Culinary and Cultural Diversity in the Philippines
With thousands of islands, over 100 languages and a wealth of international influences, the Philippines is a melting pot of cultures. This diversity makes the country’s cuisine truly unique. Travelers who want to enjoy a true taste of the Philippines should be bold and dare to try the authentic dishes of each island – your taste buds will be richly rewarded! Read on to learn more about 3 famous recipes provided by the culinary teams at our Park Inn by Radisson hotels in the Philippines!
Pomelo Fern Salad with Shrimp
Davao is famous for its exotic tropical fruits, including the succulent pomelo. Harvested locally, these large citrus fruits can be simply peeled and served fresh, or used to make a vibrant summer salad. This local recipe of “Pomelo Fern Salad with Shrimp” is light, refreshing and full of Filipino flavors.
Recipe (Serves 2):
Ingredients for sweet chili dressing:
- 30 ml tomato ketchup (sweet style)
- 30 ml sweet chili sauce
- 20 ml white vinegar
- 10 ml fish sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 pc calamansi (alternatively, a wedge of lemon or lime)
- 1 tbsp cilantro (finely chopped)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse together until the right consistency and flavor is achieved, then set aside to chill. Toss together with the salad ingredients.
Ingredients for shrimps:
- 50 gr medium shrimps (peeled and de-veined)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 clove garlic (peeled, minced)
- To taste salt and pepper
Sauté the shrimps with unsalted butter, garlic and paprika. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool down completely.
Ingredients for the salad:
- 65 gr pomelo (cut into chunks. Alternatively, grapefruit can be used).
- 30 gr fiddlehead ferns (trim off the brown ends)
- 15 gr white onions (peeled, minced)
- 35 gr cucumber (skin on, cut into quarters, thinly sliced)
- 35 gr tomato (sliced)
- ¼ portion lemon (wedge)
Place all the ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with the sweet chili dressing and toss evenly. Plate the salad and top with the cooked shrimps.Ready to serve!
Kapampangan Pork Sisig
The province of Pampanga is the culinary capital of the Philippines, and arguably its most famous dish is “Pork Sisig” – an authentic dish borne out of Filipino ingenuity. When American settlers threw away the pig’s heads, the locals collected them and created a unique dish of pork mixed with onions, calamansi, hot chili and soy sauce. This is a genuine taste of Pampanga!
Recipe (serves 4):
- 400 gr pig’s ear (whole)
- 100 gr chicken liver (whole)
- 100 gr white onion (diced)
- 60 gr calamansi or lemon juice
- 60 gr soy sauce
- 10 gr black pepper
- 20 gr green chili (chopped)
- 20 gr red chili (chopped)
- 40 gr red onion (diced)
- 20 gr butter
Boil the pig’s ear and chicken liver in a pot of salted water with the pepper and white onion until tender. Do not overcook.Roast the boiled meat and liver in an oven at 180°C for about 15 minutes, or until surface becomes slightly brown. Deep-frying would also work. Thoroughly chop the pig’s ear, chicken liver, red and white onions, and red and green chilies into small pieces (approx. 5mm thick). Then toss together in a bowl with black pepper, calamansi/lemon juice and soy sauce. Heat butter in a pan and sauté the chopped meat. Season with salt and pepper.Serve on a sizzling plate with calamansi/lemon, soy sauce, and chopped chili on the side.
Beef Ribs Adobo
There are few dishes that make the mouth water more than slowly braised beef short ribs, and this Filipino version is a taste sensation that no traveler should miss. Twice-cooked, these ribs are so tender than they simply fall off the bone. It’s no surprise that “Beef Ribs Adobo” is a Filipino family favorite.
Recipe (serves 1):
- 200 gr beef ribs (cut into pieces, each 2x4cm thick)
- 30 ml soy sauce
- 20 ml vinegar
- 5 gr laurel leaves
- 5 gr whole peppercorns
- 30 gr garlic (peeled and crushed)
- 70 gr white onion (peeled and diced)
- 50 ml liquid seasoning
- 10 ml cooking oil
- 100 ml water
Wash the beef ribs under running water to remove any blood. Drain the excess water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the ribs with salt and leave to rest overnight. Heat oil in a large pot on a medium-to-high heat, and stir-fry the ribs until they turn brown. Remove from the pan and drain off any oil, then transfer to a plate. Remove the oil used to cook the ribs, and scrape out any excess meat. Place the ribs back in the pan, then add water, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and laurel leaves. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Turn down to a low heat and continue to cook for at least 2 hours, or until the meat becomes very tender. Garnish with chopped spring onions (optional). Serve and enjoy!
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