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Five Filipino Recipes to Spice Up Your Palate

todayJanuary 25, 2016 489 3

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By Sarah Bey
Blog Content Contributor

The first week back to school is always exhausting but with these easy and inexpensive Filipino recipes, you’ll regain all of the energy that you need to keep pushing forward through the semester. Plus, you’ll have some great leftovers! Impress your roommates, friends, family, significant others or just yourself with these five recipes.

1. Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo
Chicken Adobo

Chicken adobo is considered to be the most popular dish of Filipino cuisine. This dish is not to be confused with Spanish adobo. Both dishes are awesome but Filipino adobo is completely different. You can substitute the chicken for pork or even baby back ribs if you’d like.

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 chicken thighs or drumsticks (can have a mixture of both)
  • ¾ cup of distilled white vinegar
  • ¾ cup of soy sauce
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 3 cups of rice

Let’s adobo this adobo:

  • Cut the chicken fat. You don’t want to cut all of it off but just the excess fat.
  • In a large, non-stick aluminum pan, stir the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and bay leaves together. Add the chicken and coat each piece. Then, cover and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes. (You can also let it marinate overnight.)
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat each one dry. Don’t throw out the marinade because you’ll use it later!
  • Pour the vegetable oil into a large pot over medium heat. (Be careful! If you make the oil too hot, it will splash back on you and the rest of your kitchen giving you a nice little burn and/or leaving your kitchen a hot mess.) Once the oil is ready, add enough chicken to coat the bottom of the pot. Cook the chicken until one side is browned and then flip them over and repeat. When the first batch is done, take them out and add the other batch and repeat.
  • Once all of your chicken is nice and brown, put it back in the pot with your marinade. Turn the heat up and place the lid of the pot on top slightly askewed to let the steam escape. Once the liquid is boiling, decrease the heat to low and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Cut into the meat to make sure it’s not pink and that it’s fully cooked through.
  • While you’re waiting on your chicken, pour the rice into a rice cooker. Wash the rice and then add enough water to cover the rice. Then, put that rice cooker to work and wait for your rice to cook.
  • Once the rice is cooked and your chicken is done, remove the bay leaves. Then get yourself a plate, put some rice on it, put your chicken adobo on top of the rice and add the sabaw on top of your rice (that’s Tagalog for broth—which is your marinade and it’s the best part of the whole dish).
  • My family and I prefer to eat dill pickles as a side dish with chicken adobo and rice but, of course, you don’t have to. You can also cook the chicken in a crock pot by just adding everything into the pot and letting it cook that way. Enjoy!

2. Lumpia (AKA Egg Rolls)


LUMPIA! It’s the staple of every Filipino gathering because they’re easy to make and easy to eat.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 4 ounces of minced carrots
  • 4 ounces of minced celery
  • 1 small minced onion
  • 1 ounce of garlic
  • Soy sauce and/or sweet chili sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pack of spring roll wrappers


Let’s get started:

  • Combine all of your ingredients (except for the soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, egg and spring roll wrappers) into a large bowl.
  • Spread a thin layer of the mixture onto the spring roll wrapper and wrap tightly leaving about half an inch of the wrapper exposed. Then, dip your index finger in the egg wash and paint the exposed wrapper with the egg wash and wrap it all of the way (this is what seals your lumpia.) Repeat this step until you have all of your lumpia wrapped.
  • Then, in a pot, fry your lumpia. Once they are done, take them out and pat the excess oil. Serve with soy sauce and/or sweet chili sauce and enjoy!

 3. Nilaga (KNEE-LA-GAH)


This is probably my favorite Filipino dish because it’s good year-round. Feeling under the weather? Nilaga is your answer!

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 pounds of beef brisket, cubed
  • 1 big potato, cubed
  • 1 bok choy or cabbage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium size carrots, chopped crosswise
  • 3 tablespoons of patis (fish sauce)

Let’s get cooking:

  • Saute the onion in a large pot until it becomes soft.
  • Add the beef brisket and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the patis and then mix well.
  • Pour in enough water to submerge the meat and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Put in the vegetables starting with the potato and carrots. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the bok choy or cabbage. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Serve over rice and enjoy!

4. Pancit (PAWN-SIT)


This is another staple dish served at Filipino gatherings because it’s really easy to make.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 package of dried rice noodles
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of diced cooked chicken breast meat
  • 1 package of coleslaw mix
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce

Let’s get started:

  • Place the rice noodles in a large bowl full of warm water. Once they are soft, drain and set aside.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Then, stir in your coleslaw mix. Toss in your noodles and add the soy sauce. Let it cook until heated thoroughly while stirring constantly. Once it’s cooked, serve and enjoy!

5. Turon (TWO-RRR-OWN) (Roll that r, friends!)


This dish is much similar to lumpia except it’s a dessert!

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 saba or plantain bananas, cut in half
  • 1 ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 12 spring roll wrappers
  • 2 cups of cooking oil

Let’s get cooking:

  • Roll the banana in the brown sugar, coating it evenly.
  • Place the banana in the spring roll wrapper.
  • Fold and lock the spring roll wrapper, using water to seal it.
  • In a pan, heat the oil and put in some brown sugar. Wait until the sugar floats.
  • Put the spring rolls and fry until the wrappers are golden brown and the extra sugar sticks on the wrapper.
  • Take out and add some confectioner sugar on top or drizzle chocolate syrup or caramel sauce on top. Serve and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these five recipes from my homeland. I know whenever I eat any of these dishes, I remember wonderful memories that I’ve shared with my family and friends while learning how to make them or simply eating together. So, get some loved ones together and bond over a beautiful meal! Maraming salamat po at good luck – Thank you very much and good luck!

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  1. lazymomcooking on January 25, 2016

    This is so yummy! I will save and try your recipe!

    Please visit and follow my blog (www.lazymomcooking.wordpress.com) or my Instagram (lazymom_cooking) for some recipe ideas :)

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