Food brings us happy moments and memories on every occasion. It never fails to bring together families, friends and people from all walks of life. During my foreign trips, I can’t last more than a week without having my favorite Filipino dishes. The smell and taste of my favorite sinigang and adobo momentarily bring me back home.
Read on as some famous chefs here and abroad share with us their favorite Filipino food
Chef BaoBao, owner and executive chef, Baoburg
Pork adobo, ube ice cream or halo-halo and sizzling pork sisig. I enjoy Filipino food as much as Thai food, based on the fact that they have a perfect way of combining spice and flavor plus good texture.
Chef Jessie Sincioco of Chef Jessie at Rockwell
I have a lot of favorite Filipino dishes but what comes to my mind repeatedly now is chicken tinola because it is my comfort food. Whenever I am hungry and I want to be gastronomically satisfied, I crave tinola with lots of green papaya and malunggay. The flavor of ginger is refreshing. I look forward to biting into the perfectly cooked chicken liver, which I actually consider a special treat!
Chef Joel Lim Yu, executive chef, Chef U’s Kitchen
My favorite Filipino dish is lechon sisig. One of the most famous national dishes of the Philippines is lechon. It is the culinary centerpiece at every celebration, fiesta or family event. Sisig is a great example of our local cuisine. It’s unique and identifiably Filipino. Put the two together and you get a dish that perfectly embodies the Filipino culture. It’s also one of my favorite dish to make and a best seller at my kitchen @chef_u_kitchen.
Chef Mikey Yambao, chef de partie, The Last Piece, Australia
My favorite is burong kanin (balo balo), which is unique to the Kapampangans’ palate. I find it fragrant and mouth-watering. Siyempre, I make the yummiest buro, ask Happy and Joey Dela Larrazabal.
Chef Michael “Miko” Aspiras, pastry chef and partner, Tasteless Food Group
I love pork sinigang to death! I crave it every day! Especially when I go out of the country, I want a big bowl of super-sour sinigang as my welcome-back-home meal! With rice, of course, and patis! As for desserts I love cassava cake. It’s so simple and full of technique at the same time. I remember having cassava cake as a kid in Lola’s home every weekend and always looked forward to it. I love the caramelized top and the addicting texture.
Chef Sau del Rosario of Café Fleur and 25 Seeds
I grew up watching my grandmother and my mom making tamales or what we call in Pampanga bobotu in our home in Pampanga. Since then it’s become my favorite comfort Filipino dish not only because of its delicate flavors of rice (galapong), the annatto, the chicken, the salty ham or chorizo and the taste of peanuts, but also because it brings back good memories of my happy childhood with my lola and my mom. What I like about tamales is the tedious preparations in making the dish and, of course, its long history when it was introduced by the Spanish to the Philippines through the galleon trade. Tamales is considered a dying recipe in the region and it is one of my advocacies to promote and reintroduce it especially to the young generations of today. Up to this day, I serve tamales in my restaurant and I included tamales in my cookbook titled 20!
Chef Florabel Yatco, owner, Florabel Group of Restaurants
I’ll never get tired of beef sinigang and bistek Tagalog. Those two are my favorite comfort foods. Sinigang is a simple yet festive dish for me because it has lots of vibrant Filipino veggies, tender beef chunks and malinamnam soup. For me, it’s the perfect Filipino dish! Bistek Tagalog, on the other hand, is a very flavorful dish that uses just a few ingredients so you can appreciate the beef’s natural flavor even more. I love it when it’s topped with lots of sautéed onion rings.
Chef Anne Aguilar, head chef, Aivee Café & Aivee Group of Cafes
Lechon paksiw, hands down! There’s just something unique about it, even, of course, the use of lechon as the meat is already a feast. Who can resist lechon? Then it’s covered in a sweet tangy and spicy sauce… so many dynamics in the flavor. It’s just so comforting and yummy served over a bed of steaming hot rice.
Chef Sherwin Tee, chef/host, Curiosity Got the Chef
It’s hard to choose a favorite Filipino food, but mine would be Filipino pork BBQ. I consider it one of the world’s more balanced dishes, a great combination of sweet, sour, spicy, bitter and salty, which is a balance I look for in the dishes I make. When it has that balanced taste, plus a great ratio of fat to lean meat, there’s no saying “no” to it.
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