20 Most Popular Tagalog Foods

November 21, 2020

Have you had your serving of Adobo yet? Aside from learning the language, another way by which you can understand more about the culture of a country is by awakening your pallet through their cuisine. In today’s article, we will give you a unique tour through some of the unique Tagalog foods that you must try out!

The Philippines is not just known for its diverse language and specific dialects. It is also the mother of flavourful dishes and savory food fusions that can reflect the country’s rich history- from soy sauce and tofu from China and Japan, to fried chickens and hamburgers from America, and even Adobo and Paella from Spain, the Philippines can be considered the ultimate melting pot of Asia!

Kamayan Food

And you know what is even better? A big serving of local food served over freshly cut banana leaves! Traditionally, Filipinos go beyond the word “eating” because they usually make every dining experience special by socializing while devouring a sumptuous meal and by doing the kamayan or the way of eating with your bare hands. Yep, you read that right! Whether it is to pay cultural respect or for big celebrations, kamayan (also known as Boodle Fight) is a customary way of feasting during family gatherings.

Wondering what the common Filipino dishes during kamayan are? We listed here the top Tagalog foods for you to have a clearer picture of some of the best dishes you can expect your Pinoy colleagues to serve you.

Filipino FoodEnglishDescription
Pritong BangusFried milkfishFried fish cooked to perfection. It packs a sour and spicy flavor
Ginisang Bagoong AlamangSauteed shrimp pasteA must-try condiment usually partnered with fresh green mangoes
Tortang TalongEggplant omeletGrilled eggplants wrapped with beaten egg mixture
Itlog na maalat /
Itlog na Pula
Salted eggsPreserved eggs that were submerged into the brine. In the Philippines, these are dyed in red or dark fuchsia
PinakbetStir-fry vegetablesA hearty Filipino everyday dish consisting of a medley of vegetables and some pork or prawns
Inihaw na IsawBarbecued pig or chicken intestinesMade of thoroughly cleaned intestines that are boiled then immediately coiled on a bamboo skewer
Lumpiang shanghaiFilipino spring rollsTraditional Filipino-style spring roll filled with meat, ground pork, green onions, and/or cheese
Inihaw na manokChicken barbecueA classic street food dish with sweet-savory flavors. Can also be called Chicken Inasal.
Sinigang na baboySour pork soupUses tamarind or local kamias, this soup dish is the comfort food of most Filipinos
Ginisang ampalayaSauteed BittermelonVegetable stir-fry dish made of bittermelon, tomatoes, and egg

As you can see, I added a soup to our list because usually Filipino’s enjoy having heaty and tasty soup dishes to clear the palette once in a while. There are a lot of possible combinations when it comes to making your own kamayan table. For health-conscious eaters, some places also serve additional food essentials such as blanched vegetables like Okra (also known as ladies’ fingers in other countries) and KangKong tops (or water morning glory).

Tagalog Foods

Not hungry yet? Of course, aside from the regular Pancit Palabok, Bicol Express, pan-fried recipes we also have prepared here some of the hard to miss out popular Filipino cuisine that you have to try when you come here to the Philippines. You see, aside from having boodle fights, you must also have a taste of the best dishes that you can try along with perfectly steamed rice!

Filipino FoodEnglishDescription
Philippine adoboAdoboMeat simmered in the marinade made of sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and peppers
BalutN/ ABoiled fertilizes egg embryo
Kinilaw na IsdaFilipino cevicheRaw fish salad made with vinegar and local spices
LechonRoasted pigletSlowly roasted pig stuffed with garlic, onions, chives, and some tamarind. The skin is sometimes coated with regular cola to achieve the crispy sweet taste
TapsilogBeef tapaCombination of Filipino beef tapa, egg, and garlic fried rice
Halo-haloMixed fruit dessertA layered Filipino dessert made of fruits, shaved ice, ice cream, beans, milk, and sugar
Arroz CaldoFilipino rice porridgeFilipino congee made of meat (chicken, pork, or beef), sticky rice, some soy sauce, and fresh ginger. This is a perfect food recommendation for those who are sick or suffering from colds. Often served with boiled eggs.
SisigN/AMade of chopped pig head and chicken liver, this Filipino dish is seasoned with onions, chili peppers, calamansi, and vinegar. Usually served with some chicharon bits and mayonnaise.
Kare-kareStew with peanut sauceUsually made of chunky peanut butter, banana, beans, and oxtail
LaingN/AFilipino dish made of dried taro leaves, some meat and are cooked with lots of thick coconut milk and chili

As a quick tip, do note that Filipinos love talking about food. In this sense, I suggest that if you want to have a quick conversation with any native, try sharing about your experience in any of these foods and you will surely make them talk a lot!

As I am nearing the end of this article, I hope that I was able to shed light on the top Filipino food that can certainly awaken your love for the Philippines. If you are in search of a handy language learning buddy for more info about Tagalog foods, you have got to try the Ling App.

Want to sound more like a native Filipino speaker?

If you have been a follower of the blog, you know that unlike other languages, Tagalog enjoys a distinctive set of words and slang, which are heavily shaped and formed by different cultures and neighboring countries. In fact, most of the traditional expressions are mainly based around English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Malay words! With this in mind, language enthusiasts and travelers all over the world are challenging themselves to learn the language as well as appreciate the history behind every line, letter, and syllable.

Interested to learn more Tagalog language and start expressing simple hellos and thank yous? For additional reinforcement in the Tagalog language, be sure to check out the Ling App which features fun mini-games and quizzes that can motivate you to practice and learn more about your target language day by day. With its selection of fun mini-games and quizzes, I bet that you will get to master the language in no time.

Download the Ling app today to pump up your vocabulary and find the right words to fill the void.

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