Filipino food from a spit-roasted pig named Lechon to lamb Adobo, which is how lamb ought to taste.
Filipino food may not be as famous as Thai and Vietnamese food. No big deal.
Blessed with an abundance of seafood, tropical fruits, and creative chefs, there is more to original Filipino food than the mind-blowing balut (duck embryo), which is a duck embryo with small feathers ideally 17-18 days old (the duck that is). We may get back to that story.
You just need to know where to find them and how to eat them and a few other things. To many Filipinos, it is the top street food. It is claimed to be an aphrodisiac and effective against hangovers. If that is the case, it may well work to alleviate regrets as well.
Let´s zoom back a little and explain what influence the Philippines cuisine has been under.
The Philippines as a country was under Spanish rule for several hundred years. Until the country, with the help of the Americans, was freed from the occupying power of Japan and “set free”. Fusion cuisine, yes, because you can taste the influence of the three countries. The Philippines itself most, then Spain and then America. There are actually enough good burger bars here.
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Here comes a number of the best dishes in the Philippines…
Top dishes in Filipino cuisine
Adobo, is the Philippine national dish, food from the Philippines, food from Asia. No list of Filipino food would be complete without adobo.
A ubiquitous dish in every household in the Philippines, it is of Mexican origin.
But Filipinos found that cooking meat (often chicken and pork) in vinegar, salt, garlic, pepper, soy sauce and other spices was a convenient way to preserve it without refrigeration.
This cooking style can be used for different meats or even seafood.
It is best tried in a Filipino home, but the garlicky version of the lamb adobo can be found at restaurants like Abe restaurant in Taguig.
Abe Serendra, Serendra Plaza Serendra Plaza, Taguig City, Luzon Philippines;
Lechon is the most invited party guest in the Philippines.
The whole pig, spit-roasted over coals, with the crispy, golden-brown skin served with liver sauce, the most sought-after part.
In Cebu, the pig’s stomach is stuffed with star anise, pepper, spring onions, bay leaves and lemongrass, resulting in an extremely tasty Lechon that needs no sauce.
In Manila, people can get their piggy from Elar’s Lechon, while in Cebu, the best is supposedly CnT Lechon, but we are open to other suggestions.
Nothing goes to waste in Filipino food.
In the culinary capital of Pampanga, they turn pork cheeks, head, and liver into a sizzling dish called Sisig.
The crisp, juicy and chewy texture of this appetizer is a perfect match for a cold beer.
Serve it or order it with a hot sauce and local seasoning to suit your and your friends’ preferences.
Credit goes to Aling Lucing who allegedly invented this dish at a humble stall along the train tracks in Angeles City, Pampanga.
4. Crispy pata
Not for the faint of heart, this pork knuckle is simmered, drained and deep-fried until crispy.
The meat is tender and juicy inside, with a crispy, crackling exterior.
Served with vinegar, soy sauce and chili. Yummy!
5. Chicken Inasal
Yes, it’s grilled chicken.
But in Bacolod, this is no ordinary grilled chicken.
The meat is marinated in lemongrass, calamansi, salt, pepper and garlic and brushed with achuete (annatto seed) oil.
Every part of the chicken is grilled here from paa (drumstick), pecho (breast), baticulon (gizzard), atay (liver), pakpak (wings) and corazon (heart).
It should be eaten with a generous helping of garlic rice, with a little of the lemon or orange oil used to marinate the chicken poured over the rice.
6. Pancit Palabok
When Filipinos have guests, they don’t skimp on good food.
Pancit Palabok served at most birthday parties oozes rich flavors and complex textures from seafood to pork. Note that there are countless regional variations, but they are all called something like Palabok.
The noodle dish is layered with rice noodles, a rich sauce made from shrimp broth, pork, hard-boiled eggs, shrimp, chicharon (pork knuckle), and sometimes oysters and squid. Some can in crab sauce. It’s a bit of an irresistible signature dish for the country.
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