18 Chavacano Delights that Will Tantalize Your Taste Buds

Dive into the vibrant flavours of Zamboanga City with 18 must-try Chavacano dishes! Savory stews, spicy seafood, & delectable desserts await.

The sun-kissed shores of Zamboanga City beckon with vibrant culture, captivating history, and, of course, an explosion of flavours waiting to be devoured. Chavacano cuisine, a unique blend of Malay, Spanish, and indigenous influences, is a culinary adventure unlike any other. From savory stews to melt-in-your-mouth sweets, buckle up as we embark on a mouthwatering journey through 18 must-try Chavacano dishes!

… and at the end of our whirlwind culinary tour, you’ll understand why Chavacano cuisine is more than just food; it’s a tapestry woven with vibrant history, cultural connections, and a generous sprinkle of Zamboanga’s infectious warmth. So, pack your appetite and open your senses, because the 18 Chavacano delights we’ve explored are just the beginning of your Zamboanga foodie adventure!

Morisqueta Tostada: An old Filipino recipe that is a type of fried rice, it is prepared with leftover cooked rice stir fried with eggs, Chinese sausage, ham, shrimps, and spring onions.

Ciento Quince: 115 Chillies, yes its a spicy seafood dish that is nearly extinct, bursting with flavours of fish, shrimp, and coconut milk.

Knickerbocker: Decadent dessert, a distant relative of halo halo, a shaved ice dessert drink filled with mango, banana, apple, watermelon, honeydew, jellies, and your choice of nuts.

Paella: Chavacano twist on the Spanish classic, featuring local seafood and spices.

Tausug Beef Kulma 1

Kurma / Kulma: Fragrant beef curry, infused with peanut butter, tomatoes, curry spices and coconut milk.

Lokot-lokot: A crunchy, golden-brown delicacy made with rice flour and sugar drizzled in hot oil giving it a nice texture, perfect for a sweet and crispy treat.

Bacalao: Salted cod simmered in tomato sauce, a Chavacano comfort food.

Tamal de Zamboanga: Chavacano twist on the Mesoamerican classic, using ground glutinous rice with fillings like dried shrimp, glass noodles, and a slice of egg.

Callos 1

Callos: Hearty tripe stew with vegetables, a savory treat for adventurous palates.

Ensalada Chamba: Smoky grilled eggplant, mango, and salted egg, a light and refreshing side dish.

Cocido Madrileño

Cocido: Meats, Chickpea and chorizo stew, a nourishing cold and rainy weather warmer.

Satti: Grilled skewers of meat drenched in a fiery red peanut sauce, Zamboanga’s answer to Satay.


Putli Mandi: Steamed purple glutinous rice balls filled with sweetened coconut strips, a fragrant and festive side dish.

Tiyula Itum 1

Tiulah Itum / Tiyulah Itum: Black beef or goat soup, a flavourful dish with tender meat and aromatic spices.

Saging Prito / Saging Rebosao: Fried saba bananas coated with sugar, a different take on the Filipino banana cue.

Piyanggang Manuk / Pyanggang Manok: Blackened char-grilled chicken basted in coconut milk and burnt coconut powdered flesh, a smoky and savory experience.

Tetuan Lechon: Slow-roasted suckling pig similar to Cebu’s famous lechon, no need for lechon sauce as it’s flavourful on its own.

Ensaladang Lato 1

Lato: Seaweed salad, a healthy and unique Chavacano staple.

And there you have it, folks! 18 culinary gems, each a testament to the vibrant tapestry of Zamboanga’s Chavacano cuisine. From fiery seafood stews to melt-in-your-mouth sweets, this gastronomic adventure has hopefully left your taste buds tingling and your travel list scribbled with “Zamboanga City.” Remember, food is just the first thread in this tapestry – woven with history, culture, and the infectious warmth of the Zamboangueños. So, whether you’re planning a trip or simply dreaming from afar, let these 18 dishes be your invitation to dive deeper into the heart and soul of Zamboanga. Buen provecho!


6 Responses

  1. Eha Carr says:

    Paella, korma, bacalao I remember . for the rest I have to go back . . . the fascinating ones I have not made, not eaten . Raymund, you have managed again > a pile of homework i will be fascinating to attack’ ! Thank you . . .

  2. The kurma and satti are probably the first two I will make — but they all look amazing. Our Asian grocer didn’t have the Japanese taro — maybe it’s seasonal. I’ll keep looking. And suggestions for a substitute?

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