Popular Filipino Dishes Served in Every Filipino Occasion

The local food scene here in the Philippines is genuinely something to be proud of. Even with the fact that there are so many diverse cultures that have influenced the country over the years in which it also reflects beautifully in the culinary scene, there are a lot of Pinoy dishes that stand out on its own.

Filipino Occasion Filipino Kakanin
Filipino Kakanin in every Filipino Occasion


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Also, the Filipinos are well known to be rice-loving folks. The rice or kanin is the food that is always served at the table first. As the saying goes, you know you are Filipino when you have both spoon & fork in hand instead of the knife & fork, because every Filipino meal has rice involved. And of course, what are the favorite dishes commonly paired with rice that go so very well with it.

Here are the top ten favorite Pinoy dishes best served with rice. Plus, you will not be surprised to see these Pinoy dishes that will ever be present in any and every Filipino occasion.

#1 Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo by Delmonte.ph
Chicken Adobo by Delmonte.ph

Adobong Manok, as it’s known locally, is a classic Filipino dish that is connected to the Spanish roots because Adobo translates to “marinade” in Spanish. This dish starts with marinating the chicken in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, black peppercorn and garlic and then left to simmer in a pot until the chicken meat is tender. Also, the pork adobo recipe is cooked the same way.

#2 Lechon

Lechon
Lechon Photo credit: Olaer / Elmer Anthony via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Lechon, or roast pig, has never been absent in any celebration like fiestas and most especially in any grand occasion. It is always considered to be one of the star dishes served. Because honestsly, what is a Filipino fiesta without its counterpart in the form of a whole roasted pig, with its thick and crunchy pork skin and succulent pork meat?

#3 Pansit

Pancit Canton
Pancit Canton

The pancit (or pansit) is undoubtedly a favorite classic dish that is also always present in any Filipino occasion. This dish is cooked in many different ways due to the variety of the noodles thickness. But the usual take for a classic pansit is cooking it with stir-fried veggies and your chosen lahok (chicken or pork).

#4 Barbecue

Pork Barbeque
Pork Barbeque

Barbecue is also on the list since kids and adults alike love the good ‘ol barbecued meat of chicken, pork, and hotdogs. Because when there is a party, you’ll be sure to find smoke billowing out of the backyard and the aroma of meat being grilled to perfection.

#5 Morcon

Morcon photo by Delmonte.ph
Morcon photo by Delmonte.ph

Morcon is the Filipino version of a meat roll with hotdogs, pickles, carrots, cheese, liver and egg as stuffings. Morcon is considered to be a local Chirstmas dish so expect this dish to turn up on your dining table this Christmas season and at New Year’s Eve.

#6 Lumpia

Fresh Lumpia
Fresh Lumpia

Lumpia is one of the favorites as well and this dish is an influence of the Chinese cuisine. Lumpia or spring rolls are very popular in the Philippines and almost always served in any occasion because it is very easy to make a large serving in less time.

#7 Bistek Tagalog

Bistek Tagalog
Bistek Tagalog

Bistek tagalog, or more commonly called as the Philippine Beef Steak, is prepared by marinating strips of beef sirloin in a sauce composed of soy sauce, peper and garlic before it is fried alongside white onions.  Once it’s done, it usually is finished with a bit of lime or calamansi juice to counteract with the soy sauce flavor. The end result of course is the Filipino version of a saucy beef steak.

#8 Kare-Kare

Kare-Kare
Kare-Kare

Some have called it the peanut stew of the Philippines, mainly because kare-kare it is in fact a dish composed of oxtails and tripe with a peanut-based stew, along with a few set of vegetable that includes petsay, long beans, and eggplants. This dish is usually paired with shrimp paste or alamang.

#9 Crispy Pata

Crispy Pata
Crispy Pata

Aside from the lechon, the Crispy Pata is also a Filipino favorite because no one can resist the crispy skin and moist tender pork meat. The deep fried pork leg is best served with some tasty dipping sauce or it’s partner called the atsara which is a pickled papaya relish. Every Filipino Occasion is not complete without Crispy Pata.

#10 Halo-halo

Halo-Halo
Halo-Halo

And lastly, for dessert, the one and only Halo-halo! It’s a very well known Filipino dessert which is made of shaved ice, mixed in with local fruits, banana and sweet potato, sweet corn, macapuno and coconut, sweetened beans as well as the two stars of the dessert – a scoop of ube and a piece of leche flan and a scoop of ice cream to make it “special”. Of course traditionally, you mix all of it together hence the name, Halo-Halo (meaning mix and mix).

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