Carinderias are local eateries serving affordable Filipino dishes for the masses and are typically located on a populated street, school, or business district. Some people call carinderias “turo-turo” because of the customers usually point at the foods they want to order. Suffice to say carinderias are frequented by on-the-go workers, students, and even travelers who’re looking for to grab a delicious and filling meal.
Many Filipino families have carinderias as the family business and operate it directly in their home, especially for families who live near schools, offices, or just in a busy street. The homemade Filipino foods served are delicious and white fluffy rice is always ready to hit customers’ plates.
Here is a list of the best carinderia recipes:
1. Pork Menudo
Pork Menudo is quite a popular dish to serve in large proportions at carinderias all over the Philippines. Not to be confused with the Mexican dish the same name, Filipino menudo’s ingredients does not have tripe or chili sauce. The traditional Filipino menudo is a pork (beef or chicken) stew consisting of cuts of pork, liver, onion, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and chili peppers.
Some carinderias often add other ingredients to the traditional menudo recipe such as slices of hotdogs or green peas.
See also: 18 Best Filipino Pork Recipes
Of course, fried chicken will be on this list. It’s probably the most sought after lunch food for working on the go Filipinos. The Filipino style fried chicken is the best in the world, in my opinion. Each carinderias has its own recipes with different secret ingredients but fried chicken in the Philippines is always juicy and tender on the inside its skin is always crispy with a crunch.
Some carinderias always serve complimentary gravy or ketchup with their fried chicken. Although the flavor of the chicken is delicious enough to do without.
See also: Pinoy Fried Chicken Recipe
Carinderias love to display their platter of Filipino pancit or bihon mid-afternoon for miryenda or afternoon snacks. Traditional pancit cantons are cooked with native ingredients such as slices of carrots, oyster sauce, Baguio beans, cabbages, red bell peppers, and sometimes topped with slices of pork or chicken. It’s also to popular to season pancit canton with calamansi juice after its served.
See also: How to Cook Pancit Bihon
Carinderia owners love to serve chicken platters of adobo because of its longer shelf life and Filipinos love to order it for their meals. Nothing is as delicious as the salty flavor of chicken adobo with a plateful of steaming white rice for lunch after a full morning of work or classes. It’s one of the comfort foods of Filipinos that always reminds them of eating homecooked meals with their families.
Chicken adobo in carinderias are always the first platters to go empty, that’s why some carinderias always have reserves of this delicious dish.
See also: Ultimate Filipino Adobo Recipes
The Filipino pork barbeque is a very popular dish among Filipinos to eat during meals along with a plateful of white rice. Customers always order double of the skewered meat because one piece of skewer simply isn’t enough to quell their apatite.
The pork is first marinated with a special mixture that varies from each carinderia then grilled outside fo the establishment. The smoke will entice passersby to grab a meal inside the carinderia or purchase a skewer right there outside the establishment to consume on their way to their destination.
By the name of the dish alone, Bistek Tagalog is a very traditional recipe. It’s not often served in carinderias but when it makes an appearance, it’s very quickly sold out by greedy customers.
Bistek Tagalog is the Filipino version of beef steak. The beef needs to be marinated by at least an hour by a mixture of, usually, lemon juice and soy sauce. The longer the meat is marinated in the mixture the better. After it’s cooked, the meat is traditionally topped off with fresh onion rings.
Carinderias would probably not be as profitable if they don’t have at least one pot of a traditional Filipino soup available for their customers. Tinolang manok is one of carinderia owners’ go-to Filipino soup recipe to make every day because of the availability of its ingredients and the ease of its cooking process.
Tinolang manok is basically light chicken broth with a delicious light flavor. Its ingredients are quite simple, mainly cuts of chicken, fish sauce, leafy vegetables, and slices of papaya. It’s a refreshing dish that’s often served for lunch and dinner.
See also: Tinolang Manok with Itag
When carinderia owners put out a platter of the delicious lechon paksiw on display, it’s going to be empty in no time once customers start coming in the establishment.
Lechon paksiw is traditionally made up of leftover pork from a whole lechon and is cooked with a mixture of vinegar, beef stock, soy sauce, bay leaves, pepper, garlic, and onions. The dish gives a delicious tart and salty flavor with each bite and goes perfectly with a plate full of white rice.
See also: Pineapple Lechon Paksiw
Pork sinigang is another one of the Filipino recipes customers demand of carinderias to serve during meal times. It’s the ultimate comfort food and even without the meat, customers typically will ask a small bowl full of this deliciously sour broth to sip on while they eat their meal.
What makes broth of the sinigang dish so deliciously sour are native traditional souring ingredients added to the broth typically being tamarind or sampalok. Nowadays, different ingredients are used as its souring such as tomatoes and even artificial flavorings in the form of cubes and powders.
10. Inihaw na Liempo
Inihaw na liempo is an absolute treat if you’ve ever found a platter of it that’s not sold out in your local carinderia. Inihaw na liempo is basically grilled pork belly that’s first marinated in calamansi juice, soy sauce, and seasonings.
It’s very easy not to catch a serving of this tart and smoky dish because it’s very easy to sell out in carinderias. Like the pork barbeque, liempo is also grilled outside the carinderia to attract potential customers. However, liempo is best to enjoy with a plate full of white rice.
Pinakbet or pakbet is one of the Filipino vegetable dishes that is commonly served in carinderias all over the Philippines. It’s basically a meat vegetable stew with shrimp paste that many Filipinos love to eat as a side dish or the main course because of distinct salty flavor.
The dish originated from the Ilocos region and quickly gained popularity throughout the rest of the country with carinderias serving their own versions of pinakbet. Shrimp paste, squash, and other sliced vegetables are the main ingredients of pinakbet.
See also: Vigan Pinakbet Recipe
12. Bicol Express
This dish is quite popular among customers in carinderias who love that extra kick of spiciness in their meals. Bicol express originated from the eastern part of the Philippines, in the province of Bicol, known for its spicy cuisine and delicacies. It’s made up of cuts of pork stewed into coconut milk (gata) and added with chili for the dish’s infamous spice.
Many provinces and their carinderias try to emulate the original taste and spiciness of Bicol express because of its popularity among its customers.
See also: Top 10 Bicolano Foods That You Must Try
13. Ginataang Gulay
Ginataang gulay is another Filipino dish that carinderias are always expected to have available during meal times. The recipe is basically different types of vegetables stewed into coconut milk. There is a variation of ginataang gulay served in carinderias with different vegetables as the main ingredient of the dish complemented with other ingredients like Baguio beans or green peas.
One thing’s for sure is that ginataang gulay added a much needed healthy option among the dish options in carinderias.
See also: 15 Best Filipino Ginataan Recipes
14. Beef Caldereta
Beef caldereta is probably one of the top favorites among Filipinos to eat in carinderias. Carinderia owners always make sure to have an extra platter of this dish ready in case the first one runs empty. Beef caldereta is basically beef stewed in a delicious tomato sauce with liver spread, cubes of carrots, potatoes, bay leaves, and green peas.
Of course, there are variations of the recipes among carinderias but the beef always remains tender and delicious.
See also: Spicy Beef Caldereta Recipe
Dinuguan just embodies that distinct salty flavor that Filipinos love and is prevalent throughout Filipino cuisine. The dish is literally a bloody stew because it’s basically a stew of pork liver and pig’s blood, seasoned with various ingredients onion, chili, and vinegar that just enhances the delicious salty bloodiness of the dish.
Filipinos love to eat the dish with some puto or Filipino rice cake during lunch or for an afternoon snack.
See also: Dinuguang Albay Recipe