Home | Feature | “Chef Donita shares heart-healthy recipes at the 19th Tuna Festival!”

“Chef Donita shares heart-healthy recipes at the 19th Tuna Festival!”

The rewarding experience of sharing a feast is just one of the many perks of cooking especially for Filipinos, and Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil ambassador Chef Donita Rose happily shares her passion in cooking at General Santos City’s much-anticipated 19th Tuna Festival.


The Tuna Festival is an annual festival that culminates with street dancing, float parade, and a host of activities that celebrate the city’s leading tuna industry, it’s also a venue to relish some of its tastefully prepared local dishes with family, friends, and revelers.


To add more spice to the festival, during the weeklong annual festivity, one of the highlights is the cooking demo of the esteemed celebrity chef Donita Rose at the KCC Mall, wherein the island’s abundant marine resources take center stage with tuna as one of its star ingredients.


“As a food-centric city, it’s important for every household to look for ingredients and learn cooking techniques that are beneficial both for health and satisfaction of the whole family,” said Donita.


Additionally, it’s a fun-filled treat to General Santos City’s local moms and foodies who also get a chance to sample Chef Donita’s own rendition of a tuna dish using Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil. Heart-healthy and budget-friendly, it’s an oil that’s highly versatile, imparts a neutral taste to almost all types of dishes, contains Vitamin A, and clocks in lowest for saturated fat.


“We must always be conscious that the ingredients we use should be good for the heart, like Jolly Heart Mate Canola oil which contains the lowest amount of bad fats (saturated fats) but packs in the good kind like omega 3 and 6,” Donita shared.


Tuna is well-loved for its flexibility, whether baked, broiled, grilled or fried. That’s why in perfecting dishes using tuna as the main ingredient, Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil is a credulous pair for almost all types of cooking techniques because it’s also packed with heart-friendly omega 3 and 6. As someone who believes that food preparation and ingredients play a pivotal role in eating healthfully, chef Donita imparts tips and tricks that will make any dish irresistible, less sinful, but still tastes good!


“We are very happy that Donita continues to be the brand ambassador of Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil; she easily connects well with her audience given her lively personality. Her passion for cooking can be easily seen, and we believe that she can inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle by using a healthy oil like Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil in all the dishes we cook at home and especially in festivals such as the Tuna Festival,” added Zen Prudentino, Fly Ace Corporation Group Category Manager for Jolly Heart Mate Canola oil.


To empower the consumers to make healthier choices throughout the Tuna Festival, simply purchase Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil at the KCC Mall Supermarket on September 2 and avail the free check-up consultation with a registered dietitian-nutritionist. From diet advice to guidelines on how to eat well, this activity aims to promote smart food choices that are surely beneficial for the person’s overall health and wellness. Much more, up for grabs is a chance to take home exciting prizes or a VIP backstage pass to meet Chef Donita through a roulette game.


Don’t miss chef Donita as she promotes heart-healthy cooking ideas among all Filipinos across the country, one regional food tour at a time. Next month, she’s stopping over at the Ilocos Region for the Raniag Festival in Vigan for another round of live recipe demo and inspiring kitchen tips that moms and home cooks will love.


Chef Donita Rose’s Ginataang Tuna with Luyang Dilaw



2 tbsp. salt in 2 cups of water

2 tbsp. Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil

1/2 kg Tuna Fillet, boneless

4 bay leaves

2 medium white onion, chopped

4 medium shallots, chopped

2 tbsp. garlic, minced

4 tbsp. ginger, grated

4 tbsp. turmeric, grated

2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, divided

4 tablespoons honey, divided in two portions

6 Green Chili Fingers, whole

Leeks, long strips for serving (soak in ice water to make it curl)

Cilantro for serving

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooked rice for serving


  1. Soak the tuna fillet in the brine solution for 10 minutes then drain on paper towels.
  2. Season tuna with a little salt and pepper then in a grill pan over high heat.
  3. Add 1 tbsp. Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil. Make sure to cook the fillet to medium rare only or until the center is still red. Set aside.
  4. In another large pan over medium heat, add another tbsp. of Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil.
  5. Sauté onions, shallots, garlic and ginger and cook. Stir often until golden brown and very fragrant.
  6. Add the turmeric and vinegar before throwing in the chili fingers and the bay leaves.
  7. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by about one-third.
  8. Add the coconut milk and stir a little before adding the tuna to the sauce. Reduce the sauce again to a thick consistency.
  9. Mix in 2 tbsp. of honey to balance acidity and more salt and pepper as needed. Transfer onto a serving plate then drizzle with the remaining honey.
  10. Top with a lot of leeks and cilantro bunched together and serve with hot rice! Adobo can be made 3 days ahead and can also be put in the freezer. Enjoy!

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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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