Looking for some easy Filipino recipes? From appetizers to entrees to desserts, these authentic Filipino dishes are hearty and comforting.
Filipino cuisine is all about intense flavors. You’ll often find fatty proteins, creamy sauces, and umami-rich broths in their cooking.
These meals may not be diet-friendly, but they sure will make your tummy happy.
If you’re bored with your usual weeknight routine, why not try something new and exciting?
These 30 traditional Filipino dishes will transform your meal from meh to memorable.
Try any of these dishes and give your dinner a fun and flavorful Filipino flair!
Kare-Kare is an umami-rich stew made of oxtail, tripe, and vegetables swimming in a thick peanut sauce.
Paired with a sweet shrimp paste, kare-kare gives your taste buds an explosion of flavors.
There are three things that make kare-kare extra special: the tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat, the vegetables, and the ultra-rich sauce.
The meats used for kare-kare ain’t your typical cuts of beef. Tripe refers to the lining of the stomach and has a uniquely soft and chewy consistency.
Oxtail is very tender and fatty, which makes the dish even more flavorful.
String beans, eggplant, bok choy, and banana blossoms add texture and color to the dish.
And then there’s the sauce. Infused with crushed peanuts and peanut butter, kare-kare sauce has the best combination of sweet and savory.
Since it’s not the easiest dish to prepare, kare-kare and is normally reserved for special occasions. But with all that flavor, it’s definitely worth the effort.
The Philippines was a colony of Spain for over 3 centuries. Most of their dishes have Spanish influences, adobo being one of them.
“Adobo” was derived from the Spanish word “adobar” which means to marinade.
The Philippine adobo has browned chicken cooked in soy sauce and vinegar and seasoned with garlic and peppercorns.
The marinade gives the chicken a savory flavor with just a hint of acidity.
The sauce thickens into a golden glaze as it cooks, which is what makes the dish perfect with steamed rice.
Sinangag, or garlic fried rice, is the ultimate Filipino breakfast side dish.
Made with day-old rice fried in oil and garlic, it’s the best aroma to wake up to in the morning.
The basic formula for fried rice is day-old white rice plus oil plus garlic.
But more often than not, Filipinos add more ingredients to flesh out the dish and make it even more flavorful.
Don’t be surprised to find peas, carrots, corn, and bits of ham in your sinangag.
Sinangag is most often served with a fried egg and a traditional meat dish such as tocino, tapa, or longganisa – the Filipino sausage.
4. Beef Mechado
Beef mechado is a super saucy stew loaded with tender beef, potatoes, and carrots.
The sauce is made from a combination of canned tomato sauce, soy sauce, garlic, onions, pepper, and bay leaves.
Mechado takes a while to prepare to ensure the beef has had time to soften and absorb the flavors of the sauce.
But once you’re done, you’ll be rewarded with fork-tender beef swimming in a rich and flavor-packed stew.
5. Beef Pares
Beef pares is ultra-tender beef cooked in a sweet and savory broth. And when I say tender, I’m talking melt-in-your-mouth tender!
The brisket is marinated in brown sugar and soy sauce, giving it such a wonderful sweet and savory flavor.
Apart from beef, the broth is also absolutely to die for.
With a special blend of spices and seasonings, don’t be surprised to find yourself slurping it from the bowl.
Fun fact: Pares is Filipino for “pair,” and is called such because the dish is best paired with rice.
6. Arroz Caldo
Arroz caldo is a rice porridge filled with chicken, scallions, toasted garlic, and a hard-boiled egg. Think of it is as the Filipino congee.
Known as the ultimate comfort food, it’s the Filipinos’ go-to dish on a cold, rainy day.
The broth is flavored with ginger, among other spices and seasonings, making it so cozy and comforting.
7. Leche Flan
Leche flan is the most ubiquitous dessert in the Philippines, and for good reason.
Leche flan is the Filipino version of crème caramel. The custard is smooth and velvety and topped with a luscious caramel glaze.
It can be eaten as is or paired with other desserts, such as halo-halo and ube jam.
The best part is, leche flan is easy to make. All you need are milk, sugar, eggs, and a steamer!
8. Pan De Sal
Filipinos LOVE bread. Pan de sal, or the Philippine bread roll, is one of the most popular ones in the country.
Pan de sal is a Spanish term that means “salt bread.” It’s strange how it’s named such, though, because pan de sal is actually sweet.
Filled with jam, butter, or meat, it’s the ultimate hearty and satisfying breakfast meal. Next to fried rice, it’s the Filipino’s favorite breakfast side dish.
Pininyahang manok is a sweet and savory dish made with chicken marinated in pineapple juice. It’s sweet, savory, and downright delicious.
Once it marinates, the chicken is cooked in milk and loaded with pineapples, carrots and bell peppers to make the ultimate comfort food.
Pininyahang manok is best served with rice. The rice soaks up that rich milk-based broth oh so beautifully, you’ll surely ask for seconds.
10. Eggplant Omelet
Ever thought of combining eggs and eggplant to make one dish?
The idea may have never occurred to you, but in the Philippines, it’s a common weeknight side dish.
Tortang Talong, or eggplant omelet, is a savory dish made by frying an egg-battered eggplant.
The eggplant is grilled before coating it in an egg mixture to give it a smoky flavor.
Tortang talong is commonly served as a side dish along with rice and a meat dish.
11. Adobong Balut
This dish combines two Filipino favorites to make one extra special dish.
When you visit the Philippines, one of the first things the locals will offer you is balut. Ready to find out what it is? Brace yourself!
Balut is a fertilized duck embryo boiled and eaten in the shell.
Sounds unappetizing, I know, and people will most likely cringe at the thought, but the Filipino delicacy is actually quite tasty.
In this recipe, the balut is marinated in soy sauce and vinegar and cooked adobo style.
The shells are peeled off to help the duck eggs absorb more flavor. If you don’t mind the hairy duck embryo, this dish is yum.
12. Pork Chicharon
Pork chicharon is a classic Filipino snack made by deep-frying pork rinds. It’s crunchy, fatty, and seriously addictive. There’s no way you can stop at one.
These cracklings are already irresistible on their own, but they taste even better when dipped in vinegar.
It’s one of the tastiest snacks in the world, and that’s no exaggeration.
13. Beef Pochero
Pochero is a special-occasion dish made with tender beef, potatoes, carrots, chorizo, and chickpeas in a rich tomato-based stew.
What makes it extra special is the addition of saba banana!
Saba or sweet plantain is a native Filipino banana. It’s shorter and fatter than the regular banana and has a milder flavor.
It’s commonly used in desserts and sweet dishes, except in the case of beef pochero.
The banana adds a sweet contrast to the rich dish, giving it a perfectly balanced flavor.
This dish might put you off once you find out what it’s made of, but it’s so good you have to give it a chance.
The word “dinuguan” means “cooked with blood.” The dish is black because the sauce is primarily made with pig’s blood.
Diced pork cooked in blood, vinegar, and spices, this dish is wonderfully rich and savory.
Paired with puto – a sweet rice cake, dinuguan is the perfect afternoon snack.
If you haven’t noticed yet, Filipinos like some sweetness in their savory dishes, and this next one is no exception.
Mixed with pineapple tidbits and raisins and coated in mayonnaise, Filipino coleslaw is much sweeter than what we’re used to.
The dressing has some vinegar in it, though, so don’t worry – the flavors in this coleslaw are perfectly balanced.
Give it a try, and you might just switch to Filipino coleslaw for good!
Lumpiang Shanghai is a Filipino favorite inspired by the Chinese.
Ground meat mixed with carrots and onions stuffed in egg roll wrappers and deep-fried until golden: that’s what Lumpiang Shanghai is all about.
A word of caution: these rolls are insanely addictive! Limiting yourself to three pieces is a real challenge.
Dipped in either ketchup or a sweet and sour sauce, Lumpiang Shanghai is the ultimate party finger food.
17. Banana Fritters
Banana fritters, or maruya, is another classic Filipino snack. Mashed saba bananas are mixed with flour batter, deep-fried, and coated in sugar.
Sweet and crunchy, it’s the perfect breakfast or afternoon treat!
18. Buko Pie
Buko Pie is the ultimate tropical pie, with tender, young coconut milk and sweet filling in a flaky, buttery crust:
Buko or coconut is abundant in the Philippines. As such, they are widely used in their recipes, and buko pie is one of the best ways to highlight its sweet flavor.
19. Sizzling Sisig
A drinking session in the Philippines is not complete without a platter of sizzling sisig.
Different parts of pork are chopped up and flavored with onions, chili peppers, and fried until sizzling hot.
This dish is one of the most delectable delicacies you can find.
What makes this dish extra special is the use of grilled pig face, ears, brain, and all other parts of the pig you wouldn’t normally eat!
Filipinos’ ingenuity and their determination to avoid wasting food helped them create this mind-blowingly delicious meal out of what others would consider scraps.
20. Cheese Puto
Puto is a small, round “kakanin” (rice-based cake) made with glutinous rice. It’s sweet, fluffy, and simply amazing.
Puto is most often topped with a few slices of cheddar cheese to add a salty contrast to the sweet treat.
It can be enjoyed as-is for merienda (afternoon snack) or eaten as a side dish with dinuguan.
Ground beef, diced potatoes, and carrots are mixed with egg batter and pan-fried until golden brown.
Torta, or beef omelet, is a classic Filipino dish that deserves worldwide fame.
The idea is simple. Make an omelet out of ground beef. Yet the flavor is truly phenomenal.
It tastes amazing on its own, but is 10 times better with ketchup!
Unlike classic spaghetti, Filipino spaghetti is a lot sweeter, meatier, and cheesier. Italians may raise their eyebrows at this, but this version is a must-try!
Ground pork or beef i scooked in a sweet tomato-based sauce and loaded with cheddar cheese.
Filipino spaghetti sauce is ridiculously rich and addictive. Some even add cut-up hot dogs to make kids love it even more!
23. Tinolang Manok
Tinolang manok is a chicken soup served with rice. The broth is flavored with a salty fish sauce, ginger, garlic, onions, and a bit of chili pepper leaves for heat.
It’s one of the easiest and most affordable Filipino dishes to cook, yet it’s also one of the most flavorful.
24. Monggo Guisado
Monggo guisado is a thick, umami-packed bean stew made from mung beans.
The beans are soaked in water for several hours to make them tender and thus easier to cook.
The beans are then sauteed in garlic and onions and simmered until melt-in-your-mouth tender. The result is a ridiculously rich and flavorful dish!
Taisan is an incredibly soft and fluffy cake smeared with butter and topped with grated cheese and sugar. It’s sweet, buttery, and simply divine.
Unlike other cakes, taisan doesn’t need an overly sweet frosting to make it delightful.
The combination of butter, sugar, and cheese is enough to make the cake absolutely amazing.
26. Sago at Gulaman
Sago at gulaman is a sweet and refreshing beverage sold in the streets alongside other classic Filipino street foods.
It’s summer almost all-year-round in the Philippines, so refreshing beverages are a must.
Sago at gulaman is a sugary drink loaded with tapioca pearls (sago) and cubes of gelatin (gulaman). It’s the perfect thirst-quencher to beat the summer heat.
Buko pandan is an addictive Filipino dessert made by combining young coconut meat and pandan-flavored gelatin. This recipe transforms the classic into ice cream!
Who doesn’t love ice cream?
No ice cream machine? No problem! You can whip up this ice cream without churning.
Salabat is a hot tea made from ginger and flavored with a bit of sugar.
The ginger gives the tea a soothing flavor, which is why it’s widely used for curing sore throat and laryngitis.
“Iskrambol,” or “ice scramble,” is a street food made from powdered milk, shaved ice, pink food coloring, and God knows what.
Every Filipino kid knows about the sweet and captivating Iskrambol. With that mesmerizing pink hue, it’s hard not to catch a kid’s attention.
While it’s widely known as a popular Filipino street food, the true origins of iskrambol remains a mystery.
But this recipe pretty much nails the oddly satisfying flavors of the sweet drink. Try it and I’m sure you, too, will fall in love.
Coconut macaroons are a classic Filipino confection made from sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and desiccated coconut.
These little mounds of pleasure are so sweet and chewy! The coconut adds a toasted nutty flavor that wonderfully complements the sweetness of the cakes.
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