Filipino Food to fill an Expat’s Hungry Tummy

With 7,641 islands, the Philippines has an abundance of unique ingredients offered from each region. Creative cooks use these to concoct delicious food that will satisfy even the most delicate taste buds.

No wonder if you’re surfing in Baler, exploring mysterious Palawan or partying at Boracay you will notice that every food is distinct for every province that you have visited. There is only one thing in common they are all “DELICIOSO.”

Reading this material might tickle your tummy, you are tempted to taste the food to please your palate No worries, but please refrain from asking seconds since we have a lot of food to cover.



Adobo is considered as the unofficial national dish of Filipinos and it has reached global attention. It sparks the imagination because of it simple preparation but wallops an extraordinary taste. Adobo is a Spanish word meaning “marinade” which is typically pork, chicken, or a combination of pork and chicken cooked with potatoes infused in vinegar, garlic, and soy sauce. It can be mixed with other ingredients depending on who’s cooking.



An acronym for “Tapa, Sinangag at Itlog (Beef, Fried Rice, and Egg).” The beef is thinly sliced sirloin marinated in kalamansi, sugar, garlic, and soy sauce. Sinangag, fried rice, means lots of garlic that are fried with the rice and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Tomato, cucumber, or atsara (pickled vegetable) are added to bring out the flavor of the dish. There are variations to the ”silog” meals like Hotsilog (Hotdog, Fried Rice, and Egg), Chicksilog (Chicken, Fried Rice, and Egg) but Tapsilog is still the granddaddy of all.



The delectable stew is only served occasionally because of the time and effort to prepare the dish but it’s worth it. Mention this viand to a local and you will elicit a smile on his face while his hand is on his tummy. Kare-Kare is usually oxtail, calve’s feet, tripe, and cow innards this is combined with lots of vegetables like cabbage, radish, eggplant, string beans, banana blossom, and Chinese cabbage. This is flavored with thick and creamy peanut sauce and served with bagoong, shrimp sauce, spiced with chili and sprinkled with kalamansi.


Pork Sisig

This is a Filipino’s fav pulutan, appetizer, that goes well with beer. This is typically from a pig’s head, snout, ears, brain, and liver. The meat is marinated in vinegar, lemon, and other spices. Some grills it while others fry, it is finely chopped afterward and served on a sizzling plate topped with onions, chili, pepper, salt, and raw egg. There are variations to this dish, fish and chicken are used instead of pork.



It is a sour soup made by using tamarind. The most common variations are pork, chicken, and fish combined with string beans, tomatoes, onion, eggplant, kangkong (water spinach), okra, and radish.


Chicken Inasal

This is basically a chicken marinated in lime, pepper, annatto, and vinegar; basted with marinade while grilling. Combine chili, soy sauce, and kalamansi for your dipping sauce and don’t forget the extra rice.



You’ll certainly be a fan of soup dishes once you try Bulalo. This is a piping hot soup made from beef shank combined with vegetables. It takes hours to soften the meat which makes the broth rich in flavor as the bone marrow slowly blends in.


Crispy Pata

A Filipino celebration will not be complete without Crispy Pata. This is a mouth-watering pork dish that uses a pig’s leg which is boiled with seasoning until tender. Remove from the pot when tender, let it dry, and then deep fry for the crunchy taste. This is usually paired with a dipping sauce of minced garlic, onions, and chili mixed with soy sauce and vinegar; others like atsara, pickled veggies.



The lechon is the most invited guest in any celebration in the Philippines. The stomach of the pig is stuffed with condiments that will add flavor resulting in an exceptionally yummy food. The whole pig is roasted over coals until the skin is crisp and golden brown and top it off with liver sauce.


Burong Talangka

Burong talangka, fermented small crab, is a cholesterol-rich Filipino dish that is used as a sauce for any food that is fried or mix it with hot rice. The fat of small crabs is hard-pressed and stir-fried with garlic.



Balut is a developing duck embryo and consumption has revolted even the most adventurous foodies. Choose a 17-day old egg so that the beak and feathers are not pronounced. It is boiled, the balut’s savory soups, meaty bird, and a warm yolk is a delightful revelation.


A tip avoid eating those that you have tasted if you have not tasted all of it be ready for indigestion.


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Expats in the Philipppines

Expats in the Philipppines is a platform that aims to help Expats living and working in the Philippines and expats-to-be. It provides free information and also encourages them to share their experiences. Let's help making life in Philippines that much more fun!

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