Filipino cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors, influenced by a rich culinary history and diverse cultural influences. From hearty stews to mouthwatering street food, Filipino dishes are known for their unique combinations and bold flavors. If you’re ready to embark on a culinary adventure, here are 10 must-try Filipino dishes that will tantalize your taste buds.
Adobo is considered the national dish of the Philippines. It consists of meat (typically pork or chicken) marinated in a flavorful blend of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and spices. The meat is then braised until tender, resulting in a savory and tangy dish that pairs perfectly with steamed rice.
Sinigang is a sour soup made with tamarind as the base ingredient. It is commonly cooked with pork, beef, or shrimp, along with an assortment of vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, and radishes. The sourness of the broth is balanced with a hint of sweetness, creating a comforting and refreshing dish.
Lechon is a whole roasted pig that takes center stage at festive occasions and celebrations. The pig is slow-roasted over an open fire, resulting in crispy skin and succulent meat. The combination of smoky flavors and tender meat makes lechon a beloved Filipino delicacy.
Kare-Kare is a traditional Filipino stew made with oxtail, beef, or tripe, cooked in a thick and creamy peanut sauce. It is often served with a side of blanched vegetables and eaten with bagoong (fermented shrimp paste). The rich and nutty flavors of Kare-Kare make it a must-try for any food lover.
Pancit refers to various noodle dishes in Filipino cuisine. Pancit Canton and Pancit Palabok are two popular variations. Pancit Canton features stir-fried egg noodles with meat and vegetables, while Pancit Palabok showcases rice noodles topped with a flavorful shrimp sauce, crushed chicharron (pork rinds), and various toppings.
Halo-Halo, which means “mix-mix” in Filipino, is a refreshing and colorful dessert. It consists of a mix of ingredients such as shaved ice, sweet beans, fruits, jelly, leche flan (caramel custard), and ube (purple yam) ice cream. Topped with evaporated milk, it’s a delightful treat perfect for cooling down on a hot day.
Sisig is a sizzling dish made from chopped pig’s face and ears, seasoned with spices and served on a hot plate. It is often garnished with onions, chili peppers, and a squeeze of calamansi (Philippine lime). Sisig is a popular beer match and is beloved for its crispy texture and bold flavors.
Chicken Inasal is a grilled chicken dish marinated in a mixture of vinegar, calamansi juice, garlic, and spices. The result is a succulent and flavorful chicken with a slightly smoky taste. It is often served with a side of garlic rice and a dipping sauce of sinamak (spiced vinegar).
Bibingka is a traditional Filipino rice cake made with glutinous rice flour and coconut milk. It is often cooked in clay pots lined with banana leaves and topped with salted duck eggs, cheese, and grated coconut. This warm and slightly sweet treat is commonly enjoyed during the Christmas season.
Turon is a popular Filipino snack or dessert made with sliced bananas wrapped in spring roll wrappers and fried until golden and crispy. It is commonly coated with caramelized sugar, giving it a delightful sweet and crunchy texture. Turon is often enjoyed as a tasty and satisfying snack or dessert.
Filipino cuisine offers a wide array of flavors and dishes that are sure to excite your taste buds. From the tangy and savory adobo to the refreshing halo-halo, these 10 must-try Filipino dishes showcase the unique culinary heritage of the Philippines. Whether you’re exploring street food stalls or dining at a traditional Filipino restaurant, make sure to sample these iconic dishes to fully experience the rich and diverse flavors of Filipino cuisine. Prepare to indulge in a culinary adventure that will leave you craving for more of the Philippines’ delicious and satisfying offerings.