A Taste of Summer with Davao-inspired Recipes

Davao is a captivating culinary city that is famous for its fresh produce and captivating culture. Every August, the Kadayawan Festival celebrates the rich heritage with a week-long series of street parades, floral floats, performances and food stalls. The festivities were originally a way for Davao’s indigenous tribes to pray for a bountiful harvest. Now, this exciting annual occasion allows locals and visitors to savor some of the finest flavors of the Philippines.

Here is a selection of the best local recipes that reflect the spirit of Davao’s Kadayawan Festival…


Davao is known as the “Chocolate Capital of the Philippines”, and this delicious sweet and savory dish showcases the finest Malagos chocolate, an award-winning local brand that was pioneered by the Puentespina Family.


For the pork ribs marinade:

350 gr              Pork ribs

30 ml               Soy sauce

10 gr                Garlic (minced)

60 gr                Ketchup

15 ml               Vegetable oil

For the vegetable side dish:

50 gr                Carrots (cut into batons)

80 gr                Broccoli (florets & stalks)

50 gr                Cauliflower (florets & stalks)

30 gr                Baguio beans

80 gr                Potatoes (cut into wedges)

15 ml               Vegetable oil

Salt & pepper (to taste)

For the BBQ sauce: 

1 tbsp              Oil (to sauté)

10 gr                Garlic (minced)

10 gr                Onion (minced)

20 gr                Malagos chocolate powder or coins

30 gr                Brown sugar

10 ml               Worcestershire sauce

10 ml               Vinegar

30 ml               Soy sauce

2 gr                  Peppercorns

1 gr                  Bay leaves

60 gr                Fresh pineapple (diced)

For the roux:

500 ml             Water

30 gr                Butter

30 gr                All-purpose flour


For the pork ribs:

  • Marinate the pork ribs with oil, minced garlic, soy sauce and ketchup. Set aside for 30 mins.
  • Preheat the griller to a high temperature. Once hot, grill the pork ribs for 3 mins on each side.
  • After grilling, pour over half of the BBQ sauce*. Cover with aluminum foil and simmer until tender (45 mins to 1 hour).
  • When the pork ribs are tender, grill on each side for 2 to 3 mins.
  • *Steps for the BBQ sauce:
  • In a large pot, pour 1 tbsp of oil then sauté minced onion and garlic over a medium heat.
  • After it turns brown, add the bay leaves, vinegar, brown sugar, pineapple, Worcestershire sauce and Malagos chocolate.
  • Add 500 ml of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 5 to 8 mins at 160°C.

For the vegetable side dish:

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Prepare the vegetables on a flat baking sheet or in a large bowl. Add the oil, salt and pepper, coating the vegetables. Roast in the oven for 5-10 mins at 160°C.

For the BBQ sauce dip:

  • Mix the remaining BBQ sauce with a roux^ to thicken.
  • Plate the pork ribs, BBQ sauce and roasted vegetables on a plate and drizzle with remaining Malagos chocolate BBQ sauce.
  • ^Steps for the roux:
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat and add the flour. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon for 3 to 5 mins.
  • Add 500 ml of water and continue to stir for another 2 mins or until sauce thickens.



Davao is famous for its tropical fruits and the durian’s rich, sweet and creamy flesh is celebrated every year at the Kadayawan Festival, including in this sublime sweet dessert.



100 gr              White bread

For the milk mixture:

60 ml               Fresh milk

100 ml             Evaporated milk

½ cup              Condensed milk

1/3 cup             White sugar

1 pc                 Egg

30 gr                Durian flesh

For the durian jam:

30 gr                Durian flesh

30 ml               Evaporated milk

½ cup              Condensed milk

To plate:

1 tbsp              Crushed crackers

1 tsp                Cinnamon powder


For the milk mixture:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, egg and all of the liquid ingredients. Whisk until the sugar melts then add the cinnamon powder and durian flesh.

For the durian jam:

  • Heat a pan over a low heat.
  • Add the durian flesh and mix with 30 ml of evaporated milk and ½ a cup of condensed milk.
  • Stir the mixture continuously for 5 mins or until the mixture reaches jam consistency.

To make the pudding:

  • Slice the bread into large squares then set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 130°C.
  • In an 8” round baking pan, soak the diced bread in the milk mixture for 15-20 minutes. Top with durian jam and cinnamon powder.
  • Place the pan in the oven and bake for 45 mins to 1 hour. After 45 mins, test with toothpick – if it comes out clean, it is done.

To plate:

  • Place the pudding on a white plate. Top with more durian jam and dust with crushed crackers.


Fresh, flavorful and rich in vitamin C, the pomelo is a citrus fruit that grows abundantly in Davao. This refreshing recipe infuses the pomelo to make a refreshing glass of aromatic iced tea.


1 sachet          Green tea

400 gr              Pomelo (peeled and cubed)

150 ml             Green tea (sachet)

300 ml             Lychee syrup

1 pc                 Lychee

30 ml               Honey

1 slice             Lemon

1 slice             Pomelo (peeled)



  • Place green tea sachet in 150 ml of hot water (90°C) for 3 mins. Set aside.
  • Combine the fresh peeled pomelo, lychee, lychee syrup, honey and a dash of lemon juice in a blender and blend for 5 secs. Do not over-blend.
  • Strain the blended mixture in a glass with ice cubes, and garnish with lemon and pomelo slices.