Filipino Cuisine

Filipino Cuisine

Historical Context

“Filipino cuisine is influenced by many cultures, mainly Malay, Spanish and Chinese cultures.  More recently, influences from the United States, Germany and Japan have made their way into Filipino cooking.” (4)

“Spain’s culture is one of the most influential on food in the Philippines, with around 80 percent of the food cooked having its roots in Spain.” (4)

Spanish had control of the Philippines from 1571-1898. (2. pg 10)

American influences, not as notable as Spain’s, came about with the end of World War II.  (4)

“Stripping away these alien influences to find the truly native Filipino cuisine is a difficult and probably pointless task” (5. 139)


Several Islands

Tropical Climate



Only Christian Nation in Asia

90% Roman Catholic

Buddhism, Taoism, & Confucianism influence some aspects of belief system

Core Foods – Grains

“The staple food in some areas is rice whereas in others it may be cassava. Although at every Filipino meal, rice is available.” “even though the Filipinos have been eating rice for more than 2,000 years, you do not have to like rice to eat and enjoy some of the best Philippine Dishes.” (5. pg 126)

Large Variety of grain products including : Corn, oatmeal, wheat flour, bread, and noodles etc. (4)

Core Foods – Meat

“The most popular meat in the Philippines is pork, with beef and poultry following behind. ” (4)

Intake of fish declining (Seafood still a major source) (3. p 317)

Recently consuming more beef (3. p 317)

Filipino’s use all parts of the animal in their cooking (3. p 314)

Core Foods – Dairy

Filipinos eat more dairy than most Asian countries

Lactose Intolerance is common

Calcium deficiency is still a problem

Soy milk is more common than dairy milk

Make dairy from the milk of water buffalo

(3. p 316)

Core Foods

– Fruit

“A principle food in many Pacific Islands is the Coconut, and it is widely used in Filipino cooking“ (3. p 314-315)

“fruit cocktail became popular, particularly when Filipinos added their own ingredients, namely the jackfruit (langka), coconut (buko), and palm nuts (kaong).  These ingredients give it a Filipino “flair.“” (4)

Core Foods – Vegetables

Pickled fruits and vegetables are very popular. (3. 316)

Consumption of green vegetables and salads has increased. (3. 317)

Core Foods – Spices

“Filipinos cook many dishes with vinegar” (5. p 126)

Bagoong or “Fish Paste” is a common ingredient in Filipino cooking (5. p 126)

Regional Specialties

Adobo – a characteristic Filipino stew that combines chicken pork and fish fried in garlic and lard and then seasoned with soy-sauce, vinegar, bay leaf and peppercorn. (3. p 314)

Adobo is the best known dish from the Philippines (2. pg 69)

Halo Halo – a parfait like dessert consisting of shaved ice, coconut milk, mung beans, purple yam pudding, boiled palm seeds, corn kernels, pineapple jelly, and other ingredients. (3. p 314)

Kari Kari – a stew of beef, oxtails, string beans, tomatoes, onions, and ground peanuts flavored with bagoong (fish paste) and lime.

(3. p 314)

Methods of Preparation

Before outside influences, Filipinos used their hands to eat, but with western influences and the introduction of eating utensils such as knives, forks and spoons, they have adapted their ways. (2.)

“What makes the Philippine method of combining foods different … is that [they] usually do not build [them] around one central ingredient” (5. p 130)

Foods are typically boiled or steamed (3. p 315)

Traditional diet is higher in fat than other Asian countries (3. p316)


1. Cheung, S. & Chee-Beng, T. (2007). Food and Foodways in Asia. New York: Routledge.

2. Esterik, P. V. (2008). Food Culture in Southeast Asia. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

3. Kittler, P. G., & Sucher, K. P. (2004). Food and Culture (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning.

4. Lee, K. (2008). Filipino Food Retrieved September 12, 2009, from Web site:

5. Steinberg, R. (1970). Pacific and Southeast Asian Cooking. New York: Time-Life Books.

Bir cevap yazın

Başa dön tuşu