Ah Philippines! The land of super talented singers, dancers, beautiful beaches and really friendly people. Becoming more popular amongst tourists in the last few years, people are starting to appreciate the food that can be found all over the country. With a huge Spanish influence, Filipino food is just that – a mixture of awesome Spanish cooking methods together with undeniably delicious Filipino style.
If your next run takes place in the Philippines, let yourself go a little and indulge in their awesome local delicacies like the 5 below. It isn’t all about Jollibee!
#1 Chicken Adobo
Photo Credits: Budget Bytes
You may have heard of this several times but many may not have tried it or even seen it before. A delectable savoury dish, it is basically chicken or pork marinated in a mixture of soya sauce and vinegar. This is usually eaten with a side of steamed white rice. It’s good to know too that some places create their own recipe of this dish and add it more mouth-watering ingredients to amp up the flavour even further.
#2 Kare Kare
Photo Credits: Kawaling Pinoy
Fancy some oxtail and ox tripe stew Filipino style? A famous dish throughout the whole country, many locals have this as a form of comfort food. The dish is cooked with an array of vegetables and flavoured with roasted peanuts or peanut butter, onions and garlic. It is usually served with bagoong (shrimp sauce), and sometimes spiced with chili and sprinkled with calamansi juice.
#3 Paksiw Na Lechon
Photo Credits: Ang Sarap
If you find yourself craving for some good old suckling pig while you are there, your best bet would be to savour this national dish of the Philippines. While the most famous city to have this is the city of Cebu, you can find this pretty easily across the nation. A whole suckling pig is roasted over charcoal for many hours to achieve the crackling skin and super juicy meat within. The leftovers are not thrown away but are stewed with vinegar and spices and becomes this delicious dish – Paksiw Na Lechon, with the word paksiw literally meaning “to cook and simmer with vinegar”.
Photo Credits: The Food Bible
Duck embryo anyone? Looking (and some say tasting), like something out of a bizarre food challenge, balut is actually a developing duck embryo boiled and eaten as a snack (or as a challenge for tourists), in the shell with a splash of vinegar. Apparently, the best age of the duck embryo is 17 days when the chick is not old enough to have been fully formed. But you can still hear the crunch of tiny bones when you bite into one. A popular street food, it is possibly one of the strangest foods to try.
#5 Halo Halo
Photo Credits: NY Times
A famous Filipino dessert, Halo Halo, which also means “mixed together”, is a sweet dessert that include boiled kidney beans, chickpeas, sugar palm fruit, jackfruit, tapioca, sweet potato, sweet bean, coconut gel, ice cream, guava paste, purple yam and a whole lot more, depending on how much else can be added! Served in a tall glass containing ice shavings and evaporated, this is the perfect dessert to end off any meal you have in the Philippines.