I had a chance to enjoy Filipino foods when I came here last year. They have left an indelible impression on my mind, so I created this post to share and showcase these fantastic dishes I ate with you.
In this post, I’ll present all the most appetizing Filipino dishes in different categories so that you can easily follow them. Therefore, your task is to read the entire article to get preliminary information about these foods.
Table of Contents
Do Not Ignore Traditional Filipino Foods For Your Main Course
It is time to fill your stomach with famous dishes made from different Filipino main courses. I hope the flavors of the foods on this list will leave an impression on you.
1. Crispy Pata – Deep-Fried Pork Knuckles For Dinner
Crispy Pata has always been a preferred Filipino dinner recipe among travelers visiting this nation. This deep-fried pork chop with a crispy outside and soft inside is a perfect rice accompaniment. Moreover, its dipping sauce will not let you down.
This exciting recipe is pretty similar to the German Schweinshaxe. This deep-fried pork does not have a long history as it was first prepared by Rodolfo Ongpauco in the 1950s when he deep-fried a leftover pork leg.
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Listen to the feelings of people when trying pata for the first time.
2. Pork Sisig – Filipino Crispy Pork With Eggs
If I have a chance to try a Filipino pork-based dish, I will choose Pork Sisig. It is a famous chow food in this beautiful island nation. Restaurants will serve this dish on a cast iron plate with chopped pork ears, face, and chicken liver.
Pampanga province is considered the home of this unique food. The chef first prepared it at Aling Lucing restaurant in the mid-1970s when she used a leftover pig head at a US military base. Other versions replace pork with various kinds of seafood.
3. Laing – Meat Cooked With Coconut Milk And Taco Leaves
I am sure that the rich and creamy flavor of this beautiful Laing will blow you away on the first try. It is the perfect combination of tasty flavors from taro, with pork, coconut milk, chili, and other spices.
This famous recipe first appeared in the Bicol region of the Philippines as Pinangat Na Gabi. Unlike Laing versions in the other areas of the country, people in Bicol will use whole taro leaves to wrap the meat and steam it with coconut milk.
4. Longganisa – Typical Filipino Sausage
Longganisa, also known as Filipino sausage, is a favorite food of tourists when coming to this country. It is native to Spain and appeared in many parts of the world when the Spanish empire reached its peak.
Pork is the main element of it. In the Philippines, you can find sweet sausages (Hamonado) and savory sausages (Recado) to eat. Filipino sausage varies depending on the region, such as Lucban, Alaminos, and Calumpit Longganisa.
5. Sinigang – Filipino Sour Soup
Referring to Filipino cuisine, I will think of Sinigang immediately. It is a stew with a distinctive sour and salty taste. This unique flavor is created from tamarind or acidic ingredients. This traditional soup from the Philippines with veggies and meat or seafood is an ideal option for you.
Its name comes from its preparation method because “sinigang” means “stew”. There are various types of Sinigang that you can explore, such as Sinigang Na Isda Sa Miso with fish and fermented soybean paste or Sinigang Na Baboy with pork and Sinigang Na Hipon with shrimp.
It is time to taste a delicious bowl of Sinigang in the Philippines.
6. Kare-Kare – Meat And Veggies Curry For Lunch
Kare-Kare will make your Filipino lunch recipes more nutritious. This curry of meat, veggies, and Kare-Kare sauce will make you remember it forever. You will indulge in the beautiful tenderness of various meats and veggies in this food.
There is still no clear information about its origin. However, some theories suggest that South Indian soldiers created it while stationed in the Philippines during the British invasion.
Do not ignore eating Kare-Kare when taking a trip to the Philippines.
7. Chicken Inasal – Grilled Chicken
It is a pity if you miss this wonderful chicken recipe of Filipino cuisine. After being carefully seasoned with pepper, vinegar, and calamansi, the chicken is grilled over embers. This food will be more delicious when eaten with rice and special dipping sauce.
It was first made in the city of Bacolod in the Western Visayas region and gradually became famous throughout the country. It is a variation of Lechon Manok, but instead of grilling the whole chicken, the chef cuts it into small pieces to grill.
When you order this food at the restaurant, you can choose by parts like thigh (ie paa), breast (pecho), wings (pak-pak), butts (isol). You should choose a restaurant that serves a bottle of chicken oil to eat with rice.
8. Lugaw – Filipino Rice Porridge
Lugaw is a tremendous Filipino breakfast recipe to start your day full of energy. This dense rice porridge is also a soft and nutritious food for sick people since it contains rice, ginger, salt, and garlic.
Different ingredients are added to the dish to create various variations. Goto is the version that contains pork and beef, or intestines. If it has chicken, it is called Arroz Caldo. Also, the sweet version is known as Champorado.
The porridge is inspired by Chinese-style congee. It was brought to the Philippines by Chinese immigrants and modified with local components to suit regional tastes. Filipino Lugaw is usually thicker than other Asian versions of congees.
Check out the flavor of healthy Lugaw in Manila.
9. Bicol Express – Spicy Meat Stew
Bicol Express will satisfy you if you want to explode your taste buds with hot spicy Filipino food. The food originates from the Bicol region and is made from pork, bird’s chili, and coconut milk. You should eat it with rice to reduce the spiciness.
Its name is derived from a cooking contest in Manila in the 1970s when the inventor of this food was associated with Bicol. And she took inspiration from the name of a train going from Manila to Legzpi city in the Bicol region to create the final dish’s name.
10. Adobo – Braised Meat
If you crave meat, Adobo is an option you should consider. The meat and veggies will take on a rich taste when marinated with various spices. Pieces of meat are tender and bathed in a thick and flavorful sauce.
Since the pre-Hispanic era, the Filipinos had made it when they simmered the meat in vinegar and salt. When the Spaniards invaded the Philippines in the 16th century, they named the food and its cooking style “adobo”, which means “marinated” in Spanish.
11. Lechon – Roasted Piglet
Lechon is a national food in the Philippines and has influenced the traditions and culture of the country. This excellent roasted pork is an indispensable component in festivals, holidays, and celebrations.
The name lechon comes from the Spanish word “Leche”, which means “roasted piglet”. As the food has become more popular, Filipinos roasted larger-sized pigs to make Lechon. There are 2 main types of lechon, Visayas Lechon and Luzon Lechon.
Luzon Lechon is flavored with salt, chili and a dipping sauce. Mashed liver, breadcrumbs, vinegar, and other spices combine to make Sarsa. Meanwhile, Cebu Lechon has a richer flavor when stuffed with herbs and spices.
Why don’t you try the delicious Lechon right now?
12. Binagoongan – Pork With Veggies Cooked In Shrimp Paste
It would be remiss not to mention Binagoongan in this list. The tasty food with the appearance of pork, vegetables, and shrimp paste will bring out the indescribable flavor. In some Filipino restaurants, pork can be substituted with chicken or beef.
When enjoying it, you will be stimulated by its intense pungent taste. Its strong aroma will explode your sense of smell. Therefore, this unique food is often served with rice to neutralize the flavor.
13. Kaldereta – Goat Meat Stewed In Tomato Sauce
Kaldereta is a goat stew recipe that you will fall in love with after enjoying. Goat meat, when stewed, will bring great tenderness. In addition, the tomato sauce in the food makes it rich and has a characteristic mild sour taste.
Its name “Kaldereta” is taken from the Spanish word “caldera”, which means “cauldron”. It is another version of the meat stew of the Iberian Peninsula. It appeared in the Philippines during the Spanish occupation of the country.
Popular And Yummy Foods For Midday Of Filipino Cuisine
Your midday meal with your family will be more complete with snacks. Therefore, do not ignore the suggestions below to save before coming to the Philippines in your travel notebook.
14. Tinapa – Smoked Fish
The Filipino smoked fish will bring new sensations to your mouth. Filipinos usually pickle black scad or milkfish with salt and smoke until fully cooked. It is a favorite breakfast dish in the Philippines when served with salted eggs, rice, and tomatoes.
The word “tinapa” means fish or smoked meat in Filipino languages. It is the result of an age-old seafood processing technique of the Philippines. Smoked fish can be preserved for a pretty long time.
15. Pinakbet -Vegetables Sauteed In Fish Sauce
I recommend not to miss the famous Pinakbet of Filipino cuisine. You will never forget the appealing flavor of pork when stir-fried with vegetables. Thanks to the unique taste of fish sauce or shrimp sauce, the dish becomes more appetizing.
This famous recipe is the pride of Ilocos cuisine because it was born here. Its name is taken from “pinakebbet”, which means “shriveled”. Perhaps, it got this name since the vegetable shrivels when cooked.
In the Northern and Southern regions of Ilocos, the way to spice this food is different. People in the North will use fermented fish paste, a food from Cambodia, or bagoong balayan to season food, while bagoong alamang and fermented shrimp paste are popular in the South.
16. Turon – Deep-Fried Plantain
When you walk on the streets of the Philippines, you will easily encounter stalls selling Turons. It is a fabulous Filipino street food with plantain as the main ingredient. It will be deep-fried in a lumpia wrapper and covered with a layer of brown sugar.
You can enjoy it as a midday snack. It was first made in areas near plantain fields in the Philippines and gradually became a typical dish throughout the country.
Let’s give Turon a try to understand more about its taste.
17. Fried Lumpia – Filipino Spring Rolls
Lumpia is a Filipino version of spring rolls – an old-but-gold Asian appetizer. People will eat it as a snack or starters at parties or family meals. It is similar to other Asian versions of spring rolls, where various ingredients are rolled in rice paper.
Lumpiang Sariwa is a fresh variation of spring rolls when they are not deep-fried. Lumpiang Shanghai is another Filipino version of spring rolls when the filling contains raisins, ground pork, and various vegetables.
18. Chicharron – Fried Pork Rinds
Chicharon is a recipe invented by the Spaniards, and they brought it to the Philippines when they invaded this country. In Spanish-speaking countries, people will think of deep-fried pork belly when referring to Chicharron.
In the Philippines, deep-fried pork or chicken are both called Chicharron. There are many great versions of this crunchy food in this nation. The deep-fried pork intestine is Chicharron Bikuta, and the deep-fried chicken skin is Chicharron Manok.
Travel to the Philippines to taste crispy Chicharron immediately.
19. Okoy – Filipino Fritter With Shrimp
If you like the crunchiness of the dishes, okoy is a fantastic suggestion for you. Small shrimp and various vegetables are bathed in glutinous rice and fried until the perfect crispiness is achieved.
Okoy was invented in Laguna province. Filipinos often eat this delicious recipe as a portion of street food or a snack to sip along with a few beers. Okoy appears in abundance all over the country, but the most famous version comes from Vigan in Ilocos Sur.
It Is Time To Discover Amazing Filipino Desserts
It is time to refresh your taste buds with these outstanding Asian desserts coming from the Philippines. I could not resist the appeal of these foods, and I am sure you will too.
20. Leche Flan – Milk Custard
Leche flan is an indispensable dish in my list of Filipino dessert recipes. This is a unique variation of creme caramel of Filipino cuisine. Condensed milk and egg yolks create the ultimate flavor of this dessert.
This food has become an essential part of family gatherings in the Philippines. It is said to have been invented by people on the border between France and Spain. The Spaniards brought it to the Philippines during the invasion.
This incredible dessert has an oval shape when it is steamed in a mold called llanera. You will be impressed by its appearance.
Let’s experience the Leche flan in the Philippines for the first time.
21. Bibingka – Filipino Rice Cake For Christmas
Bibingka is a dessert invented by the Philippines and Eastern Indonesia. This area of Indonesia has a culture and traditions similar to that of the Philippines.
Bibingka is a favorite treat at Christmas time in the Philippines . Although its name resembles Bebinca – a traditional layered cake from Goan food culture, don’t mistake one for another.
This rice cake is made with glutinous rice, sugar, and coconut milk. Filipinos often enjoy it with salted duck eggs on top.
22. Taho – Filipino Tofu
Taho is a drink loved by every child in the Philippines. But some people also consider it a snack more than a beverage.
Basically, it is a silken tofu version of Philippine cuisine. This famous tofu food throughout Asia has its origins in the Han Dynasty of China between 206 and 220 AD.
The unique feature of Taho is combined with simple syrup and sago pearls to enhance the flavor. Almost every kid in the Philippines has heard the “Tahooo” sound as the seller walks down the alleyways.
23. Kakanin – Sticky Rice Cake
It is time to refresh your mouth with sweet kakanin. It is known as the family of dishes in Filipino cuisine. These cute little cakes are made with galapon or glutinous rice paste. It comes in various colors, sizes, and shapes.
In particular, this desert is associated with many festivals and special occasions in the Philippines. It was believed to be a gift to the gods and a symbol of the strong bond of family and friends.
24. Sans Rival – Filipino Multiple Layers Cake
A cake recipe that many Filipinos love is Sans Rival. The cake is made with three layers of cashew meringue and buttercream. After taking it out of the refrigerator, it is often enjoyed to give it an appealing crispy texture.
It is considered another version of French dacquoise where the French use cashews instead of almonds and hazelnuts. The Filipinos came to France and brought back this wonderful recipe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
25. Ensaymada – Filipino Cheesebread
Ensaymada is an indispensable dessert during Christmas in the Philippines. Filipinos often give a gift box with an Ensaymada on this occasion. This traditional food originates from the Mallorca of Spain.
Its name is derived from the word “saim” which means “pork larb ” because the Spanish version of Ensaymada is prepared with larb. However, the Filipinos have created this food in their way by combining butter, cream, and cheese.
26. Halo-Halo – Shaved Ice With Sweet Beans
Halo-Halo is a Filipino dessert known all over the world. The origins of the beautiful recipe come from the famous Kakigori dessert of Japanese cuisine. It is made from shaved ice with sweet beans. A little condensed milk will make it more appealing.
You can see the layers of different colors of this food as it is served with a tall parfait glass. In particular, this food does not have a fixed ingredient recipe. Each restaurant will have different variations.
Learn some fantastic things about Halo-Halo.
Alternative Options You Can Try When Coming To The Philippines
There are many other choices that you can refer to add to your list of Filipino recipes for your upcoming trip. They will help satisfy your hunger after a long journey to discover this country.
27. Silog – Filipino Traditional Breakfast
Filipino breakfast usually starts with Silog. It is a mixture of garlic, fried rice, meat, and fried egg. In some cases, Filipinos can eat it for lunch or dinner. It comes in different versions depending on the type of meat used.
Variants of Silog that you may know, such as Cornsilog (corned beef) and Hotsilog (hot dog). However, the three most widely known are Longsilog (longganisa), Tocilog (tocino), and Tapsilog. This excellent food was invented in the 1980s in the Philippines.
28. Kinilaw – Filipino Ceviche
You will feel the natural flavor of fish and seafood when enjoying kinilaw. It is a special recipe with raw fish treated with vinegar or orange juice. Besides, you will feel the characteristic flavor of onions, ginger, chili, and other spices.
This food has a pretty long history in the Philippines. An archeological site in Butuan that existed from the 10th century AD has revealed remains of fish bones and tabon-tabon fruits. It suggests that this food may have existed since that time.
Fall in love with a yummy Kinilaw in a Filipino restaurant.
29. Pancit – Dry Noodles For Birthday
Noodles are a typical food in the Philippines. Pancit is one of the famous noodle dishes of Filipino cuisine. It was influenced by Chinese cuisine when it originated in Chinatown in Manila in the 16th century.
These noodles with vegetables, meat, and seafood are crucial for special occasions, especially birthdays. Because, according to the Chinese concept, noodles are a symbol of health and long life.
In the Philippines, there are various versions of pancit. However, the two primary varieties that you can find to enjoy are dry pancit and soupy versions.
30. Batchoy – Egg Noodles Soup
Batchoy is a perfect recipe to heal your hunger instantly. This egg noodle with broth made from pork, beef, and shrimp paste will make you fall in love. You will be served with pork slices, innards, liver, and chicharron bits.
This hearty dish originates from La Paz of the city of Iloilo, and that is why it is often called La Paz Batchoy. You may come across another batchoy version called Batchoy Tagalog with misua noodles, chili leaves, pork, and ginger broth.
Let’s Try All Of Them
It is great to enjoy all the foods on this list, isn’t it? I firmly believe that you will never forget their taste after eating. The dishes appearing in this article are the quintessence of Filipino cuisine.
You can list other famous Filipino dishes in the comments section for more people to know. If you find the article valuable, do not forget to like and share it right now. Thanks for your time!