Filipino Cuisine Cooking Methods

Philippine cuisine is quite simple once you understand how it work, it just looks complicated since if you combine the most basic cooking methods like boiling (nilaga), grilling (ihaw), roasting (lechon), frying (prito), blanch (banli) and steaming (halabos) with the cuisines primary protein sources like beef, pork, chicken and seafood plus vegetables then you have a product of 30 basic dishes. With this 30 alone you can already live with it and even enhance them to create even more amazing dished but it does not stop there you will need to take in consideration that each of Philippines 17 regions have a way of cooking things, hence an adobo in the North does not taste similar to the ones in the South, not add that to the matrix then you have 510 possibilities. You may ask why did I multiply that? Because in Philippines each region has a different way of cooking due to the ingredients and preferences available in that locality.


But wait! It does not stop there because a flavour like soy sauce, vinegar and/or bagoong which is common to each region can be added into the mix now making even more different possibilities, it may seem a lot but once you get the hang of it, it’s like your unlimited soft drink refill station on your favourite fast-food restaurant where you can basically create whatever you want by mixing your cola with lemonade or raspberry drink, it is basically endless but as a simple guide I had listed the popular ones below for you to know and possibly explore if you haven’t tried it yet.

Adobo − traditionally just cooked in vinegar and garlic, but after the Chinese came soy sauce was introduced
Binanlian − anything blanched
Binagoongan – cooked with in a fermented fish or shrimp paste called bagoong.
Binalot – method of wrapping in banana leaves, pandan leaves, palm leaves, parchment paper or even aluminium foil, similar to the French “en papillote”
Binuro − fermented or pickled
Busal – toasted with garlic and oil
Chicharon – dried and deep fried
Dinaing − marinated with garlic, vinegar, and black peppers then dried and fried
Guinataan − cooked with coconut milk and/or cream
Ginisa − sautéed with garlic and onions, sometimes with ginger and/or tomatoes
Halabos – cooking method where meats like seafood are steamed in their own juices, sometimes with a bit of help from soda, stock or just plain water
Sariwa – food served uncooked
Hinurno/Hurno – baked or roasted in an oven
Inihaw − grilled over charcoal
Kinilaw − “cooked” in an acidic liquid such as vinegar or citrus juice
Lechon/Nilechon − roasted on a spit
Lumpia/Turon – wrapped in a spring roll wrapper or something similar, lumpia for savour and turon for sweets
Minatamis − cooked in sugar
Nilaga − simple method of boiling food
Nilasing − cooked with spirits or liquor like beer, gin or wine
Pinakbet − to cook with vegetables like long beans, squash, eggplant and okra
Pinatisan – cooked using fish sauce as its main flavour
Paksiw/Pinaksiw − stewed in vinegar
Pinangat − boiled in salted water with vegetables and/or fruit
Pinikpikan – a very brutal way of preparing meats where live animal is beaten with a stick to death before butchering and cooking. This method bruises the animal and it gives different texture and flavour to the skin
Pinirito − anything fried
Relleno – anything stuffed
Sarciado – cooked with a thick sauce, usually with tomatoes
Sinangag – pan-fried with lots of garlic
Sinigang − method of cooking meats and vegetables in soup using sour fruits like tamarind, calamansi, etc.
Tapa/Tinapa – sun dried or smoke dried
Tinola – soup dish cooked with ginger and garlic
Tostado – method where food is toasted to a crispy state
Torta – ingredients are mixed with be
Totso – cooked with fermented black beans

Now imagine multiplying them by the different meats we eat, how many variations you get?


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2 Responses

  1. OMG how did you know I mix sodas? Well only at Ikea because of the lingonberry one lol. Be seriously this is a great resource and eye opening at all the possible varieties to try in Filipino cuisine.

  2. mjskit says:

    Fantastic information! I’ve given a few workshops with several Filipino teachers and they ALWAYS been lunch. Sometimes I have no idea what I’m eating, but it’s always good. It’s nice to now understand some of the terminology they used.

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