As a small, multicultural Southeast Asian country composed of over 7,000 islands, Filipino cuisine has been one of the original leaders in fusion fare. The Philippines’ island provinces are home to each of their own unique amalgamation of flavours, textures and cooking styles inspired by Chinese, Malay and Spanish cooking. The popularity of Filipino dishes continues to rise in North America as native ingredients like ube (a sweet purple yam) and calamansi (a lemon and lime hybrid) begin to make its way into diverse food scenes around the world. Whether you’re looking to revisit family favourites or are about to try your hand at Filipino cuisine for the first time, this collection of recipes features the country’s most prominent flavours, courtesy of everything from bay leaves and cane vinegar to evaporated milk and garlic.
Filipino Adobo Chicken Wings
Spice up traditional chicken wings with this Filipino-inspired marinade made from rice vinegar, soy sauce and bay leaves. With only 10 ingredients, this easy dinner idea will be your go-to recipe week after week.
Buy the juiciest mangoes possible for optimal flavour with this popular Filipino dessert. Layered whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs and chilled fruit come together beautifully in this simple no-bake treat even beginners can perfect. For more inspiration, try these tropical desserts.
Pork Belly Adobo
This traditional Filipino dish features chicken or pork marinated in vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, bay leaves and black peppercorns. In this instance, boneless pork belly is left to simmer for two hours, allowing for the rich flavours to seamlessly blend together. Serve up with a side of jasmine rice to help soak up the juices.
Filipino-Style Banana Ketchup
Forget the standard variety: this spicy condiment from the Philippines is bound to become your go-to ketchup. Similar in texture to a chutney, this highly versatile banana variation can be used as a veggie dip or sandwich spread in addition to being a tasty topper for chicken or pork.
This thick, aromatic soup with jasmine rice develops most of its flavours from freshly minced and fried garlic. At the same time, the bright golden colouring comes courtesy of a pinch of saffron. Check out our best slow cooker soups and stews.
Instant Pot Chicken Adobo
This simplified version of the traditional Filipino comfort meal was destined for your Instant Pot. Enjoy the savoury flavours of garlic, scallions, bay leaves and onions perfectly simmered alongside juicy chicken thighs, legs and drumsticks. Bonus: there’s only one pot to clean up afterward.
Maple Leche Flan
A leche flan dessert is an absolute must-try if you’re visiting the Philippines, but you can also easily recreate this rich, baked custard from the comfort of your own home. This mouth-watering version even includes a Canadian tip of the hat with the not-so-subtle addition of maple syrup. If you’re feeling patriotic, check out these great Canadian desserts.
Halo-halo (Tagalog for “mixed”) is one of the most popular Filipino desserts and for a good reason. This frozen dessert is made from an eclectic mix of ingredients, flavours and textures, including bananas, blueberries, purple ube ice cream and cubed coconut lime jellies.