Filipino food may not be as well-known as that of its Vietnamese and Thai neighbors, but, with over seven thousand islands and a very vibrant history, this peninsula has some delish dishes of its own. Endowed with a plethora of tropical fruits, seafood and creative cooks, undoubtedly there’s more to Filipino cuisine than the stupendous duck embryo otherwise known as “balut”. In truth, you just need to know where to find them and how to properly eat them.
Like the lengthy lunches and flowing conversations which usually spill over to snack time and even supper time at family reunions, fiestas, private home gatherings, the quest to distinguish the true identity of Filipino cuisine seems boundless. Moreover, the country’s cuisine has actually been formed by several factors like distinct foreign influences from the Malays, Spaniards to the Americans as well as Chinese and other diverse traditions, cultures and even socio-economic conditions in every locality.
Meanwhile, while much of the inspiration originated from their occupiers, colonizers and immigrants, Filipinos are brilliant cooks who have made and continue to make flavorful and fresh recipes out of borrowed dishes, each with evident Filipino twist that may be traced from homegrown ingredients, native cooking techniques or family kitchen secrets.
Since a lot of Filipinos at present prefer and start to study, work and migrate abroad, Filipino food has become more popular in the countries where many Filipinos choose to reside. In Honolulu where a great number of Filipinos live, Filipino dishes are also loved by other native residents there. A lot of people both Filipinos, locals and other nationalities all agree that Filipino cuisine is not bland for it comes with a lot of flavor profiles such as umami, bitter, sour, sweet and salty. This only conveys that even if the Philippines is an island and each province has its own distinctive flavors, people can easily distinguish each dish however different, is uniquely Filipino.
People across the globe particularly in Honolulu think that what sets Filipino cuisine apart from other cuisines is its unique ability to adapt easily. Every dish talks about a time in history and how the tradition and culture at that period influenced it. In addition, authentic Filipino food is commonly cooked slowly using natural ingredients derived from local market or family backyard, carefully prepared from scratch, free of food additives that are mainly promoted by international firms and of course no shortcuts in terms of cooking procedures.
Apart from all these, fiesta precisely describes Filipino food and this what makes it quite disparate among other cuisines in the world. Thoroughly prepared ingredients which are carefully cooked over low heat (fire) amid ancestral surroundings, the aroma, texture and color all make Filipino dishes very extraordinary.
There are countless options when it comes to Filipino food such as lechon, adobo, kare-kare, sisig, bulalo, chicken inasal, taba ng talangka, crispy pata, crispy pata, pancit palabok, fish tinola, kamaro, tapa, Ilocos empanada, dinuguan at puto, sinigang, laing, bagnet, pinakbet, longanisa, Bicol express, bibingka, halo-halo, leche flan, taho, puto bumbong, suman at manga, fish kinilaw, relyenong bangus, kaldereta, bistek, menudo, tortang talong, kuhol sa gata, turon, pandesal, halayang ube, embutido, tocino, lumpiang ubod, inihaw na hito, Pancit habhab and guisado, tuyo and adobong pusit. These are just some of the must-try and must taste Filipino foods that one must not miss.
Do not miss your chance to have a taste of uniquely-flavored Filipino dishes and you can visit Kusina Korner, Elena’s Filipino Food Lunchwagon, Max’s of Manila, San Nicolas Chicharon & Sausage Co. and M & N Fast Foods & Restaurant since these are just a few of the most recommended Filipino Food diners you can check out if you’re residing in Honolulu.