Blessed with a tropical setting and a wealth of natural wonders, the Philippines is truly a heavenly destination that has a plethora of offerings to its tourists. From its lush mountains to its pristine white-sand beaches, this destination has all the features of a tropical destination.A trip to this Southeast Asian country, however, involves more than just enjoying its tourist offerings and majestic ambiance. As a tourist in the Philippines, you get a chance to sample a wide array of delightful traditional dishes that will surely satisfy your taste buds.
1. Lechon Baboy
No trip to this tropical haven is complete without a taste of its world famous, Lechon baboy. When it comes to traditional dishes, Lechon baboy is the true undisputed star in the Philippines. As a matter of fact, this traditional Filipino dish can be found in nearly all festivals and special occasions in the Philippines.
Introduced by the Spaniards a few centuries ago, the Lechon baboy is a whole roasted pig with a crispy, taut and shiny skin and a savory meat. To add more flavor to this roasted pig, Filipino cooks would add a variety of ingredients to it, including lemongrass, laurel leaves, spring onions, pepper and star anise. To fully enjoy this dish, dip its skin or meat into a spicy sauce or vinegar, before eating it.
Eating Halo-halo is a great and tasty way to enjoy a steamy afternoon in the Philippines. With a serving of Halo-halo, you get to enjoy a cold luscious snack that contains a mixture of shaved ice and a variety of ingredients, including a scoop of ice-cream, milk, garbanzos, beans, kaong, banana, ube, gulaman and leche flan.
Adobo is an omnipresent dish in every Filipino household. Basically, it is a Mexican dish, but with a twist. In this Filipino dish, Filipinos are able to preserve its meat even without refrigeration using a variety of spices that include soy sauce, pepper, garlic, salt, vinegar and many more. While this cooking style is commonly used in pork, it can also be applied to chicken, beef or seafood.
4. Bicol Express
The Bicol Express is a spicy Filipino dish that foodies would surely enjoy. A chili coconut milk and pork stew, the Bicol Express is a staple in many Filipino restaurants and eateries.
If you are fond of exotic treats and street foods, then try eating Isaw in the Philippines. A popular street food in the country, Isaw is a local delicacy made from chicken intestines or barbecued pig. While this Filipino dish may seem crude and untidy, it is actually not that bad. During the preparation process, the cook thoroughly cleanses the intestines. Afterwards, the intestines are boiled and grilled on barbecues sticks. To enhance its flavor, make sure to dip it in pinakurat (a Filipino made vinegar mixed with hot peppers, onions and other spices).
Another exotic treat that is quite famous in the Philippines is the balut, which a boiled duck embryo eaten in its shell. According to the locals, it is believed that the balut is a high-protein and aphrodisiac snack. For the most part, balut is sold as a street food by vendors all over the Philippines.
For vegetarians, a must try dish in the Philippines is the Pinakbet, a healthy dish made up of fish paste, tomatoes, squash, bitter gourd, eggplant and okra. Not only is this vegetable dish healthy and delightful, but it is also very cheap!
8. Lumpiang Ubod
For a healthy and hearty treat in the Philippines, savor their Lumpiang ubod, which is the country’s version of spring roll. Like your regular spring rolls, lumpiang ubod is stuffed with vegetables and shrimps, wrapped in an egg wrapper. But unlike spring rolls, this dish is filled with ubod (the coconut tree’s pit) as well as a sweet garlicky sauce.
9. Chicken Inasal
The Chicken Inasal is unlike any ordinary grilled chicken you have tasted before. This grilled chicken delicacy is rich in flavor, as it is marinated in garlic, pepper, salt, calamnsi and lemon grass. What’s more, it is brushed with a savory sauce made from annatto seeds.
Of course, to enjoy a hearty meal in the Philippines, always include a cup of rice to your dish. Filipinos, in general, just cannot resist not having rice in their meals, whether it is dinner, lunch or breakfast. As a tourist in this archipelago, you should make it a point to try their rice and its varieties.
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