Categories: FilipinoSpanish

Top 10 All Time Filipino Favourite Noche Buena Recipes


I guess there’s no Christmas in other countries that can surpass the celebrations we have in the Philippines, for a start Christmas season back home starts from the “ber” months, meaning anything this “ber” suffix on the month name i.e. September, October even Januaryber is considered Holiday season. During these times traffic is unbearable especially in the Metro Area as everyone is shopping for Christmas gifts.

In December endless group of kids start to sing carols in front of your house as early as December 16 in exchange for some small monetary gift, this is also the time where Filipinos specially the religious ones wake up early in the morning to catch the Early Dawn mass (Simbang Gabi) which is held until Christmas eve. During this early masses street vendors flock in front of the church to sell Filipino favourite street food like bibingka and puto bungbong.

And on the eve itself starting early in the morning moms, aunts, grandmothers and even some male members of the family start to prepare a feast that we call Noche Buena. It’s the supper meal after the midnight mass where family members gather around the dining table and feast on some special dishes usually served only at this time. There are lots of dishes but I will only enumerate the popular ones and the ones that I grew up with, if you are preparing for you menu on that day this might give you an idea of what you might have missed, or if you are a non-Filipino who wants to enjoy a Filipino themed Christmas eve supper then give the recipes below a try. Take note most of the families back home prepare most if not all or more than this list below, and yeah that’s a lot of food!

Now lets go to the list and see whats included in this All Time Filipino Favourite Noche Buena Recipes.

10 . Lechon – A whole roasted pig usually bought in specialised establishments. It can be made out of a mature pig or the juvenile ones-. This usually is the centrepiece of the dining table, for those who are budget conscious roasted pigs head is a good alternative. This is then served with sweet liver sauce and/or sweet spicy vinegar dip. Take note the crispy skin is a crowd favourite.
[Get the Lechon Recipe here]

9 . Bibingka and Puto Bumbong – Like I mentioned above these are a favourite street food so after the Christmas Eve mass expect a lot of people buying this treat so they can serve it at their dining table.
[Get the Bibingka Recipe here]

8 . Leche Flan – If you know crème brulee then this is the Filipino counterpart. Similar ingredients different cooking method as this is steamed not baked.
[Get the Leche Flan Recipe here]

7 . Filipino Spaghetti – In most of the celebrations back home Spaghetti is a main stay so why not during Christmas eve, it’s a crowd pleaser specially for the kids due to its sweet taste. Take note it’s not your Italian Bolognese, you will know once you tasted them.
[Get the Filipino Spaghetti Recipe here]

6 . Pinoy Barbecue – Like the Americans usually this is the males contribution to the feast, but instead of large chunks of meat the Filipino version is skewered and served with sweet spicy vinegar dip. The aroma of this is contagious, if your neighbour makes them you feel making some of your own as well.
[Get the Pinoy Barbecue Recipe here]

5 . Paella, Arroz ala Valenciana or Bringhe – Filipino cuisine would not be complete without some rice and since this is a special day we do cook some special rice. It varies in different provinces some cook Paella, some Arroz ala Valenciana and others prepare Bringhe. They are all nearly the same concept where rice is infused with other meats and vegetables to make it fancier.
[Get the Paella Recipe here]

4 . Macaroni Salad – Filipino’s barely have salads in their cuisine but if there is one it will still be loaded with carbs, take this macaroni salad for example, basically pasta, chicken, raisins, pickles and other ingredients dressed with rich mayonnaise dressing. As if the pasta is not fattening enough, well losing weight will be in the New Year’s resolution of the most.
[Get the Macaroni Salad Recipe here]

3 . Fruit Salad – Who said Filipinos don’t have salads in their diets? To prove to you here is another one, this time as a dessert. Usually made of fruit cocktail in cans, tapioca pearls, nata de coco, and young coconut strips in a cream condensed milk sauce. The prefect dessert to end a Christmas Eve supper.
[Get the Fruit Salad Recipe here]

2 . Quezo de Bola – The least favourite of the bunch but almost all dining table back home will serve this. Basically a big round Edam cheese coated with red paraffin wax, it’s more of a status symbol I guess rather than a food item that everyone can enjoy.
[Get your Quezo de Bola here]

1 . Ham – Finally a table will not be complete without this pineapple juice glazed ham, like the quezo de bola there will be lots of leftover for this one so its usually enjoyed in the Christmas morning sandwiched in a freshly cooked pandesal with some slices of Quezo de Bola. Note if you want this to be consumed faster than normal, get the ones with lots of fat, Filipinos love it.
[Get your Christmas Ham Recipes here]

This list may not be complete or not represent everything, if you think I missed out something let me know by commenting below. Do you have your top 10 favourites as well?


View Comments

  • Now I really want to spend Christmas in the Philippines! And I want a Januaryber to lol. Lechon is the best but everything looks so good.

  • Love reading about other cultures' traditions and had no idea that yours lasted about 5 months! Now I want to move to the Philippines. :)
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Years Raymund!

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