Mouthwatering for some, stomach-churning for others, the Philippines serves up some interesting and adventurous traditional cuisine.
Warning: this article is not vegetarian-friendly (next time I’ll write about fruit). Cooking all animal parts from brains to feet, using some odd preparation techniques and eating some unusual animals, these Filipino dishes are certainly not for the faint-stomached.
This blood stew is made from meat simmered with offal (kidneys, intestines, lungs, heart, ears and snout) in a pigs’ blood gravy flavored with garlic, chilli and vinegar
Field crickets are cooked in soy sauce, salt and vinegar. Camaro-eating contests are a local attraction in Pampanga, where the dish is traditionally served. The crickets, which emerge seasonally, are crunchy and slightly sweet.
3. Crispy pata
Pig trotter (yes that’s the foot, yummy!) or knuckles are boiled and then deep-fried. Served with a soy vinegar dip, this dish can be a snack or appetizer.
This is a dog meat stew. The meat is marinated before being fried and then cooked in a tomato sauce, with liver spread blended in.
5. Sizzling Sisig
The term “sisig” can refer to several dishes, but in this case we will focus on Sizzling Sisig, made from a pig’s head.
The head is first boiled to remove hairs and tenderise the meat, portions of which are grilled before being fried with onions and served on a sizzling hotplate.
This is a stew of goat or beef offal (that’s the innards) with bile (digestive juices) to give it a bitter flavor. Originally from the Ilocos region, the stew has a greenish hue from the bile and is flavored with onions, garlic and mild chilli peppers.
7. Pinikpikan na manok
A live chicken is beaten to death with a stick to bruise the skin and bring the blood to the surface. This is said to tenderise the meat, making it tastier. Its feathers are removed by burning and it is then boiled with salt and cured pork.
Fancy trying any of these dishes? There are websites full of Filipino recipes so you too can become a masterchef of the weird and adventurous!
But if you’re going to the Philippines and not feeling so brave, there are lots of other dishes available. In fact, the Philippines is known for the breadth of its cuisine, from Spanish food to fast food as well as some more appetizing traditional options.
Have you or would you eat any of these dishes? What’s the weirdest food you’ve eaten? Let us know in the comments below!