If you feel like you are constantly eating the same meals and are stuck in a routine of just having the same food day in and day out, you can feel like you need inspiration to shake things up and try something new.
One of the best ways to incorporate new meals and new flavors into your diet is to look at different cultures and countries around the world and take inspiration from their diets.
Even learning a few recipes from different cultures is a great way to broaden your horizons and start eating different foods to help you have a more diverse palate.
One country which has a broad and diverse diet when it comes to different foods its Filipino food, and in a lot of countries this diet is not very well known.
Filipino culture has lots of unique recipes, or unique versions of other recipes meaning that if you need some inspiration for new foods to try which you may have never considered, Filipino food may be the way to go.
With how diverse Filipino cuisine is, there are also plenty of dishes which are super approachable and easy to make, and there are also some which will be more difficult and maybe require ingredients that may be difficult to source.
This gives you an easy starting point when it comes to recipes which you can consider, and as you grow more and more accustomed to the flavors of this country, you can start trying more unique and difficult recipes to keep challenging yourself.
Filipino cuisine is not bland by any means and instead has a focus on intense flavors which are hard to miss.
So if you love super flavorful and impactful food, Filipino cuisine can not be missed, and you should definitely try it!
These dishes tend to have a focus on using fatty proteins as well as creamier sauces and often use umami flavors much more than a standard Western cuisine.
This means that a lot of these foods are not the best choice for if you are looking to lose weight, but all of these are healthy if you know how to control portions and fit them into a balanced and healthy diet.
This article has gathered 33 different recipes which all represent different and unique aspects of Filipino diets, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
If you want to try out some delicious Filipino foods (see also ‘28 Filipino Recipes to Make For Breakfast‘), but you do not know where to start, keep reading to get all the information you need!
If you love simple to make stews, then this is a great place to start.
This dish encapsulates a lot of the umami flavors which define Filipino cuisine and it is full off delicious ingredients like tripe, oxtail, and plenty of vegetables which are all surrounded by a delicious and thick peanut flavored sauce.
This broth is often paired with a shrimp paste which has sweetness which pairs well with the umami flavors.
What makes this dish such a good representation of Filipino cuisine is because of how well the flavors of melt together with the ultra tender meat, paired with the richly flavored sauce and the vegetables balancing it all out!
The vegetables which are most commonly used for this dish would be beans, eggplants, bok choy, and even banana blossoms which are all used to make this dish colorful and full of interesting textures to make this dish unique.
Of course if you do not have access to some or all of these vegetables, then you can substitute them for options which are more readily available.
If you want a starting point for Filipino cuisine, this dish is a great representation of the flavors which defines this culture!
Now if you want the food which defines Filipino cuisine, you have to choose Filipino chicken adobo which is the national dish of the country.
The dish actually takes inspiration from the influence of the Spanish colonizers which once ruled the country with the word adobo being derived from the Spanish phrase ‘adobar’ being the verb to marinade.
While this dish has many different incarnations with every family having their own unique method of preparation, this dish usually revolves around browned chicken which will be cooked in vinegar and soy sauce and then seasoned using peppercorns and garlic.
The marinade which defines this dish gives it a unique acidity and savory flavor and once the sauce thickens as it cooks, it turns into a golden glaze giving the dish a unique appearance.
This is a great starting point for jumping straight into Filipino cuisine!
Moving onto a more sweet dish, Taisan is a Filipino chiffon cake which is great for serving after meals or as a snack in between them.
There are many different ways to make and flavor this recipe, but start off by making a simpler one, as the process of making chiffon cake can occasionally be difficult, especially if you are not accustomed to separating egg whites and yolks.
However, if you can learn to perfect this cake, it is a very impressive treat to serve!
This is a classic Filipino side dish and the garlic flavor compliments many different main dishes making it a good foundational recipe to learn how to make.
It is actually most commonly served alongside a Filipino breakfast, so if you want to learn how to make that, this recipe is key.
The rice is day old, so it is perfect for frying which is done in garlic and oil.
While this is the most simple version of the recipe, many people will make it more interesting with their own inclusions like; peas, carrots, ham, corn, and even just a whole fried egg.
This is another stew which is extra saucy and is defined by the super tender beef complimented by the richly cooked potatoes and carrots.
The sauce itself is a combination of soy sauce, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, bay leaves, as well as pepper.
This is a perfect recipe for slow cooking as it lets the flavors better develop as well as letting the ingredients all soften and absorb the delicious flavors of the sauce.
If you love stew and tender meat, but you are running low on inspiration, you have to try this recipe.
If you are looking for a sweet treat which is traditionally served by street vendors and sweet shops in Manila, you have to try this recipe which is super simple and easy to prepare and will get you delicious results once you have perfected the recipe!
Continuing with the theme of ultra tender beef, this recipe is cooked in a broth which is both savory and sweet and by the time the beef has stopped cooking in it, it will melt in your mouth.
The beef brisket is made to be marinated in soy sauce and brown sugar making a complex and delicious flavor soaked into the meat.
The best thing to serve this dish with is rice since it soaks up the delicious broth perfectly letting you get a perfect amount of this delicious flavor!
This is a Filipino rice porridge dish which has been filled with plenty of ingredients to make it extra filling like scallions, garlic, chicken, and even a whole egg.
The best way to describe this dish is like a Filipino version of congee. It is a great comfort food and is not too hard to prepare and can be seasoned however you like with ginger being the most popular choice.
These crunchy coconut macaroons are a simple and delicious treat to make.
This is a dessert which is synonymous with the Philippines and is probably the most popular dessert dish which is served there.
It consists of a delicious velvety custard which has a smooth and luxurious glaze of caramel.
It is commonly served with ube jam which is a popular topping in the Philippines.
11.Pan De Sal
Despite the name of this dish translating to salt bread, this bread is actually quite sweet and can be filled with a variety of fillings like jam or butter, sometimes even meat, and it is a perfect breakfast snack.
These coconut cakes are simple to make and are a perfect side for many Filipino dishes.
This is a dish which uses both savory and sweet flavors and uses chicken which has been marinated within pineapple juice and then cooked in milk making it ultra filling and comforting.
While the combination of eggplants and eggs may not come to you naturally, this Filipino side dish is served pretty often, and it is a great recipe to learn as it pairs well with a lot of common Filipino foods.
These steamed rice cakes have a dense texture and are usually served with cheese while steaming.
This Filipino specialty is probably one of the most out-there choices on this list and the ingredients may be quite hard to source.
That is because this is a fertilized egg of a duck which is boiled and then eaten in the shell.
While this sounds like a lot, it is actually pretty good and is usually cooked adobo style in soy and vinegar.
This is a typical Filipino snack food that is made by frying pork rinds making them an addictive snack which is usually served alongside vinegar for dipping in.
If you want to try making this moreish snack yourself, this recipe will make the process as simple as possible.
This unique take on brioche is perfect for eating with breakfast and has a delicious texture.
This is a dish most commonly made for special occasions and consists of super tender beef alongside carrots, chorizo, potatoes and chickpeas which are all served within a super delicious tomato stew.
This also includes saba banana which is sometimes also called a sweet plantain and its sweetness pairs surprisingly well in this dish.
This dish is made in a slightly surprising way, but the results are worth it.
The name means cooked in blood, which it lives up to being made in pig’s blood.
This gives the pork a distinct flavor which is hard to replicate but is worth trying at least once.
This healthy ginger tea is a perfect palate cleanser.
This is another distinct Filipino combination of sweet and savory and this coleslaw does this by combining a typical coleslaw mix with more sweet choices like pineapple as well as raisins, and this is all balanced out by the vinegar.
This is a favorite in Filipino cuisine which has been inspired by Chinese cuisine and is meat, with carrots, and onions all stuffed in egg rolls and then fried until they come out a beautiful golden color.
These are super addictive and even better when dipped in a sweet and sour sauce or ketchup.
This stir-fry is a perfect midweek dinner.
These are a classic snack in the Philippines, and they are pretty easy to make just being saba bananas which have been mashed and covered in a flour batter and once fried then covered in sugar. The sweet crunch is super addictive!
This is a tropical pie which is made with a coconut milk sweet filling and has the ultimate buttery and flaky crust. The buko coconut is a common filling and a perfect flavor to represent Filipino cuisine.
This grilled chicken is a must-try Filipino dish!
This is a perfect side for a typical drinking session taking place in the Philippines, and it consists of cut up pork which is fried with yummy ingredients like chili peppers and onions and is a great way to use up parts of the pig which are usually not eaten.
This is a small cake which is made using glutinous rice and is given a cheddar cheese topping to contrast the sweetness of the cake. They are a perfect snack but are often also served as a side.
This pineapple chicken is a perfect encapsulation of classic Filipino dinner flavors.
These super filling omelets are made with beef, carrots, and potatoes and are super easy to make if you need something quick and filling!
What you may not know is Filipinos have their own distinct way of serving spaghetti which is typically sweeter as well as including more meat and cheese. This is a unique pasta dish you have to try!
This is a unique salty chicken soup which is usually served with rice!
So as you can tell from this massive variety of different dishes, Filipino cuisine is incredibly unique and has many different aspects which are worth discovering.
While some of these recipes could be challenging, try choosing one which seems approachable and easy for you to make without too many ingredients and work your way up from there!
Frequently Asked Questions
Most Famous Filipino Dish?
What Is Most commonly referred to as the national dish of the Philippines would be Adobo (see also ‘8 Alternatives For Adobo Seasoning‘), with its most common form being chicken Adobo, but it can also be made with other meats with pork often being the first alternate.
The meat will usually be simmered in a mix of bay leaves, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic, and soy sauce to give it a distinct flavor.
Even though this is one of the Philippine’s most authentic dishes, it actually gets its name from its Spanish colonizer with the word meaning ‘sauce’ or ‘marinade’.
What is super interesting about Adobo, is that there is not one standard way to make this classic dish with it being the kind of food which every household or family will have their own unique way of preparing it, so finding one standard recipe for this would be quite difficult.
The way this dish is most commonly served is alongside white rice and the sauce which the dish is cooked in will usually be put onto the white rice to give it extra flavor.
However, there are different ways to experience the flavors of Adobo in the Philippines with many different snack foods, or other dishes using it as a flavoring like noodles, crispy snacks, or nuts.
What Is A Typical Filipino Breakfast?
If you are travelling to the Philippines, you might be wondering what breakfast is like there.
When people are travelling to different countries, people often forget that breakfast can be very different in different cultures, and not being prepared for a different style of breakfast can often make it quite difficult to get accustomed to the first few days of a trip.
In the Philippines, breakfast is usually eaten quite early between 6 and 7am and this will usually consist of eggs which are usually cooked sunny side up, which will be served with fried rice alongside some other staples which could include tocino (which are sweetened strips of pork), tapa which is a style of beef jerky, and tuyo which is a type of salted and dried fish.
While this is the best representation of a standard Filipino breakfast, this is not what everyone has day in and day out, and the cuisine is more diverse than this so if you want a more in-depth look into Filipino breakfasts, there are a few articles dedicated just to this.
Do Filipinos Eat With Their Hands?
In certain Asian countries it is customary to eat with your bare hands, is this is the same in the Philippines.
The phrase used for eating with your bare hands is Kamayan, and it is seen as a very practical way of eating food for many reasons with it of course eliminating the need to clean up any cutlery, but also as a bonding activity as it lowers social boundaries and makes enjoying food easier.
Of course this is not of course, the case for all foods with dishes like soup needing utensils, but for most dishes, especially rice based ones, this is the easiest way to eat.
This is usually done by gathering rice in a mound, squeezing and pressing down, and then all you need to do it lift the food and push it into your mouth.
There is of course some etiquette when it comes to eating in this way.
The most important of course is washing your hands, and it is usually customary in the Philippines for a basin of water to be present to rinse off your hands while eating.
It is also customary to not eat using your palms as it is impractical and makes you look like you have not eaten in a long time.
Another rule is to only use one hand, with the other being used to hold your plate, bowl, or drink.
If you attempt to eat using both hands things just become more complicated and difficult instead of easier.