37+ Most Popular Tagalog Foods You Must Try

Popular Tagalog Foods

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 of some of the most popular 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 chicken and hamburgers from America and even Adobo and Paella from Spain, the Philippines can be considered the ultimate melting pot of Asia!

Let’s learn more about Tagalog and the scrumptious and unique popular Tagalog foods you can ever find in this country!

Not hungry yet? Of course, aside from the regular Pancit Palabok, Bicol Express, and pan-fried recipes, we have also 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!

If you’re also keen on ordering some of these popular Tagalog foods, you should try memorizing them on your own. Download the Ling app on the Play Store and the App Store today to pump up your vocabulary and find the right words to fill the void.

EnglishFilipino FoodDescriptionSound
AdoboPhilippine AdoboMeat simmered in the marinade made of sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and peppers.
Balut (No English translation)BalutBoiled fertilized egg embryo.
Filipino CevicheKinilaw na IsdaRaw fish salad made with vinegar and local spices.
Roasted PigLechonSlowly roasted pig stuffed with garlic, onions, chives, and some tamarind. The skin is sometimes coated with regular cola to achieve the crispy sweet taste.
Tapsilog (No English translation)TapsilogCombination of Filipino beef tapa, egg, and garlic fried rice.
Mix-Mix or Shake-ShakeHalo-HaloA layered Filipino dessert made of fruits, shaved ice, ice cream, beans, milk, and sugar.
Filipino Rice PorridgeArroz Caldo / LugawFilipino 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.
Sisig (No English translation)SisigMade 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-KareKare-kareDerived from the word “curry,” this Filipino food is usually made of chunky peanut butter, banana, beans, and oxtail.
Laing (No English translation)LaingFilipino 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 with 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.

Popular Tagalog Foods What Is Kamayan

What Is Kamayan Food?

Do 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.

What Are The Favorite Filipino Dishes During Boodle Fight?

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.

EnglishFilipino FoodDescriptionSound
Fried MilkfishPritong BangusFried milkfish cooked to perfection. It packs a sour and spicy flavor.
Sautéed Shrimp PasteGinisang Bagoong AlamangA must-try condiment usually partnered with fresh green mangoes.
Eggplant OmeletTortang TalongGrilled eggplants wrapped with beaten egg mixture.
Salted EggsItlog na maalat /
Itlog na Pula
Preserved eggs that were submerged into the brine. In the Philippines, these are dyed in red or dark fuchsia. /
Stir-fry VegetablesPinakbetA hearty Filipino everyday dish consisting of a medley of vegetables and some pork or prawns.
Barbecued Pig or Chicken IntestinesIsawMade of thoroughly cleaned intestines that are boiled and then immediately coiled on a stick or bamboo skewer.
Filipino Fried Spring RollsLumpiang ShanghaiTraditional Filipino-style spring roll filled with ground pork, green onions, and/or cheese.
Chicken BarbecueInihaw na ManokA classic street food dish with sweet-savory flavors. Can also be called Chicken Inasal.
Sour Pork SoupSinigang na BaboyUses tamarind or local kamias, this soup dish is the comfort food of most Filipinos.
Sautéed BittermelonGinisang AmpalayaVegetable stir-fry dish made of garlic, bittermelon, tomatoes, and egg.

As you can see, I added a soup to our list because one of the characteristics of Filipinos is that they usually enjoy having warm 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 or water spinach).

Okay, maybe you think the fancy restaurant is the best food, right? But I tell you, the real Filipino food is on the street! You smell something good, you see all the colors and it’s like a party already! Let’s go, I’ll show you some amazing snacks.

EnglishFilipino FoodDescriptionSound
Quail Egg SnackKwek-KwekHard-boiled quail eggs coated in an orange batter and deep-fried. Served with a spicy vinegar sauce.
Caramelized BananaBanana CueSweet, caramelized bananas skewered on bamboo sticks. A simple, sweet, and delicious snack.
Fish BallsFish BallsDeep-fried fish balls served with a variety of sauces from sweet, spicy, to tangy. A popular street snack.
Sweet TofuTahoSoft tofu with arnibal (sweet syrup) and sago pearls. A comforting and sweet snack, especially popular in the morning.
Green MangoesManggang HilawTangy and crisp green mangoes, often eaten dipped in shrimp paste or sprinkled with salt.
Banana Spring RollsTurónSlices of banana (and sometimes jackfruit) wrapped in spring roll wrapper, deep-fried and coated with caramelized sugar.
Filipino Ice CreamSorbetesSlices of banana (and sometimes jackfruit) wrapped in spring roll wrapper, deep-fried, and coated with caramelized sugar.
DumplingsSiomaiSteamed or fried dumplings filled with ground pork, shrimp, or beef, often served with soy sauce and calamansi dip.

Eating on the street is not simply about the food. You see people, smell the cooking, it’s exciting! And the prices? They are so cheap that it seems you can try everything!

So don’t be shy! If you see something you don’t know, just point! The vendor will tell you about it. Maybe you will find your new favorite thing.

Come on, are you hungry yet? Filipino street food is waiting! It’s gonna be an adventure, I promise!

popular Tagalog foods - A photo of street foods in the Philippines.

What Are The Festive Foods Of The Philippines?

While street food offers exciting flavors, traditional Filipino fiestas showcase a whole other level of culinary delights! Here are some of the most popular Tagalog dishes that often grace the celebration table:

EnglishFilipino FoodDescriptionSound
NoodlesPansitNoodles in various forms like bihon, canton, or Malabon are a staple at celebrations for long life and versatility.
Purple Rice DelicacyPuto BumbongA Christmas season star, steamed in bamboo tubes and served with butter, sugar, and grated coconut.
Rice CakeBibingkaCooked over charcoal and topped with salted egg, cheese, and coconut, embodying the Filipino Christmas spirit.
Rice Cakes and SweetsKakaninA variety of rice cakes like sapin-sapin, suman, and cassava cake, showcasing Filipino culture’s diversity.
Meat RollMorconBeef rolls stuffed with eggs, sausages, and pickles, simmered in tomato sauce, a festive feast highlight.
Filipino MeatloafEmbutidoGround pork, carrots, and sausages, wrapped and steamed, a party favorite.
Spicy Beef StewCalderetaBeef stew in tomato sauce with liver spread and cheese, a rich and hearty celebration dish.
Coconut SaladBuko SaladYoung coconut strips mixed with cream and condensed milk, tossed with fruits for a sweet treat.
Leftover Pork StewPaksiw na LechonRoasted pork cooked in vinegar and liver sauce, a tangy and savory stew.
Sticky Rice CakeBikoSticky rice sweetened with brown sugar and topped with coconut milk curd, a chewy delight.

These are just a few of the many delicious Tagalog dishes that make Filipino fiestas so special. Whether you’re lucky enough to attend a fiesta or want to recreate the flavors at home, these dishes are sure to bring joy to your table.

There You Have It!

Filipino food, especially those Tagalog favorites, does more than fill your belly – it fills your heart. Think of boisterous Boodle Fights with friends or the quiet joy of sharing siomai on a bustling street. These dishes bring people together. They spark conversation, laughter, and memories in the making.

So the next time you crave something new and exciting, explore the world of popular Tagalog foods of the Philippines. It’s a delicious adventure, and you might just find flavors that become lifelong favorites.

Updated By: CJ and Jefbeck

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