These Filipino breakfast ideas are so filling, they’ll surely get you pumped up for the day!
Filipinos know a thing or two about hearty morning meals.
If you’re into healthy breakfasts, skip ahead – this article isn’t for you.
If rich, hearty, and delicious dishes are what you’re looking for, this list has your name all over it.
Filipinos are hardworking laborers, so nourishing their bodies with tons of fuel in the morning is essential.
Hence, Filipino breakfast dishes are often loaded with rice, meats, and eggs.
It may seem like a basic combination, but these recipes transform pantry staples into delectable, to-die-for dishes.
Whether you’re looking for a hefty and satisfying breakfast or just want to explore what the Philippine cuisine has to offer, this round-up of Filipino breakfast ideas is a must-read.
1. Sinangag (Filipino Garlic Fried Rice)
Let’s kick things off with a Filipino breakfast must-have: sinangag, or garlic fried rice.
Filipinos are heavy rice eaters, so it’s almost impossible to see a Filipino breakfast spread without a large platter of rice.
As smart budgeters, Filipinos like to turn last night’s leftovers into the next morning’s breakfast.
The best way to breathe new life to stale, day-old steamed rice is to fry it with lots of garlic and scrambled eggs.
A visit to the Philippines is not complete without trying their silog meals.
Every Filipino restaurant – no matter how cheap or fancy – has silogs on their menu.
There are even restaurants, called tapsilogan, solely dedicated to these hefty meals!
The term silog is a portmanteau of sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg). A silog meal, therefore, has at least these two elements present.
The third component is a type of meat – tapa being one of them.
In the Philippines, tapa refers to dried cured beef. It’s soft and chewy, mostly savory and mildly sweet.
Together, this trifecta constitutes the most iconic and beloved Filipino breakfast – the tapsilog.
Tocino is another type of cured meat usually served with a cup of fried rice and a piece of fried egg.
These three elements make up another popular Filipino dish called tosilog.
Tocino is a pork dish cured in sugar, garlic, pink salt, and pepper. It’s sweet from the sugar, and it gets its trademark pinkness from the salt.
Fried in oil, the sugar turns into a sweet, sticky glaze that coats the pork.
The Philippines was a colony of Spain for over 300 years.
Despite three centuries of slavery, tortures, and killings, though, it was inevitable for the country to adapt to and embrace Spanish customs, traditions, and cuisine.
The longganisa, or the Filipino sausage, drew inspiration from the Spanish chorizo. There are many regional versions of the longganisa.
Some are sweet and salty, while others are sour and garlic-y. They’re all delicious, especially when served with rice and fried egg.
5. Filipino Corned Beef
Corned beef is brisket cured in brine and slow-cooked until tender and tasty.
When you see corned beef on a Filipino breakfast menu, though, don’t expect to get the actual thing.
Canned corned beef is one of the most popular go-to breakfast meals for Filipino moms who have no time to cook from scratch.
Pan-fried with garlic and onions, corned beef in a can loses its artificial flavor.
In order to flesh out a can to feed a family of four, diced potatoes are thrown into the mix.
6. Daing na Bangus
As an archipelago, there is an abundance of fish in the Philippines, mainly bangus or milkfish. It’s the country’s national fish.
Daing na bangus is butterflied milkfish marinated in vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper overnight.
It’s fried the following day and served with fried rice and fried egg, completing another beloved Filipino meal, the bangsilog.
Tuyo is a salty Filipino delicacy of sun-dried herrings. It is also the Filipino word for “dry,” which explains this dish’s name.
The herrings are then deep-fried until they become so crunchy, you can eat the heads.
Dipped in spicy vinegar and served with fried rice, tuyo is another Filipino breakfast staple.
It seems like such a basic dish, but you’ll be surprised how delicious it is! It’s so good, you might even ask for a second serving.
Danggit, or rabbitfish, is salted, sun-fried, and deep-fried until crispy. It’s like eating chicharon (Spanish fried pork rinds), only, it’s fish!
Salty and crunchy, danggit is a common side dish to morning rice meals.
It’s dunked in spiced vinegar to counter the saltiness, resulting in a perfect balance of flavors.
9. Filipino Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs may seem basic, but there’s nothing basic about these ones.
Filipinos like to add a little something to their morning eggs for extra flavor: onions and tomatoes.
If you think there’s nothing exciting about these scrambled eggs, think again.
The tomatoes and onions add sweetness and texture, transforming the simple dish from meh to memorable.
10. Tortang Talong
Tortang talong is another Filipino favorite that transforms a whole eggplant into an omelet.
The eggplant gets grilled first to give it a nice, smoky flavor. Then, it gets dipped in beaten eggs and fried to perfection.
It’s vegetarian, which is rare in a Filipino dish, but trust me, even meat lovers will fall in love with this one.
11. Champorado (Filipino Chocolate Rice Porridge/Pudding)
Filipinos have a love affair with rice. They make everything with rice, from stir-fries to porridge to cakes.
If you’re a dessert-for-breakfast kind of person, you’ll love the champorado.
This thick and creamy rice porridge is flavored with chocolate (tablea), milk, and sugar.
Sprinkled with dilis (tiny, crispy-fried fish), it’s the perfect breakfast on a cold, rainy morning.
Here’s another rice porridge that won’t disappoint! Unlike the sweet champorado, lugaw is as savory as can be.
The thick rice porridge is flavored with onions, garlic, ginger, chicken bouillon, and fish sauce.
It’s topped with a sliced hard-boiled egg and sprinkled with fried garlic bits and minced spring onions for garnish.
13. Arroz Caldo
Think of Arroz caldo as the fancier version of the lugaw.
It is also rice porridge at its core, but it has a yellow hue because the rice is topped with safflower.
Loaded with chicken and flavored with garlic, minced spring onions, and calamansi (a native fruit similar to lemon), the arroz caldo is Filipino comfort food at its best.
In the Philippines, you’ll always find a taho vendor roaming along the sidewalks with two ginormous steel cans held together by a wooden plank, shouting “tahoooo,” as early as 5 o’clock in the morning.
In one of the cans is soft, silken tofu. In the other is sweet, sugar syrup called arnibal.
Mixed together in a plastic cup and topped with small tapioca pearls, it constitutes the ever-popular taho.
For kids, sweet tooths, and busy Filipino workers who have no time to cook in the morning, it is the perfect breakfast.
The pandesal is the Filipino version of the dinner roll. If you make me choose between the two, though, this small bun is the clear choice.
It’s soft, chewy, and mildly sweet. It’s perfect especially when eaten fresh from the oven!
It doesn’t need fillings or toppings to make it delicious. Just dunk it in hot coffee or cocoa and you’re all set.
16. Maruya (Banana Fritters)
Bananas are abundant in the Philippines all year round, so naturally, they’re used in many Filipino dishes.
Where Americans have pancakes, the Filipinos have the maruya.
Ripe bananas are mashed and mixed with flour, sugar, milk, and eggs to make a batter, which is then deep-fried until golden.
The fritters are sprinkled with sugar for extra sweetness and crunch.
Turon is another sweet, banana-based Filipino breakfast or afternoon snack.
Banana halves are coated with brown sugar and wrapped in egg roll wrappers.
The wrappers are then sprinkled with even more brown sugar, and deep-fried until golden.
Frying makes the wrapper super crispy, but more importantly, it turns the brown sugar into a crunchy, caramel coating.
The Philippines will never run out of rice-based delicacies, and puto is among the most popular ones out there.
Puto is a bite-sized steamed rice cake. It’s soft and sweet, which is why it’s also typically served for dessert.
Slathered with butter and paired with coffee, it’s an excellent breakfast for dessert lovers.
19. Puto Bumbong
Christmas in the Philippines is not complete without hot puto bumbong.
Together with bibingka, this rice delicacy is always present around the Yuletide season.
Ground purple rice is used to make this steamed cake. It is cooked inside a bamboo tube, giving it its trademark, tubular form.
It’s wonderfully sweet and buttery, but what makes it so irresistible is its soft, sticky, almost glutinous texture.
Just like the puto bumbong, bibingka is also a staple around the holidays.
Devout Catholics would go to church for simbang gabi (night mass) every night or early in the morning for 9 days in anticipation of Christmas.
During this season, street vendors would station themselves right outside churches to sell churchgoers hot bibingka.
This hot cake is extra special because it is topped with salted egg slices, grated cheese, and grated coconut. It’s slathered with butter, to boot!
Sweet and salty, rich and buttery, bibingka is a rewarding breakfast after staying up late or waking up early for church.
Suman is another popular Filipino rice-based delicacy. Glutinous rice is cooked in coconut milk to form a thick pudding.
The pudding is then rolled in banana leaves and steamed. The result is a soft, creamy, and chewy treat similar to Thai sticky rice.
Suman can be enjoyed as is or topped with sugar and a dab of butter. You can also enjoy it with ripe mango slices for extra sweetness.
Pair it with a hot cup of coffee and breakfast is served.
22. Bicho-Bicho (Filipino Donuts)
Bicho-bicho is the Philippine version of donuts.
They’re just as soft, pillowy, and addictive as regular donuts, but that twisted form adds an extra layer of texture. It gives them more appeal, too!
The unique shape is formed by twisting two logs of yeasted dough. It’s simple, yet it makes the bicho-bicho stand out from the rest.
There’s no filling or coating apart from a sprinkling of sugar, yet it’s 100% delightful.
Fun fact: other countries have their own versions of bicho-bicho. They’re called mahua in China, treccia in Italy, and kkwabaegi in Korea.
23. Fruit Salad
Fruit salad may be perceived by many as dessert, but Filipinos are natural-born sweet tooths, so don’t be surprised to find a bowl of creamy fruit salad on the breakfast table.
The Filipino fruit salad consists of canned fruit cocktail coated in a dressing of heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk.
Other fruits and toppings may be added, but at its core are these 3 basic ingredients.
Since fruit salad is served cool, it’s an excellent breakfast option. As a tropical country, it’s almost always hot in the Philippines!
24. Filipino Avocado Milkshake
While most western countries see avocado as a savory ingredient, Filipinos use it for dessert.
Whenever avocados are in season, there’s only one thing Filipinos like to make: a milkshake.
The avocado milkshake is a sweet, creamy, and rich combination of ripe avocados, ice cream, sugar, and crushed ice.
It’s a perfect refreshment on a hot summer morning.
25. Tsokolate (Filipino Hot Chocolate)
Last on this list is the tsokolate, or the Filipino hot chocolate.
Filipinos take pride in their tablea – a Philippine cocoa tablet made from ground-up cacao beans.
Its deep, luscious chocolate flavor is the best candidate for making hot cocoa. It’s also the same ingredient used to flavor champorado.
With the Filipino hot chocolate, you get a chocolate beverage in its purest form – no cream, marshmallows, sprinkles, or anything of the sort.
Just a bit of milk and sugar and you’ll get absolute chocolate perfection.
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