While many people have tried various types of Asian cuisine, including Thai and Vietnamese, the chances are you’ll never have chowed down on any Filipino dishes before visiting the country. Have no fear, a combination of influences throughout history and the fact that the nation is made up of islands has led to a varied and tasty foodie tradition. Read on for the Philippines unmissable dishes you should try while travelling in this part of the world.
Having originated in Mexico, abodo has been taken to the hearts of Filipinos and is a popular way of cooking meat – usually chicken or pork. It involves lots of vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, salt, pepper and various spices that impart a rich flavour. Back in the day before refrigeration these ingredients helped to preserve meat, but it’s become so ingrained in the cooking of the Philippines they have continued with the same preparation style to this day. This dish can be found in most restaurants in the Philippines.
A whole spit-roasted pig is a meat-lover’s delight and usually the centrepiece of any gathering in the Philippines. It is prepared in a different manner depending on the region of the country, with lemongrass, star anise and spring onions stealing the show in Cebu, where the locals pride themselves on not needing any sauce to accompany their succulent lechon.
Noodles are ubiquitous in Southeast Asia and pancit palabok is the dish that showcases them most perfectly in the Philippines. They are layered up with shrimps, pork rind, hard boiled eggs and often oysters or squid, before being drenched in a rich orange broth made from shrimp sauce.
The only way to enjoy this comforting snack is from one of the many stalls that line the streets serving up the thick chicken and rice porridge. Add a selection of garnishes from the stand, with options usually including hard boiled egg, green onions and toasted garlic.
When travelling through Cebu, enjoy a break from all the meat and take advantage of the province’s local speciality – fish tinola. The fresh catch is cooked for hours over firewood in a sour broth of onion, tomato and tamarind to create the most mouth-watering of delicacies.
You may never have tried Filipino food before, but be prepared to get those taste buds going with these great dishes! Join the Philippines Sailing Challenge and taste some of the Philippines’ unmissable dishes.