Home Appetizers 20 Filipino Appetizers (+ Popular Finger Food Recipes)

20 Filipino Appetizers (+ Popular Finger Food Recipes)

Send your tastebuds off to the Philippines with these scrumptious Filipino appetizers!

These dishes are a fantastic way to try out new culinary delights.

Filipino Lumpiang Shanghai with Sauce
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If you’ve never tried Filipino food before, these exciting appetizers are a great place to start. It’s time to begin your new culinary love affair!

Sweet, spicy, sour, and salty, Filipino cuisine is known for its intense flavors. There really is something for everyone.

So, if you’re hosting a dinner party or family gathering, serve up these Filipino appetizers.

They’re a great way to get hungry appetites going and a fantastic way to be introduced to Filipino dishes.

1.  Beef Empanada

These beef empanadas are the ultimate finger food. They’re perfect to grab and go, which is great if you’re entertaining guests.

A delicious, meaty, and savory filling is encased in a buttery and flaky crust. They’re utterly mouthwatering, let me tell you. 

Serve these up at your next game night or picnic with ice-cold Mexican beers, and watch how fast they disappear!

2. Chicharon Bulaklak

Feeling adventurous? Try something new and give this chicharon bulaklak a go.

This dish may not be for picky eaters, but if you love unique foods, you have to give it a shot. 

Chicharon bulaklak is a Filipino dish made up of pork intestines that have been deep fried. It gets its name from its flower-like shape. 

Traditionally, this appetizer is enjoyed with beer. So, fry up a batch of chicharon bulaklaka and pour yourself a pint to wash it down. Cheers!

3. Crispy Tenga

If you’re still feeling bold, whip up some crispy tenga. They’re pig ears that are boiled and then deep fried until crispy.

Deep-fried pig ears might sound a little foreign to you, but they’re a Filipino delicacy.

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So, be a little daring and flex your cooking abilities by frying some up!

It’s super important to tenderize your pig ears by boiling them.

That way you get the crispiest crunch possible. No one likes a soggy pig ear.

4. Panara

If you’re a big fan of wontons, you’ll love these panara.

Panara are Filipino wontons filled with bottle gourd, shrimps, onion, and garlic. They’re deep-fried until a crispy golden brown. 

These appetizing wontons are delicious when served with a dip made from vinegar, soy sauce, and calamansi or banana ketchup. Yum!

5. Sizzling Sisig

This sizzling sisig is the perfect dinner entree that your guests won’t be able to get enough of. 

A medley of juicy pork bits, onions, and chili peppers are all tossed in tangy and savory dressing. It’s simply divine. 

Serve this meaty marvel hot and sizzling on a metal plate. It’s guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser and an instant party hit!

6. Lumpia Shanghai

Love spring rolls and egg rolls? Then get ready to be based with these lumpia Shanghai!

Golden pastry parcels are stuffed with ground chicken, water chestnuts, carrots, and green onions.

They’re the perfect finger food and so unbelievably addictive.

Be sure to fry up a big batch because they’ll disappear from the plate in mere minutes!

7. Pork Siomai

These pork siomai dumplings are a Filipino version of the classic Chinese dumplings. And they’re just as delicious!

Wonton wrappers are stuffed with pork, a little bit of shrimp, egg, and vegetables.

The dumplings are then steamed for 20 minutes until cooked through.

Serve these dumplings with chili garlic paste and a dip of soy sauce and calamansi. Yum!

8. Kinilaw

Kinilaw is kind of like a Filipino-style ceviche. It’s made using raw fish and a citrus based dressing.

Traditionally, Spanish mackerel or yellowfin tuna are used for Kinilaw. But you can also use other fish that have firm, fleshy meat.

Since this recipe calls for raw fish, it’s super important you buy the freshest fish possible. No one wants an upset stomach!

9. Crispy Fried Calamari

Deep-fried calamari is my all-time favorite way to enjoy squid. It’s so addictive, that you just can’t stop eating it!

What’s exciting about this recipe in particular is the way in which the squid is cut.

Instead of chopping it in rings, you batter and fry them whole. Pretty neat!

Coat the squid in equal parts of flour and cornstarch for an amazing crunchy coating.

10. Filipino Style Sizzling Tofu

Looking for a vegetarian-friendly appetizer? This Filipino-style sizzling tofu has got you covered.

Instead of pork pieces like in sisig, this veggie version uses extra firm tofu.

It’s cut into small squares, marinated, baked, and sautéed with garlic, onion, pepper, and chili.

Serve the tofu on a hot sizzling plate to really impress your family and friends!

11. Okoy

The next time you need an easy appetizer that can be passed around the party, turn to this okoy.

Okoy is a lightly battered, crispy fritter made with shrimp and vegetables.

It’s absolutely delicious and even better when dunked into a spicy vinegar dipping sauce.

These delicious treats crisp up so well and pack so much flavor. Delish!

12. Buffalo Wings

Is there anything better to chow down on during game night than buffalo wings?

I’d argue not, especially when it’s these Filipino buffalo wings.

Also known as Swiss wings, these meaty, vinegar wings are one of the most popular appetizers.

It’s all thanks to the sauce that’s made with butter, vinegar, and hot sauce.

Serve these wings with a cooling blue cheese dipping sauce and some celery sticks. Enjoy!

13. Lumpiang Togue

Lumpiang togue are Filipino-style vegetable spring rolls. They’re filled with bean sprouts, carrots, green beans, pork, and shrimp.

The delicious combo of crisp veggies, spiced meat, and flaky pastry is to-die-for.

And they’re packed with all kinds of veggies. So, it doesn’t matter that they’re deep-fried, right?

I love to use bean sprouts, green beans, and julienned carrots because they give the best crunch.

But you can get creative and throw in other crunchy veggies, too!

14. Cheese Sticks

Cheese lovers, this one’s for you! These deep-fried spring roll pastry sticks are filled with amazing soft cheese.

The final touch is a simple dipping sauce made from mayo and ketchup.

Cheese sticks are a relatively new addition to Filipino street food. But that doesn’t make them any less popular.

Flaky, creamy, cheesy, what more could you want?

15. Dynamite Lumpia

These dynamite lumpia are the ultimate party food. They always go down a treat with spice lovers, too!

Finger chili peppers are cut open into a boat shape and filled with ground pork.

The chilis are then wrapped in spring roll pastry and deep fried. 

Not only do they pack a spicy punch, but they also look just as exciting!

The obvious chili pepper tops poking out the top is sure to grab attention. 

16. Vegan Tokwa’t “Baboy” (Filipino Fried Tofu & “Pork”)

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly appetizers, this vegan tokwa’t baboy is just the ticket. 

This Filipino fried tofu and pork dish is super popular in the local small street-side kiosks and restaurants in the Philippines.

And for good reason! It’s absolutely delicious.

Tofu is deep fried and dipped in a sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, chiles, and onions. Yum!

17. Atchara

Crisp and tangy, this atchara, or Filipino pickled papaya, pairs perfectly with Filipino barbecue.

Its fresh and briny taste means it works so well with fatty, salty meats.

It cuts through the grease and makes meals so much more enjoyable.

The bulk of this atchara is green, unripened papaya, and carrots.

You can also add other ingredients to mix it up. Bell pepper and chili peppers work great, too. 

Ham and Cheese Bread Rolls

18. Ham and Cheese Bread Rolls

These ham and cheese bread rolls are the ultimate crowd pleasers. Picky eaters and foodies alike can’t get enough of them!

And the best part is, they’re so easy to make. You only need a handful of ingredients and 20 minutes to whip up these tasty rolls.

The fried breadcrumb coating of these ham and cheese bread rolls has the most satisfying crunch. 

19. Dilis

Dilis are little fried anchovies. They’re the kind of snack where you can’t help but go back for more!

Anchovies are battered before they’re deep fried and served as a hot appetizer.

You can have these tasty bites on the table in just 10 minutes. That’s pretty impressive. 

These little fried fish are the ultimate finger food. They go down a treat with a beer. Cheers! 

20. Kwek-kwek

Kwek-kwek are boiled quail eggs coated with an orange batter and deep-fried to golden perfection.

They’re so fun to eat and taste extra delicious when dipped in a spicy vinegar or sweet and spicy fishball sauce.

I love to serve these tasty quail eggs on skewers. It’s great for entertaining and makes the dish that much more exciting!

20 Popular Filipino Appetizers

Take a culinary trip to the Philippines with these tasty Filipino appetizers. From empanadas to calamari to cheese sticks, these yummy finger foods are sure to please.


  • Beef Empanada

  • Chicharon Bulaklak

  • Crispy Tenga

  • Panara

  • Sizzling Sisig

  • Lumpia Shanghai

  • Pork Siomai

  • Kinilaw

  • Crispy Fried Calamari

  • Filipino Style Sizzling Tofu

  • Okoy

  • Buffalo Wings

  • Lumpiang Togue

  • Cheese Sticks

  • Dynamite Lumpia

  • Vegan Tokwa’t “Baboy” (Filipino Fried Tofu & “Pork”)

  • Atchara

  • Ham and Cheese Bread Rolls

  • Dilis

  • Kwek-kwek


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Filipino appetizer in 30 minutes or less!
Filipino Appetizers

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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