Monday, February 20, 2023

Filipino Food The World Needs to Know

These days there are a lot of cooking shows popping up everywhere. Some are competitions, and some are documentaries. I remember back in the day the most popular shows were the ones where they teach you how to cook certain dishes. I don’t think I’ve seen those types of shows anymore. I’d love to be able to learn from shows like that.

Photo by SJ 📸 on Unsplash

Lately, I’ve seen that there are a lot of shows that have featured more Asian dishes, with some of them even featuring Filipino food. I’ve seen these shows feature balut, sisig, and adobo so far and I was very excited to see other people from other cultures try the types of food I grew up loving.

In an episode of the podcast I share with my friend Judith, we talked about the types of Filipino food that we loved (episode embedded at the end of this post). I thought it would be nice to write about some of those types of food I like and grew up knowing, specifically the ones I would love to see more people discover and enjoy. There is so much more to Pinoy food than what is currently out there and I want to share my personal favorites.

Here are some of my favorite Pinoy dishes and why I would love for everyone to discover them:

Adobo Sa Puti – Filipino adobo is usually chicken and/or pork adobo. This is a meal cooked with soy sauce and vinegar among its main ingredients. While I love this type of adobo, I am a big fan of what they call adobo sa puti, where the meal is cooked without soy sauce and has vinegar and garlic as the main ingredients that give this meal its flavor. I love it when the adobo of this variety is made with pork ribs because the flavor of the sauce combined with the type of meat makes this a tasty dish.

Pancit Malabon – There are a lot of different types of pancit (noodles) in the Philippines, but my favorite has always been Pancit Malabon. This is different from most types of pancit because the noodles are thicker, and the sauce is yellowish. The flavor is also based on shrimp broth and tinapa (fish) flakes, sometimes with some crab paste. 

Pinoy Ice Cream – Commonly known as Dirty Ice Cream or sorbetes, Pinoy Ice Cream is different in flavor from regular ice cream. It has a lighter flavor and is not as creamy as the ice cream you can buy in stores. I heard that it is usually made with coconut milk, which may be the reason for that difference. It is not really dirty – it is called that only because it is sold on the streets.

Bibingkang Alsa – This is a baked rice cake cooked on banana leaves, topped with salted egg, and cheese, and served with grated coconut. This is something that is only available during the Christmas season and is one of the things that I look forward to once the “ber” months arrive. This is not to be confused with other types of bibingka that are made from sticky rice. I like this one better because it is not that heavy to eat.

Bulalo – This is a soup made of beef shanks and bone marrow which is cooked to the point where the fat and the collagen from the beef melt into the broth. It is served with leafy vegetables and corn on the cob and paired with fish sauce for extra flavor. This is the best kind of soup to have during cold weather and is almost always part of what I order when I am in the Tagaytay area, where this is a specialty.

With the way food is introduced internationally these days, these dishes that I shared may come into other people’s knowledge as part of fusion dishes with other types of food. As long as they get out there and become known to the rest of the world, I don't care if it is in fusion form. It would just be nice for people to know that there is more to Filipino food than what is currently out there at the moment. There is still so much more to love and enjoy!

For more on Filipino food, here’s the episode of the Fandesals Podcast I mentioned. Enjoy!


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