13 Edible Reasons To Fall In Love With Philippines | ExpatWomanFood.com

13 Edible Reasons To Fall In Love With the Philippines

We look at 13 popular Filipino dishes you can find in the UAE that define the Philippines' culture, people, and landscape

Posted on

15 November 2021

13 Edible Reasons To Fall In Love With Philippines

It may not be as popular as its neighbouring cuisines (Chinese or Thai) but Filipino cuisine has its distinct flavours that are hard to find anywhere else in the world.

If you doubt our words then listen to world’s renowned chef, Anthony Bourdain, who believes Filipino food is the next big thing. TBH, with so many expat-Filipino fellows living here in the UAE, it was just a matter of time that we got the whiff of their underrated Asian cuisine.

Exotic seafood delicacies, deep-fried desserts, tropical fruits slushies and their spices, we wholeheartedly agree with Bourdain, we've got enough reason to visit this colourful and friendly archipelago.

As the Philippines removes Covid-19 quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated passengers arriving from the UAE from November 16, we expect more and more travelers to fly to this island nation.

We look at the 13 scrumptious dishes that define the Philippines' culture, people and landscape, most of which you can find here in the UAE!

1. Adobo

Many consider this meat-marinated-in-sauce dish to be the unofficial national dish of the country and we can see why. It's chicken or pork marinated with vinegar, soy sauce and garlic.

You can't really go wrong here. It's a classic dish for many Filipino restaurant menus in the UAE.

Best Filipino foods to try - adobo

2. Ukoy

It's crispy shrimp fritters with tangy vinegar dipping sauce — we're sold!

Best Filipino street foods to try - ukoy

3. Turon

Deep-fried, sweet banana rolls that can usually be seen on the streets being peddled along with banana-cue.

That's it, we're moving to the Philippines.

Best Filipino street foods to try - turon

4. Chicharon

Dipped in vinegar and spiked with chili peppers, this is the Philippines' answer to crispy bar food favourites. Please note that chicharon is usually made out of pork.

You can find chicharon at the Pork Section in several supermarkets across the UAE.

Best Filipino street foods to try - chicharon

5. Halo Halo

If you ask us, Filipinos discovered the rainbow trend long before Instagram did. Halo-halo means "mix mix" in Tagalog, and that's exactly what you're supposed to do with it.

This picture-perfect drink is a crazy blend of shaved ice cream, fruit beans, ice cream and whatever your heart desires. When you visit a local Filipino restaurant in the UAE, chances are you can spot this colourful sweet treat in the menu.

Best Filipino street foods to try - halo halo

6. Kwek Kwek

Deep-fried quail eggs in a spicy orange batter, these are a street-food must for all visitors in the Philippines!

Best Filipino street foods to try - kwek kwek

7. Taho

Best served when warm, taho is a bean curd dessert made of soft silken tofu. It is topped with a sweet syrup, caramelised or liquefied brown sugar, and sago or tapioca pearls. Exotic!

You can find them at almost every street corner for as little as 5 Philippine Peso (50 fils)! Despite being a Filipino favourite, it's quite hard to find out where to buy taho in the UAE. We recommend purchasing the ingredients instead to make your very own taho.

Best Filipino street foods to try - taho

8. Lumpiang Shangai

If you like spring rolls, then you're going to LOVE this popular mainstay in Filipino food gatherings. It's a heavenly mixture of ground chicken, beef or pork, chopped vegetables such as carrots, onions and jicama wrapped in thin spring roll wrappers.

When you're invited to a Filipino home for a party, you're likely to find lumpiang shanghai on the table.

Best Filipino street foods to try - lumpiang shanghai

9. Sinigang

Fried rice with soup and meat for breakfast, anyone? Head over to Manila and you'll eat as much as you want.

Sinigang features an addictive, sour flavour and it is typically cooked with beef, pork, or shrimp. Much like adobo, sinigang is a common menu item in Filipino restaurants.

Best Filipino foods to try - sinigang

10. Chicken Skewers

Don't get confused by the name, it's everyone's all-time favourite barbeque chicken skewers served Filipino-style.

Best Filipino foods to try - chicken skewers

11. Pancit Palabok

This is how the Philippines often enjoys noodles — with cooked shrimps and shrimp sauce, pork, crushed chicharon, tofu and fried garlic.

And like noodles anywhere around the world, Filipinos eat pancit palabok whenever the mood strikes.

Best Filipino foods to try - Pancit palabok

12. Iskrambol

Iskrambol or Ice Scramble is the Filipino version of slushy made out of banana flavoured frozen condensed milk, usually sold by street hawkers.

A perfect summer treat!

Best Filipino street foods to try - Iskrambol

Image credit: Pinterest

13. Lechon Manok

Nobody can resist the power of a perfectly roasted whole chicken known as Lechon Manok. This glazed street version of roasted chicken is available almost everywhere in the Philippines, especially for dinner-time.

Best Filipino street food - lechon manok