Considering the people’s penchant for eating and throwing big feasts, one’s trip to the Philippines isn’t truly complete without trying at least some of the favorite Filipino foods. Its food culture may not be as popular as its Asian neighbors, but the country is becoming one of the most favorite food destinations in this part of the world.
The following are some of the most favorite Filipino foods we suggest you experience when exploring the Philippines.
1 | Lechon
Lechon (whole roasted pig) is a common sight during birthdays, weddings, annual fiesta, reunions and many other celebrations. To cook lechon, a whole suckling pig is skewered on a bamboo pole that is placed over the charcoal and cooked for several hours in a rotisserie fashion. Cebu has the country’s best lechon.
2 | Adobo
Filipinos love their adobo that it is on the menu of almost every restaurant all over the country. Every region or province has its own version, but generally, it is made of chicken or pork, or both, stewed with vinegar, soy sauce, pepper and herbs for modern twists. Another adobo version is using asparagus beans (sitaw) as the main ingredient. Adobong sitaw calls for diced pork and some even uses shrimp paste (bagoong).
3 | Lumpia
Lumpia is a popular dish found in almost every Filipino celebration, hence also a favorite subject of memes about foods. It is actually a spring roll wherein a thin pastry skin called lumpia wrapper is filled with sauteed minced meat and chopped vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, and bean sprout. Lumpia has another version called fresh lumpia. It isn’t fried but is equally delicious.
4 | Sinigang
Sinigang can be made of pork, shrimp, or fish along with vegetables including okra, water spinach (kangkong), asparagus beans (sitaw), eggplant, radish and taro corms (gabi). Tamarind, guava, calamansi, kamias, santol, or batuan is added to give the dish sourness which it is known for.
5 | Sisig
Sisig is popularly eaten alongside liquor drinks, although it can be eaten on its own. The dish is made of parts of a pig’s head that is grilled or broiled and mixed with eggs, pork cracklings, and pork or chicken liver. It is then seasoned with calamansi and chili, and topped with chopped onions.
6 | Balut
Balut is not for the faint of heart. It is a boiled duck fetus, ranging from 14 to 21 days old, commonly sold in the streets all over the country. Eaten from the shell, it is usually sprinkled with a little bit of salt before eating. Balut is a popular nutritious snack that is high in protein and calcium.
7 | Pancit
Introduced by Chinese in the early days, pancit is one of the most popular foods in Filipino cuisine. It’s main ingredient is noodles and mixed with vegetables and chicken or pork. It comes in several variations but the most popular are pancit luglug, pancit palabok, and pancit bihon. These variations are cooked almost the same way but varies in the noodles used. Pancit dishes are commonly served for breakfast or snacks and during parties.
8 | Chicken Inasal
Chicken inasal is a grilled chicken dish originated in Western Visayas. Chicken parts such as paa (drumstick), pecho (breast), pakpak (wings), baticulon (gizzard), and atay (liver) are marinated in a mixture of calamansi, salt, pepper, and garlic, then grilled over hot coals while basted with achuete (annatto seeds) oil.
9 | Crispy Pata
The mouth-watering crispy pata is made of pig foot or knuckles deep fried to perfection. It is often served with dipping sauce which is commonly a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, calamansi, and chili.
10 | Dinuguan
Derived from the root word dugo which means blood in Filipino, dinuguan is a dish made of bite-sized pork offal (lungs, kidneys, intestines, ears, heart, snout) and meat cooked in a mixture of pig’s blood, garlic, vinegar, and chili. Commonly eaten with steamed rice or puto (rice cake), dinuguan is available not only in big restaurants but in small eateries as well.
Don’t leave the Philippines without trying these delicious dishes.
READ MORE: Flavorful Filipino Foods & Drinks