Know Your Food: Philippines

lumpia filipino eggroll
Image: pinksherbet.

We've loved Filipino food ever since we had it years ago at a Filipino wedding. Before you head on your next trip to the Philippines (or to your local ethnic restaurant) be sure to be familiar with these delicacies.


Maruya is a Filipino snack food that's made by battering and frying bananas, then rolling them in sugar. It can also be made with other ingredients, like the version seen above, which is made with thinly sliced sweet potato. Still confused? Think banana tempura. How can you resist?

Mushroom and Pork Adobo

Adobo isn't just a dish. For many Filipinos, it is THE dish that characterises filipino food. But it's not just one thing; it can be pork, chicken, or any other meat you throw at it.

Image: Chewy Chua.

Typically a combination of bittermelon, squash, beans, and shrimp paste, Pinakbet is a tasty combination of local veggies. It's also likely one of the healthier dishes you'll find on your next trip to the Philippines.

Image: graciepoo.

Pancit (I pronounce it pun-sit, for better or for worse) is a filipino dish near and dear to my heart. It's a simple noodle dish, cooked in a wok with sliced veggies and pork (or other meats). There are many varieties: Pancit Bihon is the one I'm familiar with (seen above),
Pancit Cabaga, and Pancit Malabon are just some of the many out there.

Image: ohdearbarb.

Much like a tiny egg roll, lumpia is a fried wrapper, filled with anything edible. My experience with lumpia is that you have to pay attention to how much you eat, you can easily lose track.

Image: d2digital.

You can't mention all of this delicious food without including dessert. Turrón is a banana or plantain, wrapped in a spring roll wrapper, dipped in sugar, and fried.

More Resources:

Market Manila - A long-running blog centered around Filipino food, a great place for inspiration.

Memories of Philippine Kitchens - An excellent book about real, home cooking in the Philippines. Real recipes from real people, plus a little bit of history.


all looks good to me.

btw, I think the next No Reservations is featuring the Philippines.

I'm a Filipino and I can say that if you want a gastronomic delight, visit the Philippines. The food is influenced by many cultures and was modified by Filipinos suited to our taste. But the effect is really good. Another tip is that each time you go to a certain province, try their specialties. It's a must.

What a wonderful post. I have many Filipino friends and could never get the names of the dishes right. Now I'm more educated about Filipino cusisine!

I really need to spend more time making some of my native dishes. I have only made Pancit & Lumpia before.

This is making me hungry!!! Shockingly, I haven't tried one thing on the list - maruya!

You got me dreaming of adobo and pinakbet! but i might just end up making pancit... I've never done this yet. Yipes! Well, thanks to your post, I'll be attempting to cook pancit. Thanks!