10 Filipino Dishes You’ve Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now!

10 Filipino Dishes You’ve Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now!

 

Filipino food has been enjoying a renaissance lately. More and more foreigners are praising our dishes, while local restaurants are reinventing our homegrown food to add a special twist or to enhance the flavor. Sure, we’ve all heard about adobo and nilaga, but there are thousands of other Filipino dishes that are only available in certain provinces, all waiting to be tried by foreigners and Manilenos alike. 

It makes sense that there are dishes not available in Metro Manila. For a country that has 7,107 islands with varying weathers, natural resources, and livestock, it only follows that not everyone enjoys the same dinner. Forget about sinigang and tinola, here are the 10 Filipino dishes you’ve never heard of that you must try now:

 

10 Filipino Dishes You've Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now

Dinengdeng (Photo from Angsarap.net)

 

10. Dinengdeng (Ilocos)

If you like fish, Ilocos’ dinengdeng is perfect for you. It’s a watery soup that has boiled horseradish leaves, seasoned with bagoong (fermented shrimp sauce) and topped with grilled fish. If you think healthy food is a bore, expect a flavorful and savory punch from the bagoong.

 

 

10 Filipino Dishes You've Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now (KC Canlas)

Camaru (Photo by KC Canlas)

 

9. Camaru (Pampanga)

Pampanga is the food capital of the Philippines. It is home to the famous bar chow sisig, but we recommend camaru, or fried mole crickets. While its appearance looks like it’s only for the adventurous, the taste is similar to adobo, which flavored with soy sauce and vinegar. Camaru is crispy and tastes like liver.

 

10 Filipino Dishes You've Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now (Inflight)

Betute (Photo by Inflight)

 

8. Betute (Pampanga)

Another dish from Pampanga is betute, or stuffed frog. Its origin is French, but the betute is uniquely Filipino because it serves the entire frog, rather than just the legs. It is stuffed with ground pork, minced garlic, salt, vinegar, ground pepper, and brown sugar. As they say, it tastes like chicken.

 

10 Filipino Dishes You've Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now (Advocacine)

Sundot kulangot (Photo by Advocacine)

 

7. Sundot kulangot (Baguio)

The term ‘sundot kulangot’ literally means picked booger, because of the way it is eaten. Sundot kulangot is milled glutinous rice flour mixed with molasses, and served inside pitogo shells. To eat, you have to use a stick to “poke” its contents, much like how you pick your nose. It’s sticky, sweet, and tastes a bit like coco jam. You know what they say, food tastes better if you work hard for it.

 

10 Filipino Dishes You've Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now (Kinunot Kusina 101)

Kinunot (Photo by Kusina101)

 

6. Kinunot (Bicol)

What’s interesting about this dish is the meat used: stingrary, and sometimes, shark. To cook kinunot, you shred the stingray meat and horseradish, simmer in coconut cream and green chilies, and add slices of onion and garlic.

 

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Binakol (Photo by Angsarap.net)

 

5. Binakol (Bacolod)

Like kinunot, binakol uses young coconut, except it uses it as soup for chicken. It’s similar to tinola because ginger is one of its ingredients, but binakol is different because it is traditionally cooked inside a bamboo tube or coconut husk. 

 

10 Filipino Dishes You've Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now (Pyanggang Allsate)

Pyanggang (Photo by Allsate)

 

4. Pyanggang (Tausug)

Pyanggang is made from barbecued chicken marinaded in spices, and served with coconut milk with toasted coconut meat. Don’t let the color turn you off, because the taste is delicious.

 

10 Filipino Dishes You've Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now (Tiyula Foodtube)

Tiyula itum (Photo by Foodtube)

 

3. Tiyula itum (Tausug)

Tiyula itum’s most distinct characteristic is its dark broth, due to the toasted coconut flesh. Tiyula itum is made with beef or chicken, lightly flavored with ginger, chili, and turmeric. It is traditionally served in celebrations like weddings and after Ramadan.

 

10 Filipino Dishes You've Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now (Travelstart)

Jumping shrimp salad (Photo by Travelstart)

 

2. Jumping shrimp salad (Ilocos)

The name “jumping shrimp salad” is not a metaphor, it is literally a salad of live, jumping shrimp. Eaten like kinilaw (ceviche), the live shrimp is eaten, head and shell included, by dipping it in calamansi or salt. To flavor, you may also add tomatoes, onions, and ginger. This is generally served with a cover to prevent the shrimp from jumping out.

 

10 Filipino Dishes You've Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now (Asya)

Kalderetang kambing (Photo by Asya)

 

1. Kalderetang kambing

We all know what kaldereta tastes like, but using kambing (goat) is a bit unusual. It’s not easy to cook either, because it has a strange smell and taste (called anggo). To use kambing, some suggestions to get rid of the goat taste is to rub and rinse with salt repeatedly, cook with a lot of onions and garlic, or to rinse in vinegar overnight and scrub with lime. To cook as kaldereta, just follow the same instructions and use spicy tomato sauce, liver spread, and sweet pickle relish. It takes a lot of effort to use kambing, but when cooked right, it’s worth it. 

 

10 Filipino Dishes You've Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now (SBS Australia)

Sinigang na watermelon (Photo by SBS Australia)

 

Bonus: Sinigang na watermelon

Sinigang is a delicious soup characterized by the sour taste of tamarind. It can be used as broth to chicken, fish, beef, or pork, and stewed with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and other vegetables. However, there is a variation that is slowly becoming popular in the Philippines. Just add watermelon. The taste is still distinctly sour, except there is a sweet aftertaste that is refreshing. It’s a great way to add personality to an already favorite dish. Serve this dish if you want to keep guests coming back.

Do you know other Filipino dishes we’ve never heard of that we have to try now? Share it in the comments below!

 

10 Filipino Dishes You’ve Never Heard Of That You Must Try Now!






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