Tablea is popularly used in making champorado, a sweet rice porridge served for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. In recent years, tablea has been added to a slew of desserts and pastries, from cakes and pies to brownies and ice cream. But did you know that tablea can also be used in making savory dishes? Yes, chocolate is not limited to sweet treats.

Adding tablea to savory dishes gives them a mellow bittersweet flavor profile and a distinct nuttiness. Depending on the type of tablea you use, it can give your dish a hint of earthiness, too. But, no, your dish won’t taste like a dessert at all. You can use tablea just like any other seasoning. It works best in flavoring rich and meaty stews, soups, and sauces. Even the local chicken and pork adobo can benefit from some tablea!

Below are three easy recipes that you can prepare to introduce your palate to the flavor of tablea in savory dishes. First is a comforting creamy soup that demonstrates how the tablea’s bitterness works perfectly with the sweetness of the pumpkin.

Next is a basic marinara sauce that you can serve over pasta or transform into many other dishes. Adding tablea counters the acidity of the tomatoes and gives the sauce a deeper red color.

Lastly, tablea can be used in making dry rubs for barbecued meats, such as the case for this recipe for baby back ribs. Everyone will be surprised once you share your secret ingredient!


Creamy Pumpkin with Tablea Soup

Serves 4
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 30 minutes


  • 500 grams pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, wedged
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon grated tablea
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ cup cooking cream
  1. Combine pumpkin, onion, garlic, and broth in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat and simmer until pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat. Puree mixture using an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a stand blender and puree in batches.
  4. Bring soup back to a simmer. Add tablea, salt, paprika, and pepper. Mix and simmer for 1 minute.
  5. Turn off heat. Pour in cream and stir. Serve immediately.


Tablea Marinara Sauce

Serves 4 to 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (800-gram) can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon grated tablea
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 400 grams pasta, cooked according to package directions
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until fragrant.
  2. Add tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat and simmer sauce for 15 minutes.
  4. Add tablea, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve marinara sauce over cooked pasta.


Tablea Barbecue Ribs

Serves 6
Prep Time 15 minutes, plus marinating time
Cooking Time 3 to 3.5 hours


  • 1.5 kilos baby back ribs, cleaned
  • 2½ tablespoons grated tablea
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1½ tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  1. Place ribs in a shallow bowl.
  2. Combine tablea, sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well. Rub all over the ribs. Marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 250F.
  4. Place ribs, meat-side down, on a large piece of foil. Seal foil completely. Transfer to a baking dish or tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 2.5 to 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  5. Remove ribs from the oven. Increase oven heat to 350F.
  6. Remove ribs from foil. Place ribs, meat-side up, on the baking tray.
  7. Brush half of the barbecue sauce all over the ribs. Return to the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Brush remaining barbecue sauce all over the ribs. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Serve hot.