Philippines is an archipelago with 7,107 islands and a population of 120 different ethnic groups. Almost Filipino delicacies taste like Chinese, Indian, and Spanish because these nationalities has influenced the Filipino food and culture especially the Spaniards hundreds of years ago.

Probably, most of all Filipino delicacies centers around the combination of sweet, sour, and salty. And, there are places in the Philippines especially in Bicol, the Cordilleras, and Muslim Filipinos prefer more spice as a base of their cooking flavor. Same with other Asian countries, the staple food in the Philippines is rice. A variety of fruits and vegetables are often used in cooking. And, the most commonly used meats in the Philippines are chicken, pork, beef, and seafood.

 

Here are some of the eight most known Filipino delicacies that foreigners will love:

 

Chicken Adobo (one of the most common Filipino delicacies)

Filipino DelicaciesAdobo (or Adobar in Spanish which means marinade or seasoning) is one of the most common but not ordinary Filipino delicacies. It is a practical way to preserve meat without refrigeration.

Ingredients
1 kilo chicken
1 head chopped garlic
3 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 chopped onion
2 pieces dried laurel leaves
Pepper corns
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
Cooking oil
4 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in the pan to sauté garlic and onion. Cook it until slightly brown using low heat.
  2. Add the chicken cuts and fry it for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Once chicken is slightly brown, it is time to add your sugar and oyster sauce. Stir it until sugar slightly caramelize.
  4. Dilute 2 tablespoon of water in 1 cup of white vinegar to soften the strong taste of white vinegar, then pour it into the chicken without stirring the vinegar. Let it cook for five minutes.
  5. Then add soy sauce and 3 cups water. Adjust water to your preference.
  6. Add pepper corns, basil and laurel leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Ready to serve!

 

Bicol Express

Filipino DelicaciesBicol Express is a fitting tribute to people who love coconut and spicy food. A Filipino dish with fiery chili, pork and coconut milk stew.

Ingredients
800g pork belly, diced (small)
½ cup dried shrimps or 3 tablespoons shrimp paste
6-10 finger chilies, julienned
6 cloves minced garlic
1 chopped red onion
3 cups coconut milk
Salt
Ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a pan sauté garlic and onions.
  2. Then, add the pork belly stir fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Secondly, add 2 cups of coconut milk and dried shrimps then bring to a boil and simmer in medium heat for 20 minutes or until the coconut milk had reduced to a thick oil gravy.
  4. Third, the chilies and the second can of coconut milk and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Lastly, add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Ready to serve!

 

Pork Sinigang

Filipino DelicaciesIn addition to your soup recipes, Sinigang is one of the popular Filipino delicacies which is a soured stew of either pork, beef, prawn or fish. Good for hot weather because of the “coolness effect” of tamarind fruits.

Ingredients
10 tamarind fruits
1 kilo pork (cut in 1 ½ inches chunks)
1 sliced onion
5 string beans (cut in 2 inches length)
4 tomatoes
1 sliced radish
½ cup water spinach leaves
3 pieces taro (peeled and cut in halves)
2 long green chili peppers

Instructions

  1. Boil the tamarind fruits, mash, and drain the juice. Save the juice.
  2. In a large pot, boil pork and onion.
  3. When pork is tender, add tomatoes and tamarind juice.
  4. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the pork absorb the sour flavor of the soup.
  5. Add the taro, followed by the radish, string beans, and chili pepper.
  6. Finally, add the kangkong leaves.
  7. Ready to serve!

Pinakbet

Filipino DelicaciesPinakbet is one of the tastiest vegetable Filipino delicacies. Made-up of different fresh vegetables, pork, and shrimp paste. Originated from the Ilocos Region.

Ingredients
¼ pound pork (thinly sliced)
1 large sliced egg plant
1 medium-sized chopped bitter melon
¼ pound squash (chopped into cubes)
3 pieces sliced tomato
1 piece chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 cloves crushed garlic
6 pieces of okra
1 bunch string beans (cut in 3 inches length)
4 tablespoon shrimp paste
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

  1. Heat the pan and put the cooking oil.
  2. When the oil is hot enough, sauté the garlic, ginger, onion, and tomato.
  3. Add the pork and cook for 5 minutes until color turns light brown.
  4. Put in the shrimp paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until pork is tender.
  6. Put in the squash and cook for 5 minutes until texture becomes soft.
  7. Add the remaining vegetables and mix with the other ingredients. Simmer for 5 minutes until all the vegetables becomes soft without overcooking it.
  8. Ready to serve!

Chopsuey

Chopsuey, a delicious Filipino vegetable disFilipino Delicaciesh and considered to be one of the top vegetable dishes. This dish is considered to be of Chinese origin.

Ingredients
½ pound boneless chicken
1 ½ cup snow peas
¼ pound shrimp
1 small cauliflower (cut into small pieces)
1 teaspoon garlic
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
½ piece quartered cabbage
1 cup sliced green bell pepper
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
Shrimp bouillon
1 cup diced onion
1 cup sliced carrots
salt and pepper
1¼ cup water
1 cup sliced chicken liver

Instructions

  1. Sauté garlic and onion.
  2. Add the boneless chicken and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Put in the chicken liver and let cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the shrimp bouillon and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp then sprinkle some salt and pepper.
  6. Add the oyster sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. Put in the cauliflower and cabbage then mix well.
  8. Add the carrots, snow peas, and bell pepper. Cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes until vegetables are cooked.
  9. Dilute the cornstarch in ¼ cup of water then pour mixture in the pot. Mix well.
  10. Ready to serve!

Escabecheng Isda

Filipino DelicaciesA deep fried fish sautéed in sweet & sour sauce. A tasty and delicious seafood, one of the most common Filipino delicacies.

Ingredients
1 red snapper fish
1 can of pineapple chunks, separate juice.
2 carrots
1 green or red bell pepper
1 onion sliced
2-3 garlic cloves chopped
1 stalk celery
1/3 cup soya sauce
1/3 cup vinegar
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 Cup water
Salt
1 thumb size ginger, cut into strips
Ground pepper
Vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Wash fish & drain, season with salt.
  2. Fry the fish in a large pan until golden brown and crispy.
  3. Drain & set aside.
  4. For the sauce thickener, in a bowl mix water, sugar and cornstarch.
  5. In a sauce pan, sauté ginger and onion.
  6. Add soy sauce, pineapple juice & vinegar.
  7. Don’t stir, let it boil.
  8. Add carrots, celery, bell pepper and pineapple chunks.
  9. Simmer for a few minutes or until vegetables becomes soft.
  10. Pour the cornstarch mixture, and season with ground pepper.
  11. Keep stirring until the sauce becomes thick.
  12. Arrange the fish in the platter and pour the sauce over fish.
  13. Ready to serve!

Lechon Kawali (pan roasted pork)

Filipino DelicaciesLechon kawali or Pan-roasted pork to some is different from Lechon. It is a crispy pan-fried pork belly, one of the tastiest Filipino delicacies with flavor of bay leaves.

Ingredients
2 pounds pork belly
2 tablespoons salt
5 pieces dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons whole pepper corn
3 cups cooking Oil
34 ounces Water

 

Instructions

  1. Place the water on a big cooking pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Put in the pork belly then add 1 tablespoon of salt, pepper, and bay leaves and simmer for 30 minutes until meat is tender.
  3. Remove the meat from the pot and let it cool down for a few minutes.
  4. Spread 1 tablespoon of salt on the meat, make sure to distribute it evenly on all sections.
  5. We now need to deep fry the meat. On a dry cooking pot place the cooking oil and heat it up.
  6. When the oil is hot enough, put the meat in the cooking pot and let it cook until the immersed side is brown and the meat’s texture is crispy
  7. Flip the meat to cook the opposite side
  8. Remove the meat from the pan, let it cool down a little then slice according to desired portions
  9. Ready to serve!

Lechon (cooked thru oven)

Filipino DelicaciesIn every special occasions this Filipino food is always present, that is why it is the national dish of the Philippines. Lechon is a Spanish word, referring to a suckling pig that is roasted. You can found the most delicious lechon in the world in Cebu, Philippines.

Ingredients
8 pounds pork shoulder (with skin on)
Salt
Ground Pepper
Cloves of garlic
Lemon Grass (tied)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Wash meat with water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (enough to coat the entire meat once).
  4. Make a few slits on the meat and insert garlic and lemon grass.
  5. Place in a roasting pan (I used a disposable foil pan) skin side up.
  6. Add 1 cup of water.
  7. Place pan in the oven.
  8. Bake uncovered for 1.5 hours.
  9. Turn heat down to 350F. Bake for another 3 hours or until internal meat temperature reaches between 160-175F.
  10. Remove pan from oven. Drain meat on a rack then transfer on top of paper towels. Slice meat using a non-serrated, sharp knife.
  11. Serve with lechon sauce or vinegar/soy sauce dipping sauce.
  12. Ready to eat!

 

Filipino Delicacies may not be famous than other Asian cuisine, but it is still a must try for its exquisite taste. Despite of colonization and the influences of other nationalities, Filipinos still recreated and owned these delicacies with a touch of their own style and taste. God has blessed this country with an abundance of seafood, tropical fruits and creative cooks. As a result, these Filipino Delicacies are what makes the Philippines a unique nation.


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The Filipino-American Kitchen: Traditional Recipes, Contemporary Flavors


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