Filipino food has been gaining worldwide attention these past few years. More and more people around the world are developing a taste for authentic Filipino dishes as more and more Filipino restaurants around the world are opening their doors to foreign diners each day. Filipino recipes are full of flavor as Pinoy recipes have been influenced by other cultures such as Spanish, Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, and Indonesian throughout the centuries creating a fusion of flavors and style of cooking that takes you all around the world but is also uniquely Filipino.
Many people are visiting nearby Filipino restaurants to get a taste of authentic Filipino food. These Filipino flavors are now being recognized worldwide and even more people are starting to develop a taste for Filipino cuisine as something that they want to replicate in their homes and serve to their families. That comes as no surprise as Filipino dishes are made with easy to do recipes that, no matter the variation, gives amazing flavors of the Philippines to whoever eats it.
Some of these popular Filipino recipes may already be familiar to you. Each year, more and more people search these Pinoy recipes, including our fellow Pinoys, for them to learn and cook Filipino dishes at home. And for the purpose of not making you search far and wide for Filipino recipes to try out, here is a compilation of the most searched Filipino recipes for you to discover and try to cook at home for yourself as well as your friends and family.
When you think of Filipino food, you’ll immediately think of chicken adobo and it’s a dish that every Filipino loves. Chicken adobo has been the favorite Filipino dish for generations. It’s made by stewing the chicken (can alternatively be pork or beef) in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, onion, and bay leaves. This tenderizes the meat and you can taste this oh so delicious flavor when bringing the spoon full of rice and chicken adobo to your mouth. Every region in the Philippines has its style and recipe for cooking chicken adobo but the classic way of doing it remains to be the best comfort food that reminds every Pinoy of home.
Tapsilog is the staple Filipino breakfast throughout the Philippines and is also a popular dish to serve in Filipino restaurants. The dish contains simple ingredients of cured beef (or tapa for tap and can be made of different meats or sausages), garlic fried rice (or sinangag for si), and a fried egg (or itlog for log). It’s all in the name of the dish. Often served with a slice of cucumber or tomato, this hearty breakfast is a great meal to start your day with.
One of the top comfort foods for Filipinos. Kare-kare is an oxtail stew with ground peanuts or peanut butter and hearty vegetables are its main ingredients. And many Filipinos consider this dish incomplete without a side dish of shrimp paste. Other types of meats can be added along with the oxtail like beef or tripe. Kare-kare has a distinct and strong flavor because of its ingredients, perfect with a hot plate of rice.
See also for a vegan version: Veggie Kare-kare with Fried Tofu Recipe
If kare-kare is one of the top comfort foods for Filipinos then sinigang is surely the ultimate comfort food for every Filipinos out there in the world. Sinigang is a sour soup full of vegetables and meat. Many people have their personal favorites on which type of meat to cook for sinigang, it can be fish, pork, beef, and even chicken if you want to be adventurous. The sourer the taste is the better. This dish can be a bit intimidating to foreigners because of its sour taste but Filipinos learned to love it from a young age and its one of the staples in Filipino cuisine.
Also known as kilawin, kinilaw is a Filipino ceviche or raw fish salad. The dish’s name comes from the word kilaw which means eaten fresh. Kinilaw is a popular pulutan for Filipinos and is easy to make at home. It comprises of raw fish cuts, usually tuna or tanigue, cured in calamansi (Filipino lime) or vinegar or both. Giving the fish added flavor. Other ingredients are usually included as well including onion, garlic, chili, and ginger for an extra kick of flavor.
Filipinos got innovative creating this dish to avoid the problem of what to do with leftovers from the lechon, they brought it home and created lechon paksiw. Lechon paksiw is a savory rich Filipino dish with meat that came from leftovers of the famous lechon. The leftover pork is simmered with the leftover lechon sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and beef stock. It creates this combination of sweet, salty, and sour flavors in the dish’s sauce and penetrates the meat. The heartiness of the pork and its sauce goes perfectly with white rice and boiled vegetables.
Another pork dish the Filipinos love, sisig is made up of pig’s cheeks usually served in a sizzling plate. Sisig is made up of minced pork, but can also be cooked with chicken or tuna, with chili, liver, and onions plus seasoned after it’s cooked with calamansi. The dish can be served with raw egg or mayonnaise and should be mixed in the meat while it’s still hot. Sisig is a popular dish eaten for pulutan but it can also be eaten paired with white rice as a hearty meal.
8. Crispy Pata
For a less intimidating alternative for those who want to take a go at lechon but is stumped on how to cook the whole pig, crispy pata is the smaller version that is equally tasty and hearty. To make the scrupulous crispy pata you just need to take the full pig’s leg and deep fry it until it’s cooked to perfection. Crispy pata is perfect to eat with white rice and a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, calamansi, and chili and then you’re good to go to taste this sinful Filipino dish. Definitely a guilty pleasure many Filipinos come back to again and again.
See also: Boneless Crispy Pata Recipe
Made popular by Jollibee overseas by their branches in different countries, palabok have its roots from Chinese cuisine that Filipinos modified and made their own as another way of cooking their beloved pansit. Palabok is a thin noodle dish full of bright colors and a mix of different flavors and textures that make a party in your mouth. It’s ingredients consists of thin noodles mixed in with shrimp sauce and annatto powder, this is where palabok gets its recognizable color and then its finished off with a mixture of different toppings such as baby shrimps, cuts of chicharon (pork rinds), slices of hard-boiled eggs, spring onions, and tinapa (smoked fish) flakes.
10. Lechon Kawali
This favorite pork dish called lechon kawali is another alternative way of cooking if you don’t possess the space, time, or effort to cook an entire lechon. Lechon Kawali has the same hearty flavor and crunchiness as lechon but you can cook it in your wok or kawali. You need to cook the pork belly until its tender in boiling water along with seasoning of bay leaves, peppercorn, and salt. Then it should be air-dried, rubbed with salt, and deep-fried until its golden brown. This creates this crunchiness in the pork’s skin that goes great with lechon gravy and white rice.
11. Bistek Tagalog
Bistek Tagalog is the Philippines own version of Filipino stake. The beef is thinly sliced and marinated in a mixture of soy sauce and calamansi. It’s then fried and topped off with caramelized onion. This creates a delicious combination of sweet, sour, and salty that’s a signature of many Filipino dishes. Bistek Tagalog is a popular dish to serve in calenderyas and restaurants all over the Philippines mainly because of how easy it is to prepare, store, and cook. It’s perfect to eat with white rice, especially while it’s still hot.
Bulalo is made by slow-cooking beef shanks and bone marrow—that’s still inside the bone—in a pot full of water with added seasoning and flavors from fish sauce, onions, and peppercorn. The ingredients are cooked until the fat and parts of the bone marrow are dissolved making the soup’s broth. It’s then added with various vegetables. Originally from Luzon’s Southern region of Batangas, and became popular throughout the Philippines as great comfort food. Especially during a rainy day, a hot bowl of bulalo and a cup of rice is the perfect meal to serve and eat with your family.
13. Beef Kaldereta
Beef Kaldereta is a favorite beef stew dish typically eaten and enjoyed for lunch by busy Filipinos. It’s served with a rich and creamy potato sauce along with chunks of beef, although it’s traditionally cooked with goat meat, beef became a popular meat for kaldereta because of its availability. Mixed in the meat chunks and creamy tomato sauce is liver paste and is topped with chunks of different vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes and bell peppers.
See also: Top 10 Beef Recipes
The sinful and somewhat eccentric dinuguan is another Filipino stew that Pinoys love to consume with their families during lunch. It’s also quite a popular dish for pulutan. This dark-tinted stew can be intimidating to some, especially to foreigners who’ve never seen it before but for Pinoys, it’s a much-beloved staple in Filipino cuisine. Diniguan’s dark tint is mainly due to its ingredient of pig’s blood. Dinuguan means bloodied, after all. This bloody dish delivers a delicious flavor that Filipinos can’t get enough of. It’s made up of meat, usually, pork and its innards, cooked with pig’s blood, garlic, vinegar, chili, and onion. It tastes great eaten with steamed white rice and the occasional puto.
15. Fried Lumpia
Fried lumpia, also known as lumpia shanghai, is a favorite among Filipinos, especially during gathering and fiestas. It’s also a dish that’s both popular among Filipinos and foreigners alike. It’s eaten as finger food or appetizer for the main dish but can be paired up with rice to make for a filling meal. It’s made up of ground meat, chopped carrots, minced garlic and onions, and seasons with salt and pepper all rolled up in a lumpia wrapper then deep-fried. Of course, recipes vary among households. Fried lumpia goes perfectly well dipped in sweet chili sauce.
16. Leche Flan
Leche flan is a favorite Filipino dessert that Filipinos borrowed from Spain and other European countries, known to them as caramel custard. Like fried lumpia, it’s usually served during events and gatherings that make parties feel incomplete without them. This creamy dessert is made up of beaten egg yolks, milk, and sugar. They’re mixed and steamed to give elevation to the dessert. Many Filipino create their own recipe for their version of leche flan. The dessert can also be made in different sizes, especially for parties.
See also: Banana Leche Flan Recipe
One of the most popular Filipino desserts if not the most popular Filipino dessert there is. Halo-halo is a staple in Filipino cuisine since it’s been introduced by the Japanese as a simple shaved ice with added sweetened flavor. The Filipinos have then made their own version and called it halo-halo. Halo means mixed the word is very evident in the dessert. It’s made in a cup half-filled with shaved ice and half-filled with an assortment of different fresh fruits and ingredients. It’s also usually mixed in with ice cream and milk. Halo-halo is perfect to enjoy during a hot day with the sun high in the sky.
Escalona, K. (2018, August 13). The 21 best dishes to eat in the Philippines. Retrieved from https://theculturetrip.com/asia/philippines/articles/the-21-best-dishes-in-the philippines/
Yummy. (2014, September 10). 10 most searched Filipino dishes. Retrieved from https://www.yummy.ph/news-trends/10-most-searched-filipino-dishes