December 25th is fast approaching. In just a few days, Filipinos all over the world will be celebrating their Noche Buena feast with their friends and families. Every household in the Philippines will serve a huge feast consisting of different Filipino recipes.
Everyone goes all out in what arguably the most lavish celebration of the year for Filipinos sans New Year’s eve. And knowing Filipinos, this celebration can last days so it’s better to keep high stocks on the food.
After the feast, there is still more food to consume for the afterparty which is mostly just drinks with friends and family. We’re sure that there are plenty more popular Filipino recipes that hadn’t made it in this list.
But to find out the most popular Filipino Noche Buena recipes, read on further and check out our suggested alternate recipes to make your Noche Buena celebration a little more special.
It’s like having a party with every bite of the embutido. The embutido recipe is a Filipino style meatloaf that’s a hugely popular dish specifically served during the holidays and since Christmas is almost upon us, embutido makes up a very appropriate first entry.
There are different versions of the embutido in different countries, the Filipino style embutido uses ground meat with chopped vegetables rolled over boiled eggs and hot dogs. This creates the entirety of the meatloaf. The wrapped meatloaf is most commonly steamed but can be baked as well.
See also: How to Make Special Embutido Recipe
Kaldereta is a favorite weekly food of Filipinos and is also a very popular dish served during the holidays. Festivities are even considered uncomplete without this particular dish.
The original kaldereta recipe uses goat meat for the dish but nowadays, beef or pork is most commonly used. The chopped meat is along with chopped vegetables like potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and green peas are stewed in a mixture of tomato sauce, liver spread or paste, and crushed chillis. It creates this beautiful red-colored rich sauce that gives the dish its delicious flavor.
See also: Pork Kalderetang Recipe
Menudo is another delicious Filipino stew that’s consumed almost weekly by the everyday Filipino. And just like kaldereta, no part in the Philippines is considered complete without a serving of this meaty stew.
The used in menudo is most commonly pork, but beef and chicken alternatives are completely acceptable. The cooking process is of menudo is quite simple. You’ll need to stew its ingredients that include chopped pork, pork loins, chicken liver, bell peppers, chopped potatoes, and carrots. The finished product is the deliciously colorful pork menudo.
Lechon is a staple dish in any celebratory feast in the Philippines. The celebrations just seem to be missing that extra something when there’s no lechon served. The meat-loving Filipinos always make it a competition on who can get to the lechon first for first servings and it’s practically the main attraction in any feast here in the Philippines.
It’s not just simply a whole pig roasted over a hotbed of charcoal. The pig is first prepared by stuffing it with various ingredients that give it delicious flavors that seeps all the way to its skin before it’s roasted.
See also: Cebu’s Famous Boneless Lechon Recipe
Carbonara is one of the Filipinos favorite pasta dishes for special occasions, especially for the holidays. Filipinos especially love for their carbonara to be creamy. The creamier the better. It’s just a great touch to see the creamy white of the carbonara sauce with speckles of red meat on the serving table surrounded by the other uber colorful Filipino dishes.
This Italian pasta dish has certainly been adopted by Filipinos and has become a staple dish served in celebrations and most especially the holidays over the years.
See also: Creamy Tuna Carbonara
This next entry is another Italian pasta dish that’s not only adopted by the Filipinos but they made it their own and created their version of the dish. The Filipino style spaghetti may be unrecognizable by taste to Italians or people who love Italian spaghetti.
Filipino style spaghetti is sweetness overload for foreigners but it’s a favorite amongst Filipinos and most even preferred it to the original Italian spaghetti recipe. To make it even more of a Filipino recipe, the Filipino-style spaghetti is mixed with slices of sausages.
See also: 45 Minute Spaghetti and Meatball Recipe
No list about any popular Filipino foods is ever complete without fried chicken. Filipinos cook this dish for every occasion and they like their chicken crispy. The crispier the better. Children especially love the Filipino-style fried chicken and might even refuse to eat at a celebration without it.
Filipino love their chicken to be tender and juicy so much so that the popular fast-food chain, Jollibee, made it their slogan for their chicken dish. No celebration just seems incomplete without it, especially for the holidays.
See also: Pinoy Fried Chicken Recipe
8. Buko Salad
Now for a more vegetarian entry on this list, buko salad. It’s one of the best desserts that you can have in the Philippines and even more so for the Noche Buena feast. It’s a favorite dessert and can also serve as a palette cleanser.
Buko salad translates to coconut salad and rightly so because shredded coconut meat is its main ingredient. It’s then added with different chunks of fruit that’s usually pineapple and sugar palm fruit. All of the ingredients are mixed in condensed milk and cream then refrigerated before serving.
9. Lechon Manok
This next entry is a great alternative to the more expensive and space-consuming lechon but if you can serve both for the Noche Buena feast, then it’s for the better! Why not?
Lechon manok translated to English literally is roasted chicken. The chicken is also stuffed with ingredients that add dynamic flavors to the chicken from the inside out. It’s also marinated overnight with a mixture of local ingredients so the preparation process is no joke. But the end result is more than worth it.
10. Mango Float
Another great Filipino dessert. Mango float is exactly what it sounds like, this dessert is just layers upon layers of sweetness that’s perfectly embody the Filipino’s sweet tooth. It’s a great last dish to eat for the Noche Buena feast.
The preparation of mango float is also quite easy. All you’ll need are graham crackers, mangoes, and a mixture of condensed milk and all-purpose cream. In a container, create a layer of the graham crackers and slices of mangoes with each layer first covered by the mixture. Fill up the container with the layers and refrigerate until frozen.
See also: Different Recipes for Graham Crackers
We’re up to the kakanin part of this list. Puto is probably the all-time favorite kakanin by Filipinos and is served practically anywhere in the country. Puto is a delicious dessert but can also be eaten as a side dish to main dishes such as dinuguan or kare-kare.
During the holidays, puto doubles in popularity because of the simbang gabi or midnight mass where Filipinos are more likely to consume midnight snacks. Likewise, during the Noche Buena feast, a huge tray of puto is served.
See also: Puto Pao Recipe
Very similar to puto, bibingka is among one the Filipinos favorite kakanin or native delicacies. Just like puto, bibingka is consumed all over the country, all year round. It becomes doubly popular during the Christmas season where Filipinos will consume it for a midnight snack after the simbang gabi.
Like many kakanin, bibingka is basically a rice cake delicacy made up of rice, coconut milk, and rice flour. There a whole variety of the original bibingka recipe found in different regions but the original recipe itself is relatively easy to follow.
13. Lechon Kawali
Lechon kawali is one of the many pork recipes created by Filipinos using leftover lechon. Though nowadays, Filipinos won’t wait around for leftover lechon and just buy their own pork in the market for homemade lechon kawali.
Boneless pork belly complete with its skin is the most common pork part that’s used in lechon kawali. The meat is first boiled, cured for hours, then deep-fried to create the deliciously tender meat and crispy skin of lechon kawali. Served with white rice and dipping sauce and your Noche Buena feast is complete.
See also: Lechon Kawali with Special Sauce Recipe
Sisig is a recipe that has been heavily featured on this site lately and for good reason. Sisig is one of the most popular Filipino dishes all over the country. It’s another recipe that’s created using leftover lechon parts, particularly the pig’s cheeks, ears, and sometimes it’s brain. But nowadays, more conventional pork parts are used and chicken or pig liver instead of brain.
Naturally, this popular dish is always seen served during celebrations and most especially during the Noche Buena feast.
15. Rellenong Bangus
Next on the entry is quite a special recipe. Rellenong bangus is basically stuffed fish and it’s a dish that’s very popular throughout the Philippines. The recipe and cooking process can become quite complicated and time-consuming so it’s probably not for newbie cooks.
But if you’re up for the challenge then by all means. The finished product is more than worth it with its delicious layers of flavors. Because of its tedious cooking process, rellenong bangus is often reserved for special occasions and the Noche Buena feast is no exception.
See also: Top 15 Recipes for Bangus
16. Crispy Pata
This is the last recipe on this list that derives its pork from leftover lechon. That’s right, the original crispy pata recipe is a whole pork’s leg from a whole lechon and undergone another cooking process to create the infamous crispy pata.
The whole pork leg is first boiled in a large pan with water, 7-Up soda, and salt for 15 minutes and then dried for a whole day. It’s then deep-fried to create the beautiful and delicious crispy pata with its tender meat and golden brown skin.
See also: Boneless Crispy Pata Recipe
17. Pata Tim
This next entry is another pork recipe that uses a whole pork’s leg. This recipe is influenced by the Chinese method of cooking but the taste is wholly Filipino. Despite its intimidating ingredients, this dish is fairly simple to prepare and easy to cook. Plus, the end product is super rich and delicious. Perfect for a Noche Buena feast.
The entire pork leg is slow-cooked in a large pot with a mixture of other ingredients. Once done, it’s paired with a rich sauce that elevates the tender meat’s flavors.
See also: Top 10 Pork Recipes
Lumpiang shanghai is another Chinese influenced Filipino dish. It’s another one of the favorite dishes served during special occasions like the Noche Buena feast but can also be commonly served for everyday meals. It can be eaten as finger food or as the main course.
Its preparation can be somewhat time-consuming but ultimately, ground meat and diced vegetables are rolled in lumpia wrappers and fried.
See also: 14 Popular Pulutan of Pinoys
19. Pork Barbeque
The Filipino-style pork barbeque or just simply pork skewer is basically a staple dish for special occasions in the Philippines. The pork is first marinated in a special sweet Filipino sauce before being grilled over charcoal. The end product is these juicy and tender pork skewers that are the first ones to run out during celebrations. It’s probably evident by now that Filipinos love their pork.
See also: 18 Best Filipino Pork Recipes
20. Pansit Palabok
The last entry on this list is pork palabok. This dish just screams Christmas with its colorful powder and variety of toppings. This is another Chinese influenced dish that Filipinos quickly adopted as their own. Rice noodles are used in this recipe which is quite light in the stomach but is readily made up by the dish’s various different toppings. The bright orange color of its sauce came from atsuete seeds.