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What Food to Try in the Philippines during National Lover’s Day

Looking for an excuse to pig out on local Filipino food?

This coming April 23rd, go on a food trip with your date! It’s National Lovers Day, so if you’re looking for a reason to eat delicious dishes, this day is the perfect time to do so!

filipino food on a banana leaf
There’s so much food to try in the Philippines while you go on a date!

The Philippines is thriving in the culinary industry. In fact, Filipino food is slowly getting the attention it deserves on the international stage. With unique, savory flavors, it’s easy to fall in love with the country’s local cuisines.

Even Filipinos can’t resist local food. In Filipino dating culture, dates are often centered around eating out. Women even show they like a man if they take them to their favorite eating place. If you’ve dated a Filipina before, then you know what I’m talking about.

If you’ve been aching for a food trip, National Lovers Day is your cue. Travel around the country so you can indulge. Go on a date with your partner as you go through a list of food to try in the Philippines.

1. Adobo

A staple in every Filipino household. Many locals even consider this the national dish of the country. Let’s just say that a list of ‘top Filipino dishes’ is not reliable if Adobo is not included in it. It is that famous.

The word adobo itself refers to the way of marinating and stewing. Any cut meat, whether it’s fish, pork, or poultry, mixed with spices, soy sauce, and vinegar can be called Adobo.

The Filipino Adobo shouldn’t be mistaken for the Mexican adobo sauce. While they share the same name, they are vastly different from each other.

The way adobo is cooked differs from one family to the next, but, traditionally, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and pepper are the basic ingredients of the dish. There are also different variations of it, depending on the protein used. Some people use chicken (chicken adobo), pork (pork adobo), fish (fish adobo), etc.

The dish is served everywhere in the country, from small food stalls to luxury restaurants, so make sure you try it! Your Philippine food trip date would not be complete without tasting this dish.

2. Sisig

Sisig is typically made from all the good parts that come from a pig’s head – including the snout and ears for that extra crunch. Some recipes add liver and meat from the pig’s belly too.

It’s then sauteed and topped with calamansi, chili peppers, onion, egg, and mayonnaise.

It’s a typical meal that gets paired with beer. Beer drinkers often order sisig while they talk and get drunk. So if you’re thinking about getting drunk with your Filipina girlfriend, get some cold beer and order a plate of sizzling sisig.

3. Qwek qwek

food to try before you die
Qwek qwek, or orange, boiled quail eggs, is definitely a food to try before you die!

A popular street food to try before you die is qwek-qwek. It’s almost everyone’s favorite cheap snack and can be bought almost anywhere. If you see a traveling vendor that’s selling orange circular snacks, then know that that’s qwek qwek.

But what’s qwek qwek? Simply speaking, it’s boiled quail egg in orange batter that’s fried until crispy and is served in a plastic cup filled with sweet and sour sauce. It’s everyone’s go-to street food when they don’t have enough money to eat a proper meal, which is a double-sided blade because it can get addicting.

Let’s just say you’d end up like the others who refuse to spend money in a restaurant for a single meal but are willing to buy as many qwek qwek as they can with the same amount of money.

You will at least have no regrets because it’s that good. It’s definitely one of the interesting foods to try in the Philippines.

4. Lechon

If there is ever a dish that never disappears in a Filipino household whenever there’s something to celebrate, it’s the lechon.

Lechon is a whole roasted pig. It is stuffed with spices on the inside before it gets cooked over flames. It’s another staple for Filipinos to eat, and you can’t go through any celebration – weddings, birthdays, graduations, Christmas, etc. – without having the dish be the center of attention.

A lot of locals will even subtly fight over the crispy skin. Adults and kids alike love it, and some even grew up eating it to the point of getting sick of it.

If you’ve been in the Philippines long enough, you’ve probably already tried this at least once. And if you haven’t, now is the time.

5. Pancit Palabok

This one is a Filipino rice noodle dish with shrimp sauce and crispy pork cuts. Locals sometimes call it Pancit Luglug or Pancit Malabon.

It’s a classic dish served with smoked fish, eggs, and crumbled chicharron on top. Palabok is probably one of the easiest to make on this list aside from adobo. So, if you’re looking for food to try making yourself, this could be a great option.

But if you don’t have the skill or energy to make it yourself, go out and buy it. You don’t have to go into a luxurious restaurant to get a plate. It’s served in carenderias. All you have to do is ask if you’re passing by.

You can also ask your partner where to buy it. Jollibee has this on their menu. You can always order it from there.

6. Balut

Another street food you can find anywhere. It’s fairly cheap, and, like qwek qwek, it can become addicting.

But what’s balut? Well, it’s another egg! It is a fertilized egg with a developed embryo inside. Hear me out here, it might sound weird. But despite what it is, it’s a very addictive snack that you can buy in the streets easily.

Here’s how you can eat it: pour a bit of vinegar and salt on it, drink the soup, and take a bite of the meat or swallow it straight up. The “soup” you sip out of it is really good too. People say they eat balut for the soup while others like the embryo inside.

Some Filipinos, surprisingly, don’t even eat it. But you can try it yourself and see if you like it or hate it. What’s the harm in trying?

It’s a food adventure in the Philippines!

As the saying goes, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”

You don’t really need a reason to go on a food trip with your girlfriend. The locals themselves just do it if they’re feeling like it. Nonetheless, if going on an adventure in search of local dishes is your idea of a fun date, then why not?

A Filipina won’t say no to food. In fact, that’s how you win her heart most of the time.

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