onion, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 tomato 
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 400 beef chuck 
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce 
  • 1 cup beef stock 
  • 1 cup tomato sauce 
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 large potato 
  • 1 medium-sized carrot 
  • 1 piece of red bell pepper 
  • 1piece of green bell pepper 
  • 1 tbsp liver spread 
  • 1 tbsp strawberry jam 
  • 1 siling labuyo 
  • 2 tbsp green olives, pitted 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

    Cooking Instructions:  

    1. Heat olive oil in a cooking pot. Saute minced onion, garlic, and tomatoes until fragrant. 
    2. Add paprika powder, beef, and tomato paste. Saute for 5 mins or until the beef browns. 
    3. Add soy sauce. Pour in tomato sauce, beef broth, and worcestershire sauce and let it boil. 
    4. Add cubed potatoes, carrots, green and red bell peppers, liver spread, strawberry jam, green pitted olives, and minced siling labuyo. Stir to distribute. 
    5. Set the Breville Smart Oven™ Air Fryer to slow cook (high setting) function and transfer the pot into the oven. Slow cook for 2.5 hours. 
    6. Once the beef is tender, transfer it to a plate and serve with hot rice. Enjoy! 

    Why slow cook and bake your dishes?  

    With Mechado and Kaldereta traditionally being made with tougher meats like beef and goat, slow cooking them helps tenderize the meat to make the dishes extra palatable and easier to enjoy. Similar to baking, it also helps enrich the flavors of dishes because the slow and simmering cooking time brings out more flavor notes in the dishes. Not to mention, these two cooking methods are also healthier than the usual deep fry because they bring out natural oils and lessen your use of them while also limiting the formation of cancer-causing compounds in the process.  

    Do you want to elevate the way that you do your Menudo, Afritada, Mechado, and Kaldereta? Try slow cooking or baking them with Breville’s Smart Oven™ Air Fryer! This versatile kitchen partner from the premium home lifestyle brand checks off all the boxes of a smart cooking partner with its Element IQ system that helps give you the ideal cooking environment and wide range of cooking techniques. More than just being an air fryer, you can also use it to toast bread, make crumpets, grill, bake, roast, warm, and slow cook your dishes to name a few! On top of that, this kitchen essential also uses dual-speed convection that speeds up cooking time by 30 percent! 

    Give your favorite recipes a special twist by adding the Smart Oven™ Air Fryer to your collection of kitchen buddies. You can know more about the product by checking this link. Don’t forget to keep updated on Breville’s new product releases and helpful recipes by following its official websiteFacebookInstagram, and Tiktok accounts! 


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