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Filipino dishes

Choosing only the best and unique native dishes from different regions. For one, Filipino dishes are unique as it draws inspiration from several influences. Our food reflects the Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Western and Pacific Islander flavors developed during our many years of colonization. Beliefs and viewpoints in the preparation of the food were largely influenced with intermingling with the Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Hindu cultures. Add to this the mix and match that happens when it comes to ingredients and methods used in cooking, describing our food in a line or two becomes a real challenge.

Pancit Malabon

Pancit Malabon belongs to a broad group of traditional Filipino stir-fried noodle dishes. It is prepared with thick rice noodles doused in a flavorful shrimp-infused sauce and usually incorporates various seafood ingredients such as shrimps, squids, or mussels.


The hearty batchoy is a popular Filipino soup consisting of pork offal, chicken or beef stock, and fresh round egg noodles. Generously seasoned with shrimp paste and (occasionally) soy sauce, the soup is usually topped with pork cracklings, fried garlic, and a raw egg.

Pancit Palabok

Pancit palabok is a traditional Filipino dish consisting of thin rice noodles doused in a creamy shrimp-infused sauce and complemented with various toppings such as hard-boiled eggs, pork cracklings, shrimps, pork, fish flakes, and scallions. This classic is one of the most famous varieties of the traditional pancit dishes and it is considered to be an authentic Filipino invention, unlike other Chinese-influenced versions.

Bicol Express

Bicol express is a popular Filipino dish consisting of sliced pork that is doused in a creamy coconut-based sauce and seasoned with shrimp paste and spicy chili peppers. According to popular belief, Cely Kalaw invented the dish in her Manila restaurant.


Mechado is a true Filipino fusion dish that combines chunks of pork or beef with a flavorful tomato sauce. Since tomato sauce is not a common ingredient in traditional Filipino cuisine, it is believed that mechado originated under strong Spanish influence.

Beef Pares

Pares is a famous Filipino dish consisting of beef pieces that are slowly braised in a flavorful stock infused with garlic, soy sauce, star anise, sugar, and a variety of other spices and condiments. The thick, rich, and slightly sweet sauce and tender meat make pares one of the most popular beef dishes in the country.


Dinuguan is a Filipino dish which consists of a variety of animal’s internal organs stewed with blood, vinegar, garlic, and hot peppers. Traditionally, it was a dish made with byproducts of pig slaughter, but many regional varieties nowadays use chicken or beef and incorporate various ingredients and spices.


Bulalô is a traditional Filipino soup that is prepared by cooking beef shanks and marrow bones until the fat and collagen dissolve into the broth, resulting in a robust flavor of the dish. The soup is a specialty of the Luzon region, where it is traditionally consumed during cold weather, when it is usually served for dinner.


One of the most common breakfast staples in the Philippines is tapsilog, a plate which consists of sliced beef jerky, known as tapa, a heap of garlic rice, and a fried egg. It is believed that the dish grew out of necessity, to cater to the needs of many workers who were in search for a quick, cheap, and nutritious breakfast.

Lechon Kawali

Lechon kawali is the Filipino version of deep-fried pork belly. Primarily boiled in plain or seasoned water, the meat is rubbed with salt, cut into chunks, then deep-fried until it develops a golden-brown, crispy skin, but remains juicy and tender on the inside.


Sinigang is a sour Filipino soup consisting of sampalok (fruits of the tamarind tree), water spinach, green pepper, cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, diced tomatoes, sliced onions, ginger, green beans, water, oil, and salt. The basic broth usually consists of rice washing, with the addition of a souring agent.

Pancit Canton

Pancit canton is a Filipino dish of Chinese origin which combines yellow wheat noodles and a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetables, blended with a flavorful mixture of soy and oyster sauce. The ingredients are easily adjusted to taste, availability, and preference and can be prepared separately or shortly stir-fried alongside noodles.


Pinangat is a popular Filipino stew that is prepared in two main versions. The sour version is prepared with fish, bilimbi, tamarind, and vinegar, while the Bicol region version is prepared with coconut milk, taro leaves, hot chili peppers, and meat (pork, sardines, catfish, or tuna).s.


Torta is a popular Filipino dish consisting of an omelet filled with ground meat and vegetables such as diced potatoes. Savory and extremely satisfying, the dish is usually served as a main course, preferably over rice. It is recommended to pair torta with condiments such as banana ketchup.


Kaldereta is a Filipino meat stew that is traditionally served with a side of white rice. Although any kind of meat can be used in the stew, beef and goat are the preferred options. The dish is influenced by three centuries of Spanish colonization, and the word kaldereta is derived from the Spanish caldereta, meaning cooking pot or cauldron.


Lumpia is a simple and flavourful Filipino finger food that evolved from the Chinese spring rolls. Each lumpia consists of a rice or flour dough wrap that is stuffed with various meat (most often ground pork or beef) and vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, onions, and garlic.

Crispy Pata

Crispy pata is one of the most common Filipino dishes served on special occasions. It consists of a whole pork leg that is cooked until tender. It is then dried and deep-fried until golden brown and crispy. The leg is usually cooked alongside various spices such as bay leaves and peppercorns.


In Filipino cuisine, tapa most commonly denotes thinly sliced beef sirloin that is traditionally placed in a sweet, salty, and tangy marinade made with calamansi lemonade and soy sauce, flavored with sugar and minced garlic. Other meats used to make tapa include mutton, venison, wild boar, horse, deer, and also the meat of carabao – a swamp-type domestic water buffalo native to the Philippines.


Sisig is a popular Filipino dish made by boiling, chopping, and grilling parts of pig’s head such as ears, cheeks, and jowls, which are then seasoned with salt, pepper, and vinegar. The meat is combined with fried onions, sili, and chicken livers, and the whole concoction is traditionally topped with a raw egg.


Kare-kare is a traditional Filipino stew consisting of meat such as tripe, pork leg, ox tail, goat or chicken, vegetables, and a thick, savory peanut sauce flavored with annatto seeds. Shrimp paste (bagoong) is often served on the side in order to enhance the flavors of the dish.


Lechon, derived from a Spanish word for roasted suckling pig is one of the most popular dishes in the Philippines. The slowly-roasted suckling pig is usually stuffed with lemongrass, tamarind, garlic, onions, and chives, and is then roasted on a large bamboo spit over an open fire.


Adobo is the closest thing to a national dish in the Philippines, consisting of seared and browned chunks of meat, seafood, fruit, or vegetables mixed with vinegar or soy sauce, bay leaves, garlic, salt, and black pepper. The combination of these ingredients is left to simmer over low heat, resulting in succulent, juicy, and tender ingredients covered in thick, rich, and savory sauce.


Pancit lomi is a hearty Filipino soup consisting of fresh egg noodles served in a rich, flavorful broth. Many regional varieties are thickened with flour or eggs and incorporate pork or chicken, sliced pork liver, and a variety of vegetables. The most famous version of pancit lomi originates from Batangas and often employs sliced kikiam, ham, or meatballs.

Tortang talong

Tortang talong is a simple Filipino dish made with a combination of roasted eggplants and lightly beaten eggs. Whole eggplants are dipped into the egg mixture and are then shortly pan-fried until the entire dish starts to resemble a crispy omelet.

Pancit bihon

Pancit bihon is a famous Filipino stir-fry consisting of rice noodles combined with sliced pork or chicken and various vegetables. The dish is infused with soy sauce and it is usually lightly seasoned with lemon juice. Just like other pancit varieties, this version is often found at numerous street stands throughout the country and is a staple dish served on special and festive occasions.


Daing is a Filipino term which refers to a vast category of marinated or salted sun-dried fish. Depending on the region and the technique, daing can be produced with various types of fish that may differ in texture and moisture levels. Marinated or dried fish is used in numerous Filipino dishes as an ingredient, side dish, topping, or a condiment which gives flavor to various stewed or stir-fried dishes.

Arroz caldo

Arroz caldo is the Filipino variety of congee, a thick rice porridge that is ubiquitous in many Asian countries. It is also one of many congee varieties found in the Philippines. Distinguished by the addition of chicken, arroz caldo is usually cooked in a ginger-infused broth and served with various accompaniments and seasonings.

Chicken Inasal

Inasal na manok is a unique Filipino grilled chicken dish which originated in Bacolod and became the signature dish of the entire Visayas region. It employs various chicken cuts marinated in a mixture of vinegar and numerous spices such as lemongrass, garlic, and ginger.


Pinakbet is a traditional Filipino meat stew prepared with various vegetables and shrimp paste. It originated in the region of Ilocos, but today it appears in many regional and seasonal varieties. Most commonly, it consists of fatty pork, bitter melon, squash, sweet potatoes, eggplants, okra, and green beans.

Vegetable soup (Utan bisaya)

Easy to prepare and packed with healthy vegetables, utan is a famous Filipino soup which originated in Visayan Islands. This clear vegetable soup was originally a poor man’s dish, which included any vegetables that were at hand. Nowadays, it can also include a wide variety of root vegetables and leafy greens which are merely cooked in salted water.

Chicken intestines

Isaw is a popular Filipino street food dish consisting of marinated, boiled, and grilled chicken and pork intestines which are usually coiled and skewered on a stick. Although similar, pork isaw is typically slightly larger and chewier than the chicken version.


Kinilaw is a Filipino appetizer made with raw, cubed fish in a dressing based on vinegar. The appetizer is typically garnished with onions, ginger, chili peppers, and garlic. Fish should be washed in vinegar, not soaked in it, turning the pink flesh into white and slightly opaque in the process.

Chicken tinola

The term tinola refers to a vast group of hearty Filipino soups prepared with a flavorful broth infused with garlic, ginger, and fish sauce. Most commonly, the soups are made with chicken, but pork and seafood varieties are also popular.


Although the term tocino stems from Spanish, in the Philippines, the word is synonymous with sweet-cured meat, traditionally prepared with pork, and occasionally beef or chicken. Slices of meat are doused in different combination of spices and seasonings which typically include sugar, salt, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, anise wine, and pineapple or orange juice.


Atchara is the famous Filipino green papaya pickle usually enjoyed as a condiment alongside authentic Filipino dishes. Next to long strips of unripe papaya, it can employ a variety of other vegetables such as carrots, onions, daikon radish, and bell peppers or chili peppers.

Chicken afritada

Chicken Afritada is another popular Filipino dish.  Pieces of chicken are cooked in tomato sauce along with carrots, potatoes and bell peppers. Some prefer to add green peas and hot dogs as well, but I prefer my chicken afritada without it.  Another variation will use both pork and chicken or will use just pork. I like my afritada simple and easy, with just the basic vegetables.


The “exceptionally” is important because having a sweet tooth can actually be said of the whole of humanity. Of course there’s always variation: Some individuals and populations experience umay faster than others, but generally, humans like sweet stuff, and the word “sweet” itself is a metaphor for good things in life.


Pichi-pichi is a Filipino dessert consisting of three key ingredients: grated cassava, sugar, and water. The concoction is steamed until it develops a firm, glutinous texture, and it is then rolled in desiccated coconut. The dessert is especially popular during merienda, parties, and celebrations.

Buko Pie

Buko pie is a traditional Filipino dessert which consists of a flaky pie crust combined with creamy coconut filling. It is prepared with buko, the young coconut flesh which is cooked alongside plain or condensed milk, cream, and sugar until it transforms into a thick and creamy custard.


The colorful sapin-sapin is a unique Filipino rice cake. It is made with a simple batter of rice and coconut milk, and usually consists of three separate layers which are tinted and flavored with different colors and aromas. The most popular combination consists of a yellow bottom layer infused with jackfruit, the plain white middle layer, and the vibrant purple top blended with sweet yams.


Kutsinta is a sweet Filipino delicacy made with glutinous rice flour, brown sugar, and lye water. The mixture is steamed in small round molds and it is traditionally served topped with coconut flakes. These chewy cakes are usually infused with food coloring or annatto seeds in order to achieve their typical dark brown color.

Sans rival

Although undoubtedly French in origin, the decadent sans rival (lit. without rival) is a classic Filipino dessert and an all-time favorite that truly lives up to its name. It is made with layers of dacquoise; a crispy, baked nut meringue sandwiched together with the so-called pâte à bombe – a gorgeously smooth, velvety and rich French buttercream.


Butsi balls are the Filipino version of traditional Chinese jian dui sweets. They are made with glutinous rice flour that is formed in small round shapes and stuffed with a variety of sweet fillings such as sweetened mung bean, creamy lotus, red bean paste, or shredded coconut.


Taho is a sweet Filipino dessert which consists of fresh soft tofu doused in arnibal syrup and sprinkled with plump sago pearls. Similar desserts can be found in numerous Asian countries, and most of them call for the usage of the softest tofu variety, known as silky tofu, which has a tender and creamy texture and an incredibly soft consistency.


Sorbetes is a popular Filipino ice cream flavored with ingredients such as mango, chocolate, cheese, coconut, and purple yam (ube). Traditionally, it is produced from carabao milk and served in tiny scoops on sugar cones. Some Filipinos like to consume it sandwiched between bread buns, like a hamburger.


The lightly sweetened puto are popular Filipino steamed rice cakes traditionally consisting of finely ground soaked rice that is steamed in round containers and served sliced. The popularity of these versatile cakes has caused the development of many modern puto varieties, which often vary in texture, color, shape, size, and flavor.


Falling in the group of popular lumpia snacks, turon is the famous Filipino treat made with saba plantains and jackfruit. The fruit is sliced lengthwise, dusted in brown sugar, enclosed in thin wheat wrappers, then fried until golden and crispy.


The refreshing halo-halo (lit. mix-mix) is a summer dessert or a snack of mixed fruit and beans, topped with finely crushed ice and either milk or ice cream. Some of the most common halo-halo ingredients include bananas, jackfruit, coconut, sweet potatoes, red mung beans, chickpeas, sugar palm fruit, purple yam jam, leche flan, and – in recent times – even sweet corn or corn crisps.

Leche flan

Leche flan is a Filipino dessert that is essentially a caramel custard consisting of milk, sugar, and eggs, with the addition of vanilla flavoring. It is recommended to serve it chilled and coated with leftover caramel syrup. Leche flan is very popular at numerous Filipino celebrations and social gatherings.

Buko pandan

This dessert is as simple as it is delicious. With only five ingredients, Filipinos have managed to make a tropically perfect treat. Its most basic recipe only calls for shredded young coconut, pandan (screwpine) leaves, gelatin, cream and condensed milk. The result is a creamy, aromatic dessert, with chunks of pandan-flavored gelatin, especially delicious when served cold on a hot Philippine day.

Banana cue

Very similar, yet even simpler than the already simple turon, is banana cue. This skewered treat, often sold as street food, is made by coating saba bananas in brown sugar before frying in hot oil. They are then skewered for easy handling when sold. Another variant of this snack is kamote cue where in lieu of saba bananas, kamote or sweet potatoes are used. Both are very common midday snacks so are also very easily found sold along the country’s streets.

Ube halaya

A flavor recently rising in popularity worldwide (perhaps largely due to its fun, vibrant hue) is ube. Like matcha is to Japan, the Philippines has long been using ube or purple yam before the rest of the world caught on and now, it seems to be everywhere. Ube is known as a local flavor in the Philippines and is often used for cakes, pastries, steamed rice cakes, and ice cream. But a fantastic way of using it is embodied in what is known as ube halaya. This thick, creamy dessert is a mixture of ube, condensed milk, evaporated milk, coconut milk, butter, and sugar, and is often served cold.


This sweet, buttery bread takes its roots from Spain and has evolved to please the Filipino taste. Soft and chewy, the ensaymada is a typically coiled dough, brushed atop with butter, and topped with sugar and grated cheese. Other specialty variants of the original ensaymada include an ube flavored one and another topped with grated queso de bola (a staple cheese during Christmas time in the Philippines).


Another sticky rice cake the country is known for is suman. This dessert is made by cooking the glutinous rice in coconut milk with sugar and salt, wrapping it in banana leaves, and then finishing it off in a steamer. It can be served as is with a side of sugar, but another great way of having it is with the accompaniment of a coconut caramel sauce made with coconut milk and brown sugar.

Maja blanca

Maja blanca is a Filipino dessert that is usually served on holidays or special occasions. It is especially popular during Christmas time. The base is like a coconut pudding with kernels of corn and milk mixed in it. This recipe uses several types of milk, coconut flakes and corn to create a deliciously sweet treat with gelatin-like consistency. Surprisingly, this dessert is easy to make. It uses easy to find ingredients and there are only a few easy-to-follow steps.

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