22 of the Best Native Delicacies in Marinduque
There are many reasons to visit Marinduque, a heart-shaped island province in the Philippines found in the country’s Southwestern Tagalog Region or MIMAROPA. Marinduque is best known for its annual Moriones Festival that takes place during the Holy Week. It’s one of the oldest festivals in the Philippines where locals don colorful masks and costumes to reenact the story of the Roman soldier, Longinus.
Other than during the Moriones Festival, travelers can visit Marinduque all year round for its uncrowded white-sand beaches, gorgeous landscapes, scenic tours, historical landmarks, and of course, its cuisine. Marinduque’s unique cuisine and its native delicacies are one of the reasons why you should visit the province.
If you’re planning a trip to Marinduque, you absolutely can’t miss out on trying their native delicacies. To give readers some ideas on local Marinduque food to look out for, here’s a list of the best native delicacies visitors must try in Marinduque.
The province of Marinduque is noted to produce some of the best Miki noodles in the Philippines. Miki noodles are made up of egg flour and are similar in size to the typical pancit noodles. Miki pancit in Marinduque is a must-try.
Locals in Marinduque point out Ka Charing, also known as Rosario Pareño, an 83-year old mother of three who operates a small Miki noodle-making factory in her home. Her freshly-made Miki noodles are highly sought after by the cooks in Marinduque.
Marinduque cuisine is a haven for seafood lovers. Manakla is the local Marinduque word for crayfish, and it’s a variety of crayfish especially popular in Marinduque, and is regularly used as a protein for every type of recipe you can think of. In seaside bars and restaurants, manakla is popularly cooked in pulutan recipes or beer/alcohol snacks.
No matter which recipe manakla is used, the results are always something that visitors will order seconds for.
3. Arrowroot cookies (Uraro)
Arrowroot cookies or popularly known as uraro, are the number one pasalubong food in Marinduque you can buy for your loved ones at home. It’s also the number one snack to buy to eat when traveling or exploring the island province.
Arrowroot cookies, or as the Marinduqueños call it, arurut, are dry, powdery, bite-sized flower-shaped cookies made from arrowroot flour. Travelers can buy these cookies in packages. Locals often point to Rejano’s Bakeries as having the best arrowroot cookies in Marinduque.
Kalamay-dampa is the popular Marinduque variety of the more known kalamay-hati. Kalamay is the general term for this typical recipe of both the variety of kalamay-dampa and kalamay-hati. Kalamay is made up of ground glutinous rice, coconut milk, and brown sugar. It’s popularly served in a coconut shell or in slices on banana leaves.
Kalamay-hati is a viscous version of kalamay where the glutinous rice is ungrounded. Kalamay-dampa is just like kalamay-hati, except ube is used in the recipe, giving it a rich purple color and ube flavor.
Ulang-ulang is one of the top must-try native dishes in Marinduque. It’s a seafood dish made of crab meat from a native variety of crab in Marinduque called kagang.
The crab meat is cooked with shredded coconut and coconut milk and other ingredients like onion, garlic, and kalamansi juice. It’s then served inside a crab shell wrapped in banana leaves. Opening this wrapped dish is like opening a delicious seafood present.
During breaks from seeing the wonders that Marinduque offers, travelers can easily encounter food stalls at the streets selling these unique Marinduque native delicacy called tinudtod. Tinudtod looks like slices of banana mashed together using a yellowish paste.
It’s made up of slices of saba banana, a native variety of banana in the Philippines, mashed together and dipped into a special mixture. It’s fried in hot oil until the tinudtod turned golden brown. It’s a very popular delicacy for meryenda or mid-afternoon snacks.
7. Adobo sa gata
Marinduqueños holds a special place in their hearts for adobo sa gata. Adobo is the Philippines’ unofficial national dish, but adobo sa gata is Marinduque’s version of adobo that they call their own.
Native chicken is used then marinated and reduced in the typical adobo marinade recipe except with coconut milk. Marinduqueños also adds slices of green papaya and a dash of turmeric to turn it yellow in color.
Just like tinudtod, Maruya is an extremely popular meryenda dish or mid-afternoon snack in Marinduque and even in the Philippines as a whole. Travelers can find this delicious and filling snack in food stalls at the side of the street in neighborhoods and markets.
Maruya also uses saba banana, except its sliced vertically, for a flatter shape. The banana slices are dipped in the special batter, lined to form a bed of banana slices, and deep-fried.
In most parts of Luzon, Kare-kare is popular comfort food made up of oxtail stew with rich peanut butter sauce. This savory stew is very different from Marinduque’s version of kare-kare.
In Marinduque, kare-kare, or as they call it Kari-Kari, is a cross between bopis and dinuguan. It’s like bopis with pork blood and a dried version of dinuguan.
Marinduque’s Kari-Kari is made up of the pig’s innards like its heart, small intestines, kidneys, spleen, and blood. It’s also cooked with garlic, onion, and chili peppers.
If you want to sample Kari-Kari while in Marinduque, you should visit Casa de Don Emilio and Café Mamita – two of the highly recommended places to eat in Boac, Marinduque.
Saludsod is Marinduque’s native version of pancakes. It’s a popular local delicacy that visitors absolutely must try when in Marinduque as they’ll never find this anywhere else in the Philippines. This local pancake is made with a special batter using native ingredients, including arrowroot powder, coconut milk, flour, and sugar.
The batter is then cooked on a hot pan just like a typical pancake. But saludsod is sweeter in flavor and has a creamy/buttery texture.
11. Laing or Pinaso na Gabi
There are loads of laing recipes authentic to the different regions of the Philippines. In Marinduque, they have their own native laing recipe or what they also call pinaso na gabi. Marinduque’s delicious native laing recipe uses both gabi (also known as taro) leaves and roots. These ingredients are cooked with coconut milk.
To give the dish tastier flavors, shrimp paste or bagoong is also mixed in the dish. For an added highlight, dried fish or dilis is sprinkled on top.
12. Bibingkang Lalaki (Bibingkang Boac)
The island province has several native versions of bibingka, a staple rice cake delicacy found all over the Philippines, with Bibingkang Lalaki (male bibingka) being just one of them.
Bibingkang Lalaki is also referred to as Bibingkang Boac, named after the province’s capital. It’s a huge portion of bibingka; that’s the size of a pizza.
Locals will explain amusedly that this version of bibingka is called as thus because it contains eggs. Bibingkang lalaki also uses coconut wine instead of yeast, which keeps its inside moist after cooking.
13. Bibingkang Pinahiran
Another native version found in Marinduque can be bought in the town of Sta. Cruz is located on the northeastern coast of the island.
Bibingkang Pinahiran uses typical bibingka ingredients like glutinous rice, coconut milk, and sugar. What makes it stand out from other versions of bibingka is the thick spread of a syrup layer on top.
This likely is the origin of its name with pinahiran translating to coated. One serving of this sweet bibingkang pinahiran guarantees a heavy stomach.
SInalab is a native kakanin recipe in Marinduque that is acutely described as a “paper-thin pancake of overripe saba or latundan with flour and buko slices sandwiched between two banana leaves then dry-cooked on a pan.”
They really do look like a tropical version of pancakes. The banana leaves that contain the smashed saba between them are heated in a pan until it’s browned and wrinkled, indicating that the sinalab is cooked and ready to eat. It’s a tasty option for meryenda or a morning snack.
Sinaludsod, which shouldn’t be mistaken for saludsod, is another native version of pancake from Marinduque. Sinaludsod is best described as a rice flour pancake and is regularly sold at food stands along with other kakanins in the island province’s markets.
Other recipes of sinaludsod incorporate cassava, butter, and coconut meat. The butter is pan-fried as is, flattened, and served.
16. Tininta Suman
You can find the kakanin suman in many parts of the Philippines. Suman is usually made up of glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaves or palm leaf strips. These sticky native rice delicacies are often eaten with sugar or latik. In Marinduque, they have a unique version of suman called tininta suman.
It’s known for its vibrant purple hue because it’s made up of violet glutinous rice. Marinduqueños love to pair tininta suman with sampililok or coco jam.
Speaking of sampililok, it’s our next entry on this list! Sampililok is often referred to as a coco jam, but it’s most accurately described as suman sauce because suman in Marinduque always needs to be accompanied by a dash of sampililok on the side.
Sampililok is simply a syrup version of panutsa, made by cooking coconut sugar in coconut milk or gata. Sampililok is largely consumed as a dipping sauce for suman or tininta suman in Marinduque.
With the abundance of arrowroot in Marinduque, it’s only fitting that they have something like the panganan as a local delicacy. Panganan is a dry powdery snack made with arrowroot powder and rice flour, called minatamis na bao, made from dissolved sugarcane jaggery.
Visitors can buy panganan in travel size packages for a delicious snack during their travels in Marinduque. It’s readily available in many of the province’s markets.
Niyubak is Marinduque’s version of the more common nilupak, a starchy traditional Filipino delicacy found in the rest of the Philippines. The only difference in Marinduque’s version of niyubak is that they typically use brown sugar in its recipe rather than white sugar.
Niyubak uses starchy ingredients like saba banana, casava, taro corns, or ube and grounds them into a mushy consistency. The result is mixed with coconut milk and brown sugar. It can be molded into any shape and is a great food for meryenda or dessert.
20. Bibingkang Kanin
This is the third native Marinduque bibingka on this list. Bibingkang Kanin, just like bibingkang lalaki and bibingkang pinahiran, is a unique version of the popular kakanin, bibingka, originated in the island province of Marinduque.
As indicated by its namesake, bibingkang Kanin uses whole grains of glutinous rice rather than the typical rice flour used in other bibingka recipes. Bibingkang Kanin is often interchanged with bibingkang malagkit.
21. Tinigang na Sapsap
Tinigang na sapsap is a flavorful seafood dish commonly served in Marinduque. It’s basically a dried-up version of paksiw that uses small native sapsap fishes, commonly freshly caught just before cooking.
Tinigang na sapsap is cooked similar to a pinangat dish, meaning the sapsap fish is stewed with souring agents like tomatoes, calamansi, or tamarind. This dish is delicious when paired with a cup of steaming rice.
22. Cassava cookies
And last but not least on this list are the deliciously sweet cassava cookies. Although cassava is not native to the Philippines, it’s become an abundant crop in countless parts of the country, including in the island province of Marinduque.
Marinduqueños love the taste of cassava so much that they developed a cassava cookie recipe.
Today, it’s a common pasalubong or souvenir gift found in Marinduque’s markets and pasalubong centers. Cassava cookies make for a great snack while on the road exploring the island province.