Are Filipino Recipes the Same on All the Islands?

filipino-recipes-same-islands Credit: dbgg1979/CC-BY 2.0

Filipino dishes may be called by the same name, but the recipes can vary greatly depending on which region or island of the country it hails from. A large percentage of Filipino recipes have Spanish origins. They have developed with different ingredients, spices and seasonings in each region depending on what was most readily available.

The recipe for Adobo, which is widely considered to be the Filipino national dish, varies greatly by geographic region. It is a hearty meat-based stew that can contain many different things but is traditionally topped with an egg. The traditional base meat is pork, but some areas use chicken or fish. The meat is always marinated in vinegar, but in some areas, the sauce may be made from sugar cane; other recipes use coconut milk.

Almost all Filipino recipes use a fusion of salty, sweet and spicy flavors to give them their unique flavor. The main island of Luzon has three distinct flavor regions divided geographically as northern, central and southern cuisine styles. However, the country has 7,107 islands with dozens of different ethnic groups. Each island has developed its own flavors.

Some larger metropolitan areas such as Manila have many restaurants that offer the same dishes prepared several different ways so diners can choose their favorite recipe.