Popular Filipino Recipes

Try these Filipino favorites in your own kitchen.

Serve nasi lemak

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Maybe you don't live near a Filipino restaurant, or maybe want to expand your at-home cooking repertoire. Either way, give these crave-worthy Filipino recipes a try. Much of the cuisine features distinctively bright flavors and an enticing array of textures. We're talking succulent meats, umami-bomb broths, and tongue-coating sauces that will leave your tastebuds and stomach both wonderfully satisfied. For those less familiar with Filipino cuisine, consider this list your restaurant ordering guide, too. We've included entrees, condiment, and desserts so you can create an entire menu at home.

  • 01 of 19

    Pancit (Stir-Fry Noodles with Vegetables)

    Filipino Pancit

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

    The name of this dish also points to one of its key ingredients: pancit means "noodles" in Tagalog. We use pancit canon, or egg noodles, as the base for a noodle, vegetable, and shrimp stir fry dish that comes together quickly and easily. Just about any fresh vegetables will work, but tradition calls for thinly-sliced cabbage, carrot, onion, and bell peppers.

  • 02 of 19

    Chicken Tinola

    Gingered Chicken Tinola and Green Papaya Soup in a pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    Made with chicken, green papaya, and chile leaves, chicken tinola looks like a soup but eats like a main dish. Brown chicken pieces in ginger, shallots, garlic, then simmer in broth before adding wedges of green papaya and chile leaves. It comes out fragrant, hearty, and satisfying.

  • 03 of 19

    Garlic Fried Rice with Crab Paste

    Filipino Garlic Fried Rice With Crab Paste

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

    Crab paste gives this Filipino fried rice a rich seafood flavor. Unlike the Chinese version, FIlipino fried rice often consists simply of day-old rice and some aromatics. Try it to use up leftover rice or with fresh rice if you don't have any hanging around.

  • 04 of 19

    La Paz Batchoy (Pork Noodle Soup)

    La Paz Batchoy: Central Philippines' Pork Noodle Soup
    La Paz Batchoy: Central Philippines' Pork Noodle Soup. © Connie Veneracion

    Batchoy refers not only to pork tenderloin, spleen, and kidneys, but also the umami noodle soup that hails from La Paz, Iloilo City. This soup has notes of Filipino and Spanish flavors, with pork offal, crushed chicharon, fish sauce, ginger, and scallions.

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  • 05 of 19

    Pickled Bitter Melon Salad

    Pickled Bitter Melon / Gourd Salad
    Pickled Bitter Melon / Gourd Salad. © Connie Veneracion

    Pickle bitter melon with shreds of carrot, radish, shallot, and some bird's eye chile in either a Filipino or Vietnamese-style liquid for a vegetarian salad or light main dish. Both have a little spice, a little sweetness, and lots of flavor. We've also included toppings and variations, to customize your preparation.

  • 06 of 19

    Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

    Instant Pot Chicken Adobo

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

    Using your Instant Pot to make chicken adobo cuts down on the cook time without compromising the rich, signature flavor. Many of us already have the vinegar, soy sauce, onion, jalapeño, and bay leaves that create the sauce, making it a decent pantry meal, as well.

  • 07 of 19

    Embutido (Meatloaf)

    Embutido (Filipino Meatloaf)

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

    In the Philippines, this steamed and fried log-shaped meatloaf often serves as a special-occasion dish. Traditionally, embutido would get shaped and then wrapped in leaf lard or caul fat, similar to making spring rolls. Today, caul fat can get difficult to source, so this recipe omits the ingredient.

  • 08 of 19

    Bistek Tagalog (Garlicky Bistek)

    Garlicky Filipino Bistek (Bistek Tagalog)

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

    With both Filipino and Spanish influences, garlicky bistek tagalog has plenty of citrus and fragrant garlic aromas to complement tender sirloin. Because lime, lemon, and calamondin juice can all vary in acidity, you may need to adjust the amount of juice accordingly.

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  • 09 of 19

    Lumpia Shanghai

    Lumpia Spring Rolls Recipe

    The Spruce /

    The exact recipe for the shatteringly crisp spring rolls filled with pork and beef, flavored with garlic, ginger, and scallions known as lumpia Shanghai differs depending on the household. Because they do take some time, make a big batch at once and store them in the freezer for later use.

  • 10 of 19

    Nasi Lemak (Coconut Pandan Rice)

    Serve nasi lemak

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Cooking rice with coconut milk then serving it with spicy sambal, cooling vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and crispy fried anchovies creates the fragrant and comforting nasi lemak that you'll often find in Malaysia, some regions of Indonesia, and the Philippines.

  • 11 of 19

    Ensaladang Pinoy (Vegetable Salad)

    Ensaladang Pilipino (Filipino Vegetable Salad)
    © Connie Veneracion

    Leafy green salads don't traditionally appear on Filipino menus, but side dishes made with vegetables do. Thanks to getting pickled with ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and finger chiles, these vegetables need no dressing or extra sauces. Serve them alongside any fish, meat, or poultry and rice for a complete meal,

  • 12 of 19

    Sambal Kangkung with Shrimp Paste

    Sambal Kangkung With Shrimp Paste
    Sambal Kangkung With Shrimp Paste. © Connie Veneracion

    Kangkung, a semiaquatic plant, grows in swamps in The Philippines and has edible hollow stalks and leaves. You can also use mature spinach if you can't find the vegetable. Sambal, a generic term for chili-based sauces, gives it a nice kick. This preparation works well as a side for protein mains. Omit the shrimp paste if you need a vegetarian dish.

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  • 13 of 19

    Kare Kare (Oxtails with Tripe)


    Piotr Chalimoniuk/Getty Images

    This traditional kare kare simmers oxtails and tripe until they become fall-off-the-bone tender. A spicy peanut sauce complements the rich meat for a traditional dish you'll often see at family dinners.

  • 14 of 19

    Homemade Banana Ketchup

    Homemade banana ketchup recipe

    ​The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    When the Philippines experienced a tomato shortage during World War II, they started making ketchup with bananas instead. The tradition stuck, and now you can make your own at home. It does take some stirring as the mixture slowly cooks down, but once it's done, you can use it in any way you would tomato-based ketchup.

  • 15 of 19



     Kristina Vanni

    The most popular bread in The Philippines, pandesal has a light and tender crumb, a crunchy exterior, and slightly sweet flavor. They taste best fresh out of the oven, especially when dipped into a mug of coffee or tea. Also try them as a snack with butter, jam, or both.

  • 16 of 19

    Leche Flan (Creme Caramel)

    Filipino Leche flan

    The Spruce


    Sweet, creamy, and decadent, leche flan is a steamed custard topped with a syrupy caramel sauce. The slow and gentle steaming technique results in a delicate custard that works in both a large, shallow dish or individual serving ramekins.

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  • 17 of 19

    Buko Salad (Fruit Salad)

    Buko Salad (Filipino Fruit Salad)

    The Spruce/Ahlam Raffii

    Made with canned fruit cocktail, cream, and sweetened condensed milk, it doesn't get any easier than buko salad. Try it for a quick, simple dessert you can make entirely out of pantry and fridge ingredients.

  • 18 of 19

    Ube Ice Cream

    Ube Ice Cream

    The Spruce/Kristina Vanni

    With its pretty purple color and slightly nutty, gently sweet flavor, ube makes even basic ice cream into a showstopping dessert. This homemade ice cream recipe calls for both ube extract and powder for maximum color and flavor.

  • 19 of 19

    Bibingka (Coconut Rice Cake)

    Bibingka (Filipino Savory Coconut Rice Cake)

    The Spruce/Arlyn Osborne

    A popular sweet and savory coconut rice cake, bibingka often appears on Christmas dessert tables. This recipe results in miniature cakes, perfect for individual servings or sharing. We've also included tips for a 9-inch version, if you prefer.