When you think of the Philippines, you usually imagine sprawling cosmopolitan cities, lush jungle vegetation and glorious sandy beaches, but perhaps not the Filippino cuisine. The country has a vibrant and delicious food culture, inspired by over 100 different groups found all over the Philippines. From simple salted fish dishes to delicious curry and even Spanish-style paella – variety is the key with bold and interesting flavours throughout.
Filippino cuisine throughout the day
Breakfast in Filippino cuisine can vary dramatically with anything from meat, fried eggs, chocolate or bread items hitting the breakfast table. Silog is a fried rice dish with egg on top that you can add anything you like to, from Filippino sausage to pickled papaya, allowing for a variety of combinations. Lunch consists of fried fish, pineapple chicken dishes or grilled beef in oyster sauce. Dinner dishes are very similar to lunchtime meals, but with the introduction of the national dish, ‘adobo’ – a marinated meat dish alongside rice.
Interesting facts about Filippino cuisine
If you plan on eating delicious food from the Philippines, you should know more about what you should expect when ordering Filippino food. Below are some facts about the culture of food in the country and what types of flavours you can expect in your dishes.
- No such thing as a starter – food in Filippino cuisine tends to be eaten all at once or as and when a dish is ready. Usually, there is no such thing as a starter or a main and dishes are presented at the table to be shared and eaten at the same time, little by little.
- Forget using a knife – in Filippino culture there are rarely knives at the dinner table. Culturally, the use of forks and spoons are more than enough, with most meat dishes served in bitesize pieces that require no cutting.
- Merienda – this is basically snacking between meals. In Filippino culture there tend to be at least two meriendas, one in the late morning and another in the late afternoon.
Filippino cuisine – the classics
Here are some of the most celebrated dishes in Filippino culture – foods that you should definitely order if you want an authentic culinary experience.
- Adobo – this dish has a Mexican origin and is essentially marinated meat in vinegar, used for preserving the dish without refrigeration.
- Lechon – pork roasted on a spit over charcoal, Lechon is a fantastically succulent dish in Filippino cuisine. This is served alongside the most popular part, the liver sauce.
- Crispy Pata – pork knuckle is simmered, deep-fried and served alongside soy sauce, chilli and vinegar. The result is a soft and mouth-watering meat dish with a crunchy outside and hot dipping sauce.
Don’t miss this overlooked dish!
So, you know the favourites and the culinary staples, but what about the lesser-known dishes in Filippino culture? Well, below is a favourite that you might not have heard about.
- Kinilaw – this raw fish salad is similar to ceviche, with acid used to ‘cook’ the white flesh. The sauce is made using vinegar and Filippino lime, providing a delicious sourness and zing to the dish. This salad is served with red peppers, onion and chilli to provide a sweet, hot and sour flavour.
foodpanda’s recommendation for Filippino cuisine
Here at foodpanda, when it comes to ordering Filippino food, we head on over to Adobo Connection (Raffles) for our Filippino fix. Grab a bowl of classic adobo with rice or a lechon kawaii set with rice. Alternatively, grab your fresh Filippino salads or vegetables from Lorenzo’s Way.