The Philippines is diversified with a rich history, humble society, growing industry, and regal natural spectacles. The country also brags bountiful of local cuisines, natural flavors, and authentic fares cooked from traditional methods from the finest and immaculate ingredients. In fact, the tourist destinations in the country always have original foods to boast.
Here are some of the basic Filipino food you must try:
While the Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards, the country coped the Spanish culture, and that explains why most of the architectural designs of the vintage houses have the smack of Hispanic edges. The Philippines also copied some of the Spanish fares including longganisa but with a wider range of varieties. Filipino longganisa (sausage) is typically made from pork, chicken, beef, or fish (fillet) dashed with spices and secret flavors.
The longganisa in the country has several flavors. Some regions in the country have a sweet version of longganisa, while some parts make longganisa in a salty sense of taste.
In Ilocos Sur, they have the famous garlicky Vigan Longganisa, while Lucban Longganisa is popular in Lucban in the province of Quezon. Longganisa is a favorite Filipino breakfast and is usually partnered with steamed rice and a sunny-side-up egg.
Adobo is also another favorite dish not only by Filipinos but also by foreign tourists. Adobo is usually made from chicken or pork, marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, laurel leaves/bay leaves and other spices, stewed and simmered until the right consistency is achieved. An Adobo could be sweet or salty and can also be dry or a bit soupy. Others create a twist in Adobo by adding more ingredients such as Pineapple pieces or boiled egg. Adobo is best partnered with rice.
Any noodle dish can be called Pancit. There are several varieties of Pancit in the Philippines. A pancit can be made from Miki noodles, thin rice noodles locally known as Pancit Bihon, or the thicker egg noodles known as Canton. A typical Filipino is cooked by frying the noodles with soy sauce mixed with veggies and meat or shrimp. A pancit is flavored by adding citrus to it. Pancit is typical in the Filipino table and is usually present on holidays and special occasions.
Lumpia is a favorite Filipino snack and appetizer. It is the Philippines’ version of eggroll filled with ground pork, chicken, or fish fillet mixed with diced veggies or sprouts. Lumpia is easy to prepare and cook, probably the reason why this dish is always present in almost all occasions. Lumpia is usually dipped in sweet and sour sauce or vinegar.
There are two varieties of Lumpia: the fresh Lumpia and the fried Lumpia. The fresh Lumpia has veggies and other ingredients wrapped or covered with soft uncooked wrappers. It is drizzled with sweet sauce. The other version is Lumpia is deep-fried or pan-fried and is crispy on the outside.
In the Philippines, no part of a pig will go to waste. Typically, the pig’s best part is the ribs, legs, and belly; spareribs, ham, and bacon. Others would usually disregard the face and ears, but not in the Philippines. The pig’s face (skin) and ears can be a delicious dish. It is usually prepared as Sisig. The face and ears are thinly diced, grilled and fried with chili and onion. It is often served on a sizzling plate. Sisig can be a perfect dish for your lunch or dinner, but most Filipinos eat Sisig as a beer match. Most Sisig in sizzling plates is topped with an egg. Eat it while it’s hot!
The Philippines’ version of omelet is the Torta. No certain rule applies to what ingredients you should add on it, but the typical Filipino torta is mixed with potatoes, ground pork, Dilis (dried anchovy), or Kamatis (tomato).
Torta is perfect for breakfast and is best enjoyed with fried rice and a cup of hot coffee, a perfect meal to boost your day!
A Paksiw is a stewed fish simmered in vinegar, garlic, chili, and ginger and is flavored with salt and pepper. Paksiw is ideal for lunch or dinner. Paksiw is easy to cook, even the amateurs can prepare it! The common fishes for paksiw are Tilapia, Bangus (Milkfish), Barilis (Longfin Tuna), or Yellowfin Tuna.
Mungo is a Filipino comfort food that is best enjoyed for lunch or dinner. The mungo bean soup is usually sauteed in Kangkong (Water spinach) and has chunks of fried fish or pork to add crunch to the soft and green mungo beans. This nutritious meal is loved by the young and old!
My personal favorite, Kare Kare is a Philippine stew with thick curry-like peanut-based sauce. Pork hocks are added and simmered for several hours to achieve the right softness that will compliment the thick sauce. Kare Kare is partnered with shrimp paste and is best partnered with steamed rice. Because it’s hard to prepare and requires long cooking time, Kare Kare is often only available on special occasions or holidays.
Giniling is a very simple dish made from ground pork. The ground pork is fried and sauteed with onion and garlic. Then, dices of potatoes and carrots are added. Peas are also mixed in the pan until it gets the right tenderness. Giniling is typical in the Filipino table and is usually available at local eateries or Carenderias.
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