A rib-sticking stew of slowly braised oxtail, with toasted rice flour to thicken the broth, vegetables such as eggplant and long bean and a healthy dose of peanut butter.
Whole pig roasted to the crispy skin stage over coals. Celebrations in this pork-loving country call for lechón — suckling pig slowly roasted over charcoal on a spit. Though the dish has a Spanish name, Filipino lechón is distinctly Southeast Asian in flavor, with aromatics including lemongrass and scallions. Once the skin has crisped and the meat all but fallen off the bone, it’s served with a liver-laced, vinegar-heavy dipping sauce. . This specialty is essential for festive parties and celebrations – and has become the national dish, along with Adobo.
While considered the national dish of the Philippines, adobo is more of a cooking style. Marinated pork and/or chicken is sauteed, then simmered with the marinade along with garlic, vinegar and soy sauce. The vinegar aids in preservation, as it does in many of the cuisine’s dishes.
While the sour elements in Filipino cuisine often come from vinegar or calamansi limes, tamarind can be deployed for the same purpose. It stars in sinigang, a thin soup with a tamarind broth, some sort of meat and vegetables including tomatoes and onions — another reminder of Spanish and new-world influences. Variations include Sinigang na Isda (with fish), Sinigang na Baboy (pork) and Sinigang sa Bayabas (with guava rather than tamarind).
The Filipino version of spring rolls, lumpia are often deep-fried and come in a number of guises: Lumpiang Shanghai, heavy on the ground pork and served with a sweet-and-sour dipping sauce; Lumpiang Prito, filled with several vegetables and a smaller amount of meat; Lumpiang Sariwa, filled with sautéed meats and vegetables and wrapped in an egg crepe, rather than rolled in rice paper and fried.
Bulalo (Beef Bone Marrow Soup). Bulalo is a stew made primarily from beef shank and bone marrow. The flavorful clear broth is made by cooking the beef shank along with the bone that contains the marrow. All the flavor from the collagen and fat of the beef shank melts into the broth making the flavors of this dish quite robust. This soup is very popular in the Philippines due to the deliciousness of the bone marrow.
Dinuguan is a Filipino stew made of pork meat cooked in pig’s blood, vinegar and spices. This dish is so popular in the Philippines that you will find it at just about any occasion, from simple family gatherings to weddings.
The word “pancit” translates to “noodles,” and Filipino cuisine has more versions than you can count; popular renditions include Pancit Bihon (rice noodles fried up with soy sauce, vegetables, and meats including sweet Chinese sausage) and Pancit Palabok (topped with shrimp and pork).
A dessert made with sweetened jackfruit, beans, milk, and crushed ice. Served in a tall glass with a spoon. Name translates “mix-mix”.
Kilawin Na Tanigue
Kilawin is a dish where raw fish is marinaded in vinegar and lemon/lime juice. The high level of acidity cooks the fish and it’s flavoured with a bunch of other stuff like chili, capsicum, spring onion and tomato. You’re probably thinking it sounds very similar to ceviche or the Fijian kokoda, but the taste is rather different. I found ceviche to be very fishy, kokoda to be very spicy and kinilaw to be very sour. All catered for local tastebuds.
Below is a must try food when you visit Philippines but not everyone can accept
Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, balut is a boiled fertilized duck egg: crack it open and you’ll find a duck embryo — tiny wings, beak and all — with a layer of yolk still in there. Sprinkle on some salt, spoon it out and the proto-duck has a particularly rich, ducky flavor, while the yolk is almost custardlike.