Eat your heart out in the Philippines! With so many tasty Filipino dishes to choose from, it’s hard to narrow the list down to less than 10. In fact, on our last trip to the Philippines, we compiled well over 100 photos of various foods and we definitely gained about 10 lbs (true story). The thing is, you can step into any home in the Philippines and each host will say the same thing – “EAT”. And that’s exactly what we did, with no regrets. While there is a plethora of traditional options to choose from, we narrowed the list down to these top choices:
12 Filipino Dishes You Must Try in the Philippines
Pancit palabok oozes with flavors and textures! In Filipino cuisine, pancit are noodles. While there are a variety of noodle dishes in the Philippines, Pancit Palabok is by far one of our favorites. This dish is layered with rice noodles, a rich orange sauce made from shrimp broth, pork, hard boiled eggs, shrimps, chicharon (pork rinds) and sometimes oysters and squid. Sounds like nothing you’ve tried before right? That’s why you should try it.
This Filipino Dish is named from the Spanish dish caldereta – or – a dish of meat stewed in a pot. Essentially, this dish is made of meat and tomato sauce. Traditionally, goat meat was used but today it is often made with beef, pork or chicken. At times, it is also made with large potato cubes.
We’d say this dish is a fierce competitor for the Filipino National dish title. It’s a soup that is often poured over rice & it’s got a sour / savory taste! The dish is prepared by boiling meat (beef / pork) or seafood (shrimp/fish) in a tamarind base with onions and tomatoes. Included in this dish are local vegetables such as spinach, yard long beans, daikon, taro, okra and eggplant. Do not leave the Philippines without trying this tasty dish! You won’t be disappointed, we promise.
Nom! This is one of our favorite Filipino Desserts. The dish is typically served in a banana leaf liner and hot! The main ingredients are rice flour, coconut milk, eggs and coconut slices.
Call this dish what you want it – The Filipino version of spring rolls, mini egg rolls, or little taquitos. One thing’s for sure, this a Filipino snack that everyone takes delight in. The egg rolls are made of thin lumpia wrapper which envelopes a mixture of savory fillings: chopped vegetables (carrots, cabbages, green beans, bamboo shoots and leeks). It is typically deep friend often served with meat (chicken, shrimp, pork, or beef). Our favorite are the pork lumpia.
7. Lumpiang Ubod
This is a fresh version of the Filipino egg-roll, made with heart of the coconut palm called ubod as the main filling. It also contains different vegetables such as carrots, bamboo shoots, turnips, cabbage and also double wrapped in lettuce leaves and egg crepes. It’s often accompanied by a sweet garlic and peanut flavored sauce. Tip: Best eaten right away before the wrapper gets soggy.
8. Halo Halo
Halo-halo means “Mix-Mix” in Tagalog and is a popular Filipino dessert. It’s made with a mix of shaved ice and evaporated milk. Other various ingredients added: ‘Ube’ ice cream, boiled sweet beans, coconut, sago, gulaman, tubers and fruits.
9. Fresh Mango
Do not leave the Philippines without trying the Mango! Why? It is reportedly in the Guinness Book of World Records as the sweetest in the world. The method for eating these juicy super mangos? Slice it in 3 (removing the center portion, aka – the pit). Take the two side pieces of the mango and slice into them in a checkered pattern. Lastly, invert the mango to indulge in all it’s tastiness! (Read more on this topic here)
Most Filipinos enjoy a heavy breakfast & Tapsilog is an Island favorite. It’s ‘Tapa’ – or – fried cured beef, paired with garlic fried rice and fried egg. Definitely hearty and oh so tasty.
11. Pinoy Barbecue
This would be our choice pick for a Filipino Street Food option. The Pinoy Barbecue is made with pork meat, marinated in a sweet and savoury sauce then grilled until perfectly done. The meat is placed on bamboo skewers and served with a spicy vinegar dipping sauce.
12. Banana Cue
For a tasty treat, stop by almost any of the food carts in the Philippines and pick up a Banana Cue. It’s fried banana on a bamboo skewer. We wouldn’t lie to you, these are the BEST!
Do you love Filipino food? Tell us, what are your favorite dishes?