30+ Exotic Filipino Recipes

The exotic flavors of Filipino recipes really stand out compared to other types of food so it’s no surprise these dishes will make for an exciting dinner night.

The Philippines have a unique cuisine that has been influenced by several different cultures. With Filipino food, you can expect a mixture of several different flavors, including sour, salty, and sweet. Also, rice plays a huge role in Filipino food, as does the coconut, which is used in both preparation and cooking.

You’ll find a ton of different Filipino dishes in the list below from appetizers to desserts. You’ll be ready to serve a 3 course Filipino meal when you’re done reading.

There is something unique about Filipino cuisine too because the ingredients and flavors are unlike anything you’ve probably tried before.

Filipino cuisine is a rich and diverse tapestry of flavors, heavily influenced by the country’s history and its surrounding regions. With a blend of Malay, Chinese, Spanish, and American culinary techniques, Filipino recipes truly offer a unique and mouthwatering dining experience. The Philippines is an archipelago blessed with an abundance of fresh ingredients from the earth and sea, allowing for a wide variety of dishes that cater to different taste palates.

At the heart of Filipino cuisine are a few key ingredients that one can find in almost any household pantry: rice, garlic, onions, tomatoes, soy sauce, vinegar, and various meats or seafood. Meals are typically composed of a savory viand paired with rice, providing a perfect canvas for the harmonious fusion of flavors and textures that make this cuisine so distinctive. From adobo to sinigang, Filipino recipes share one thing in common: they evoke a sense of comfort, warmth, and genuine love for food.

Key Takeaways

  • Filipino recipes feature a unique blend of Malay, Chinese, Spanish, and American culinary techniques.
  • Key ingredients in Filipino cuisine include rice, garlic, onions, tomatoes, soy sauce, vinegar, and various meats or seafood.
  • Meals often consist of a savory viand paired with rice, highlighting the harmonious fusion of flavors and textures in Filipino dishes.

Filipino food recipes may not be the best if you’re on a diet but otherwise, you won’t regret making them because each one is packed with so much flavor.

So when you’re ready to ditch the same old recipes you’ve been making for years, try out this Pinoy food to kickstart your imagination and creativity.

Take notes of your favorites from below because you’re about to learn the best Filipino food to make at home.

Source: pepper.ph

1. The Best Bistek Recipe

When you really need a savory recipe to save the day, this tender bistek with onions dish is going to be the hero.

It’s super simple to make, packed with flavor, and you can use it with noodles or rice and it will taste just as good.

Source: pilipinasrecipes.com

2. Kare-Kare

If you’ve never had Kare-Kare before then you don’t know what you’re missing.

This beautiful traditional Filipino food is a rich and savory stew made with oxtail, tripe, and a ton of vegetables.

The result is a mouth-watering combination of flavors that will have you dipping into the pot for seconds.

Everything soaks in a rich peanut sauce and you’ll even throw a little shrimp paste in to add that umami kick.

This is one you’ll want to make a ton of and stick it in the fridge because the dish only gets better the longer everything is able to soak into each other.

Source: panlasangpinoy.com

3. Filipino Coconut Macaroons

Macaroons have really taken on a personality of their own but the Philippines is where it really all started.

These coconut macaroons will help you see why the craze started and just how good they can really be.

Source: delicrunch.co

4. Filipino-Style Chicken Adobo Recipe

When you’re looking for a pinoy recipe to try for the first time, this adobo chicken dish is a perfect choice and you can even use pork adobo if you prefer it.

This recipe uses simple ingredients that are easy to find at the grocery store and then you just let everything simmer in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, garlic, and peppercorns.

After 30 minutes or so, your chicken will soak up all of these flavors until it’s practically bursting at the seams.

As if that isn’t enough, you’ll want to eat this chicken with some rice or alongside some bread because you’re going to have an intense craving again soon after polishing off your first serving.

Source: pinoyrecipe.net

5. Iskrambol

You never really know what’s going to be in an iskrambol but one thing is for sure, it’s absolutely delicious!

This Filipino drink is made from shaved ice, condensed milk, and flavored syrup that can be anything from mango to ube. It’s the perfect way to cool down in the summertime but also makes for a delicious treat all year round.

The best thing about this drink is how customizable it is so you can make it your own by adding your favorite sweets.

Source: pilipinasrecipes.com

6. Sinangag

Fried rice is one of the easy Filipino recipes to make at home because it’s pretty much just throwing a bunch of the same ingredients you use in other stir-fries into a pan and mixing it with rice.

The thing that makes this dish stand out is that Filipino cooking recipes frequently use garlic as one of the main flavoring agents so you’re going to be getting an extra punch of flavor with each bite.

A lot of Filipino people eat this dish for breakfast but it is so tasty that you can have it for pretty much any meal of the day.

Source: angsarap.net

7. Filipino Salabat

Anytime you have a nice pastry you could use some salabat to spice up the flavor. This tea is made from ginger which adds a nice warmth to how you wake up in the morning.

We recommend using locally grown ginger if you can find it since that will give it an extra punch but, thankfully, salabat can be found in most Asian grocery stores right alongside all of the other tasty ingredients.

Source: foodche.com

8. Beef Mechado

Quit worrying about what Filipino food to cook and stick with this Mechado recipe because it will coat your taste buds with delicious flavors.

This beef stew is made with tomatoes and also has potatoes in it which makes it a little different from your traditional mechado but still equally as delicious.

If you like meats that are slow cooked until they practically fall apart, then this Filipino food is for you and you can even use the instant pot to save some time.

Source: theskinnypot.com

9. Buko Pandan Ice Cream

One scoop is never enough of this mouthwatering ice cream because the flavor is so addicting.

The coconut milk used for this recipe gives it a really creamy texture while the flavors of buko or young coconut and pandan leaves give it an added sweetness that everyone loves.

This is the perfect summertime treat but feel free to make it year round if you can’t resist the allure of this buko pandan ice cream.

Source: pinoybites.com

10. Beef Pares

If you’ve never had Filipino party food then you’ve probably never tried this beef pares recipe.

This dish is made with chunks of beef that are cooked up in a savory broth until they’re practically melting in your mouth.

The best part about this recipe is that it allows you to be as creative as you want since it’s not a strict set of instructions.

You can choose to use different vegetables or even a loaf of bread instead of rice to soak up all the sauce in case you’re looking for some easy Filipino recipes you can make at home.

Source: kawalingpinoy.com

11. Sago at Gulaman

You’ll find sago at gulaman right alongside the other street vendors on popular Filipino food streets in the Philippines because its one of the popular Filipino dishes.

It’s the perfect drink to have on a hot day while lounging on the beach because it’s so light and refreshing.

It has the right flavors of sweet and sour which you can adjust depending on how much sugar you add or if you use local sugar cane instead.

Source: maritimeglutton.com

12. Arroz Caldo

The mix of ingredients in this arroz caldo chicken recipe is unique so it’s Philippine cuisine that you should add into your rotation just to get some variety.

This dish includes everything from chicken to scallions to garlic and even a hard-boiled egg.

It’s extremely comforting so when the weather starts getting a little chilly outside then you know this is one Filipino food recipe you should serve up.

Source: amiablefoods.com

13. Taisan

The Taisan is the perfect dessert to bust out when you’re trying to impress some dinner guests.

This Filipino dish is also known as the seven layer cake because it looks like a layered masterpiece that will leave your mouth watering just by looking at it. Plus, layers of sweet goodness? Count us in!

The cake itself is made from ground glutinous rice for added sweetness while the coconut cream is what really gives this entire dish a creamy, thick texture.

Source: manilaspoon.com

14. Leche Flan

When you’re looking for that popular Filipino food that the entire country loves, look no further than leche flan.

This delicious custard is made with eggs, evaporated milk, and sugar which gives it the perfect amount of sweetness to make it enjoyable for pretty much anyone.

It looks beautiful on a plate so you’ll be proud to serve this up at any party or family gathering.

Once you start making Filipino food you’ll want to devour this leche flan Filipino recipe right away because it is that good.

This one goes great at parties where everyone will be asking you for the recipe.

Source: casabaluartefilipinorecipes.com

15. Monggo Guisado

Guisado is made in several different cultures but the Filipino version really packs in an umami flavor that you can’t find in other recipes.

This stew is packed full of taro, green beans, mung beans, carrots, celery and potatoes with some bagoong for an added punch of flavor.

Bagoong is made from dried shrimp or fish that is fermented to make a kind of sauce which adds a deep savory element.

Source: saveur.com

16. Pan De Sal

Bread and Filipino food is just a way of life so the best Filipino dishes always have some and this pan de sal recipe really does it right.

This bread is as sweet as it sounds and you’ll be able to make it at home with ease.

The dough is made using yeast but it also has baking powder which makes the bread rise perfectly every time.

Source: rivertenkitchen.com

17. Tinolang Manok

Looking for that Filipino comfort food that will warm up your soul? Look no further than this Filipino chicken soup called tinolang manok.

The star of this dish is the ginger which adds a certain warmth and earthiness to the entire mixture while simultaneously bringing out all of the other flavors.

This recipe contains green onions, garlic, fish sauce, vinegar and soy sauce but you can add peanuts if you like it even more flavorful.

Source: createwithcream.ph

18. Pininyahang Manok

Even though this recipe might be hard to pronounce, it is filled with that delicious Filipino flavor that you’ve been looking for.

Pininyahang manok is made with chicken which is marinated overnight in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns.

The ingredients are simmered together until the chicken is nice and tender before it’s smothered in a sweet glaze that will leave you craving more.

If you’re looking for easy Pinoy cooking recipes that taste like they took hours to cook then this is the dish to try out.

Source: pepper.ph

19. Filipino Spaghetti

This won’t taste like your traditional spaghetti but the flavors are spot on.

This Filipino version does away with the traditional meat and instead uses longganisa as the main source of protein. It’s a local pork sausage that is sweet and savory all at once which goes perfectly with the tangy tomato sauce.

There’s also plenty of garlic in this dish to keep those vampires away since garlic is known for its immune boosting properties.

Source: food52.com

20. Eggplant Omelet

You have to put this eggplant omelet on your Filipino food list because it incorporates one of the most commonly used vegetables in Filipino cuisine.

This omelet is made by chopping up eggplant, garlic, onion, and tomato which are sauteed before it’s folded into an omelet that will make your mouth water.

This Pinoy recipe will definitely leave you wanting more and you’ll love how tasty it is, plus you can use a ton of different ingredients and it will still taste delicious.

Source: all-thats-jas.com

21. Filipino Beef Omelet

When you want something savory that you can eat for breakfast or dinner the Filipino torta beef omelet is the only way to go.

There’s a good balance between the egg, beef and bread to give you that full feeling without making you feel like you’re going to pop.

These omelets are filled with onions, minced garlic, cabbage and tomatoes then pan fried for a little bit before putting an egg on top of it all and folding it up just like an omelet.

Add a little ketchup on the side if you really want this dish to taste authentic.

Source: mamasguiderecipes.com

22. Adobong Balut

If you can’t figure out which Filipino food to make then you might as well start by combining two of them with this adobong balut.

This tasty dish is made by boiling the embryo of a duck egg and then marinating it in vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and bay leaves.

You’ll love how crispy the outside of this dish gets while you’re eating it even though it’s still very tender on the inside which makes for an interesting combination.

If you’ve never tried balut before this time is the perfect moment, it’s definitely one of those Filipino dishes that people love.

Source: pinoycookingrecipes.com

23. Cheese Puto

Cheese puto is a slightly sweet and fluffy steamed rice cake that will really surprise you.

It might sound like a strange dish but it’s one of the more traditional Filipino recipes and is worth trying at least once in your life.

The key component to this puto is glutinous rice flour which has a different texture than regular white flour so it might be a little different from what you’re used to.

It’s milk-based and contains cheese for added flavoring plus sugar, butter, vanilla extract and salt.

Source: mamasguiderecipes.com

24. Pork Chicharon

You might have heard of chicharon from Mexican food but this Pinoy version is just as tasty and it will leave you wanting more.

This dish is made by boiling pork skin until it’s nice and tender which helps make it even crispier once you fry it up.

The skin is fried with garlic, chili pepper, and vinegar until it gets to that perfect crispy level and then you can top it off with some salt and pepper.

This one goes great as a side dish especially if you’re making Filipino food for a party because it’s sure to leave everyone impressed.

Source: thehungryexcavator.com

25. Sizzling Sisig

If you make this sizzling sisig in a skillet it almost looks just like a plate of fajitas that you would order at a restaurant.

The flavor is just as good and it’s one of the dishes you can make a ton of for the entire family to pick at throughout dinner.

This recipe really takes advantage of all the pig parts that you normally wouldn’t use so it really helps feel like you aren’t being wasteful.

Don’t tell people right away what is in it until they give it a chance because the flavor is so much more enticing than how it sounds.

Source: bitemybun.com

26. Beef Pochero

This simple dish doesn’t take a ton of ingredients to make but the ingredients you are going to use might not be the most common.

You’ll be using this beef pochero with eggplant and red beans which might sound a little odd but the flavors complement one another very well.

The beef is cooked slowly in a light brown sauce that has water, soy sauce, tomato puree, onions, bay leaves, and garlic powder.

What makes this dish even more unique is the sabe banana that you’ll add for extra sweetness to balance all the savory flavors.

Source: tasteatlas.com

27. Buko Pie

When you want a pie that has all the exotic flavors of Filipino cuisine you have to try this buko pie.

It really does taste like coconut in every single way from the crust that has coconut flakes to add that extra crunch and texture, to the cream on top.

The crushed buko makes up the filling which is sweetened with evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, and lime juice to give it a unique twist on the classic pie.

You’ll need to make this recipe a day in advance because you will need some time for it to chill and set. It will be well worth the wait when it’s finished though.

Source: casabaluartefilipinorecipes.com

28. Dinuguan

Before you get too into your own head with this dish you’ll need to try a taste first because the ingredients might throw you off but the flavor never will.

Dinuguan is actually made with pig’s blood, which gives it that dark color but the other ingredients like garlic, vinegar, and spices make this a must try.

Don’t tell people what is in it at first because they might not want to try it either but once you get that first sip it will be hard not to have a second bowl.

Serve it up with a sweet rice cake to balance out that savory soup and you’ll have the perfect combination of flavors for any occasion.

Source: onelovecooking.com

29. Banana Fritters

There aren’t many ingredients in this banana fritters recipe so it’s the perfect one to make when you’re short on time and need something simple.

You’ll be using all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, eggs, milk and bananas to create these fritters that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

The bananas are mashed up so they fill every single crevice of this fritter which is a great way to get the potassium and fiber that you need.

These are then fried until they get nice and crispy on the outside while still remaining soft on the inside which makes for a pretty perfect combination.

Source: noblepig.com

30. Pineapple Coleslaw

Looking for something refreshing that still has that exotic Filipino flavor? You need this pineapple coleslaw in your life because it’s sweet, sour, and completely unique.

This dish is made with green cabbage, carrots, pineapple chunks, raisins, onion, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and black pepper which all come together to make this refreshing dish perfect for summer.

This Pinoy recipe will definitely surprise you because it’s not what you would expect to make with all these ingredients but once you try it for yourself, you’ll be hooked.

It’s the perfect companion to a savory Pinoy dish that you’ve created so people can get the best of both worlds.

Source: whatscookinchicago.com

31. Lumpiang Shanghai

You’ll find a little bit of Chinese influence in lumpiang shanghai because this next recipe looks just like an eggroll.

That’s essentially exactly what it is, but the pork filling really makes it stand out from a typical egg roll.

Inside you’ll find a mixture of ground meat, soy sauce, sesame cooking oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper which makes for a flavorful filling but it’s the sauce that takes it to the next level.

They’re fried until they get nice and crispy on the outside then dunked into this delicious sweet and sour sauce that brings them to a whole new level.

30+ Exotic Filipino Recipes (+Sago at Gulaman)

These recipes are sure to please. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!
5 from 8 votes
Total Time 34 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4
Calories 322 kcal


  • Sago pieces cooked
  • Cubed gulaman
  • Arnibal syrup
  • 4 cups fresh water
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla or banana extract


  • Boil the sago pearls for 10 minutes and drain.
  • Add the sago back to the pot with the water, cooking for 5 minutes.
  • Combine the ingredients in a large glass with ice.


Select your favorite recipe.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.


Calories: 322kcal
Keyword Filipino recipes, Sago at Gulaman
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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