Cuisine Food & Drinks

List of Famous Foods You Must Try in The Philippines

popular foods of the Philippines

While traveling to a new place, one of the first important things that everyone would like to do is relish the culinary delights of that place. And when you are in the Philippines, one of the things you must not miss doing is getting a taste of its traditional cuisine. Filipino food culture and traditions are rich and diverse, and you will love to experience them. Influenced by Indian, Spanish, Malay, and Chinese cuisines, Filippino cuisine is an experience to remember. If you are heading to the Philippines and want to try Filippino foods, here is a list of famous foods to try in the Philippines.

Filipino cuisine has been tagged as the “next big thing” to look for in the culinary world. With the nation’s variety of inspirations throughout its rich history, its traditional cooking methods, and the Filipino’s knack for combining flavors and making the most of any type of ingredients at their disposal, what results is unpretentious, no-frills food that is quite delicious.

Famous Foods to Try in The Philippines

Chicken Adobo

It is one of the famous native dishes of the Philippines. It is one of the best examples of how the country is such a rich melting pot of various historical influences. At its true essence, Chicken Abodo is a protein ( generally fish, chicken, or pork) that is cooked in vinegar and then mixed with other spices/ herbs. The Spanish were the ones who first “named” this dish- Abodo is derived from the Spanish verb, “ Adobar” which means “marination.” Upon coming, they saw locals using salt and vinegar to marinate their fish, pork, and chicken.

popular foods of Philippines
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They decorated this dish by adding ingredients which they brought like onions and garlic. With time, the salt was substituted with an ingredient discovered by the Chinese- soya sauce, and many other ingredients which are common in the Philippines, like peppercorns and bay leaves. These are the basic ingredients used in Chicken Adobo.

This was usually used as a method of cooking meat as the acid from the vinegar and excessive salt content of soya sauce created an unfavorable environment for bacteria. Every family in the Philippines follows a unique method of cooking Abodo, so it might taste something different from one place to another.  

Lumpia

Want to try Filipino dishes for lunch? Then, try Lumpia. Influenced by Chinese cuisine, this dish is a tasty deep-fried spring roll. This roll is stuffed with a blend of chopped veggies and minced meat. Mixed with the right sauces, it is regarded as the tastiest dish you will have for lunch. It is a conventional Filipino dish after trying which, you will never consider spring rolls the same way. It is the main part of the Philippines’ food culture.

Tocino

It is the Filipino version of Bacon. This is pork belly cured in salt, sugar, and different spices then fried- yummy! It is served as a part of the common Filipino breakfast known as Tosilog. The name is a combo if its 3 parts: Sinangag ( garlic fried rice), Pritong Itlog ( fried egg), and Tocino.

There are many different versions of the Silog breakfast trio that basically replaces the Tocino with other meat options. Tapsilog features marinated beef, Bansilog fried fish, and maybe the least exciting choice is Hotsilog, which just includes a hot dog.

Proben

Proben ( also referred to as proven) is a satisfying Filipino snack. It is one of the most popular street food in the Philippines. It is made of an unusual chicken organ named, proventriculus, a component that is in many ways as same as Chicken Gizzard.

Covered in cornstarch or flour, the small proben pieces are deep-fried until the exterior becomes crispy and golden brown. They can be fried individually and served in a plastic bag or fried and skewered on bamboo sticks. Nutritious, fast, and cheap, proben has become one of the popular street food varieties in the Philippines, which is mainly favored among young students.

This snack can be found on different streets and traditional markets, where they are generally prepared by street vendors who prepare stacks of fresh proben on moving food stands. Even though they can be eaten plain, skewed, or bagged versions are generally accompanied by sour vinegar sauce and sweet chili sauce.

Champorado

It is one of the popular famous foods to try in the Philippines. It is thick Filippino rice pudding. Usually prepared with chocolate, these days it is generally made with baked glutinous rice combined with cocoa powder and sugar. The roots of this dish are derived from a Mexican chocolate-based drink known as Champurrado, which was discovered during the colonial era. Generally eaten as a hearty breakfast or an afternoon snack, Filipino Champorado can be served cold or hot, sprinkled with condensed milk, or supplemented by salted dry fish.

Pancit

Pancit is one of the most delicious food in the Philippines which is influenced by Chinese cuisine. This is a simple dish made of noodles mixed with vegetables or meat of your choice. The name, “Pancit” was originated from the Hokkien term “ pian e sit”, which means “something cooked conveniently.” It might be a simple dish but is rich in flavor. You are going to love every bite of it.

Kare Kare

Kare Kare is a stew made with oxtail, a lot of vegetables, which is flavored with powdered roasted peanuts, garlic, and onions. It is generally served with shrimp paste, also known as “Bagoong.” Sometimes, to make it spicy, you can even add chili. It is a famous dish across the whole country. The alleged origin of its name is from the term “curry”- a nod to the influence of the Philippines’ Indian community in Cainta area of Metro Manila. It is believed to have originated from the Indian soldiers who were settled in the Philippines during the British rule.

famous Philippines food
Schnitzel with french fries and salad

Crispy Pata

If you cannot get your hands on a whole Lechon, a delicious Crispy Pata is an equally sinful choice. It is a dish that takes the whole pig leg and deep fried till perfection. Crispy Pata is served with a soya-vinegar dip sauce along with some chopped chili and garlic.

Humba

Humba is as same as Adobo, but it also includes banana flowers and Tausi. This provides Humba a sweet taste compared to Adobo and results in an incredible salty/sweet/spicy flavor. Whereas you can find your adobo flavor applied to all kinds of vegetable and meat dishes, Humba is most of the time made with pork. You will find Humba in the southern islands of the Philippines and sometimes it is also known as Cebu’s version of Adobo. When in the Philippines, make sure you try both these popular Filipino dishes.

Afritada

It is one of the best-selling foods in the Philippines. It is one of the several Filipino stews in which tangy tomato sauce is the main ingredient. As it is a popular dish, there may be variants in recipes. However, it is made of diced pork or chicken stewed in tomato sauce along with bell peppers, carrots, and potatoes. This Filippino dish is usually served with plain steamed rice.

Craving already? On your next trip to the Philippines, make a list of famous foods to try in the Philippines. Try the flavors that reflect the multi-cultural influences of this country as you get on a gastronomic journey during your international trip!

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