19 Delicious Dishes Filipinos Serve on Christmas Noche Buena

10. Paella

Paella Ilustrado

There are so many means and versions of how to make paella, but one of them has chicken, pork, clams, shrimp, and mussels! A number of people say that the word “paella” can be closely linked with baqiyah, the Arabic word for leftovers, even though it originated in Valencia, Spain. Having said that, the word actually comes from Latin word patella that is an offering to the gods. More than ten Noche Buenas have passed already, but I still haven’t tasted paella. Weird, huh? I heard that it is delicious, though! What is your personal opinion about it? Do you prefer it above anything else on this else or there’s a mix of emotions concerning that?

9. Lumpiang Shanghai

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It’s a lip-smacking recipe and great to serve as finger food! Lumpiang Shanghai is called spring rolls by other nationalities too, yet what they are always trying to make sure of before they eat it is what these spring rolls have inside. I’m not sure if it’s because they are health conscious or they have an astounding amount of faith in the chefs, though. Is the latter a great excuse?

8. Barbecue


Chicken, beef, or pork barbecue is definitely one of my much-loved foods! It could be an appetizer, main course, or snack! It’s not like most people, including me, follow the dining rule which is appetizer – entrée- dessert. From time to time, I prefer the entrée first before the appetizer then the dessert. I might even go back when I feel like satisfying my pallette with salty and sweet foods. You need time to marinate the meat that will be used, though. Most people usually put soy sauce, garlic, onion, lemon, 7UP or Sprite, ground black pepper, and banana ketchup.

7. Kare-kare

Kare-kare is a traditional Filipino oxtail stew in a peanut-based sauce. Best served with bagoong or shrimp paste! It is considered a specialty and often served during special occasions! However, the recipe varies from region to region and family to family, complementing what they actually want. Pampanga, the culinary center of the Philippines, is where the majority of people believe Kare-kare originated. It’s not that surprising, isn’t it? Most of the dishes on this list came from them! Others suppose it is a noble dish served to elite people before or it is similar to Indian curry and an Indonesian dish called Gado-Gado. Who knows, really? The past decades, we’ve shared what we are capable of to other races and so did they!

6. PancitBruno's Pancit Cabagan When in Manila Mae Ilagan (7 of 9)

Pancit Malabon, Pancit Bihon, or Pancit Canton, these types of noodles will ruin your diet because you will not even notice how much you’ve been eating! This was adopted in our local cuisine ever since the Chinese introduced noodles! Was it love at first taste? It’s also a popular belief that the birthday celebrant needs to eat noodles to prolong his or her life. As they put it, “Wala namang mawawala kung susubukan.” Birthday noodles are served at Chinese restaurants to back up this way of thinking. Other than what I’ve mentioned above, there are special kinds of pancit too! For example, there’s Buko Pancit, Pancit Lomi, Pancit Miki, Pancit Morong, Pancit Lucban and Pancit Luglog! Oh my gosh, pansit

5. Crispy Pata

Kuya J Crispy Pata Filipino Food Jericho Rosales  When In Manila Frank Ruaya  Mae Ilagan (23 of 37)

Crispy Pata is a Filipino dish consisting of deep fried pig trotters or knuckles partnered with a soy-vinegar! It is one of the legendary pulutans or beer matches during each drinking session! It is tricky to fry the pig trotters or knuckles if you are not that careful. There have been cases in which one gets wounded so you have to be mindful! Ask the technique of countless chefs!

4. Embutido


It is a type of meatloaf prepared Filipino style! It is the Filipino version of meatloaf, truly! In Spain and Portugal, Embutido is known as enchido. It means that the stuffings such as hashed meat, spices, and herbs are wrapped in the skin of the pig’s intestines, but most are packed in artificial, but edible skin. The typical ingredients are ground pork, carrots, onion, eggs, liver spread, pickles, raisins, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper! I think I’ve tasted this a handful of times. Making Embutido is one of the toughest tasks I know, based on my aunts’ sentiments, especially when you’re going to use the skin of the pig’s intestines. Nonetheless, if you’re making it for the whole family to relish, why not? I’m pretty sure your hard work will be paid off! 

3. Christmas Ham

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It is one of the traditional foods served to the guests or ourselves! Most Filipinos just buy the hamon at the grocery store or order from a friend who sells it. More often than not, we give the Christmas Ham as gifts to our close friends and relatives, don’t we? It costs around 150 php or maybe the price is higher, depending on the brand of the ham. Though, you can always make your own Christmas Ham and still have the same agenda! You can even put it up for sale to your officemates or buddies for additional income to buy your inaanaks the gifts they deserve! Sounds like a great idea, huh? Firstly, you need kilos of a pig’s leg without the bones. Select one with the skin and fat intact. It also involves sugar, salt, honey, msg (optional), Sprite or 7UP, pineapple, and garlic! Good luck with that!

2. Spaghetti

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“Walang katapusang Spaghetti?!” One of my favorite comments from a young child! Don’t get me wrong. I love pasta, but sometimes, it gets a little tiring to eat the same old spaghetti all over again at every occasion. Because of this, gladly, many people have their own versions of Spaghetti! One of the versions of Philippine spaghetti is the sweet one. For foreigners, they prefer it to be a bit sour, but for us, we prefer it to be sweet! Why is that so? Maybe that’s what our taste buds prefer! Never argue with thy taste buds! To make matters funnier, we name the meals based on the fastfood chains we eat at, Jollibee style spaghetti, McDonald’s style spaghetti, KFC style spaghetti, and many more! And of course, there is what we call homemade style spaghetti! HA!

1. Lechon 

Lydia's Lechon 50th anniversary - Lechon

What’s a Filipino feast without this? It’s more like a necessity to have one at every occasion! An event without a Lechon is like walking around with just one shoe! Lechon is also called litsong baboy and came from the Spanish term that means “suckling pig.” The famous lechonmakers and sellers in the Philippines are Mila’s Lechon, Lydia’s Lechon, Aling Nene, Pingping, and Mang Tomas! The Lechon has been part of our culture way back the Spanish era! There’s no room for wonder that this is the main host or highlight of most events not only in the Philippines but also abroad! And, don’t forget, you can turn the leftovers into Lechon Paksiw so no part of the roasted pig will be wasted! 

Did we miss anything on this list? How about you? What are you anticipating this Noche Buena? Ready to unbuckle your belts? :)

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