Filipino Cuisine and Rice – An Overview

fillipino cuisine and rice

In the Philippines, Filipino cuisine and rice dishes are famous for their spiciness. The staple diet of the Filipinos is composed primarily of rice and vegetables. You can see many similarities between Filipino food. Here are some examples:

Filipino Food. A lot of people in the Philippines grew rice as a crop during their childhood. Because rice is grown naturally, it’s an environmentally friendly choice. The Philippines has an abundant supply of rice and other grains like wheat and cereals.

Filipino Cuisine and Rice

A bowl of food on a plate

Unlike most Asian countries where rice is only used as an accompaniment to dishes, in the Philippines it forms an important part of a meal. Most Philippine families have their own rice production facilities. When rice is grown in the Philippines, it’s part of every family’s diet. Rice dishes are a big hit in the country.

Filipino Cuisine and Foreign Food

A bowl of food on a plate

Filipino dishes are usually associated with foreign foods. This is because most of them were either inspired or created by foreign countries. For instance, garlic was often discovered in China. And Spanish and Portuguese foods were brought to the Philippines where they became integral elements of Filipino cooking.

n the Philippines, we have inherited the traditional food of our ancestors. We try to create dishes that are unique and yet have the flavors of the original dishes. It’s this merging of our history with the foreign culture that makes fillipino food so popular today.

Top Cuisine

One of the staples of Filipino cuisine is the Philippines Pinaytay. White grain rice, it’s commonly called “the Filipino rice”. It’s used in almost all kinds of fillipino dishes from stir fries to salads and even desserts. The taste is light-bodied, with a nutty undertone and nutty overtones.

Another staple of the Philippines’ fillipino cuisine is the Philippines Gagwa. This white grain rice is also known as “tao yon.” Originally, Gagwa means white tongue. But more recently, it has been used to describe white rice. The grain is light-colored, similar to pinaytay, but with a much thinner texture and a stronger flavor.

Rice is a staple food of the Philippines. You can see it being cooked everywhere – at family gatherings, during a candle lit meal, even during commercial occasions like a football match or New Year’s celebration. No wonder why it’s always enjoyed and loved by the people of the Philippines.


If rice isn’t mentioned, then what are the alternatives? Spices. Most traditional Filipino meals include Atahualpe, Cebu onions, pork, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, chili, salt and pepper. Of course, these are just a few of the spices that play an important part in the preparation of their food. But what they lack in comparison to rice is in the aroma and flavor they add to the food.

During rice cooking, the aroma of the spices excites the senses. They almost hypnotize the diners. Imagine sitting down to a meal with your favorite Filipino dish and the aroma of your host’s spices will almost hypnotize you. Now this isn’t a metaphor but a literal one – a real-life experience.

Making Tips

When preparing rice, don’t overcook it. It should be done just enough that it doesn’t stick together or get mushy. Overcooking the rice will ruin its texture. Just remember, risotto is a very versatile dish, that if made right can go well with almost anything.

In the Philippines there are many regional cuisines; here too you will find different regional specialties. In Mindanao, there is a cuisine called Bisayo. This dish is a mixture of Filipino dishes and influences from the countries of Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, and West Indies. You can find this dish in almost all of the restaurants in Mindanao. Another delicious specialty of Mindanao is the Halal-style food that combines ingredients from Islamic countries.


In the south, the influence of Spain and Portuguese is notable in dishes like Paeng. Paeng is actually made from rice and cooked in banana stalks. This fruit is eaten as part of Filipino lunch and dinner meals. A more mild dish is Kayo. It is a soup made from vegetables, meats and rice.

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