Famous Filipino Foods


Last May, CNN published “50 dishes that define the Philippines” in conjunction with the network’s Culinary Journeys TV series.

“Blessed with an abundance of seafood, tropical fruits and creative cooks, there’s more to Filipino food than the mind-boggling balut (duck embryo). You just have to know where to find them and how to eat them,” according to CNN contributors Maida Pineda and Candice Lopez-Quimpo.

Here are a few of our personal favorites from their roundup:


“No list of Filipino food would be complete without adobo. A ubiquitous dish in every household in the Philippines, it’s Mexican in origin. But Filipinos found that cooking meat (often chicken and pork) in vinegar, salt, garlic, pepper, soy sauce and other spices was a practical way to preserve it without refrigeration. This cooking style can be applied to different meats or even seafood.”

Crispy pata

“Not for the easily spooked, this pork knuckle is simmered, drained and deep fried until crisp. The meat is tender and juicy inside, with a crisp, crackling exterior. Served with vinegar, soy sauce and chili.”


“This stew of oxtail has the most delicious sauce made from ground toasted rice and crushed peanuts. Banana blossom, eggplants and string beans add more interesting textures, making it a complete meal on its own. It’s eaten with steamed rice and bagoong (shrimp paste).”

Lumpiang ubod

“The fruit, leaves and even the pith of the coconut tree is used in Filipino food. The pith makes a sweet and tender filling for the fresh lumpia, our version of the spring roll. A delicate egg wrapper contains a savory filling of ubod (the pith of the coconut tree), shrimps, pork, onions and a garlicky sweet sauce.”

Suman at manga

“Sold along the roadside, suman are sticky rice snacks steamed in banana or coconut leaves. There are many versions of suman, depending on the ingredients and leaves used. These Filipino food snacks are often paired with sweet ripe mangoes. They’re cheap snacks, which travel well.”

Shown here: Crispy Pata

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