Monday, July 7, 2008

Top Filipino foods that make me drool like crazy

I love to eat. I am from a family of food lovers. I generally would eat anything edible (lol). After loosing weight, I have been watching my food intake constantly. And I must admit, there are times when I just want to indulge in all the foods that I love to eat. When I’m home alone with nothing to do, I always find myself fantasizing about the foods that make me drool and salivate to the max! (lol) Well, let me share with you some of the foods that make me go crazy. (By the way, they are not arranged in order of preference because honestly – I would love to have all of them on one table and in one sitting! lol) Here goes! (lol)

1st: Lechon. Yes, most Filipinos just can’t celebrate without this great yummy treat. With its oh so crispy skin and soft succulent meat – yumyumyummmmy! (lol) I like the tummy part because that is where all the flavors are (all the herbs and spices are tucked inside the tummy when roasting the pig – so this makes the tummy part the most favorite part of most Lechon lovers out there). This is served best with a Mang Tomas sauce or the usual Ketchup/Catsup will do. I prefer hot Ketchup/Catsup or vinegar with some garlic and Chili (now, just talking about it is making me crave for it! Lol)

2nd: Kinilaw. Whether it’s made of Dilis (fresh Anchovies) or Malasugi (swordfish), it’s still one of my BIG time favorites! It is not limited to Anchovies or Swordfish – some prefer using tuna, marlin, fresh squid, fresh sea shell meat and etc. But I just prefer the Dilis and the Malasugi more. I like how the raw fish meat is cooked in vinegar. I don’t always prefer the white cane vinegar for my kinilaw. I usually prefer the traditional brownish ‘Tuba”. Tuba is made through a process of extracting the sap of an unopened coconut bud. It has a stinging sweet and bittersweet taste. Filipinos consider Tuba as a type of hard drink. And I know our ancestors drank Tuba just like the way the new generation is drinking Tequila! (lol) Anyway, back to the Kinilaw, I love my Kinilaw more with some Chili in it – yum yum! Kinilaw shouldn’t be taken with water. They are best paired with Coke or any kind of Sodas. Another variety of the Kinilaw is called the “Sinuglaw”. It is actually just grilled pork meat mixed with Kinilaw. This is a very good food to bring out to the beach and enjoy with family and friends.

3rd: Steamed Crabs or Shrimps. I just love it when they are cooked naturally this way. Another big time favorite of mine is when they are cooked with garlic, lots of onions (the bigger chunks the onions are - the better!), salt, pepper and some Sprite. (Yes, you heard me. Sprite. The drink Fido Dido is crazy about! Lol) I love to just eat and dip their meat in their sauce (when steamed I dip them in their natural sauce (lol), when cooked with the sprite – I dip it with the sauce it created!) I just love to suck out their juices and let their meat linger in my mouth until I’ve had enough. Well… It usually takes a lot of time before I’ll have enough! lol)

4th: Sisig. I love to eat sizzling Sisig in restaurants with family and friends. When it's sisig, I prefer going to Butcher's Best or Inilog Grill. They serve the best sizzling sisig - well, for me that is! (lol) I am not a very big fan of liver (which by the way is one of the main ingredients of Sisig). I usually take out all the liver I can before eating. But other than that, this is one dish I’d always love to have when I’m out with friends. This food is just amazing when paired with soy sauce, vinegar and chili sauce (I love hot and spicy foods teeeheeee!)

5th: Bulalo. Oh my goodness!!! This is one soup I’ll never say “NO” to! I love my Bulalo with a lot of veggies in it. I prefer a lot of Raddish and Cabbage in it plus some chili. I love eating the marrow inside the bone along with its oh so heavenly soup. I like it more when there’s a lot of marrows in it too. Yum yum yum. Makes me remember the good old days when my Mama would cook Bulalo for dinner making my Papa very happy - and the kids – me and my brother, fighting for the biggest marrow! (lol)

6th: Humba (Braised Pork Belly with Sugar). This is a very popular dish in the southern Part of the Philippines. This is one of my comfort foods. When I am down, depressed, weary or just feeling lonely, I usually crave for humba and pester my brother to cook me one. (lol). Yes, I know some of you are thinking this dish has too much fat and oil. Well, it is exactly what gives it the flavor and that great taste. This is best served with a lot of rice (grins). Well, sometimes, it’s good to stop counting the calories and fat and just go ahead and enjoy the food. When you are in that mood – Humba is one great food you certainly would want to try out!

7th: Dinuguan (Pork Blood Stew). Yes, pork blood. It’s not yucky. It’s not gross. It’s actually one of the most sought out food during parties and special events. It usually comes with the Lechon because Dinuguan is made with the blood of a freshly-slaughtered pig, pork meat and port entrails. (usually the remains after the pig is slaughtered and roasted). I know it sounds yucky and morbid for most of you but all I ask is that you try it first before deciding that it’s no good. I like to have my Dinuguan with some puto and kutsinta to go with it.

8th: Palabok. This is a Filipino specialty dish. Usually made with pancit Luglug or with Vermicelli. I go crazy whenever my Mama would cook one for us. I love the orange colored sauce and the chicharon that goes with it as its topping. I also love Spaghetti but I like and prefer Palabok more (grins). This is just one of those dishes that make me want to eat and eat and eat and eat and….. eat! (lol)

9th: Pancit Canton. I am not really sure if this is a Filipino Cuisine. More like Chinese or Japanese… or Taiwanese or Thai??? (lol, now I’m confused!) Anyway, when I say Pancit Canton, I am NOT referring to those instant ones you can make within 3 minutes! Puhlessss! (lol) I prefer my Pancit Canton with lots and lots of veggies in it – the less Pork / Beef / or Chicken liver you can add to it, the better for me (grins).

10th: Cassava Cake. This was what I always bought at the canteen when I was in grade school, high school and even when I was in College. It is cheap, very yummy and tasty (I really like it when there’s a lot of cheese on top of it). This was my comfort food when I was growing up. This was the food that rescued me from starvation because I have used my allowance on pocket books, much to the dismay of my parents (lol). I remember my friends buying burgers, fries, hotdog buns and all those yummy treats during recess – but I didn’t mind having my beloved cassava cake with me for as long as I get to buy the pocket books that I wanted (lol).

11th: Pinakbet (Meat Vegetable Stew with Shrimp Paste). Yes, an authentic Filipino dish and a treat to all veggie lovers. I prefer mine with less or no meat at all. I like how this is cooked with the yummy, pinkish shrimp paste. I also prefer my pinakbet dry. I don’t like having all those extra soup in it. When I’m cooking one, I usually let all the liquids dry out before serving (but making sure the veggies are not overcooked). This is best served with a LOT of rice (teheeee lol)

12th: Halo – Halo. This is a popular Filipino dessert (especially during Summer!). It is a mixture of shaved ice and milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits, and served cold in a tall glass or bowl. There is no specific recipe for this dessert, and a wide variety of ingredients are used. I prefer my halo-halo when it’s bought at “Ice Castle” (a restaurant located at Lim Ket kai). Unlike most shaved ice, Ice Castle’s ice doesn’t harden. I just love being able to enjoy the soft creamy ice along with the other concoctions! I also like Chowking’s halo-halo.

13th: Binignit. This is actually a different version of Halo – Halo. This version is cooked with Coconut milk. It is also known as a warm root crop and fruit stew. It is cooked with sweet potatoes, plantain bananas, Gabi (I honestly don’t know its english name, so please pardon me lol!). Filipinos prepare and cook this treat during Lent. This is the time of year when Christians in the Philippines are not allowed to eat meat. I eat Binignit whenever I want to, lent or not, warm or cold. This is just one treat I can’t deprive myself! (lol).

14th: Bicol Express. This is one very popular dish in the Philippines. It originated from Bicol and was named as such because it is known to make one rush and run for water. This is a very spicy dish cooked with coconut milk, pork meat and a lot of chili. One time, my college long distance friends came to town. They were from Bicol (Theresa and Aleiza). Showed them around and told them how much we (I and Gladys, one of my good friends) love Bicol Express. A few days after they went home, a package arrived at home. Guess what was inside? A lot of Bicol express!!! (yipeee!! lol). Gladys wasn’t able to get her share – I think because she wasn’t available or wasn’t in town – but one thing I’ll surely never forget --- I enjoyed the Bicol Express they sent me – down to the last drop!!! (lol).

So now you know what foods make me tick (lol). I really just love food and if given the chance ~ I will really have all these great foods laid on one table, invite family and friends to share it with me and take that out from my to-do-wish list (lol). By the way, pictures posted on this article were all taken from the Internet. As much as I love eating, I am not very fond of taking pictures of my meal! (lol).

Bon Appétit everyone!


  1. My gosh Jan! just had my dinner but u just made sooo darn hungry! better cook those yummy dishes for me when i visit phil again okay? ;) i tried to copy/cook those huge shrimp with sprite u prepared for us before but la akong gift sa cooking eh iba tuloy ang lasa :(

    btw, taro ata english name ng gabi..hehehhe

    miss yah

  2. sarap! my favorites are sinigang na baboy, hilabos na hipon and crabs! I go to Dampa with my husband and we can eat 1kg of shrimps and 1 kilo of crabs just by ourselves! love your post =)


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