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Thread: Kasaysayan ng pagkaing Pinoy

  1. #101
    Over 'kinilaw,' 'bulalo,' 'ukoy,' Kulinarya chefs reunite to mark book's 10th year

    By: Micky Fenix - Columnist / @Inq_Lifestyle

    Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:10 AM November 02, 2017

    No one was counting but it has been almost 10 years since "Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine" was published. And no one was as excited about the reunion of the chefs (Glenda Barretto, Conrad Calalang, Myrna Segismundo, Claude Tayag, Jessie Sincioco, Margarita Fores), the photographer (Neal Oshima), and the editor (yours truly) of the book than Doris Ho, chair of Asia Society Philippines, which published it.

    Everyone made it, in spite of the constant traveling for work or leisure, the guest chef appearances in other countries, and new projects like television culinary shows.

    The event was a dinner at the Rockwell Club, the first in the series of featured "Kulinarya" chefs. Barretto, the leader of the group and head of Via Mare, started the series. This in spite of her busy schedule in catering international conventions and conferences, including the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit and the coming Asean Summit.

    Ho, in her welcome remarks, recounted that it was Washington SyCip who asked her to organize Asia Society Philippines that had, as its debut project, a Philippine fashion show in the United States.

    Because of the huge expense involved, she said it was an event that could not be done easily.

    More practical would be "Kulinarya," designed to showcase "classic Filipino dishes with the goal to have these known, recognized and loved around the world."

    My task was to deliver a short talk on Filipino food. It might seem like preaching to believers because the majority of guests were Filipino foodies.

    But I have always observed that while one may know about the cooking of the place where one was born, grew up and now live, he or she is ignorant of other kinds of cooking from other regions. And I would like to point them out.

    It is also important to tell the story of how the national table has evolved, starting with prehistoric preparations, what our ancestors ate, and Ho?s advocacy to encourage proper cooking to produce malinamnam (tasty) dishes, and to show that part of Filipino culinary culture is to eat with sawsawan (condiments) and serve food family-style but with elegance.

    It was heartening to know that not only the foreign diplomatic guests appreciated the talk, but also Filipino guests who said they themselves didn?t know that much about our food.

    Barretto was supposed to talk about the menu, but when the waiters appeared with the soup course, there was such a buzz in the dining room that she could hardly be heard. I guess it was enough that her food did the talking. And it started with cocktails: three starters were brought to guests in an anteroom?kinilaw na tanguigue, sisig in cornets, and ukoy (vinegar-cured mackerel, thrice-cooked pork, and shrimp fritters)?eaten different ways with our local rum,

    'Bulalo,' 'tinola'

    The two kinds of soup were served very hot, a tribute to Via Mare's vast experience in catering. One was bulalo served in small, thin mugs, the little cubes of beef brisket and corn kernels skewered in bamboo sticks. The other was a cup of chicken tinola, its presentation as a light custard inspired by the Japanese chawan mushi.

    The seafood course had Pacific bass with prawns cooked pinais-style or steamed in a banana leaf with buko (young coconut) juice and gata (coconut milk). An eggplant omelet and Miponica brown rice mixed with ube (purple yam) accompanied this course.

    Three kinds of salad were served in individual containers?pako (fern) with shrimp, pomelo with radish and banana heart. These were really better palate cleansers than the usual sherbet.

    Three deboned pugo (quails) seemed like a lot at first glance, but perfectly cooked as adobo, finishing them was easy. The other chefs at the table remembered how they hadn?t cooked pugo for some time and wanted to know Barretto's supplier.

    The dessert had a sphere made of Malagos chocolate?the international award-winning chocolate from Davao?and in it was a mousse made of atis (custard apple). Holding the sphere in place was a mix of tapioca with coconut cream and providing sweetness and color were fruit balls of watermelon, mango and cantaloupe.

    Because all the chefs were present, "Kulinarya" books were passed around for autographs. The question that evening: Is there is a second "Kulinarya" book in the works?

    If yes, I hope it doesn't take as long as the three years it took to publish the first one, which won the National Book Award for Best Food Book and Design and the international Gourmand Awards Best Historical Cookbook in 2008.

  2. #102
    The best chili crispy pata in the country

    By: Sandy Daza - Columnist / @Inq_Lifestyle

    Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:35 AM November 23, 2017

    There was only a handful of Pinoy restaurants in the '70s and '80s. We were teenagers then, and friends Jun and Jimmy Rodriguez would treat us to a restaurant around the Mabini area called Tipanan.

    It was one of the first places where I really enjoyed Pinoy food. Of course, there was Barrio Fiesta whose crispy pata is still the best for me, even today.

    I remember chatting once with Rod Ongpauco (inventor of the crispy pata) about how he, as a student, would drive to San Sebastian, pass by La Loma and buy the unsold left-over pata from the lechon, then season them and have them fried at Barrio Fiesta. He would give his waiters a commission for every pata they sold. And the rest is history.

    Today, crispy pata is so popular, it is offered in almost all Pinoy restaurants.

    A Quezon City resto claims to be able to cut its pata with a popsicle stick, Malabon has another version with a mildly sweet sauce, while independent stall Annalisa offers another delicious version of this dish.

    Food lover

    In the '80s, one of my favorite Pinoy restaurants was Tito Rey's. Rey Bautista was not only a food lover, he also knew how to cook good Pinoy food. He knew what we Pinoys enjoyed eating. Rey even opened in Daly City in California and ran a successful bar-restaurant there. Then he disappeared from the culinary scene.

    Today, that food is back in his brother Chito's Kuya's restaurant. I know he has a branch in Bayani Road in Taguig. Recently, I was able to check out his place just across from ABS-CBN on Mother Ignacia Street in Quezon City. I can now say this will be my new hangout.

    The resto serves below-zero beer and every so often has live entertainment. But apart from those attractions, there's Chito's food that is worth looking into.

    We started with ordinary cheese pizza, which was good. The secret to a good pizza is the crust, and this place makes a pretty good version.

    Then came a different batchoy with just tender pork meat innards, unlike the Iloilo batchoy with noodles. The hot broth was very soothing.

    Other dishes worth checking out are the dilis bagoong rice, simple yet delicious, the rice well-seasoned, with slight saltiness coming from the crispy dilis; and the kuripot rice: breakfast fried rice with chunks of tapa, tocino, longaniza, spam and salted egg, a dish that tells me Chito is an imaginative, creative eater and cook.

    Roxas adobo

    There's also Roxas adobo, a version of which I used to cook in Paris after long hours of fencing in the kitchen. This is crispy, dry, dark, oily, tender and sticky pork belly adobo, to me the best version there is. I like to fork out a piece, then bounce it on my rice to get some of that flavor all over, and then pig out.

    But the dish that really jumped out at me was the TKO (Total Knockout Obsession), or Knockout Knuckles. Tito Rey's crispy pata resurrected! I tried it, and it is still the best-tasting chili crispy pata in the country - tender, crispy, spicy, oily chunks of crispy pata topped and loaded with crunchy garlic and swimming in olive oil and sauteed jalapeno chilis. With ice cold Light - patay! Calling my friends in ABS-CBN across the street!

    Pinoy food is alive and kicking, and you'll find it at Kuya's in Quezon City.

    But let's give credit where credit is due. Thank you, Rod Ongpauco of Barrio Fiesta, for inventing crispy pata. Salamat pare, mabuhay ka!

    Happy eating!
    Last edited by Joescoundrel; 11-23-2017 at 10:28 AM.

  3. #103
    Filipino cuisine gains foothold in New York

    07:20 AM November 27, 2017

    NEW YORK - The tuna jaw is a great arc of meat, curved like a boomerang, its underside all bone and gleaming skin.

    At Tito Rad's Grill in Woodside, Queens, tuna jaw is offered in three sizes, which increase in menace. Smoke from the grill burrows deep into the flesh, which diners peel off the bone in creamy strips.

    In the Philippines, this is inihaw na panga, a specialty of the island of Mindanao. Mario Albenio (known as Boyet), the chef and owner of Tito Rad's, grew up there, on a farm in Tacurong City in the province of Sultan Kudarat, where his mother ran a carinderia, or small roadside restaurant.

    Tuna jaw reminds him of "going to the beach, playing guitars, booze," Albenio said.

    "I wanted to be a forester," he went on with a sigh. "Close to nature." Instead, he followed his mother's lead and cooked, in Manila and then New York, where he opened Tito Rad's in 2006 with his wife, Susan Albenio (known as Toti), close to the strip of Roosevelt Avenue called Little Manila.

    Second-generation Fil-Ams

    At the time, Filipino food was little known in America outside of immigrant enclaves. Only in recent years has it begun to move into the mainstream, at restaurants like Maharlika in Manhattan, Bad Saint in Washington and Lasa in Los Angeles, run by second-generation Filipino-Americans unbound by tradition.

    Their approach to the cuisine of their childhoods is a mix of scholarship, invention and battle cry.

    Tito Rad's is a reminder that fine Filipino cooking has been with us all along. For here, as for the last decade, is ukoy, fritters of shrimp ensnared in deep-fried tendrils of bean sprouts and carrots, with club soda in the batter to give it a lift.

    And immaculate cylinders of lumpiang shanghai, often compared with Chinese spring rolls but more slender and delicate, their crispy skins like gilded air. And tortang talong, whole eggplant buried in an omelet with only the stem peeking out and the bronzed eggs disclosing seams of pork and shrimp.


    Sisig, typically a hash of pig face (snout, jowls, ears), is here all pliant pork belly, reduced to juicy rubble, baked and then half-charred on a hissing skillet in a lacework of onions, whose sweetness cuts the fat.

    A rinse of lemon and the meat arrives still cooking and crackling as it lands on the table, smoke rolling off the hot plate and a raw yolk (on request) trembling at the center.

    Alongside that daunting tuna jaw might be kalderetang kambing, goat braised in tomato pur?e, with green olives leaching brine and liver p?t? extending its dark mineral contour. More liver p?t? is loosened with vinegar as a dipping sauce for lechon kawali, hunks of pork belly that emerge from the fryer equal parts shatter, sink and chew.

    Ampalaya, or bitter melon, is tossed into a pan of scrambled eggs at the last minute, so it loses none of its color or crunch. It's still defiantly bitter, but with a cooling freshness.

    Langka, or jackfruit, is slowly undone by coconut milk, until its texture is somewhere between short rib and potato.


    Best of all is laing, a tangle of taro leaves, flown in from Hawaii and carefully pruned of their stems, saturated with coconut milk and braised into a soupy, sublime mess. (Be warned: For most of the vegetable dishes here, pork and shrimp lie in the depths.)

    A few years ago, Tito Rad's (the name means Uncle Rad's, short for Conrado) took over the storefront next to its original location. Now there?s a backroom for spillover and sprawling parties, outfitted with wooden slat windows and green wall panels, which Albenio wistfully said was meant to evoke outdoor dining.

    Tables are covered in white paper, quickly stained by the procession of dishes. The front window is etched with the restaurant's logo, a man in a fedora, testament to Albenio's love of hats.

    Dessert is another crowd of plates: airy turon, lumpia with oozy guts of caramelized banana; a threesome of dense cassava cake, jammy ube halaya and leche flan, akin to cr?me caramel; and langka ice cream, made by Nenette Albenio, the chef's sister, which tastes of sheer voluptuousness and, improbably, the scent of sampaguita, Philippine jasmine.

    One night, there were slices of birthday cake, too, insistently shared by a 75th birthday party in raucous swing. With the cake came a story, of how the woman of honor had never married, how she had instead devoted her life to bringing her relatives to the United States, all of them now assembled here. The inscription in the icing read: Auntie. - NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE
    Last edited by Joescoundrel; 11-27-2017 at 10:19 AM.

  4. #104
    From Spain to the Philippines, a mutual love of pork

    By: Micky Fenix - Columnist / @Inq_Lifestyle Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:15 AM December 28, 2017

    Catalonian independence has been one of the key foreign events lately. We were thinking of it while attending an Interporc event at Raffles Makati.

    Interporc is an organization that represents the white pork industry of Spain. The color distinction is necessary to distinguish it from black pig providers.

    As with most food industry promotions, a chef is necessary to demonstrate how a particular ingredient can be cooked and presented. Kisco Garcia is the chef from Cordoba whose restaurant, Choco, has earned one Michelin star. But it is his restaurant in Malaga, KGB (Kisko Garcia Bar) that is well-known for its tapas.

    The recipes were quite simple and doable. Croquetas (fritters) were made with chopped chorizo and bacalao (cod), then served covered with a slice of jamon Serrano. It reminded us of a cocktail called Pigs in a Blanket.

    Garcia's take on beef Wellington was a great idea for those daunted by the complicated French recipe. Pork tenderloin was used, then wrapped in a puff pastry. His pork belly buns were like cuapao.

    Asked after the demonstration if, indeed, he was inspired by the Chinese dim sum item, Garcia said he had previously visited Manila and had eaten cuapao.

    Ham slicer

    The other half of the program was spent watching a maestro cortador, or an expert ham slicer, do his work. Antonio Baena is a much-awarded cortador who cut thin slices of the ham leg in almost equal square pieces. Of course, everyone was eager to grab the first available slices, which quickly disappeared.

    Baena didn't lose concentration even as he answered questions - about his knife (thin and flexible), his craft, and how he became a master (he trained under apprenticeship).

    He smiled as we said that the ham bone would be used in many of our Spanish-influenced dishes. And to supplement the jamon, different kinds of chorizos were brought in.

    Interporc's representatives informed the meat-business people at the event that the Philippines imports offal, fat back and skin from Spain for our chicharon.

    Interporc hoped it could fill the gap created by the huge demand for pork here and the low supply of the local pig industry.

    That was what the company last year told the media invited to its facilities in different parts of Spain. New information was that the Chinese market had grown.

    I guess Interporc loves our country that loves pork.


    Interporc has brought food writers around Spain, which was why Catalonia came to mind because we visited two places in that region. One was Girona, which was the focus of reports on the day of the outlawed referendum for Catalonian independence.

    Girona seemed like a quiet town, but it was also the location of one of Spain?s most famous restaurants, El Celler de Can Roca. Two of three brothers who were chef-proprietors of that restaurant, Joan and Jordi, were speakers at Madrid Fusion Manila.

    We were brought to Ca la Pilar, a more traditional restaurant owned by their relative. We were amazed at how families keep their restaurant traditions.

    A picture at the entrance showed the original restaurant, called Casa Pila, established in the 1950s by the parents of the present owners.

    Ca la Pilar is known for its chuletas, huge broiled steak, which was tender and had a wonderful taste.

    In Barcelona, meanwhile, a must-visit place was St. Josep La Boqueria, the best place for seafood like sardines cooked simply - grilled, then showered with olive oil and lemon.

    But since our host is a pork company, we were steered to a place where a pink papier-mach? pork head didn?t have to announce the house specialty.

  5. #105
    2017?the last hurrah for independent restaurants

    You can?t just cook well; you need either extraordinary talent or the backing of well-heeled investors

    By: Clinton Palanca - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:10 AM December 28, 2017

    There was a time when plucky, entrepreneurial people with a flair for cooking and a love for entertaining could round up a few of their friends to put down a million pesos or two each and go into the restaurant business.

    I did something like that once, although I didn't take on any partners - I opted to have a small restaurant, rather than a big one that I'd have to share. (I'm an only child.)

    In theory, you can still do that today, but I wouldn't advise it. The players in the field today are those who went down this route in the decades prior and opened branch after branch, like Pancake House, which is now owned by the Max's Group of restaurants, which itself started with good fried chicken but is now a huge, billion-peso operation.

    Cibo started around the same time I put up my restaurant in the 1990s, but it has gone from strength to strength. Margarita Fores is a brand in herself, as Asia's Best Female Chef 2016, and a number of restaurants as well as the slickest catering operation in town, among her many endeavors.

    But in 2017 the barrier to enter the playing field has become impossibly high, not just because of rising costs and competition, but due to increasing sophistication among diners. You can't just cook well and have a clean, well-lighted space. You need either extraordinary talent or the backing of some seriously well-heeled investors, and the one usually attracts the other.

    Year 2017 was probably the last hurrah for the independent restaurant - not that there won?t be plucky little places that become neighborhood favorites, but little startups that make impossibly large ripples in the food world.

    I haven't been able to explore the restaurant world as much as I would have wanted to in the last quarter of the year, and have missed a couple of important openings. So I can't really do a roundup of the year's new restaurants without being unfair to those that opened in the last few months.

    Instead, I'll paint a few broad brushstrokes of the food scene as it stands at the end of 2017.

    The Moment Group

    The end of the independent restaurant is as much a consequence of economic conditions as it is a sign of a mature and saturated market.

    But it is, nonetheless, a sad thing to come to an end; 2017 was also the year in which The Moment Group went from a growing restaurant group to a full-fledged force to be reckoned with. It has a killer combination of loads of capital, a finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist, a sophisticated design team, and a dynamic marketing team.

    As with any startup that becomes a well-entrenched player, people are rooting for The Moment Group, but also anxiously hoping that it doesn't become evil.

    As a corporation, it is its nature to need to turn in a profit and expand, but I hope it does so in a way that gives young, promising chefs their due, that encourages diversity and promotes local produce, that builds a workforce that can be passionate about food and make a proper living off it.

    Chinese food

    Chinese food grew strongly on both ends: the high-end and the newcomers, while the middle sagged. The standard for a topnotch Chinese meal used to be Gloria Maris, but that's now considered middle of the market.

    You can spend over P5,000 per head at Canton Road or Crystal Dragon or China Blue at the Conrad. It's no longer the case that, if someone took you out to a Chinese restaurant, you automatically assume that your host was trying to save money. At the same time, the new migrants have made Binondo interesting again, although much of the action tends to be in Makati, especially just outside the central business district where many of them live.

    Many of them are businesses run out of the home to cater to the community, but some have begun to set up shop.

    A lot of the action takes place on WeChat or over the phone, and it helps if you can speak, or at least type, in Chinese. But even if you don't, they can speak a few words of Tagalog (or pass the phone to someone who can).

    I've had some excellent hand-pulled noodles and dumplings delivered to me, and this is just the few I've stumbled upon. It's a world I want to delve into, but I need to brush up on my Chinese.


    The prevailing food trend in 2017 was essentially the same as that at the end of last year: franchises, and yet more franchises. People go to Japan and have a good meal somewhere, and the next thing you know there's a branch in the nearest mall.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing - although, when I finally got myself to Japan a few weeks ago, I was astonished to see many familiar brands from the local dining scene. This is the opposite of the old days when you'd encounter something abroad and then be delighted that you didn't have to go to, say, Paris for macaroons, or Shanghai or Taiwan for xiao long bao. In terms of soft power, Japan is winning the day - at least in the food world.

    And what of the Great Filipino Restaurant, the way that people in the literary world still look for the great Filipino novel? It's a search that continues to drive the food world, that transcends industry caprices and the drives of profit.

    We have a few contenders, and some say that it's already here.

    If anything can make 2018 an exciting year for food that isn't just more foreign food franchises opening, and more of the big conglomerates solidifying their positions, it'll be the race to land in the exalted position of being at the forefront of Filipino cooking and eating.

  6. #106
    'Ngohiong,' 'mariscos,' 'lechon' belly?authentic Cebuano cooking in QC

    By: Micky Fenix - Columnist / @Inq_Lifestyle Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:05 AM January 04, 2018

    It was uncanny that, on the week before a visit to Cebu, I got an invitation to taste Cebuano cooking - but to be held in Manila. I had seen the signage to try the food at Hukad on the way to the TriNoma MRT station, my choice of transportation to points south such as Shaw and Makati. The name Hukad sounded curious, but not enough to make me stay and look for the place.

    But then the opportunity presented itself when I was free, and the restaurant was near home in Quezon City. Of course, the first thing was to find out what Hukad means - it's Cebuano for ladle or sandok.

    In the restaurant, it's used to ladle out "unlimited" rice, plain or fried. The night I went, Hukad was reintroducing itself. It belongs to a big, Cebu-based chain, the Golden Cowrie, which has been around since the 1980s, and is branching out. Hukad is the company's other brand.

    Comfort cuisine

    Part of Hukad's relaunch was to announce the actor Gerald Anderson as its brand ambassador. His mother is a Cebuano from General Santos City, and so the food of the region is Anderson's comfort cuisine.

    He was introduced by general manager Kenneth Cokseng and his wife Kristine, who is also assistant general manager of the group of restaurants. Kristine explained that food with Cebuano flavor doesn't need dipping sauces or condiments, unlike the way people from Luzon, for instance, would have theirs.

    Cebuano kare-kare doesn't need bagoong because the flavors are all in the dish.

    But Kristine admitted that Cebu lechon is saltier than its counterparts in the country. The restaurant offers lechon belly as its signature dish stuffed with chopped aromatics and ordered by weight.

    For people familiar with Cebuano cooking, what makes Hukad truly Cebuano is the ngohiong - lumpia (spring roll) with chopped ubod (coconut pith), though it can contain singkamas (jicama) or bamboo shoots.

    For non-Cebuanos, the flavors are strange because of its mix of sour and salty with a whiff of five-spice powder, but Cebuanos grow up with this breakfast/snack food.

    Even Tagalogs who have lived in Cebu for a time have made ngohiong a staple food. The way to eat this, said a waiter at Hukad, is to slit the ngohiong lengthwise, then dip in the sauce.

    There is also the tinowa, the not-so-sour soup of the Cebuanos, which a Central Luzon native will find lacking in that mouth-puckering quality. But tinowa always works with really fresh seafood, so the sourness doesn't mask that quality.

    When cooking chicken soup, Tagalogs love the tinola, a clear soup. But Cebuanos prefer the chicken halang halang with coconut milk, made spicy with siling labuyo (bird's eye chili).

    Spanish-inspired dish

    Scallops at Hukad come from Bantayan, an island off the Cebu mainland known for its seafood and once an exporter of soft-shell crabs (which has sadly been discontinued). The place is also bruited to have beaches even better than Boracay.

    In Hukad's Spanish-inspired dish of mariscos, a seafood mix in tomato sauce, the halaan (saltwater clams) were so huge that we thought they were imbao (mangrove clams).

    Like most Filipino restaurants, the food at Hukad is not limited to what Cebu offers. The Pampango sisig is as delicious cooked the Cebuano way. Crispy pata is done very well, the crunchy skin a contrast to its tender meat.

    Modern touches are in the salad of pomelo with slices of buko (young coconut), and the dessert of ube halaya (purple yam jam) placed within a crisp pastry covering and served a la mode.

  7. #107
    10 More Must-try Regional Dishes In The Philippines

    BY MARK GO ON JANUARY 17, 2018

    The many islands of the Philippines have not only produced a diverse set of cultures but they have also introduced an array of dishes that are unique to the country. From the highlands, to the coastal areas, to the far flung towns, each one boasts of fresh ingredients as well as delicious dishes.

    To give you an idea of what to try out the next time you travel, here are 10 must-try regional dishes in the Philippines.

    1. Adobong Dilaw
    Taal, Batangas

    Adobo is typically brown in color because soy sauce is used as a main ingredient. But in the town of Taal in Batangas, they have their own version called the adobong dilaw because of the use of turmeric. It looks like it's curry because of its color but it is in fact, a different version of adobo.

    2. Calamay

    Bohol's calamay is a delicious delicacy that needs some appreciation. Like many dishes, each province or town has their own version of it. In the town of Jagna in Bohol, calamay is made out of glutinous rice, coconut milk, and brown sugar. Peanut is sometimes added in some versions of this delicacy. It takes several hours of laborious stirring for it to turn into the sweet and sticky Jagna calamay.

    3. Pancit Batil-Patong
    Tuguegarao, Cagayan

    Jam-packed with ingredients, this kind of pancit gives you more reasons to devour it in one sitting.

    A showcase of vibrant ingredients, Pancit Batil-Patong fills your plate with all kinds of yummy things, all aimed to please your craving to the fullest. It's traditionally served with minced carabao meat and chopped fresh vegetables and is then topped off with chicharon and egg. Derived from the local term 'batil patong' which means 'to beat the egg', it is definitely a must-try dish when visiting the province of Cagayan.

    4. Tiniim na Manok
    General Tinio, Nueva Ecija

    This tasty looking chicken dish, marinated and simmered in pineapple juice, is served with a thick peanut-flavored sauce. Once you take a bite, your palate will instantly be treated to rich flavors brought to you by the dish's many seasonings like pepper, shallots, ginger and other spices.

    5. Betute

    Have you ever wondered which dish is most likely to stand out in the mind of a traveler who has visited all 81 provinces of the Philippines? For Mervin Marasigan, otherwise known as Pinoy Adventurista, the exotic Kapampangan specialty dish called Betute tops his list of must-eat regional dishes in the country.

    Marasigan describes the Betute dish as "deep fried farm frogs stuffed with minced pork, garlic and spices. It tastes like chicken, smells clean and the stuffing is quite flavorful. This is definitely a must-try when dining in Pampanga. You really have to try it."

    6. Sinantol
    Quezon Province

    A delicacy of Quezon province, sinantol is a blend of seafood and santol in gata (coconut milk). There are versions of this dish that substiture pork or fish instead of crabs and shrimps.

    World wanderer Christine Rogador has traveled to many countries but still remembers this interesting dish fondly when asked about her list of favorite food. "The dish has the right combination of sour, salty, spicy and creamy flavors which makes it unique and appetizing. It is usually paired with fried fish or ginangang isda which is what Quezonians call 'paksiw'," describes Rogador.

    7. Minaluto
    Angono, Rizal

    The province of Rizal is known as one of the leading culinary spots in the country, with many of its towns having perfected their own unique manner of preparing food. Angono resident poet and travel writer Celine Reyes recommends a certain dish called Minaluto.

    According to Reyes, "Minaluto, a local take on the Spanish paella, is a blend of rice, and popular Filipino viands. Along with the variety of seafood and meat, the dish puts a highlight on Angono's prized kanduli - a fish with a tasty and versatile meat, caught in the Laguna Lake. It's definitely a hearty must-try dish!"

    8. Pyanggang
    Zamboanga and other parts of Mindanao

    Zamboanga City, a melting pot of culinary influences from the Moro, Spanish and other southern settlers, presents a long list of interesting dishes. Among those that stand out is the Pyanggang. It’s similar to the typical chicken inasal but it’s laden with rich sauce and it's black, thanks to the process of mixing it with burnt ground coconut meat. This dish's taste is made richer by other various spices.

    9. Pastil

    This was my lifesaver during my backpacking trip to Maguindanao some years back. Why? It only costs ₱10-15 per order! Partner it with hot brewed coffee and you’ve got yourself the perfect breakfast to fuel up your day.

    Fellow travel blogger Lai Ariel Samangka agrees as he also considers Pastil as go-to comfort food when traveling in this part of the Philippines. “Pastil is the most popular Maguindanaon delicacy in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. It is made of cooked rice, crowned with sauteed shredded meat of chicken, beef, or fish and perfectly wrapped with a heated banana leaf.”

    10. Insarabasab
    Ilocos Norte

    Food blogger and most recently, newly-minted lawyer, Stacy Liong recommends the Ilocano dish called Insarabasab. "Insarabasab or Sarabasab directly means meat roasted is open fire. Thus, Insarabasab is pork (usually pork shoulder and pig face) roasted in wood fire or char grilled mixed with onions, ginger, vinegar, salt, pepper, siling labuyo, tomatoes, soy sauce, sukang Ilokos and kalamansi. This dish is the Ilocos Norte's favorite pulutan. Some versions add some mayonnaise making it appear similar to Pampanga's Sisig."

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