If your current perception is that Filipino cuisine isn’t worth raving about, you’re not alone. Despite its stunning natural beauty, thousands of unspoiled islands, and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, the Philippines has a poor reputation when it comes to food. That, however, is just not true.
Filipino cuisine is surprising, hearty, and full of amazing flavors, from the sumptuous adobo to the scary yet intriguing balut. Even Anthony Bourdain, the gastronomic superstar, declared that the greatest pork he ever ate was in the Philippines.
The good stuff in Chicken Adobo!
Adobo is a Filipino delicacy that comes from the Spanish term adobo, which means “marinade.” This delectable cuisine comprises chicken or pig marinated in a blend of soy sauce and vinegar, as well as an assortment of other herbs and spices that vary depending on the region or the method used.
Every traveller’s favorite food is adobo, and you’ll most likely have it several times during your journey to the Philippines.
One of the best Filipino dishes is Lechon
Anthony Bourdain, the king of gastronomy, praised Filipino pork. Another meal with a Spanish flavor is lechon, which is a generic name for a seasoned suckling pig that has been impaled on a pole and grilled. Lechon is popular across the Philippines, but it is especially popular on the island of Cebu, as seen by the sheer number of Lechon establishments.
Lechon comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and there are countless ways to serve it once it’s been roasted. Lechon Kawali, crispy fried pig belly served with two unique dipping sauces, is a traveler’s favorite.
Sisig is an all-time favorite in the Philippines
You’ll hear the sizzling plate before the hot delight arrives at your table if you order sisig in the Philippines. Sisig is a popular Filipino dish made up of roughly chopped pig’s cheeks, ears, and chicken liver cooked on a sizzling cast iron plate with onion and chili. When a raw egg is added at the last minute and cooks right in front of your eyes as you mix up the pork sisig, it becomes the dish’s pièce de résistance. Squeeze over the calamansi (a type of lime) and dig in!
At the conclusion of a tough week, you’ll observe Filipinos enjoying pork sisig and San Miguel beers at a local eatery. With the Philippines’ growing popularity, locals have realized that not everyone likes to eat a pig’s face, thus pork belly, chicken, tuna, and eggplant are among the many other options.
The Delicious Tamarind Broth, Sinigang!
Sinigang is a typical Filipino cuisine that consists of a tangy but delicious soup seasoned with tamarind and loaded with vegetables and herbs including spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, ginger, and fish sauce. The broth-like stew is then generally topped with meat or seafood such as pig, beef, fish, or shrimp.
There are numerous versions of this meal, and depending on where you are in the Philippines, you can have it as a soup or as a little thicker stew served with rice. Sinigang is always mouthwateringly wonderful, no matter how you prepare it!
Balut – Just a boiled duck egg, right?
Balut is one of the Philippines’ most well-known street food appetizers. Balut is more likely to be presented to you as a dare than as a snack by locals.
Balut is a boiled duck egg, to put it simply. The duck eggs, on the other hand, have been fertilized and incubated for 14-18 days before being prepared. As a result of this procedure, when you crack open the egg shell, you’ll find an embryo filling the opening, well on its way to becoming a duck. Yes, you’ll eat the whole thing with a bit of vinegar, salt, and chilli, with the occasional crunch of a bone or beak.
Balut is a Filipino national delicacy that is popular in Southeast Asia in many forms. If you don’t want to chew bones but still want to taste balut, go for the 14-day incubated form, which is slightly less developed than the 17-day version.
In the Philippines, Pork Barbecue is a must!
Filipinos adore meat, especially pork. Although pig barbecue isn’t considered a national meal, its popularity and delectability might lead you to believe differently. The cuisine consists of marinated pig chunks impaled onto bamboo sticks and barbecued over charcoal in specialised barbecue restaurants across the Philippines.
Pork barbeque, like Indonesian or Malaysian satay, is a party favorite and a go-to snack for Filipinos in between meals. When visiting the Philippines, there’s nothing like going down the street with a grumbling stomach and spotting grilled pork skewers for PHP15 ($0.30) per at a street seller!
The Philippines’ take on chinese noodles is Pancit
Pancit consists of sauteed noodles with a mixture of sliced vegetables and meat simmered in a broth with soy sauce and fish sauce. It is perhaps one of the most popular dishes among travelers due to its simplicity and availability.
The phrase ‘pancit’ comes from the expression ‘pian e sit,’ which means something conveniently made,’ and was influenced by Chinese cuisine. It’s simple and quick to make, yet it’s packed with flavor.
The frequent availability of fish and other seafood is one of the nicest aspects of visiting the Philippines’ seashore cities and villages. Try kinilaw, a vinegar-cooked ceviche cooked over an open flame, while visiting this seaside paradise. Kinilaw can be as simple as raw fish with a vinegar dressing on top, but some places add calamansi juice, soy sauce, shrimp, pork belly chunks, salted egg, and onions to the fresh meal. Add kinilaw to your list of favorite Filipino dishes.
Chicharon is a deep-fried pig crackling delicacy that was brought to the Philippines from Andalusia, Spain. It’s a lot like Mexican chicharron, which are crunchy rectangles of deep-fried pork rinds.
Chicharon is dipped in coconut vinegar instead of salsa in the Philippines. This meal is one of the most popular snacks in the Philippines, especially when paired with beer. Locals have experimented with the meal over the years, generating new varieties. Nothing, however, compares to the original chicharon.
Saving the best for last! Halo-halo!
Halo Halo is a popular Filipino dish that literally translates to “blended together.” Halo Halo is served in a tall glass and is essentially a “fridge dessert,” meaning any sweet goodies the restaurant has on hand will be added to this dish.
Ice shavings and evaporated milk form the base of the dessert, which is topped with a variety of sweet treats, including lychee or mango fruits, sweetened boiled kidney beans, chickpeas, sugar palm fruit, jackfruit, tapioca, sweet potato, sweet beans, coconut gel, ice cream, guava paste, purple yam, and more.
Is it worth visiting the Philippines as a vegetarian or vegan?
Yes, in the end. No one should miss out on the breathtaking natural splendor that encompasses this amazing archipelago’s 7,641 islands. However, as this article indicates, Filipinos are meat and fish enthusiasts, so cuisine is unlikely to be the highlight of your trip to the Philippines.
But don’t worry, you’ll be able to locate dishes or places that will meet your needs. Because the inhabitants speak excellent English, it’s quite simple to convey your dietary restrictions, and as the country develops in popularity, more eateries are catering to vegetarian and vegan tastes.
Are you ready to try all of this yummy foods?
Choosing where to visit in the Philippines may be both enjoyable and difficult. How can you pick where to go when there are over 7,600 islands to choose from?
Allow one of our local travel agencies or tour guides in the Philippines to arrange the perfect journey for you and your travel companions based on your budget and travel style. These local specialists know the area like the back of their hands and are eager to pack your vacation with unique local experiences, culturally rich activities, and off-the-beaten-path adventures while weaving in all the must-see sights!
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