Macaroni salad in the Philippines is almost always taken to mean “chicken and macaroni salad” — shredded chicken meat, pineapple tidbits and macaroni are tossed with mayonnaise. Sometimes, there are additional ingredients like chopped carrot and celery or, sometimes, to add sweetness, raisins are thrown in. In fact, the Filipinos so love everything sweet that sweetened condensed milk is sometimes stirred into the mayo before the solid ingredients are tossed in.
Personally, if I want a dessert salad, I’d choose fresh fruit salad. With macaroni salad, I prefer a little sweetness but I want it to still be savory. And for variety, I don’t always add chicken to macaroni salad. I’ve tried tuna and it’s good. Salty ham is even better. Meatless macaroni salad is great too.
This version of macaroni salad is savory as savory can be. It has bacon and cheese. And, for maximum flavor, the pasta is tossed with a little bacon fat before everything else goes in. It’s really good.
Macaroni, cheese and bacon salad
- Cut the bacon into thin strips. Fry in an oil-free pan until browned. Drain.
- Measure a tablespoonful of the bacon fat and pour over the macaroni. Toss well.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
- Chill the salad before serving.