International Foods: Philippines

Jordyn Gear A3

Main Agricultural Products Grown or Harvested

Rice and Tropical vegetables and fruits (ex. bananas, coconuts, and pineapples)

Native Customs and Beliefs

Guests are seated nearest the head of the home and are always served first. No one eats until after the guest has had a bite or two. Likewise, no one leaves the table until everyone has finished eating. Guests show their appreciation by eating heartily. Refusing any offers is impolite, except for health reasons. Tipping is not practiced in restaurants, except at finer dining establishments, which include the tip in a service charge.

Unusual Foods



Christmas dinner usually features pork, beef stew, casseroles, and traditional desserts like leche flan (caramel custard) and coconut salad.


During Lent, devout Catholics refrain from eating meat. Although fish is allowed.

Native Dishes

Pork Adobo (Main Dish)

Ingredients:2 pounds pork
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 head garlic, mashed
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
  1. Cut meat into bite-size pieces. In a medium pot, combine the meat with the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  2. Over medium heat, allow the mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until meat is tender.
  3. If the mixture becomes too thick, add 1/4 cup of water at a time so that there will be enough liquid to cook the meat until tender.

Kare-Kare (Main Dish)

Ingredients:3 pounds fresh oxtail, cut into bite-size pieces
5 cups water
Salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons minced onions
3 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoon bagoong (salted shrimp paste)
1 small eggplant, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 pound fresh green beans
1/3 cup peanut butter
  1. In a large pot, combine oxtail, water, and salt. Boil for one hour.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté garlic and onion in cooking oil until brown.
  3. Remove the oxtail from the pot, reserving liquid. Place in the skillet with the garlic-onion mixture. Sauté ten minutes.
  4. Add bagoong and sauté another three minutes.
  5. Return the sautéed ingredients to the water in which the oxtail was boiled. Simmer ten minutes over medium heat.
  6. Add eggplant and green beans. Cook until tender.
  7. Reduce heat to low, and stir in peanut butter.
  8. Simmer five minutes more. Serve.

Suman (side dish)

Ingredients:2 cups short- or medium-grain rice
1 cup sugar
4 cups coconut milk
20 banana leaves
  1. Cut the banana leaves into uniform sizes. Boil them or pass each leaf over a flame to keep them from breaking during wrapping.
  2. Wash the rice and boil it in coconut milk over low heat, stirring every three minutes.
  3. After twenty minutes, add sugar.
  4. When rice is cooked and tender, transfer into a separate bowl and allow to cool.
  5. When rice mixture is cool enough to handle, place 3–4 tablespoons of it onto each banana leaf.
  6. Fold in both ends of the banana leaf. Then roll the leaf to resemble a log.
  7. Pile the rolled leaves into a deep pot.
  8. Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the first layer of rolled leaves. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Allow suman to steam for 30–45 minutes.
  9. To eat, peel the banana leaves back and eat the suman directly from the leaf.

Sopa de Fideos (Side Dish)

Ingredients:2 tablespoons oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic, macerated
1 small onion, sliced
3/4 cup ground beef or pork
4 cups broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, scrambled and cut into pieces
Vermicelli noodles
  1. Sauté garlic in hot oil. Add onions and ground meat; cook until done.
  2. Add broth, soy sauce, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add desired amount of noodles and cook until tender.
  3. Add egg slices and serve hot.

Leche Flan (Dessert)

Ingredients:4 eggs
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
Sugar, to caramelize bottom of container
  1. Mix well eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Caramelize sugar at bottom of container and then double-boil mixture for about 1/2 hour at 325°F. (To double-boil, place mixture in a Pyrex-type bowl. Put this bowl in a larger pan with water and then boil.) Test mixture by inserting knife; if it pulls out clean, it's done.
  2. Cool the flan, and then run a knife around the container to loosen flan from sides. Carefully turn over flan onto a serving platter, with the caramelized part on top.

Herbs and Spices