What Is Filipino Food?

It is a question not easy to answer. Is it pork adobo, brown and rich, eaten with hot white rice? Is it siomai and siopao in the neighborhood merendero? Is it chicken relleno on a fiesta table, stuffed with olives and sausages? Is it sinigang na kanduli in a broth misty with miso? Is it a buko pie or a chicken salad? Is it all of the above?


Excerpted from LASA: A Guide to Dining in the Provinces (1990) by Doreen Fernandez and Edilberto Alegre.

What is Filipino Food?

It is a question not easy to answer. Is it pork adobo, brown and rich, eaten with hot white rice? Is it siomai and siopao in the neighborhood merendero? Is it chicken relleno on a fiesta table, stuffed with olives and sausages? Is it sinigang na kanduli in a broth misty with miso? Is it a buko pie or a chicken salad? Is it all of the above?

Continue reading “What Is Filipino Food?”

The Best Filipino Cookbooks?

When pressed to define Filipino food in one word, we’re apt to say “fusion.” Philippine cuisine bears the influence of our neighbors in Asia and the Pacific, as well as our colonial rulers from far-off lands throughout history. Our dishes and snacks incorporate recipes, ingredients and cooking styles with roots in Malay, Chinese, and Iberian (Spanish & Portuguese) cultures, among many others. These rich layers of influence make our food somewhat unique.

But our cuisine doesn’t merely reflect foreign influence — it of course showcases our local values as well. The enduring appeal of Filipino dishes like adobo, sinigang, and kare-kare is proof that our meals are focused on the ulam being traditionally served at the center of a table in sizes to share. This social, family- oriented approach to meals is truly Filipino.

Explore and discover the true Filipino goodness of the cuisine we call our own. Recreate classic recipes at home and find ingredients to bring your meals to life. 🙂


Filipino cookbooks with recipes from the Philippine islands

Each region of the Philippines has its own distinct food culture, just like the regional differences so common in the United States. The Filipino Cookbook is a collection of 85 tried-and-tested recipes, including from Pampanga, the Visayas, and Mindanao — pinakbet (sauteed vegetables with shrimp paste), paella (rice and seafood medley), morcon (stuffed beef roll), pininyahang manok (pineappled chicken)…

Continue reading “The Best Filipino Cookbooks?”

Popular Filipino Dishes

To help familiarize our website’s visitors with Filipino food in an easy way, we’ve drawn up a simple list of a few Philippine dishes and foodstuff commonly eaten in the Philippines. We’re still working on adding more pronunciation audio and photos. Remember to check back soon! 🙂

Chicken Adobo - Filipino Food

Adobo: pork or chicken marinated in soy sauce and vinegar

 
BALUT: Filipino duck egg

Balut: duck egg with a developed embryo

Continue reading “Popular Filipino Dishes”

Tagalog Food Words from Chinese

These terms entered Tagalog from Hokkien-speaking Chinese immigrants.

dikyam = salted, preserved plum

bataw = climbing plant with edible pods

Filipino sotanghon noodle soup
Sotanghon noodle soup

Continue reading “Tagalog Food Words from Chinese”

Mangoes of the Philippines

Mangga is the Tagalog word for ‘mango.’

Green Carabao Mangoes on Tree
The most common variety of mango in the Philippines is what Americans refer to as champagne mango. It’s been called Manila mango, Ataulfo mango (named after its Mexican grower) and Honey mango.  Filipinos call it manggang kalabaw (carabao mango) while the Philippine government refers to it as ‘Manila Super Mango’ and is reportedly in the Guinness Book of World Records as the sweetest in the world.

Other popular mango varieties in the Philippines are Pico (Piko), Katchamita (Indian) and Pahutan (Mangifera altissima).

Ripe Carabao Mangoes

The Manila mango is more slender than the large mango varieties such as the Tommy Atkins or Kent with which Americans are familiar. The Filipino mangga has yellow-orange skin which wrinkles once it is very ripe. The flesh has an almost buttery texture and is very, very sweet.

In other countries, a mango is peeled with a knife akin to the way you’d peel an apple. This is possible because the mango variety they are peeling has very firm, not so juicy flesh. Peeling a ripe Filipino mango this way is almost impossible because the flesh is too soft.

Philippine Mango: Hedgehog Cut
Philippine Mango: Hedgehog Cut

Filipinos slice up a ripe Manila mango lengthwise, producing three flat slices, the middle slice containing the large seed. With the outer slices, you either scoop out the flesh with a spoon or make cubes using the “hedgehog” method — make a crisscross grid with a knife, turn the flesh out with your hands and then scrape off the chunks.

Continue reading “Mangoes of the Philippines”

Filipino Food Bloggers

We have made every effort to remove from this list those bloggers who have received sponsorship from Ramar Foods, the American company that unethically appropriated the Magnolia brand from the Philippine corporation San Miguel. If we have overlooked a name, please let us know.

Filipino American food bloggers have received funding from Ramar Foods to create a “non-profit” movement, ostensibly to promote Filipino food… It is essentially a PR tactic to deflect attention from Ramar’s unethical piracy of prominent Philippine trademarks such as Magnolia and Pampanga’s Best.

Click here to check out the list of Filipino food bloggers!

HALUHALO INGREDIENTS

A popular Filipino treat with Japanese origins, haluhalo consists of a blend of fruits, sweet preserves, evaporated milk, and shaved ice. It is frequently topped with a scoop of ice cream. The name literally means “Mix-Mix” referring to the hodgepodge of ingredients.

Haluhalo Espesyal


Continue reading “HALUHALO INGREDIENTS”

UBE

archaic spelling: ubi

ube
purple yam

 
The plant that bears ube has the scientific name Dioscorea alata. It has heart-shaped leaves. Ube is also known in English as water yam or winged yam. On the island of Hawaii, it is known as uhi.

Continue reading “UBE”