The Philippines is known for its many delectable pork recipes. Pinoys absolutely love their Filipino recipes with their main ingredient: pork. Filipino pork dishes are practically staples in high-end restaurants and humble kalenderyas. It would be impossible if a platter of pork in kalenderya doesn’t get empty at the end of the day and most Filipinos have made it a staple on their diet that it’s impossible to go a week without eating pork. It’s a must to have lechon or some other alternative pork dish at fiestas, parties, or any kind of Filipino celebration. It’s not an official party it there’s no pork on the table.
Although not the most recommended meat by doctors to eat. For better or for worse, I think that it’s evident by now that Filipinos love pork and their Pinoy pork recipes. Even Anthony Bourdain said that he ate the best pork ever in the Philippines. Filipino cuisine will be incomplete and less vibrant without its Filipino pork recipes.
See also: Breaking the Prejudice: Health Benefits of Eating Pork
Of course, it would be a sin if we don’t start the list about Filipino pork recipes with the world-famous Filipino lechon. A whole pig stuffed with vegetable, seasoning, and spices and coated with special lechon sauce is roasted over burning charcoal. No fiesta or any kind of celebration is truly complete without a whole serving of lechon to be fought over and consumed by guests. Cooking lechon may not be the most practical thing to do at home so there thousands of lechon houses all over the Philippines where Filipinos order their special lechon for special occasions.
2. Nilagang Baboy
Nilagang baboy is the first of the many comfort food dishes we’re gonna discuss in this list of pork recipes. It’s the perfect dish to share with family on a rainy day. The rich pork soup complimented with the traditional vegetables added such as cabbage, pechay, and potatoes add a much needed nutritional value to the protein-rich dish. The rich combination of the rich pork belly or flavorful ribs and crunchy and light and crunchy vegetables make for the ideal warm bowl to eat when the monsoon season struck.
3. Pork Menudo
This colorful blend of garlic, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, liver, and sliced pork is a popular dish to serve at kalenderyas all over the Philippines and its no wonder that many working Filipinos have made this sweet, filling, and delectable stew as a staple in their weekly diet. Vegetables such as carrots and bell peppers are also added to the stew with a seasoning of salt, pepper, soy sauce, tomato sauce, and vinegar. Pork menudo recipes vary by kalenderyas and you can occasionally see added ingredients such as slices of hot dogs and green peas mixed in with the tomato sauce.
4. Lechon Kawali
The famous lechon kawali is a popular alternative for the lechon. The juicy pork belly is topped with a layer of crispy pig skin that makes for a sinful crunch with every bite. The thick slices of pork belly with its skin still intact are seasoned then deep-fried, traditionally in a kawali or wok. It’s served perfectly paired with fluffy white rice and special made lechon sauce or the commercially made Mang Tomas.
5. Lechon Paksiw
Not exactly an alternative to the famous lechon, but an innovative dish invented by the Pinoys as a way to avoid waste from the leftovers of the lechon from a feast. Lechon paksiw is cooked traditionally to preserve the leftover lechon. Beef or pork stock is heated to simmer along with the leftover lechon that further tenderizes the pork. Add in some lechon sauce, soy sauce, and vinegar to achieve the sweet, salty, and sour flavor combination that lechon paksiw is famous for.
6. Pork Sinigang
The ultimate comfort food to end all comfort foods. Pork sinigang is the classic traditional Filipino sour soup that every Pinoy grew up with eating for lunch or dinner. Vegetables such as tomatoes are added with slices of pork to create the deliciously sour broth. It’s been a staple of Filipino cuisine that Filipino children grew up with eating paired with perfectly cooked rice. The sourer the soup the better! It’s the perfect comfort food to eat on a rainy day.
See also: Sinigang: Facts and Trivia, Origin, and Recipes
Igado is a popular pork dish that originated in the region of Ilocos and is considered to be a cousin of the classic pork adobo and menudo pork recipe. This traditional dish incorporates the less used pig innards such as the liver, heart, kidney, and tenderloins that can be intimidating to picky eaters. However, modern versions of this recipe often add more slices of pork and liver into the dish. The meat or innards are simmered in tasty soy sauce and vinegar similar to the much-beloved adobo. The dish is cooked with fresh vegetables such as sliced bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and green peas that adds freshness and beneficial healthy nutrients to the dish.
8. Pork Adobo
The world-famous adobo is now synonymous with Filipino cuisine. No Filipino will ever claim not to have tasted the much-beloved adobo, much less the pork version of it. The pork slices are simmered in a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar along with the traditional seasoning of garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorn. The cooking method is basically marinating the pork in the deliciously salty and sweet flavored sauce. Variations of the recipe can add onions, squash, and potatoes to the dish to further enhance the flavor. Pork adobo is another one of those ultimate comfort food that’ll remind Filipinos of their childhood home.
Read: Best Filipino Adobo Recipes
9. Pork Sisig
Pork sisig is traditionally made with meat that came from the pig’s face or cheeks. Sisig is a Kapampangan term that means “to snack on something sour” and is said to be invented by natives utilizing unused pig’s head from Clark’s Air Base. The is minced and mixed with chili, liver, and onions. It’s usually served in a sizzling plate topped with a fresh egg to be mixed in the dish once served and seasoned with fresh calamansi. It’s a whole experience that turned it into a favorite pulutan or side dish for drinking among Filipinos.
See also: Crispy Pork Sisig Recipe
10. Crispy Pata
Crispy pasta is the less intimidating and less costly alternative of the famous lechon. Instead of the entire pig, the pig’s entire leg is deep-fried until its perfectly crispy to eat and it’s just as delicious and hearty as the traditional and bigger lechon. Eating crispy pata is incomplete without traditional dipping sauce like Mang Tomas or the homemade mixture of soy sauce with chili and calamansi. It’s a popularly served in parties, fiestas, and traditional Filipino celebrations. It’s also a popular dish to eat while drinking with friends or pulutan. This sinful pork recipe is quite the guilty pleasure among Filipinos.
11. Bicol Express
Originated from the region of Bicol in the Eastern part of the Philippines, Bicol express is a great representative of the palate of the Bicolanos that consists of spicy and creamy coconut flavors. Bicolanos absolutely love the taste of Bicol express. Bicol express is basically a pork dish stew. The slices of pork are stewed in coconut milk that creates the dish’s creamy texture with added chili slices that spices up the dish. It’s a delicious dish that can be paired with plenty of fluffy white rice for those who find its spiciness challenging.
See also: Top 10 Bicolano Foods You Must Try
Bopis is another spicy dish that’s commonly served in kalenderyas all over the Philippines. It’s mainly made of pig’s innards such as the lungs and the heart that are minced and sauteed. It’s usually combined with chili, onion, and tomatoes that gives the pork dish unique flavor and texture. It’s a great lunch food that wakens the body, especially for working Filipinos. The recipe originally came from the Spaniards and Filipinos in Bicol and Panpangga gave their unique spin to it to create the tasty and spicy bopis that we now know today.
Bagnet is a pork dish originated in the region of Ilocos. It’s very similar to Lechon Kawali and so much so that it’s often referred to as the Ilocano’s own version of Lechon Kawali. It’s a deep-fried pork belly meat dish but what makes it different is that its lean meats are usually served dried and crispy. The pork skin along with its fats are deep-fried to achieve the right amount of crispiness that can be enjoyed on every occasion. And just like lechon kawali, bagnet’s flavors are complimented and enhanced when its paired with traditional dipping sauce or a homemade mixture of soy sauce, chili, and calamansi.
14. Pork Barbeque
One of the most popular street foods in the Philippines, pork barbeque is amongst the favorites of the Filipinos. The pork is skewered, marinated with special Filipino sauce, and grilled over hot coals that give the Filipino barbeque it’s sweet and smoky flavor that many Filipinos can’t get enough of and makes them come back again and again. Along with being a popular street food that can be eaten as a snack or meryenda, Filipino pork barbeque can also be eaten as a meal, specifically for dinner when paired with steamy hot rice. It’s also a must to have a platter of this sweet and smoky meat skewers served at parties and special occasions.
See also: Top 10 Pork Recipes
Ah, the infamous dinuguan. This sinful dish is the guilty pleasure of most Filipinos. It’s not the best dish to eat health-wise but Filipinos just can’t seem to get enough of it. This infamous dish is translated as pork blood stew because it’s basically a stew made of pork liver and pig’s blood. Seasoning such as garlic, onion, chili, and vinegar is added to enhance the bloody flavor. And its best enjoyed paired with the Filipino rice cake puto or a plate of fluffy white rice.
16. Pork Estofado
This pork dish is another popular dish to serve in kalenderyas around the Philippines. It’s also always present in platters during special gatherings and celebratory occasions. Pork estofado is the most basic and classic Filipino stew that every Filipino cook or inspiring chef should master. It’s a filling dish that’s sure to please everyone who tasted it. The meat is traditionally marinated overnight with soy sauce and pepper to make the meat absorb the delicious flavors. When it’s ready to cook, the pork is seasoned with the addition of bay leaf or star anise along with various vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, or green peas.
17. Pork Afritada
Another staple dish served in parties and special occasions, pork afritada is the original tomato-based Filipino recipe that’s loved by Filipinos everywhere. Pork afritada has a reputation to be a time-consuming recipe to cook but it is always a worthwhile cooking experience once the deep is completed. The dish is traditionally cooked with chicken meat but pork has become a popular alternative that gave it a richer flavor and more filling to the stomach. The slices of pork are stewed with tomato paste and seasoned with onion, garlic, and pepper then added with a variety of vegetables such as potatoes, bell peppers, or even more tomatoes.
18. Binagoongang Baboy
This Filipino pork dish is truly one of a kind as the bagoong flavor along with the saltiness that the pork provides gives it a unique flavor. This is due to the pork being stewed to the bagoong alamang or shrimp paste, then added with spices and seasoning such as garlic, onion, peppers, vinegar, brown sugar, and tomatoes. The final product gives a unique cacophony of flavors from sweet, spicy, salty, and a little sour. It’s also traditionally served along with fried eggplants. Binagoongang baboy is sure to make a new addition to your palate.
See also: 10 Pinoy Pork Dishes and Their Place of Origin