Filipino Cuisine: To Lumpia and Beyond

Filipino Cuisine: To Lumpia and Beyond

Thinking about taking a trip to Manila later this year? Here’s an introduction to Filipino cuisine.

Spring is the perfect time to enjoy spring rolls. However, something you may not know is that many countries around Asia have their own take on the classic spring roll. Whether they are steamed or fried, all are delicious. Thinking about taking a trip to Manila later this year? Here’s an introduction to Filipino cuisine. 


Lumpia is a relative of the egg roll and is also similar to the spring roll. It is often loaded with meat and veggies in an egg-based wrapper that is similar to a crepe. It can be fried or left unfried, but the “fresh” unfried version isn’t as tasty. Regardless of how it’s prepared, it is served with peanut sauce and is a delicious appetizer for newcomers to Filipino cuisine. 


Now we’re getting ready to dive into Filipino cuisine. Chicken, pork, or seafood are simmered in a yummy soy sauce and vinegar-based marinade. Squid is another commonly used ingredient as well. Rice is often served with the adobo and for many beginners, it’s easy to order extra sauce on the rice, which although it’s a rookie move, it’s still delicious nonetheless. 


Do you love noodles? Then you will dig eat pancit. After all, they transform into the Filipino equivalent of Pad Thai or Korea’s famous glass noodle dish – japchae. The noodles look like spaghetti, but instead of marinara sauce and meatballs, they are topped with seafood, pork, tofu, veggies, sauce, and eggs for something fully-loaded and delicious. 


Let’s talk about menudo. It’s a hearty stew made of peppers, roasted pork, and plenty of tomato sauce. It’s a remix of a Spanish soup, although taken to the next level of deliciousness. It comes with rice, as it should.  


From menudo we move onto inasal. Grilled chicken is stuck on skewers and served with another side of rice. The chicken is marinated in a sauce made of lime, vinegar, peppers, and tropical seeds. This dish comes from the city of Bacolod on the west coast of the Philippines and is another example of the versatility of Filipino cuisine. Besides, the stick can be used as a toothpick to get out any bits of chicken or rice that get stuck in your teeth. 


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