12 Mindanao Dishes you need to Try

Embark on a gastronomic journey through Mindanao’s diverse cuisine. 12 Mindanao Dishes you need to Try, each dish a revelation, each bite an adventure! #MindanaoFlavors. Explore Mindanao’s culinary wonders with dishes boasting flavors like coconut, seafood, and exotic spices, a true feast for the senses.

Philippines is very diverse, its people, its culture, its tradition, so its cuisine. Having said that we all know its popular dishes like adobo, lumpia, sisig and lechon to name some, but there are many other dishes this archipelago has to offer, dishes not just from Luzon or Visayas but also from Mindanao which is quite unique and are more closely related to its neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, this means the flavour profile is neither sweet or sour like most of the country, the dishes here are hotter, uses a lot of coconuts and spices that are not common in the islands North of it. It’s truly a cuisine that needs a boost in popularity as the ones I tried were really good, hence today we are compiling 12 Mindanao Dishes you need to try and trust me once you tried them you will keep on coming back for more.

Tausug Beef Kulma 1

What happens when Beef Curry and Kare Kare have babies then you have this, Kulma, a delicious beef curry cooked in coconut milk, peanuts, tomato sauce and curry spices

The black chicken barbecue, its looks burnt but it’s not, that black coat is made with grounded burnt coconut meat which is a common ingredient in the Tausug cuisine.

Another burnt coconut wonder, it is the foie gras of the Tausug cuisine, instead of goose liver this uses beef liver instead with lots of spices.

Tiyula Itum 1

Tiyula Itum
Its black like dinuguan but it does not contain any blood, so where does this dish take its colour from? Yes, you guessed it, its burnt Coconut Meat. Trust me this does not taste bitter at all; in fact, they taste like Beef Lauya or Nilagang Baka.

A simple dish of a special crustacean hybrid native to the waters of Zamboanga and Sulu where it just steamed or served with sauce.

Must Try Food Bali 1

It’s a popular breakfast item in Zamboanga made with small bits of grilled meat, served with rice with lots of sauce. Move over tapsilog!

If Luzon has binalot then Mindanao has this, Pastil, another popular breakfast popular breakfast prepared with steamed rice topped with shredded chicken then wrapped in banana leaf.

A famous delicacy among Maguindanaons and it is made of ground rice and sugar, mixed with a little bit of water. Locals say this is best eaten with coffee and coco milk

Served usually during Kalilang and Kanduli festival, this dish is special made with beef or goat cooked with carrots, potatoes, palapa, tomatoes and spices in coconut milk. It is like a cross between the Filipino Kaldereta and the Malaysian Beef Rendang, it’s definitely delicious.

A light ube coloured soft textured treat, wrapped in a cone shaped banana leaf. Prepared with grounded sticky rice mixed coconut milk and sugar, this is the puto of Mindanao.

Piaparan 1

Piaparan also called pipaparan or piarun is a Maranao style of cooking where meats like chicken and seafood is cooked in a coconut milk-based broth with garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric, spring onions, birds eye chillies, shredded coconut, vegetables and spiced with palapa. It may look mild, but it is nicely spiced.

We all know Rendang is usually referred to a popular food in Southeast Asia particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, but did you know Philippines have its own version? And it’s as delicious too!

There you go, 12 Mindanao Dishes you need to Try.  Did you find anything interesting? Would you try any or all of them? Let us know in the comments below.


12 Responses

  1. Eha says:

    I shall be looking and learning until the bells chime a New Year some 30 hours away – thank you for this gift !!! The Philippines are SO close to us in Oz and I have loved food forever . . . and I knew about three dishes on your list !!! What a wondrous beginning to my new ‘food year’ !!!

    • Raymund says:

      Lucky you OZ to PH tickets are so cheap, here in NZ tickets now are 2K a pop.

      • Eha says:

        Was not at all aware of this – have just talked to Mr Google and some tickets do seem to cost but a 1.3 of that . . . others are even more than 2K plus ? Can understand your ire !!! best for the year to come . . .

  2. I seriously want to try all of them! Each one is so unique, delicious and moreish. Can’t even pick up a favourite or two.

  3. Thanks for this fascinating introduction to the cooking of Mindanao. I know something of Malyasian and Indonesian cooking and, as mentione,d you can definitely see similarities in many of these dishes. And they all look delicious!

  4. Wow! This post is a trove of treasures. I’ve never heard of any of these dishes and I absolutely would love to try veganizing all of them. Now I have almost too much inspiration to work with!

  5. Neil says:

    Happy New Year to you Raymund! Lots of delicious looking dishes here. Yum!

  6. I went back mainly for their desserts, in which Turonutella is my favorite. It’s a modern take on a classic Filipino snack, Turon (fried banana spring roll). They added Nutella, which makes a simple turon to a whole new level.

  7. Larry Roger Braden says:

    Hi, Raymund, I’m just now seeing some of these wonderful recipes. Unfortunately, I cannot open the one for piyassak and I’ve tried many times. Also, when I google for the recipe it only shows some YouTube presentations where it is being prepared but the written recipe is never provided. Any suggestions???? Million thanks.

  8. Larry Roger Braden says:

    Thanks so much for this and for your blog. All the very best.

  9. Larry Roger Braden says:

    Appreciate your getting back to me. Thanks so much for this and for your blog. All the very best.

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