17 FILIPINO DISHES | MUST TRY WHEN VISITING THE PHILIPPINES
Filipino Dishes today range from a very simple dish like the omelet , fried dishes to the more complex one like Paella, Arroz a la Valenciana, Callos and much more. With the mushrooming of various restaurants offering various cuisines, Philippines can really cater to almost all national visiting the country. Yet despite this, some Filipino dishes that are really associated with our culture and traditions remains part and favorite of most Filipino palate.
To many foreigners visiting the Philippines for the first time, you shouldn’t be scared because of the Filipinos, to be honest, are a good cook and can prepare the food that you love.
However, if it is your first to visit the country, it would also be nice if you try some authentic Filipino dishes apart from the food you used to eat.
I have listed below some of the Filipino Food that speaks so much about our culture. Most of these dishes, if not all – you will definitely love.
No celebration in the Philippines will ever be complete without the lechon. Lechon is referred to a whole pig roasted slowly and evenly over a charcoal for several hours. The technique basting the pig while roasting is what makes the skin crispier and the favorite part of many from the lechon.
Kinilaw is another Filipino favorite appetizer using raw fish meat as the main ingredient. The meat is served with vinegar, lime or calamansi and mixed with other ingredients like fresh chili, slices of onions, tomatoes, etc. Sometimes the dish is garnished with slices of salted eggs and crushed nuts.
Chickaron is a famous appetizer using pork rinds that are seasoned and fried until it becomes crispy. Other variants of Chicharon is the use chicken skin, mutton, beef, fish, fish skin and even vegetables. Chicharon is best eaten when dipped in vinegar.
4. NILAGA | BULALO
Nilaga is a beef stew using beef chuck or brisket cooked for several hours to achieved the desired flavor from the meat. In some provinces, vegetables like cabbage and potato are being added to Nilaga. In the Visayan region, Nilaga usually has jackfruit and some beans. Another version of Nilaga is using beef shank including the bone and marrow and called popularly as Bulalo. When pork is used instead of Beef, the dish is called Nilagang Baboy.
Kadyos, Baboy, and Langka
5. KADYOS, BABOY, LANGKA (KBL)
The Kadyos –Baboy –Langka is a famous soup dish especially in the Visayan Region.The dish which is for me is another variant of Nilaga Dish is made primarily three major ingredients: Kadyos (Pigeon pea), Baboy (Pork) and Langka (Jackfruit). The nice sour flavor is made using the souring agent “batwan” fruit.
6. CRISPY PATA
Sisig is an exciting dish made of skin and meat from the pig’s head and liver. The earthen flavor from this dish is derived the way is being cooked. The first phase of cooking the sisig is by boiling the meat to tenderize with some spices. After which the meat is grilled to achieve a certain flavor. The meat then is chopped and cooked along with spices and other ingredients like chopped onions and chili. The sisig is usually served on a sizzling plate.
Kare –kare is a rich dish of meat, tripe, oxtail stew and vegetables in peanut sauce. As an added flavor, it is usually served with sauteed shrimp paste, called in the Philippines as “bagoong alamang”.
9. PANCIT PALABOK
Noodle dishes are popular in the Philippines. For every province in the country, they have variants or recipes of noodle dishes. Other provinces adapt some recipes from their neighbor province or cities and made some twist to the dish. One of the popular noodle dishes in the country is the Pancit Palabok. Pancit Palabok usually has meat, shrimps, squid, and other seafood, eggs, and vegetables. Crushed chicharon are added as toppings and to add more interesting texture for the food.
10. GRILLED FOOD
Filipinos loved grilled food. Since seafood is abundant in the Philippines, you will find in almost all provinces and cities places offering grilled seafood. If you visit ElNido and Coron Palawan, the Island hopping tour includes free buffet meals which are composed mostly of grilled food.
In Bacolod City, grilled Chicken is popular and they called the grilled chicken as “Inasal”.
Adobo is a popular Filipino dish and cooking process. There are various ways of cooking adobo but the usual is the use of vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. Adobo dishes can be done for meat, seafood, and even vegetables.The taste of adobo may vary from various provinces in the country.
Bagnet is a Filipino dish especially famous in the Ilocos region. The dish which is very similar to Lechon kawali is a pork belly that is deep fried until become crispy. Bagnet is usually served with Bagoong (shrimp paste) but you can also deep it to vinegar with slices of onions, tomatoes, and garlic if you don’t like the taste of the bagoong.
The Dinuguan comes with various names from various places in the country. Dinuguan is a stew made of pork offal such as lungs, kidneys, intestines, ears, heart and snout simmered in a rich, spicy dark gravy of pig blood seasoned with garlic, chili, bay leaf, lemon grass, and vinegar. Others prefer to use Pork or Chicken meat instead of offal.
Halo-halo is a favorite Filipino dessert or snack item, especially during summer time. “Halo” is a Filipino word which means mix. Hence, this dessert is made of various ingredients which you should mix when eating the dessert. Some of the main ingredients include slices of fruits, sweet beans, ube, tapioca, “pinipig” and much more. The base of the dessert is shaved ice. The dessert is oftentimes topped with a scoop of ice cream, a slice of leche flan. A generous amount of milk is added to the dessert to make it creamier.
The Kakanin is referred to the Filipino Delicacy which is usually made from sticky rice, rice or root crops like cassava, sweet potato, taro,etc.. Common ingredients for the kakanin includes the sugar Coconut Milk and sugar. Kakanin is traditional Filipino desserts or snack items. There are numerous kinds of kakanin all over the country. Some famous kakanin include suman, bibingka, puto, kutsinta nd a lot more.
Strawberry Taho in Baguio City
The Taho is Filipino snack made of fresh soft tofu, sugar syrup, and sago. In Baguio City, they add some strawberry syrup as an added flavor to the Taho since the fruit is abundant in the place.