Top 5 Dishes You Must Try When Visiting the Philippines

Good food equals good mood. The Philippines is known for many things particularly their cuisine. Being a Filipino, it is mandatory that you always eat these dishes that our country is known for. Given that our country has a rich history, it is not surprising that our cuisine has many influences as well. Various dishes that are made by other countries are now considered our own because it has the Filipino twist. Here are the Top 5 Filipino dishes you must try when you’re in the country:

  1. Sisig

              The scent of a plate of Sisig can make heads turn in any place that serves this particular dish. However, authentic Sisig is always made with the head of the pig. (Sometimes, if the head of the pig is not available, cooks often use pork belly) To tenderize the head, it is boiled in hot water and later on chopped to be grilled to perfection. Next, the pork is seasoned before adding the onions and chicken liver. The word Sisig comes from the word  Sisigan which means “to make it sour”. Augustinian Priest Diego Bergaño defined sisig as “a salad including green papaya or green guava eaten with a dressing of salt, pepper, garlic, and vinegar” in the Kapampangan Dictionary he made back in 1732. Sisig, nowadays, is eaten as pulutan or  when drinking beerwith friends.

Photo from Google
  1. Mais Con Yelo

              The Filipino Cooler, Mais Con Yelo, is the second famous Filipino dessert in the country (the first will be discussed later). It literally means “corn with ice” in spanish. The famous dessert is made using ice, sugar, milk and corn kernels. Finding it will not be a problem in the country because it’s servedfrom the high class Filipino restaurants to the simple streets of the city.

mais con yelo
Photo from Google
  1. Halo-Halo

              Halo-Halo literally means “mixed” and it goes well with the most famous dessert in the Philippines. Halo-halo contains many ingredients ranging from the standard amount of crushed ice, Ube or purple yam, beans and sometimes topped of with Ube Ice Cream. It came to a surprise for many that the dessert really came from the Japanese during the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines. Kakigori means “shaved ice” which is drizzled in condensed milk, syrup andeaten using a spoon. The dessert was modified by the Filipino farmers by adding mongo and red beans. The Japanese thought to make this dessert a business, and until now, the process of making the dessert is still remembered by many.

Photo from Google
  1. Kare-kare

              The second to the last dish that is i
n the list is Kare-Kare. The dish contains oxtail meat with various vegetables covered in a rich thick sauce. The dish originated from the Bangsamoro who came to settle in the country. However, during the 17th Century, the dish can be traced back to the British Colonizers along with the Indian Cooks they brought with them. Being a culture with very complex flavoring, they struggled to find their usual ingredients in our country and had to improvise with what we provided here. Eventually, they compromised using crushed nuts and annatto seeds that gives Kare-kare its color and nutty flavor.

kare kare
Photo from Google
  1. Adobo

              The Philippines is famous for the Adobo. Adobo means “marinated” in Spanish, it is basically what the Adobo is. The meat is marinated with vinegar, soy sauce and other ingredients. Since the Philippines is located in the warmer side of the world, FIlipinos found many ways in preserving food. One of these methods was using vinegar. Once the Spaniards have colonized the country, they started calling this particular dish Adobo. As the dish has been made for centuries, there are many various ways in cooking Adobo. You can use chicken, pork, beef, fish,and even vegetables!

Photo from Google



The History of Sisig. (2013). Retrieved August 09, 2016, from

Sisig – Ang Sarap. (2013). Retrieved August 09, 2016, from

Mais Con Yelo

Mais con Yelo Recipe. (n.d.). Retrieved August 09, 2016, from


The Surprising Origin of Philippines’ Beloved Dessert. (2015). Retrieved August 09, 2016, from


What You Didn’t Know About Our Beloved Kare-Kare. (2014). Retrieved August 09, 2016, from


Filipino Adobo. (n.d.). Retrieved August 15, 2016, from


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