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Five Traditional Filipino Foods: Dare to Try Them Out?

Do you think you know the Philippines as well as we know it? Here is our list to the top 5 traditional Filipino food that will leave you wondering, how did I not know about Sisig! So next time you’re travelling to the Philippines, indulge your taste buds. Maybe after having eaten this Filipino cuisine, you’ll feel a bit more Filipino.

1. Halo-Halo

A bowl of delicious Halo-Halo, a traditional Filipino food

Halo-Halo in Tagalog means “mixed together.” It’s made with shaved ice, evapourated milk, leche flan, ube ice cream, coconut, beans, cocoa and fresh fruits, jelly, and sago. You’re probably thinking, ok it’s like an ice-cream sundae. Well it’s not! And in fact, this traditional Filipino food doesn’t taste like it either. With Halo-Halo, you can add any topping you desire. But don’t go crazy and add everything that’s in your fridge or else you might feel Halo-Halo afterwards. ;D

2. Kare Kare

Kare Kare, a tasty stew and another traditional Filipino food

This next traditional Filipino food is a customary stew complimented with a savoury peanut sauce. It’s made with pork leg, ox tail, goat, or sometimes chicken stock but it also contains banana, long beans, and eggplant. It doesn’t sound appetising on paper but trust me IT. IS. DELICIOUS and it’s only made during special occasions, so dig in whenever the chance presents itself.

3. Sisig

Enjoy a plate-full of Sisig with this traditional Filipino food

Our third traditional Filipino plate is a mix of pig’s ears and liver with chili pepper seasoning. And to top it off, quite literally, there is an egg cracked on top of it. People wrote about this food as early as 1732, so it’s been a Filipino favourite for quite some time. It’s famously known for curing hangovers and nausea and in Tagalog, Sisig means “to make it sour”. And yet, this food is quite delicious, so delicious that it has its own festival every year!

4. Dinuguan

Another traditional Filipino food popular among locals - Dinuguan

Next up in our top 5 traditional Filipino dishes is Dinuguan, or pork offal with a spicy dark sauce layer made of pig’s blood, garlic, and chili. In Tagalog, Dinuguan means “stewed with blood.” For foreigners, it’s something very uncommon in comparison to sausage blood. Most people eat this traditional Filipino food with rice, and you can tell yourself whatever you want, but for many people in the Philippines, Dinuguan is a popular dish.

5. Balut

The least appetising traditional Filipino food is Balut

Finally, we have Balut. I dare you to taste this food! It’s a developing bird embryo (either duck or chicken) that’s boiled, then peeled from its shell, and eaten whole. Although we might think it’s cruel, for locals it’s a common street-food delicacy that’s popular in the Philippines and in neighbouring Southeast Asian countries as well.

Now that you know these five traditional Filipino dishes, are you brave enough to try them on your next adventure to the Philippines?