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Asian Cuisine

The Top 10 Most Popular Filipino Dishes Outside the Philippines

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Filipino cuisine gains popularity worldwide, enjoyed by foodies and culinary enthusiasts outside Philippines.. This article explores some of the most popular Filipino dishes enjoyed outside the Philippines, where to find them and the rich flavours and unique ingredients that make Filipino cuisine stand out. Discover a dish for every palate, from savoury and tangy Adobo to comforting and hearty Sinigang. Discover the rich flavours and unique ingredients that make Filipino cuisine stand out.

1. Adobo

Adobo, a traditional Filipino dish, cooks meat (typically chicken or pork) in a marinade of soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. Meat simmers until tender, creating a thick, savory glaze. Furthermore, it can also include seafood like squid or shrimp and be served with rice. Known for its tangy and savory flavor, Adobo is often considered the national dish of the Philippines. You can also use Adobo as a base for other dishes, such as Adobo Fried Rice. It is often served with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and sometimes with hard-boiled eggs.

2. Sinigang

Sinigang is a traditional Filipino sour soup dish that typically consists of meat or seafood and vegetables cooked in a tamarind-based broth. Tamarind provides the dish with its sour and tangy flavor, while ingredients like onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and fish sauce enhance the flavor. The most common meats used in Sinigang are pork, beef, shrimp, or fish. Common vegetables used in Sinigang include okra, eggplant, and water spinach. Sinigang is often served with rice and considered a comfort food. It is a staple dish in Filipino cuisine and can vary depending on region and the availability of ingredients.

3. Pancit

Pancit is a traditional Filipino dish that consists of stir-fried noodles with meat or seafood and vegetables. The noodles used in Pancit can vary and include bihon, canton, or miki. The most common meats used in Pancit are chicken, pork, or seafood like shrimp. Common vegetables used in Pancit include cabbage, carrots, and bean sprouts. Often served as a main dish, Pancit is considered a comfort food. It can also be served as a side dish or for special occasions. It’s a staple dish in Filipino cuisine and can vary depending on the region and the availability of ingredients.

4. Lumpia

Lumpia is a traditional Filipino dish that consists of a thin, rolled crepe-like wrapper filled with a variety of savory fillings. The fillings can include meat such as ground pork, shrimp or vegetables like carrots, onions, and beans. The wrapper is typically made from flour or rice paper and is deep-fried until crispy. It can be served as an appetizer or a main dish and is often served with a dipping sauce such as sweet and sour or garlic sauce. Lumpia is a popular street food in the Philippines and is also commonly served at parties and special occasions. It can vary depending on the region and availability of ingredients.

5. Lechon

Lechon is a traditional Filipino dish that consists of a whole pig that is spit-roasted over charcoal. The pig is seasoned with a variety of spices, herbs, and sometimes stuffed with ingredients such as lemongrass and onions before roasting. The roasting process can take several hours and the result is a crispy skin and tender, juicy meat. Lechon is commonly served as a main dish at special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and holidays. It is considered a delicacy and a staple in many Filipino celebrations.

6. Sisig

Photo of Sisig, Lechon Kawali and Dinakdakan by Nam Nam The Clumsy Chef

Sisig is a traditional Filipino dish that consists of a sizzling plate of chopped pork parts, usually the pig’s head, chicken liver, and chili peppers, mixed with onions and calamansi (a type of small, green citrus fruit). It is often served as a main dish, and is typically enjoyed as a pulutan (drinking snack) in bars and pubs. The dish has a unique texture, a combination of tender and crunchy, and has a tangy and spicy flavor. Sisig is a popular dish in the Philippines and has been adapted in different ways, with variations including chicken, tuna, and even vegetarian options.

7. Tapsilog

Tapsilog is a popular Filipino breakfast dish of cured beef, garlic fried rice, and an egg. It’s a comfort food often served at small local eateries and street vendors. It’s popular as a breakfast meal but can be eaten at any time of the day and can be modified with different meat options like chicken, pork and fish.

8. Chicken Inasal

Chicken Inasal is a traditional Filipino dish that is made by grilling marinated chicken on skewers. The marinade typically consists of annatto (achiote) powder, lemon or calamansi juice, and various spices such as garlic, ginger, and black pepper. The chicken is usually basted with the marinade while grilling, giving it a bright orange color and a slightly smoky flavor. It is commonly served with rice and a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar, and chili peppers. Chicken Inasal is a popular dish in the Philippines, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao regions, and is often served in small local eateries and street vendors.

9. Kare-kare

Filipino culture prepares Kare-kare as a traditional stew by mixing a base of ground peanuts, onions, and garlic with a variety of meats such as oxtail, beef, pork, or seafood. Seasoned with fish sauce, shrimp paste, and other spices, the stew also includes vegetables like eggplant, long beans, and bok choy. It is often served as a comfort food with a side of bagoong (fermented shrimp paste) and steamed rice and is commonly served on special occasions and family gatherings.

10. Bistek

Bistek is a traditional Filipino dish that is made by marinating thin slices of beef in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice, and onions. The beef is then cooked with the marinade and served with the onions. It is similar to the Spanish dish “bistec” which means “beef steak” in English. It is considered as a comfort food and is often served with steamed rice and sometimes paired with a side of vegetables.

Bonus: Pinakbet

Pinakbet is a traditional Filipino dish that is made by cooking a variety of vegetables such as eggplant, okra, tomato, bitter melon, and string beans in fish or shrimp sauce. The dish is usually seasoned with ginger, garlic, onions and sometimes meat such as pork or shrimp. The name “pinakbet” comes from the Ilocano word “pinak,” which means “shrunk” or “shrivelled,” referring to the way the vegetables shrink and become tender when cooked. It is a popular dish especially in Ilocano region, and often served with steamed rice.

Filipino cuisine gains popularity worldwide. Discover traditional dishes like Adobo, Sinigang, Pancit, Lumpia, Lechon, Sisig, Tapsilog, Chicken Inasal, Kare-kare, Bistek, and Pinakbet. Enjoyed by foodies, culinary enthusiasts and Filipino expats. Try it and discover the rich flavours and unique ingredients that make it stand out. Available in Filipino restaurants and food trucks, with variations depending on location.

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