It's More Fun In The Philippines! 23 Must-Try Filipino Foods

things to do in philippines

Filipinos love to eat. Thankfully, they love to cook too. Whether you’re a tourist staying at a dive resort or a local on a staycation with friends, you’ll want to replenish your energy after a day of activities. Keep reading to find out about the must-try Filipino foods listed below.

1. Lumpia

things to do in philippines | lumpia

Lumpia is a Filipino spring roll made with either meat or vegetables, then wrapped in a lumpia wrapper. This can be eaten as a snack or as a main course. Some of them are small spring rolls, so it’s okay to consume as many as you can. No, we won’t judge.

2. Sinigang

Cooked Sinigang na Baboy for dinner (Pork in Tamarind Soup)
Source: Photo by Flickr user Debbie Tingzon used under CC BY 2.0

Sinigang is a Filipino stew with a distinct sour taste. You can’t call it a sinigang if it’s not sour. This is a popular dish in the Philippines paired with lots of rice. The main ingredients include meat, vegetables, onions, tomatoes and tamarind for the sour taste.

3. Pork adobo

Pork Adobo
Source: Photo by Flickr user pulaw used under CC BY 2.0

Who doesn’t love pork adobo? This is every Filipino’s favorite. You can cook adobo by deep frying the pork meat with salt. You may also marinate the meat with soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic for a tastier adobo.

4. Sizzling pork sisig

2013 Angeles Philippine Trip Day 1
Source: Photo by Flickr user tofuprod used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Pork sisig is usually served with beer. Always present when Filipinos are drinking with their friends, it’s made with chopped pig heads seasoned with lots of pepper and calamansi. Sisig also tastes better with a sunny side up!

5. Halo-halo

Halo-Halo Filipino Dessert
Source: Photo by Flickr user Joost Nusselder used under CC BY 2.0

Halo-halo means “mix” in Filipino and this is what you should do when you eat halo-halo. It’s a popular Filipino dessert made with crushed ice and mixed fruits and nuts. Most Filipino eat their halo-halo with ice cream, ube, or leche flan. It’s definitely perfect for the summer!

6. Lechon

Lechon Baboy (Roasted Pig)
Source: Photo by Flickr user dbgg1979 used under CC BY 2.0

Do you know of anyone who doesn’t eat lechon? I don’t. Lechon is a roasted pig and Filipinos love it.

You will too, trust me. The crispy pork skin is heaven. It’s fattening, but you can always have your cheat days.

7. Biko

BIKO (Filipino Sweet Sticky Rice)
Source: Photo by Flickr user Arvie (‿) Castillo used under CC BY 2.0

This is often served during Holy Week. Biko is a rice cake cooked with coconut milk, glutinous rice, and brown sugar. It’s best served with coffee.

8. Chicharron

Chicharrón fried pork rinds
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Russ Bowling used under CC BY 2.0

Ah, fried pork rinds. Some chicharron also contain pork meat and they taste really, really good. Even better if you eat chicharron with rice. If you’re not into carbs, eat your chicharron with vinegar.

9. Torta

Torta Mamon (Philippines)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Obsidian Soul used under CC0

Torta is a favorite Filipino delicacy. It tastes like cake but it’s not fluffy. Actually, some torta tastes better than cake. Torta from Cebu is one of the best in the world.

10. Tocino

Pork tocino with eggs, rice, and atchara (typical Filipino breakfast)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Obsidian Soul used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tocino looks like bacon but it’s not bacon. It’s a cured pork or chicken and it’s usually eaten during breakfast. It’s paired with a sunny side up egg and fried rice.

11. Crispy pata

Crispy Pata
Source: Photo by Flickr user denAsuncioner

This is another favorite Filipino main dish that will make you fat in no time. It’s made from pork legs and deep fried. It’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

12. Turon

05269jfFoods of Bulacan Philippinesfvf 45
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Judgefloro used under CC0

Turon is like a spring roll but it’s just made from bananas. They wrap the ripe banana into lumpia wrappers and fry them in oil with caramelized sugar. This is a delicious street food you must try on your visit.

13. Bicol express

Bicol express
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Judgefloro used under CC0

Bicol express is by the Bicolanos. Unlike the sour sinigang, the bicol express is a spicy stew. They’re made from pork, green beans, garlic, coconut milk, chili, and onions. This is a delicious dish best served hot.

14. Liempo

Source: Photo by Flickr user Gina Andersen

Going to the beach? Cook liempo. It’s a grilled pork belly perfect for every occasion. Liempo is Balamban Cebu is the best in the Philippines. So delicious!

15. Puto bumbong

Puto is a steamed glutinous rice cooked in bamboo or bumbong. A popular snack usually served during the Christmas season, puto bumbong is also sold after Simbang Gabi, dawn masses celebrated by Filipinos during the Christmas season.

16. Chicken afritada

Chicken Afritada
Source: Photo by Flickr user Joost Nusselder

Chicken afritada involves pieces of chicken cooked with carrots, tomato sauce, pineapples, raisins, bell peppers, and potatoes. Filipinos love to serve this either during lunch or dinner. And kids love it too.

17. Halayang ube

Ube halaya - mashed purple yam (Philippines) 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Obsidian Soul used under CC0

The best halayang ube in the Philippines is found in Baguio, the country’s summer capital. It’s a Filipino dessert made from mashed ube. It’s sweet and tasty. Ube jam is also used in other desserts like halo-halo. If there’s one thing to buy in the Philippines, it’s a jar of this delicious jam.

18. Leche flan

Leche flan Filipinas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jeanne Tiong used under CC BY 2.0

This is another Filipino dessert and almost every Filipino’s favorite. Yes, they sure love sweets. Leche flan is made with condensed milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla, then topped with caramel. Best served cold.

19. Humba

things to do in philippines | humba
Source: lainar28 on Instagram

Some Filipinos refer to humba as pork adobo. They do include all the ingredients for pork adobo but with added sugar, banana blossoms, and black beans. Actually, it is better to cook the pork adobo first then cook it again as humba. That will make the meat more tender and tasty.

20. Longganisa

Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Source: Photo by Flickr user Denise Bentulan used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Longganisa is a popular breakfast food in the Philippines. It’s usually served with eggs and garlic rice. It’s a sweetened sausage either with skin or skinless. Both taste delicious, but a spicy longganisa tastes even better. Longganisa with fried rice and egg is called Longsilog in the Philippines.

21. Pancit

Pancit ta bai!
Source: Photo by Flickr user dbgg1979 used under CC BY 2.0

In the Philippines, pancit are actually cooked noodles topped with meat, carrots, cabbage, olives, bell peppers, and calamansi. There are different varieties of pancit, and the pancit guisado is by far the best I’ve ever tasted.

22. Kwek-kwek

Day 2 - Street Food
Source: Photo by Flickr user Debbie Tingzon used under CC BY 2.0

Kwek-kwek is a popular Filipino street food made with hard boiled quail eggs and an orange batter. The eggs are covered with batter and then deep fried. They are best eaten with the “kwek kwek sauce” and lots of onions and cucumbers.

23. Bibingka

Bibingka (Philippines)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Obsidian Soul used under CC0

Bibingka is a rice cake from the Philippines cooked in banana leaves. It’s made by combining rice flour, baking powder, coconut milk, and butter. It’s best served hot.

Filipino cuisine is the second best in the world

Besides boasting beautiful places and exquisite honeymoon spots, the Philippines has some amazing food. According to a CNN poll in 2015, Filipino cuisine ranked second in the world. The Philippines’ adobo is served in almost every household in the country simply because it’s extremely good. Be sure to try some of these delicious foods when you visit.

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