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The early inhabitants of the Philippines and also the ones that colonized it mainly influenced the multi-ethnicity of the Philippine cuisine. Such influence came from the Malays, US, Spain and Japan. However, the Chinese and Indonesian played a major role in the evolution of Philippine food.
The Filipinos use rice as their staple food. Boiled/steamed rice is served almost every meal. Some desserts are also rice-based, which is a Filipino trademark.
As with many countries, some of the regions are known for their particular flavoring of the food and the variety of spices used.
Here are some of the Filipino foods you should try:
This is a dish that is cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and pepper. It can be chicken or pork. This is a delicious tangy dish served over steamed rice.
This is the Filipino version of Chinese eggroll and it tastes really good. You can use chicken, pork, beef or shrimp filling. It’s best when dipped in sweet and sour sauce or the Filipino banana catsup (sweet or spicy).
Kare Kare (pronounced as kareh-kareh).
This dish is a mixture of beef oxtail and tripe and peanut butter sauce. It is delicious. Just the combination alone will make some people not wanting to try it. But wait till you taste it, you’ll like it.
The Chinese influenced this rice noodle dish. This is mostly served when there is a special occasion like birthdays, anniversary, weddings or even fiestas. It is easier to prepare it now that food processors are available. It used to be time consuming. The pansit has chicken, shrimp, pork, carrots, onion, garlic, pepper, celery, cabbage and green beans.
This is soured soup with seafood, pork or vegetables. It’s almost like the tom yum in Thailand minus the hot and spicy flavor.
This Filipino style meatloaf is a wonderful dish and has a really good flavor. It is normally served in parties and fiestas. It is made of ground pork, lean ham, sweet relish, onion, raisins, hard-boiled eggs and Vienna sausage and baked at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half. It is considered as a special dish.
Nilaga means boiled. The nilagang baboy (pork) is one of the Filipino dishes that are easy to make. Just put everything in the pot and cook until meat is tender. You can also use beef and add any kind of vegetables you want. Most Filipinos use the pressure cooker to cook nilaga. This dish is good to eat anytime of the year.
This mixture of preserved fruits in shaved ice is a favorite dessert of the Filipinos. Add a little bit of evaporated milk, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and flan on top, then grab a spoon, mix it up and eat it. It’s refreshing especially during the months of very hot summer days.
Leche Flan (egg and milk flan)
This is the Filipino’s version of custard, only better. With caramelized sugar in the bottom of the pan and the mixture of eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla extract, this dessert is screaming with calories, but who’s counting. What matters is that it is yummy.
This special cake is usually eaten as an afternoon snack or merienda. It goes well with coffee or soda, whatever you prefer.
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