8 Famous Filipino food cuisine in the Philippines

February 16, 2021

Filipino cuisine, as explained above, is both regional and local. What this means is there are literally thousands of dishes to try which, even with accomplished gourmands, is a tall order. The food culture of the Philippines is sometimes overshadowed by it’s northwestern neighbors – Thailand and Vietnam.

We have compiled 8 of the best dishes in the Philippines for your sampling pleasure – make sure you try them all!

Must-Try Foods in the Philippines

1. Adobo

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The cooking method for the Philippine adobo is indigenous to the Philippines. Filipinos often cooked or prepared their food with vinegar and salt to keep them fresh longer in the tropical climate of the Philippines.

A spicy marinade used in Latin American cuisine and usually containing vinegar, garlic, and chili pepperschipotles in adobo. A seasoning mixture that typically includes ground dried garlic, ground dried onion, oregano, salt, and pepper

2. Kinilaw

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Kinilaw is a delicious seafood dish served up all over the Philippines. It consists of slices of raw fish marinated in vinegar along with other ingredients like calamansi juice, salt, pepper, and chili peppers. The name kinilaw literally means “eaten raw”.  Very similar to ceviche, the main difference is that Kinilaw relies on vinegar rather than lime juice to “cook” the fish.

Filipino food can be pretty heavy so if you’re feeling like you need a healthy alternative, kinilaw makes a great appetizer or light lunch.

3. Sinigang

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Sinigang is a sour soup or stew characterized by its sour and savoury taste. It is most often associated with tamarind or sampalok, although it can use other sour fruits and leaves as the souring agent. It is one of the more popular dishes in Filipino cuisine.

It’s a delicious Filipino comfort food and makes for a hearty hangover breakfast if you had a few to many Pilsens the night before.

4. Kare-Kare

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Kare-kare is a thick stew made from oxtail, vegetables, and a peanut sauce. It reminded us a bit of massaman curry from Thailand which makes sense as the word ‘kare’ is derived from the Filipino word for curry.  Supposedly the best kare-kare comes from Pampanga which is just north of Manila, but you’ll find this dish served all over the Philippines.

Try ordering kare-kare along with lechon kawali (deep fried pork belly) and then use the thick kare-kare sauce for dipping the lechon. It’s a delicious Filipino meal that will have you won’t soon forget, but best to plan on taking a nap afterwards…

5. Sisig

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It’s like Filipino fajitas and is an extremely popular dish in the Philippines! Pork sisig is most common and it consists of chopped up pig ears, jowls and liver, onion, and chili peppers delivered on a sizzling hot skillet with a raw egg on top.

You’ll need to mix in the egg to cook it before the skillet cools down. It usually comes with a couple calamansi halves so you can squeeze the juice over the top. Other versions of sisig include pork belly, chicken, tuna, eggplant, and pretty much anything else you can put on a sizzling hot plate.

6. Balut

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Balut is probably the most infamous street food in the Philippines and the most. It is a fertilized duck egg boiled and eaten in the shell while still warm, served as a delicacy in parts of Southeast Asia.

This unusual production and consumption of balut represents the creativity of Filipinos to make something similar with other Asian cultures yet uniquely Filipino. Balut gained its popularity as an affordable, nutritious, and ready-to eat snack that makes it a staple and favorite street food.

7. Ice Candy

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Ice candy is one of the most favorite summer treats of Filipinos. It is frozen juice(or smoothie) in a plastic like pop ice. The only difference is that ice candy is home made from fresh fruits, though there are some that you can buy from sari-sari (variety) stores that are made from artificial fruit flavoring.

You’ll encounter all kinds of flavors of ice candy such as mango, chocolate, ube (purple yam), buko salad (which includes lots of little bits of chopped up fruit mixed), buko pandan (pandan tastes a bit like vanilla), melon, and avocado. Ice candy is also amazingly cheap. No matter where we were in the Philippines it always cost just 10 pisos (~ $0.20). We recommend that you buy one every chance you get!

8. Dinuguan

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Dinuguan is a Filipino savory stew usually of pork offal (typically lungs, kidneys, intestines, ears, heart and snout) and/or meat simmered in a rich, spicy dark gravy of pig blood, garlic, chili (most often siling haba), and vinegar.

As for the taste: Dinuguan is definitely porky and savory, not heavily salty, but usually with a sour note. Texture wise, this dish varies widely, from a fairly thin, light brown number to a thick, dark, grainy stew that Filipinos jokingly refer to as chocolate soup.


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