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Traditional Filipino Dishes

Updated on October 23, 2015

Discovering Filipino Cuisine

Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia with neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan and Borneo. Their culture is largely a mix of other cultures and this is reflected in the people, language and their food.

Rice is the primary staple food and is always accompanied by another dish such as a stew or something dry. The Filipino way of eating is by the use a fork and spoon or the use their hands (kamayan). This makes the Filipino different from their other Asian counterparts as they do not use chopsticks.

This hub will look at the most popular Filipino dishes and how to recreate them.

For those with a sweet tooth, please check out my lens: Native dessert recipes from the Philippines

More traditional Filipino recipes to follow - lens is still work in progress!

Filipino Cuisine - More recipes from the Filipino kitchen

Kare kare

This is a meaty mix of softened oxtails, tripe and vegetables in a sauce thickened with peanut butter.

Eaten with steamed rice, a sauteed shrimp paste(bagoong alamang) is the perfect accompaniment


  • 500 g Oxtail (cleaned and cut into serving pieces)
  • 500 g of tripe (can use sirloin beef instead)
  • 300 g Peanut Butter
  • 200 g of Aubergines sliced diagonally then into 1" lengths
  • 100 g Long green beans (sitaw) cut into 2" pieces
  • 100 g Bok Choy/Chinese Leaves (pechay)
  • 50 g Sauteed shrimp paste (bagoong alamang)
  • 2 Litres of water
  • 1 Onion (sliced)
  • 1 tsp Garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp of cooking oil


  1. Boil oxtail and tripe in 2 litres of water and simmer until meat is tender leaving about 400ml of stock to set aside
  2. Sautee onion and garlic
  3. Add oxtail and peanut butter
  4. Add remaining stock
  5. Stir and simmer for 2 mins
  6. Add aubergine and beans.
  7. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
  8. Add the bok choy and simmer until all vegetables are cooked
  9. Serve with bagoong alamang
Cast your vote for Kare Kare

Adobo - Pork or chicken in a savoury sauce

This lovely dish is a favourite for Filipinos and non Filipinos alike. It is a constitute of meat cooked in a sauce of vinegar, garlic and soy sauce. This dish can be prepared in many ways - it is all dependent on the chef. I found the following the easiest and quickest way to create adobo.

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • Yields: 4


  • 500 g Chicken or Pork belly
  • 2 -3 tbsp of Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (sliced)
  • 1/2 Cup Soy sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Vinegar
  • 1 -2 tbsp of Black peppercorns
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 -2 Bay leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 Onion (optional)
  • 1 -2 tbsp of sugar (optional)


  1. Add oil to a hot pan
  2. Sautee garlic (and onion if you're adding it)
  3. Combine all other ingredients and mix
  4. Cover and leave to cook over medium heat
  5. When the sauce starts to boil, lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally
  6. Continue cooking until the meat is tender and the sauce is slightly thick
  7. If cooked to your taste, remove from heat and serve with boiled riceWe usually prepare adobo with cubes of potato which you can add at step 6

Bulalo - Beef shank stew

This soupy dish is a combination of beef shanks, bone and marrow which have been slow cooked in beef stock and mixed with vegetables.


  • 1 kg cut beef marrow bones
  • 500 g beef shank with meat
  • 3 bok choy (Chinese leaves)
  • 2 cobs of corn cut into 2 inched pieces
  • 1 sayote (chouchou) peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion sliced into four
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Salt to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil
  2. Add the beef shanks and bone marrow
  3. Keep the pot boiling until there is no blood seen in the meat and bone
  4. Take out meat and bones and rinse through cold water
  5. Clean out pot to remove leftover scum
  6. Place the meat and bones back into the pot and add the onion, garlic, fish sauce and peppercorns
  7. Fill the pot with water until contents are covered and bring to the boil
  8. Remove any scum that is formed
  9. Reduce the heat and keep the pot simmering until the meat is tender (roughly 4 hours)
  10. Remove any excess fat from the top but leave some for taste
  11. Add the corn and chouchou and leave to simmer until the chouchou is tender
  12. Add salt to taste and lastly add the Chinese leaves

Crispy Pata - Fried pork trotters/knuckles

This is deep fried trotter or knuckles served with a soy and vinegar sauce. 'Pata' means "pork feet" in Spanish.


  • 1 whole pork leg roughly 2 kilos
  • 6 tbsp of salt
  • 3 tbsp of crushed garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 litres of water
  • 60 ml of vinegar
  • 1 litre of oil for frying


  1. In a large pan, combine water, salt, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Stir
  2. Add the pork knuckles
  3. Cover and bring to a boil
  4. Simmer for 1.5 hours until the pork is tender
  5. Drain
  6. Cool and keep in the fridge overnight to dry (at least 12 hours)
  7. Heat the oil
  8. Deep fry pork until golden brown and crispy
  9. Drain excess oil
  10. Serve with sauce
  11. Dipping sauce
  12. Combine around 60ml of water with a 1/4 of diced onion. Add 2 pieces of sliced finger chillies and mix with around 60ml of vinegar.

Laing - Taro in coconut milk

Laing is also known as Ginataang Gabi and is a creamy dish prepared with sun dried taro stalks and leaves slowly simmered in coconut milk. It is seasoned with ginger, shrimp paste and chilli.

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 30 min
  • Yields: 4


  • 25 pieces of taro (gabi) leaves - shredded
  • 500 g of diced pork
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • 60 g of salted shrimp paste (bagoong)
  • 5 sliced red chilies
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2 tbps minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1 tsp of salt


  1. Sautee garlic, ginger and onions in a pot
  2. Add the pork, taro leaves and coconut milk
  3. Bring to the boil then simmer until pork is tender
  4. Add red chilies, shrimp paste and salt
  5. Simmer for another 5 minutes

Lumpiang Sariwa - Fresh vegetable spring roll

Lumpiang sariwa is a fresh spring roll made of sauteed strips of vegetable filling wrapped in a soft egg crepe. Can be served warm or cold with an accompaniment of sweet peanut garlic sauce.


  • 60 ml oil
  • 100 g diced sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp Garlic - crushed
  • 1/2 Onion - sliced
  • 150 g Green beans - blanced and sliced
  • 200 g Beansprouts
  • 1 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lettuce leaves for presentation
  • 150 g Flour
  • 60 g of Cornstarch
  • 375 ml of Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 45 ml Oil
  • SAUCE:
  • 45 g Cornstarch
  • 80 g Sugar
  • 500 ml of Water
  • 60 ml Soy sauce
  • 20 g Peanuts - toasted and chopped
  • 1 tbsp Garlic - crushed


  2. Fry sweet potatoes under tender, remove
  3. Using the same pan, sautee the garlic and onion
  4. Return the sweet potatoes and add green beans, bean sprouts and oyster sauce
  5. Stri fry until cooked
  6. Set asideWRAPPER
  7. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the centre
  8. Gradually mix in egg, water and oil
  9. Stir until a smooth batter is formed
  10. Pour about 60ml of batter at a time into a heated 6" panSAUCE:
  11. Over a medium heat pan, combine sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce and water and stir until the mixture is thickPRESENTATION:
  12. Line the wrapper with a lettuce leaf
  13. Add a few tbps of filling
  14. Roll and seal with a dab of water
  15. Serve with sauce and toasted peanuts

How to make Lumpiang Sariwa - Instructions in Filipino

This video shows how to make lumpiang sariwa with varying ingredients to the recipe I have written. Instructions are in Tagalog.

This lens is still a work in progress so more recipes will be added soon so please check back! In the meantime, please let me know if there are anymore recipes you think I could add. Thanks!

Thanks for stopping by.. - Anymore recipes you think should be on the list?

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    • whenaa profile image

      whenaa 6 years ago

      @clouda9 lm: Thanks for the advice, will keep in mind.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 6 years ago

      IMHO (in my humble opinion) I think you could use this as a main page, talk about Filipino cuisine, grab some pics from Flickr, talk about your personal history and then add links to "new" pages that you can create for each of these recipes. Essentially...six pages highlighting each recipe, all interconnected to here. Make sense?