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Discover the Philippines differently: Filipino cuisine

La cuisine philippine - sinisang adobo poulet halo halo

Discover the Philippines differently: Filipino cuisine

At first glance, cuisine is as important as the History and culture of the Philippines. Indeed, the type of Filipino cuisine can inform you about the mix of cultures and history of the archipelago.

Besides, all Filipino cooking recipes are the result of a blend of Malaysian, Chinese culinary customs with a few touches of Western, Spanish and American influences.

The most important ingredients of this cuisine can be summed up to: rice, pork, fish and vegetables. In addition, all the recipes oscillate between too salty and sweet. So, during your trip to the Philippines, as in all of Southeast Asia, you will find puffs or turo-turos.


In short, the best Filipino recipes will delight your taste buds.

Philippine culinary specialties

First, any dish is served with rice or noodles, the staple food. Besides, the latter is generally cooked dry and plain. Rice is often served with traditional or ulam dishes made from chicken, fish, pork, etc.

In addition, it can be accompanied with your own “sawsawan” : a variety of sauce made from soy sause, calamansi, chili or bagoong. This last dish designates a side sauce made from fermented shrimps and crabs.

On the other hand, coconut milk or gata / ginataan is often used for cooking meat and fish.

Similarly, you can taste the famous roasted suckling pig or lechon. Originating in Chinese cuisine, roast pork on a spit, after being marinated in vinegar and soy, brings several flavors to the mouth. In addition, it is frequently coated with a mixture of milk and oil until the skin turns golden. Thus, it is eaten with a spicy or bittersweet sauce often Mang Tomas.

Among the typical Filipino dishes, pansit and lumpia of Chinese origins are unanimous in Manila. Likewise, adobo means a sour  meat stew, brought by the Spanish, as much as mechado and menudo, pochero or stew.
In short, delicious culinary preparations use the head and guts of pigs and calves with garlic and vinegar.

Philippine regional cuisines

A priori, each region is characterized by local variants of national specialties.
Moreover, the northwest of the island of Luzon offers some atypical small dishes.

  • Bagnet: fried pork belly
  • Pinakbet: seasoned vegetables flavored with tasty shrimp paste, it is a mixture of pumpkin, okra, zucchini, beans, etc.
  • Empenadas: stuffed slippers
  • Regional variant of bagoong: a tasty fermented fish sauce

In addition, the Bicol Islands, between Luzon and the Visayas, use coconut milk and spices heavily. So you can taste the Bicol express taste (minced pork and shrimp stew).


On the other hand, Pampanga, north of Manila, offers the famous sisig. Indeed, this delicious recipe consists of boiled and grilled offal. Thus, it is served with onions, peppers and slices of calamansi.

Hence, you can always opt for seafood, chicheria (snacks) , pandesal (bread) and rice cakes for small snacks.

Finally, you can discover the typical Filipino breakfast which consists of rice with an egg, accompanied by longganissa sausage, pork with tocino honey, bangus, or beef called “tapsilog, tocilog, tapsilog, longsilog… which is a combination of 3 words ” TAPa (main dish) + SInangag (garlic rice) + itLOG (egg) ” = Tap-si-log

Philippines Food map Region

Fish in Philippine gastronomy

First of all, fish is present at all meals. Indeed, the Philippines contains a wide variety of fish and seafood: catfish, parrotfish, maya-maya, manta ray, crabs …

Besides, the lapu-lapu, national fish is named after the name of the local chief who killed Magellan in Cebu. So you can enjoy it grilled, with other seafood and shellfish.


In addition, tuna, Mindanao’s specialty, is eaten from head to tail. On the other hand, you have to try the gourmet accompaniments:

  • Meat dishes: vegetables, citrus, Chinese cabbage and fiddleheads
  • All meals: sago, fried patties or dumplings, or a thick soup

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