Philippines Food and Drink
Compared to other Southeast Asian nations, Filipino cooking uses a limited palate of spices, favouring instead sour or vinegary flavours, a legacy of the Spanish era. In terms of flavour, Filipino cuisine falls somewhere between the food of Spain and China, with lots of stews, grilled fish and roast meats, usually served with rice. Pork is especially popular, particularly in the form of lechon – whole roast pig, served for special occasions.
The most famous Pinoy dish is adobo, a rich stew with garlic, soy and vinegar, and other local favourites include sinigang (meat or seafood in sour broth) and kare-kare (oxtail in peanut sauce). The seafood of the Philippines is particularly fine, and a plate of grilled, freshly-caught fish with soy-sauce and broken green chillies or kalamansi lime juice is a meal in itself. Look out for special delicacies at the Philippines’ colourful festivals.
Adobo: Braised pork or chicken in a tangy sauce made from soy, vinegar and garlic.
Lechon: Roasted whole pig, prepared for fiestas and family celebrations.
Kare-kare: An oxtail stew in peanut sauce served with bagoong (fermented shrimp paste).
Sinigang: meat or fish in a pleasantly sour broth.
Pansit canton: A Chinese-influenced dish of noodles stir fried with meat and vegetables.
Sinangag: Garlic-fried rice, a popular local breakfast.
Tapa: Delicious dried marinated beefsteak, often fried and served with fried rice and a fried egg as tapsilog.
Balut: A par-boiled, fertilised duck’s egg containing a baby chick, served as a beer snack across the archipelago.
Crispy Pata: Deep-fried pig’s trotters, served with a soy and vinegar dip.
Longanisa: Spanish-style sausage, flavoured with local spices; each province has its own recipe.
San Miguel: A ubiquitous Spanish lager.