More than 300 years of Spanish colonization, half a century of American tutelage, and many years of visits from Chinese traders and Hindu merchants have left a mark on the Philippines.

Filipino cooking reflects this cultural combination. The result is an exotic blend that is characteristically unique though the variety of regional dishes is never ending source of gourmet surprises.

Cooking styles and seasoning also vary from region to region although all the basic cooking methods such as boiling, roasting, frying, steaming and sauteing are used. The use of heavy sauce is not a traditional Filipino style of cooking but can be traced directly to Spanish influence. Some of these heavy thick sauces are however reserve for town fiesta, Christmas and other special occasion.

Today, there are millions of Filipinos living all over the world, but despite their easy adaptable to their new environment they still have retained their tail for Filipino food.

Here are some different and popular dishes in the Philippines, courtesy of


A meat dish prepared by marinating pieces of beef, chicken pork or a mixture of meat in vinegar, crushed garlic, spices and soy sauce. The mixture is simmered until meat is tender and finally allowed to brown in its own fat.

Fleshy fish may be cooked into adobo. Vegetables can also be cooked in this style such as Adobong sitao/sitaw or adobong kangkong.


Broiled or smoked fish with assorted vegetables, seasoned with bagoong alamang and boiled with enough liquid for broth.


A meat dish consisting of liver, kidneys, heart and tenderloin sautéed in onions, garlic and ginger. Seasoned with salt or “patis” (fish sauce) and simmered with additional stock. Garnished with fresh green onions . Famous La Paz Batchoy or Iloilo.


Meat dish usually goat meat, sauteed in lard, garlic, onions, potatoes, peas bell pepper and seasonings. Stock is reduced before liver paste is added as a thickener.


Prepared by sauteing internal organs (variety of meats) then simmered in a vinegar mixture with seasonings, especially hot peppers. Coagulated blood is added with stirring. Cooking is continued for about few minutes.


Philippine meat-vegetables dish Shanks or oxtail are boiled until meat is tender, then sautéed in garlic with banana bud, stringbrings, eggplant, ground peanuts and toasted brown rice to thicken the sauce. Served with sauted bagoong.


Philippine soupy meat or fish with vegetables added  such as taro, okra, water spicnach,  eggplants,  string beans. It is different from nilaga and pesa due to its acid ingredients like tamarind, kamias, tomato and green mangoes.


Chicken or fish dish prepared by sautéing garlic, onion and ginger with meat and fish. Water is added and the mixture allowed to simmer with the vegetables usually chili leaves green papaya, or chokos until done.




Means wrinkled in Ilocano dialect. The Ilocano way is cooking bittemelon and eggplant in just enough water to cooked by steam. Tomatoes, bagoong-dilis with or without pork or fish are added. Ginger is optional.

 PAKSIW- local term for pickling fish or meat.


Canton- noodles made from flour’s ducks eggs salt, soda and vegetable oil. Cooked by sauteing in small amount of lard or cooking oil, minced garlic, sliced onions, slivers of meat and shrimps. The noodles are added and when partially cooked vegetables are added. (usually cabbage, sweet peas pods, green onions.) Maybe garnished with slices of ham and chicken and served with lemon.

Pansit Luglog– rice noodles are dipped in boiling water until cooked (luglog means to dip or soak). The noodles are drained well placed on a serving dished topped with Palabok.

Palabok- local term for garnishingIn pancit palabok the starch thickened sauce colored with achuete and the flaked tinapa, pork crackling oysters, squid, pork cracklings, oysters, squid,hard cooked eggs, tokwa (tofu), green onions sliced shrimps are the garnishing. Pancit luglog and pancit palabok are essentially same dish the only difference is the kind of noodles used.

Pancit Bihon- uses very thin rice noodles.