Delicious Pinoy dishes
While the Philippines certainly aren’t known for their food, below are 7 Philippine cuisines that we enjoyed. I’ve listed my 7 top Pinoy dishes that stand out from my month in the country, and one that I absolutely would not try (it’s a duck fetus – scroll the bottom to see Bourdain eat it).
1. Halo-halo! – It’s not #1 for the taste, but for the joy people get just saying the name. It might be impossible to pronounce it properly without smiling.
I’m serious – I heard it spoken dozens of times in my month in the Philippines, and each time I’d see a wider smile than the last. I really wanted to like it! Despite the welcomed enthusiasm, I found it to be disappointingly not that tasty.
What’s in halo-halo?
The name translates in english to “mix-mix” and it’s fitting. It’s always made of shaved ice, evaporated milk, and sugar. Then it appears to be whatever they have to throw in. They’ll add red beans, coconut gel, jackfruit, tapioca, corn flakes, jelly beans, yams, plantains caramelized in sugar. Yeah throw it in!
You may remember Halo-halo! from Top Chef:
Halo-halo was featured as a Quickfire Challenge dish in the seventh episode of the fourth season of reality television series Top Chef. Filipino-American contestant Dale Talde prepared halo-halo. It’s avocado, mango, kiwi and nuts. They named it as one of the top three Quickfire Challenge dishes by guest judge Johnny Iuzzini of Jean-Georges. [wikipedia]
2. Kare-Kare is classic Pinoy dish featuring oxtail and vegetables cooked in a thick peanut sauce. Yum!
3. Chicken Adobo / Pork Adobo is a simple yet reliably delicious Filipino meal staple. It’s chicken or pork (or both!) braised in garlic, vinegar, oil, soy sauce. This Philippine cuisine tastes better than it looks!
The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook blog says that every Filipino family has their own adobo recipe, and fortunately they share a few variations.
4. Puchero translates to stew pot. This is a Philippine dish with beef in bananas and tomato sauce:
5. Longganisa is Filipino sausage. It’s similar to chorizo.
6. Hamonado is a dish with pork sweetened in pineapple sauce. Yum!
7. Beef Kaldereta is another simple pinoy dish. It’s beef (or often goat shoulders!) in a tomato sauce stew.
And one Philippine dish that I most certainly will NOT eat
Next, let me introduce you to a food I would not eat in the Philippines.
Balut are duck eggs. They’re incubated until the fetus is all feathery and beaky, and then boiled. I’m told you can taste the feathers. That’s right – it’s a duck fetus! ewwwh!
Check out my full post on Balut, where I explain what it is, how it’s prepared, and show videos of people enjoying it for the first time.
Bonus – this is mostly unrelated to the 7 dish list above, but…
Which is your favorite Philippine cuisines? Do you have a favorite Filipino dish? I’m ready to eat!