Filipino food was developed out of making the most of locally available ingredients along with influences from nearby Asian countries.
Pancit Palabok is a rice noodle dish in shrimp sauce.
The noodle dish is then topped with generous amounts of shrimps, pork floss, boiled pork, fried garlic, tinapa flakes (smoked fish), crushed chicharon (pork rinds), spring onions, fried tokwa (tofu) or squid.
The combination of pork and seafood flavors combine for a very satisfying taste and the sheer variety of ingredients is delightful to the palate.
This dish is satisfying enough to be a meal on its own.
If you want to sample the dish without any effort, you can always go to a Jollibee store near you as they carry the dish in their restaurants.
Chicken Inasal is a grilled chicken dish that originated from the Western Visayas region.What makes this different from your run of the mill
grilled chicken is the marinating and basting sauce which gives it its unique flavor.
The marinade includes coconut vinegar, garlic, ginger, lemon / kalamansi (Philippine lemon), lemongrass, black pepper, salt and sugar.
This is then basted a mixture of margarine, annatto oil, salt and lemon / kalamansi (Philippine lemon).
Chicken Inasal is usually cooked over hot charcoal and helps it gain a smoky flavor.
It has exploded in popularity and many restaurants have popped up in the archipelago.
The most popular of which is Mang Inasal which offers the dish with unlimited servings of steamed rice.
They will also provide you dispensers of soysauce, vinegar and chicken oil as well as a few pieces of chili peppers and kalamansi (Philippine lemon) to make your own dipping sauce.
Bagnet is pork belly that is boiled, allowed to rest and dry overnight and then deep fried afterward.
The seasoning that give bagnet its signature flavor is a mixture of black peppercorns, garlic, salt and bay leaves,
Bagnet is known for its crisp puffy skin and tender juicy meat.
It is a versatile dish as it can be eaten on its own or mixed in with dishes such as kare kare, pinakbet and dinuguan.
Sauces for bagnet can be vinegar, pig liver sauce and shrimp paste.
The best bagnet is said to be found in the Ilocos region as this is the pride of the region.
Pork sisig is a popular dish as a meal or as an appetizer while drinking beer or other alcoholic beverages.
It originated from Pampanga, the culinary capital of the Philippines. Invention of the dish was credited to Lucia Cunanan and she is known as the Sisig Queen.
She may have taken advantage of the cheap pig heads being sold in the commissaries in US military bases and created a dish to maximize the abundant source of cheap ingredients.
Pork sisig is not that expensive to make as it augments minced minced pork meat with cheaper cuts of pork such as a pork jowls and pork ears.
In order to enhance the flavor of the pork, ingredients such as mayonnaise, eggs, chicken liver, bell pepper, chili peppers and onions may be added.
Arroz caldo is chicken rice porridge.
It consists mostly of glutinous rice with pieces of chicken.
The flavor of the porridge is augmented with ginger, onions, patis (fish sauce), salt, pepper and garlic.
It is then topped with toasted garlic and spring onions.
Arroz caldo is excellent during the rainy season as the porridge fills you up and keeps you warm.
Bulalo (Filipino Beef Marrow Stew)
This is a clear beef stew made from beef shanks with the bone marrow in.
The soup is filled with vegetables to add balance to the rich flavor of the meat. You will see cabbage, pechay (snow cabbage), onions and corn.
The flavor is further enhanced by pepper corns, salt and fish sauce.
The stew is then garnished by green onions.
The best Bulalo is found in the province of Batangas where people raise their own cattle.
Champorado is usually served as a breakfast meal or as an afternoon snack. It is rice porridge infused with cocoa and is usually topped with salty dried fish.
The chocolate used can be cocoa powder or tablea (chocolate tablets). The rise used is called malagkit (glutinous rice).
You can then add sugar and milk to taste.
Crispy pata (pork knuckle / pork trotter) is a deep fried pork dish that was invented by Rodolfo Ongpauco, the son of Sixta Evangelista Ongpauco, the founder o Barrio Fiesta restaurant.
Rodolfo is the uncle of famous Philippine actress Heart Evangelista.
The fried trotter is flavored with bay leaves, pepper corns, star anise, salt, pepper and garlic.
Crispy pata is usually served with a sauce made out of soy sauce, garlic black pepper, vinegar, onion and sugar.
9) Bibingka (Rice Cake)
The most popular bibingka chains are Ferino's which as been in business since 1938 and Bibingkinitan which has been around since 2006. While
Ferino's serves the traditional large sized bibingka's, Bibingkinitan serves doughnut sized versions of the popular treat.
Bibingka is composed of galapong (milled glutinous rice), margarine, coconut milk, salted duck eggs and sugar. It is then topped off with grated coconut.
The treat is very popular especially during Christmas time when many stalls and vendor would sell bibingka.
Traditionally, bibingka is cooked using clay cookware and cooked over hot charcoal.
Filipino pork barbecue is pork skewers which have been marinated and basted with soy sauce, banana ketchup, kalamansi (Philippine lemon) juice, brown sugar, garlic, black pepper and salt.
The skewers are then cooked over hot coals and the marinade can also be used as the basting sauce.
The dipping sauce is comprised of vinegar, chili peppers and onions.
Barbecue stands can be found almost everywhere and the most popular restaurants that serve Filipino styled barbecue are Reyes Barbecue and Mang Inasal.
© 2021 Jan Michael Ong