The most famous of all Philippine dishes is adobo. Delicious and easy to make. Here is a recipe for chicken adobo and a recipe for the sweet snack known as turon.

Anyone who visits a Filipino home is offered food by the question, Kumain ka na?, which means "Have you eaten?" It is a polite gesture to say that you haven't eaten even though you may already have. During the preparation of meals, it is also considered polite to ask the host if he or she needs assistance. Most likely, however such an offer to help will be politely refused by the host.

Much of the Philippine population are Catholics or Christians. This is particular true of the lowland ares, in the cities and in the northern part of the country. Christians in the Philippines typically pray before meals to express their thanks and ask for blessings. Eating is normally a social affair enjoyed with friends and family. Sharing food is very common amoung Filipinos who eat together. Filipinos often eat with their hands, which is called kamayan. However, forks and spoons are increasingly popular and preferred by some eaters. Filipino dishes are usually served buffet style with all the dishes presented at the same time. Burping after a meal is not considered rude, instead it is interpreted as an expression of satisfaction. When a party or gathering comes to an end it is common for guests to be offered food to thank them for coming to the festivities. If you attend a a Filipino gathering most likely will leave with plates full of wonderful Filipino dishes

Like other countries, the Philippines have several dishes that are considered to be representative of the country's cuisine. Favorite Filipino dishes include adobo, kare-kare, sinigang, and lumpia. There are many Filipino stores that serve these and many other wonderful Filipino foods in San Diego. Popular Filipino restaurants are Point-Point, Conchings, and Tita's Kitchenette, which are all located in National City.

Below are recipes for two well-known easy to prepare Filipino Dishes. So, as we say in Tagalog, Filipino national language, Pagsaluhan natin or let's dig in!

Adobo is one of the many national dishes in the Philippines. It is a Spanish-influenced Filipino dish that is believed to have originated from Pampanga, a northern part of the Philippines. Adobo is made usually from chicken or pork. The meat is first marinated with a variety of seasonings and flavorings including soy sauce, crushed garlic, and vinegar and then slow-cooked. Adobo has many ingredient variations and methods of preparation. Other countries, including Mexico and the Caribbean, also produce their own tasty versions of adobo. The blending of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors will leave your taste buds delighted. Adobo is a simple to prepare meal that does not take much time or many ingredients.

Chicken Adobo Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces as in photo
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 5 crushed cloves of garlic
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Chicken Adobo Preparation:

  1. Cut a whole chicken into small bite-size pieces.
  2. Place the chicken in a 2 quart pot.
  3. Add vinegar, soy sauce, crushed garlic, bay leaf, pepper, and water to the pot.
  4. Bring the liquid to a boil while stirring. Lower the heat to a gentle boil.
  5. Cover the pot and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Then, yan, tapos na (It's done)! It is simple as that.

Adobo is usually served with white rice so it is be a great idea to start the rice cooking while you are letting the chicken simmer.


Turon is a wonderful Filipino tasty sweet snack to enjoy anytime of the day. It is a fried combination of banana and jackfruit laced with brown sugar. Turon is often made for Filipino get togethers and parties.

Turon Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 package of lumpia wrapper
  • Canaola oil or vegetable oil
  • Bananas (saba are the best)
  • Ripe Jackfruit (optional, it is very sweet)

Turon Preparation:

Saba bananas are usually used for Turon. You can find saba bananas in most Asian grocery stores. For this recipe, we used regular bananas.

  1. Begin by cutting the bananas in half.
  2. Then, cut the half of both bananas length-wise so that you have four pieces of banana.
  3. Roll the pieces of banana in the brown sugar until they are completely coated.
  4. Wrap each sugar-coated banana piece in its own separate lumpia wrapping paper. (Don't worry, lumpia wrappers usually come with instructions)
  5. Pour an inch of oil into a frying pan and turn the heat to medium (350 degrees).
  6. Carefully place the wrapped turons into the frying pan using a pair of tongs.
  7. Fry the turons until the bottom of the turon turns golden brown then flip the turon over and cook the other side.
  8. After the turons turn a wonderful golden brown, remove and let them cool a bit. It doesn't take long for lumpia wrappers to brown so monitor the frying closely.

Recipes and Photos by Nuelma Patio

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  • 1/2 ounce dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoons peanut oil (may substitute canola)
  • 1/4 pound pork julienne cut
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bamboo shoots (thin strips)
  • 1/4 cup tofu cut into thin strips
  • 4 cup of chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 rice or red wine vinegar
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat wok over medium heat and add vegetable oil.
  3. Season port with salt and black pepper.
  4. Add pork to wok along with the white parts of the slice scallions and fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Cut mushrooms into matchstick like strips.
  6. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots and tofu and cook for another 2 minutes.
  7. Add chicken stock, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Mix cornstarch with water and stir into wok.
  9. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce thickens, then add soy sauce and vinegar.
  10. Slowly add beaten egg while swirling ingredients with a spoon.
  11. Serve in bowls adding the thinly sliced green parts of the scallion as a garnish.
  12. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.


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  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 1/2 cup clarified butter or vegetable
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoon thinly sliced ginger root (peel first!)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (fresh)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup fresh or defrosted peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Required Spices:

  • 6 cardamom seed pods, crushed to release the small seeds, pods discarded
  • 1 cinnamon stick broken in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Pour the rice in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
  2. Put the rinsed rice in a bowl and cover with 4 cups of water. Soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain rice and set aside liquid.
  4. Heat the butter on medium heat in a large pot.
  5. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes.
  6. Add ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  7. Add "SPICES" and heat until fragrant (a little less that 1 minute).
  8. Add rice and brown for 2 minutes.
  9. Add water that was set aside and the raisins and bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender (about 20 minutes).
  11. Cover pot, remove from heat and let stand for 15 mins.
  12. Combine remaining ingredient, fluff rice with a folk and transfer to a serving bowl.
  13. Remove cinnamon sticks and bay leaf and serve warm or at room temperature.
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  • 1 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb of ground beef or lamb (omit for vegetarian)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 3 scallions (green inions), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 16 ounce jar grape leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 cup of chicken broth or water (see recipe)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

(Sauce Ingredients and Preparation Directions in Section Below)


Please note: the only real difficulty in making dolmathes is in finding a heavy flat plate that weighs down the dolmathes while they are cooking, figure this problem out before you proceed!)

  1. Heat 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the yellow onion and sauté until translucent but not brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Transfer sautéed unions to a mixing bowl and mix together meat, rice, 1/2 cup of olive oil, green onions, sun dried tomatoes, parsley, pine nuts, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Rinse the grape leaves in cold water to removes as much brine as possible and then dry.
  4. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil to the bottom of a large wide pot making sure the bottom is covered completely covered with oil. Blanket with one layer of grape leaves.
  5. Place 1 leaf at a time, shiny side down, on a flat work surface. Remove stem. Spoon about 1 Tbsp of the meat and rice mixture in the center near the base of the leaf. Fold the stem end over to cover the filling, fold both sides of the leaf inward and tightly roll leaf toward pointed tip end. Repeat until either leaves or mixture is all used.
  6. Arrange and layer the dolmathes in the pot in such a manner that the top layer is relatively even and flat. Add the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice, and chicken stock, using enough stock to just cover the dolmathes.
  7. Place a heavy flat plate over the dolmathes to keep them from unraveling. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
  8. Remove dolmathes to a serving plate and reserve liquid.

Meat Dolmathes are usually served warm and vegetarian ones are served cold.

Avgolemono Sauce Ingredients:

  • yolks from 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (from 2 medium lemons)
  • 1 cup hot chicken stock or reserved cooking liquid from dolmathes

Avgolemono Sauce Preparation:

  1. Separate yolks from eggs.
  2. Beat eggs vigorously until they just begin to get foamy.
  3. Continue to beat mixture and add lemon juice in a slow steady stream, continue beating for a minute.
  4. Add hot chicken broth or reserved cooking liquid and whip for another minute.
  5. Pour sauce back into the empty dolmathes pot and heat on low until steam rises, Do No Boil! Can be thickened with cornstarch.
  6. Let stand 3-5 minutes before serving in a side dish or spoon over dolmathes.
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  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 3 cloves garlic—chopped
  • 3 medium onion—chopped
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium potatoes—cubed small
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 lb spinach—chopped
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoon cider vinegar


  1. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil for 10 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes and stir fry for 5 minutes.
  3. Add parsley, cilantro and marjoram and broth and Add broth and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Add spinach and olive oil and simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Add salt, pepper and vinegar, simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. For variation, soup may be pureed.
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