Our 17 Best Filipino Recipes for an Authentic Meal

Expand your horizons beyond adobo (but also, you know, adobo)

Loaded with chile, vinegar, fragrant herbs, and no shortage of pork, Filipino cooking is an endlessly fascinating mix of traditions and flavors, old and new. (And lots of pork. Did we mention pork?) Whether you’re throwing a dinner party, or just cooking a simple romantic meal for two, these recipes will give you a nostalgic taste of home. Here are our best Filipino recipes—some are traditional, others are modern spins, and all are very, very good.

More Cola Cuisine: Dale Talde’s Mom’s Pepsi Rice

Sweet Filipino-Style Rolls (Pan de Sal)

The dough for this traditional Philippine bread is rolled to achieve a pillow-soft texture, and then dusted with bread crumbs prior to baking. Get the recipe for Sweet Filipino-Style Rolls (Pan de Sal) »

Crispy Philippine Slow-Roasted Pork Belly (Bellychon)

“This is my modern take on the traditional Lechon, which is a whole roasted pig. While many of us don’t have the space or equipment to roast a whole pig on a spit over coals, this recipe gives you the ability to recreate the idea and flavors.” – Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao Get the recipe for Crispy Philippine Slow-Roasted Pork Belly (Bellychon) »

Pork Noodle Soup with Shrimp Paste (La Paz Batchoy)

A regional soup packed with egg noodles and pig parts, La Paz batchoy was born in the La Paz district of Iloilo city, in the province where chef Dale Talde’s mother was born. Talde’s version streamlines the traditional recipe, keeps the liver and intestines optional, and applies just enough shrimp paste to keep things funky. Get the recipe for Pork Noodle Soup with Shrimp Paste (La Paz Batchoy) »

Adobo Chicken Wings

Tito’s Filipino-Style Chicken Wings

Deep-Fried Pork Spring Rolls (Lumpia)

Best known in their deep-fried iteration, lumpia often crackle beneath the teeth. But not always; some come wrapped in fresh egg crepes, while others are wrapper-less. Connoisseurs pine for a version made with shrimp, pork, and shredded coconut palm. The freshly fried version is a marvel, the wrapper crisp, the filling’s texture delicate and yielding. Instead of the common sweet-sour dipping sauce, chef Dale Talde opts for the condiment he used growing up—a mixture of vinegar and soy sauce spiked with raw garlic and fiery chiles—which he likens to the salt and pepper of Filipino food. Get the recipe for Deep-Fried Pork Spring Rolls (Lumpia) »

Filipino Beef Short Ribs Adobo (Adobong Tadyang)

Whole garlic cloves perfume the braise for this tangy beef dish from Marvin Gapultos’ The Adobo Road Cookbook (Tuttle, 2013). Get the recipe for Filipino Beef Short Ribs Adobo »

Filipino Barbecue Chicken Skewers

Philippine Barbecue Chicken Skewers

Rice Porridge with Chicken and Ginger (Arroz Caldo)

Rice Porridge with Chicken and Ginger (Arroz Caldo)

Filipino Garlic Fried Rice with Vinegar Sauce (Sinangag)

This garlicky rice is a popular breakfast dish in the Philippines and is delicious served with fried eggs and a drizzle of vinegar sauce. Get the recipe for Filipino Garlic Fried Rice with Vinegar Sauce (Sinangag) »

Phillippine Fruit Salad

“When I introduce this dish to my friends for the first time, they are confused and a little hesitant to eat it. Once they try it, though, they fall in love.” – Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao. Get the recipe for Phillippine Fruit Salad »

The Philippines

Adobo with Chicken Livers

Philippine Vinegar-Braised Greens (Kangkong Adobo)

“Filipinos love anything with adobo sauce, and kangkong is one of my favorite vegetables to eat.” – Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao Get the recipe for Philippine Vinegar-Braised Greens (Kangkong Adobo)

Philippine Paella

Part Spanish, part Filipino, made with rich coconut milk and hard-cooked eggs for garnish. Get the recipe for Philippine Paella »

Filipino Roast Pork Belly with “Lechon” Sauce

Slow-roasted belly stands in for the classic whole suckling pig that graces virtually every special occasion in the Philippines. Chef Dale Talde also swaps out the sauce’s pungent pork liver for more mellow and easier to source chicken livers. Don’t worry, though. It still tastes, as Talde lovingly puts it, like “liverwurst mixed with sweet and sour sauce.” Get the recipe for Filipino Roast Pork Belly with “Lechon” Sauce »

Philippine Noodle Stir-Fry (Pancit Bihon)

“Eating this dish makes me feel like I’m at home. It’s my mom’s specialty, and I remember helping her prep this as a child. It is served at every party [my family throws] and is eaten on its own for merianda, the Filipino equivalent of British Tea.” – Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao Get the recipe for Philippine Noodle Stir-Fry (Pancit Bihon) »

Adobo

I grew up in the Philippines, and whenever I’m homesick, I cook adobo, the national dish—pork or chicken or both, braised in seasoned vinegar. Though there are all sorts of regional variations, no matter how it’s made, adobo’s piquant aroma fills me with memories of Manila. —Amy Besa. Get the recipe for Adobo »