All about Boholano Cuisine

Filipino food has evolved over a number of centuries from its original Malay origins to a varied cuisine with many Spanish and Mexican cultural influences introduced during the Spanish colonial period. As much as 80 percent of Filipino food originates from Spain. Tomatoes and garlic, for instance, both staple Filipino foods, were introduced from Spain, as was the cooking method of sautéing using olive oil. Rice became a staple when people from southern China brought their cultivating and cooking skills to the Philippines. Hundreds of varieties of rice are now cultivated. The main source of protein is fish followed by pork and poultry. Imported beef and lamb are available but very expensive. Goat is popular in some parts of the country as are frogs, rabbits and deer. Native Filipino cooking is not too spicy despite the fact that spices are plentiful and readily available in the islands.

  • Adobo is considered a national dish made from chicken, pork, squid or vegetables stewed in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf.
  • Lumpia or better known as spring rolls in English is filled with vegetables and meat.
  • Sinigang is a lightly boiled, slightly sour soup often served with rice.
  • Bistek Another popular national cuisine of the Philippines is the bistek or beef and onion rings braised in soy sauce.
  • Lechon is a suckling pig, slowly roasted over live coals to make it crispy and tasty. This dish is often served with a thick liver sauce, simmered with vinegar, sugar and herbs.
  • Kare-kare is a Filipino stew made from peanut sauce with a variety of vegetables, stewed oxtail, beef or seafood.
  • Inasal means food that has been broiled or grilled.
  • Tuyo Isda is a dried salted fish.
  • Ginataan means cooked in coconut milk
  • Kilawin or Kinilaw is raw food ‘cooked’ in vinegar. Halo-halo is a very popular desert and features exotic fruits colourfully stacked under shaved ice or ice cream.
  • Pancit means noodles.


Abokado: Avocado
Achara: Pickled fruit and vegetable relish
Adobo: Meat, seafood or vegetables stewed in vinegar with garlic and black pepper.
Agar-Agar: Seaweed gelatin
Alimango: Large thick shelled crabs
Alimasag: Spotted thin shelled crabs
Alogbati: Malabar spinach
Ampalaya: Bitter melon
Apulid: Water chestnuts
Asukal: Sugar
Atis: Sweetsop
Atsuete: Annatto
Baboy: Pork
Baldereta: Goat meat stew
Baka: Beef
Balut: Boiled egg with fetus
Bangus: Milkfish
Bataw: beans
Bawang: Garlic
Bayabas: Guava
Binuro: Using salt as a preservative agent
Bistek: Stir fried steak
Calamansi: Small local lime
Dahon ng sili: Chili pepper leaves
Dayap: Lime
Dinaing: Marinated butterflied fish with vinegar, then broiled or fried
Dinuguan Baboy: Pork blood stew
Empanada: Meat filled pastry
Empanadita: Honey and nut pastry
Frito or Fritong: To fry
Frutas: Fruit
Gabi: Taro
Gulay: Vegetables
Guinataan: To cook meat, seafood, or vegetables in coconut milk
Guinisa: To saute with garlic and onions
Halabos: To steam shellfish with little water
Hamon: Ham
Hipon: Shrimp
Hito: Catfish
Inasan: Preserving foods with salt
Inihaw: To grill or broil
Itlog: eggs
Kabute: Mushroom
Kalabasa: Squash
Kambing: goat meat
Kamote: Sweet potato
Kamoteng Kahoy: Cassava
Kangkong: Spinach like vegetable
Kanin: Cooked rice
Kamatis: Tomatoes
Kaong: Palm nuts
Kilawin or kinilaw: Marinating meat or seafood in vinegar and souring agents.
Kinchay: Asian celery
Labanos: White radish
Labong: Bamboo shoots
Langka: Jackfruit
Luya: Ginger
Maaghang: Spicy
Malunggay: Horseradish tree
Mangga: Mango
Manggang Hilaw: Green mango
Manok: Chicken
Morcon: Stuffed rolled steak
Munggo: Mung beans
Murang sibuyas: Spring onions
Mustasa: Mustard greens
Nangka: Jackfruit
Nilaga: Boiling meat or fish in water
Papaya: Papaya or pawpaw
Pasingao: Steaming fish, shellfish or meats
Pasilla: A kind of hot pepper
Patatas: Potatoes
Patis: Fish sauce
Pato: Duck
Pechay: Bok choy
Penoy: Duck egg
Pinakbet: Pork and vegetable stew with bagoong alamang.
Pinaksiw: Cooking method; to cook fish in vinegar with water and spices
Pinausukan: To smoke fish and meats for flavor
Pinya: Pineapple
Pusit: Squid
Relleno or Rellenong: Stuffing chicken, fish or vegetables.
Repolyo: Cabbage
Saba: Cooking banana or plantain
Saging: Banana
Sago: Tapioca pearls
Salabat: Ginger tea
Saluyot: Okra leaves
Sampalok: Tamarind
Sigarilyas: Winged bean
Sili: Chili peppers
Singkamas: Jicama
Sinigang: Cooking meats, fish or vegetables with sour fruit.
Siomai: Dumplings
Siopao: Steamed meat buns
Sitaw: String beans
Suka: Vinegar
Talaba: Oyster
Talanga: Small river crab
Talong: Eggplant
Tanglad: Lemon grass
Tanigue: Wahoo (fish)
Tinapa: To soak smoked or salted fish in water, then pan-fry
Tocino: Annatto cured pork meat
Toge: Bean sprouts
Torrones: Egg rolls with bananas
Toyo: Soy sauce
Tubo: Sugar cane
Tulya: Clams
Ube: Purple yam

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