5 Must-Try Filipino Foods

Filipino food is one of the most accessible cuisines to make out there. The ingredients are relatively easy to get in any Asian market, and cooking them is a breeze. Prep times depend on the dish you are making, but the results are well worth the work. 

Filipino dishes are also known to be savory and make for high comfort foods. You will have your mouth watering with these dishes. They are overall delicious and will give you a taste of the culture.

What Are Filipino Dishes Famous For?

Filipino dishes are famous for several reasons. They have an excellent and unique taste that blends many cultural cuisines into one. They are inspired by Spanish, Malaysian, and other southeast Asian countries. They also have the staple of many Asian countries, which is rice noodles. 

Here are some other factors that make Filipino cuisine great.

  • It is easy to make. 
  • It makes for excellent comfort food. 
  • Filipino cuisine blends many cultures.
  • There is something for every type of taste bud. 
  • It makes use of all the staples such as meat, fish, and vegetables.

So, if you are looking into learning a new cuisine to cook, you do not have to look any further. Filipino dishes are so vast and varied that you will never run out of things to cook. Each region has its specialty so you can explore their cultures and practices through the foods they make.

1. Pancit Malabon 

Pancit Malabon is a stir-fried noodle dish that hosts the use of thick rice noodles. It is also made with shrimp sauce and has many seafood additions to it, such as squid, shrimp, and mussels. This dish also adds in the best vegetables such as carrots, chili, bean sprouts, and green onion. 

All these flavors mix to create a delicious savory dish that many people enjoy making and eating. Boiled egg and crunchy pork cracklings are excellent add ons to this dish.

Pancit Malabon comes from the coastal area of Malabon, which is known as a seafood hub. This dish is lovely for any occasion, but it is more common during special ones. Whenever you decide to serve this dish, it is sure to be a show stopper. 

2. Batchoy

Batchoy is a hearty Filipino soup dish that has pork offal, beef or chicken stock, and egg noodles. Shrimp paste and some soy sauce. This dish is served hot with pork cracklings, egg, and fried garlic as toppings. 

This delicious soup dish originates from Iloilo in the district of La Paz. From there, it has spread throughout the country and has become one of the staple Filipino dishes that people cook. If you decide to cook this dish, you can make it your own by adding in the vegetables you want. It is perfect for cold rainy days. 

This dish is also perfect with some chili flakes to add some spice to your meal.

3. Arroz Caldo

Arroz Caldo is the Filipino version of congee. Congee is a rice porridge that is popular in several Asian countries. In the Philippines, there are many versions of this dish found in the different regions of the country. The Arroz Caldo is different from congee because it has chicken, and its broth is ginger broth. 

Adding seasonings like fried garlic, spring onions, and egg is standard. The range of this dish maybe because it was changed to meet the taste preferences of the Spanish community in the Philippines during colonial times. Arroz Caldo is usually perfect for breakfast, but it also is a good choice for a lunchtime meal.

4. Bicol Express

Bicol express is a dish that was inspired by the cooking from the Bicol region in the Philippines. It is a spicy coconut-based dish. It also features sliced pork and shrimp paste. It has become a popular choice for Filipino’s who love spicy foods. 

The spice range varies depending on the region, but more often than not, it is a medium spice. This dish is a staple for anyone who visits the Philippines and shows how creative Filipino’s get with their cooking. This dish was discovered by Cely Kalaw, who invented it in her restaurant. 

Many people enjoy putting all sorts of chilies in the dish. Red and green peppers are added to taste based on the spiciness you prefer. The best Bicol Express dish blends the coconut cream. Overall, the recipe is spicy and delicious, which you will surely enjoy. 

5. Pinakbet

Pinakbet is a dish that has meat and many vegetables along with shrimp paste. It reigns from the Ilocos region. Today, there are many variations throughout the Philippines, and this dish is usually made with local seasonal vegetables. 

This makes it to be something that can be made year-round in different forms and recipes. The most popular methods consist of fatty pork, squash, bitter melon, sweet potatoes, okra, eggplant, and green beans. 

This recipe is one that can be made to suit your taste buds. You can add the vegetables you want based on your tastes and omit those you prefer not to have. There really is no set ingredients except the pork and shrimp paste. 

Why Are These Dishes So Unique? 

Filipino dishes tend to be unique because they are taken from a variety of cultures and made into something special. They are influenced by the countries around them and the different regions. These dishes have evolved to meet the current trends in cooking but still maintain their essence in taste and culture. 

If you plan on cooking Filipino dishes, make sure you have shrimp paste. Most plates feature this ingredient because of the flavor it adds. The character makes it taste fresh and adds the savory taste that is common in Filipino dishes. Cooked shrimp paste is a typical sauce for this dish as well in some regions.

The Bottom Line

Overall, Filipino cooking is one of the most comfortable yet most varied cuisines to cook. You can enjoy making Filipino dishes while still keeping your style in the kitchen. It even allows you to experiment with different vegetables to see which one’s blend well with the meal you are cooking. 

These comfort foods are a great mood booster that showcases the unique flavors found throughout the country. Inspired by the many aspects, these dishes create a whole new world of feeling that you can enjoy with every bite!