Filipino cuisine has recently been tagged as the ‘next big thing’ to look out for in the culinary world. With the country’s variety of influences throughout its rich history, its traditional cooking techniques, and the Filipinos’ knack for combining flavours and making the most of any and all ingredients at their disposal, what results is unpretentious, no-frills food that’s simply delicious.
It’s the Filipino dish everybody knows — the mighty adobo. It is made by stewing meat (usually chicken, pork, or a combination of both) in soy sauce and vinegar, adding peppercorns and bay leaves for that special flavour. Bonus leftovers tip: pull the meat from the bone and fry ’til crispy for some tasty adobo flakes.
This rich stew is made with peanut sauce and, customarily, oxtail, but other meatier cuts of beef can also be added in. Many Filipinos will consider kare-kare incomplete without a serving of bagoong (fermented seafood paste) on the side.
One of the top contenders among the best Filipino dishes (alongside adobo) is perhaps the famous lechon. After all, it is hard to top a tasty, fully-roasted pig with perfectly crisp skin and juicy meat. Find the best of this sinful treat on the island of Cebu, but this is almost always served at any grand Pinoy gathering or fiesta.
Sinigang is a Pinoy classic. A delicious sour broth usually made tangy by tamarind (sometimes kamias), it’s filled with different vegetables and a meat of choice. Popular variants include sinigang na baboy (pork), sinigang na hipon (shrimp), and sinigang na isda (fish).
If you can’t get your hands on an entire lechon, a scrumptious crispy pata is an equally sinful alternative. It’s a dish that takes the entire pig leg and deep fries it to perfection. Serve with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce on the side with some chopped up garlic and chilli, and you’re on the road to your next favourite guilty pleasure.
Served sizzling on a hot stone plate, sisig is a favorite pulutan (beer chow) among Filipinos. The meat is primarily chopped up parts of the pigs’ face — in the Philippines, no cut of the animal goes to waste. Some recipes use either mayonnaise or raw egg (to be mixed in while hot) to give it a creamier texture but the classic way is to incorporate pig’s brain into the dish.
One of the more popular Filipino dishes among foreigners with Pinoy friends (due to its customary presence in Filipino birthday parties) is pancit (noodles), of which pancit guisado is perhaps the most well-known variant. This noodle dish is served as a symbol for long life, hence an essential at birthday feasts. The sautéed noodles are complemented by sliced vegetables and meat (all cooked in broth, soy sauce, and fish sauce) and kalamansi is squeezed over upon serving.
These are the most popular and the best Filipino Cuisine Dishes.