A few years ago, hundreds of readers responded to a question about their favorite Filipino dishes, and I eventually posted a list of the “Top 30” here. Several weeks ago, I asked the current (and much larger readership) what dishes seem to have been left out, and after a whole lot of vote tallying (that made an assistant lose a few points of eyesight), here are the next 20 favorite dishes according to reader responses. Together, the “Top 50” make an interesting list of popular pinoy fare, and I am happy to note that I have featured the majority of these dishes on this blog before. So here is the list, with links to previous related posts/recipes/etc. Enjoy! Now if only I could get serious about doing a proper dinuguan and pancit palabok/luglug, then compiling this all into a book… :)
Top 30, based on original poll:
1. Sinigang – My absolute favorite, so glad it seems to be yours as well. I have tons of posts on sinigang, start here and note links to fourteen (14!) other recipes or variations of sinigang in the blog archives.
2. Adobo – One of the first Pinoy dishes I learned how to cook while living abroad, and still a favorite. See my westernized take on it, here. But a truly old-fashioned, no soy sauce, three hour slow cooked palayok version here is simply the best I have ever made.
3. Kare-Kare – I wasn’t a huge fan of this dish, but I made it here, and liked it. You may want to check out this post on the various key ingredients for the dish.
4. Lechon – Need I say more? Here is a summary post you can refer to and which includes dozens of links to Marketman’s lechon experiments or journey to lechon nirvana. :)
5. Pinakbet – One of my favorite pinoy vegetable dishes, here done as authentically as possible, in a palayok. Another post making the dish in a wok instead.
6. Daing or Pritong Bangus – A national favorite, bangus in several forms is absolutely delicious. And don’t forget, it sparked the whole “fishpan” thingee on marketmanila.com.
7. Inihaw na Isda – With 7,000+ islands, how could grilled fish not be up there? In the archives, there are a LOT of posts on grilled fish like here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
8. Lumpiang Sariwa – Yup, this is delicious. Here is a recipe like my mom made it. Here is a another recipe made by an expert in Bacolod. But the ultra thin lumpia wrapper of the Negros variety still eludes me (even though I have seen them made right in front of my eyes…).
9. Monggo – My version here. My over-the-top version here. And if you ever get the chance to make this with freshly harvested mung beans, do it. :)
10. Tinola – I presume readers mean tinolang manok, here. But a closely related and possibly even better soup is chicken binakol, here. And don’t forget those similar sounding “tinowas” of the Visayas, more likely to contain fish or seafood.
11. Dinuguan – I have had a phobia about this dish, so I still need to overcome it and cook a good version someday soon.
12. Sisig – An attempt at a more typical or classic sisig, here. But the real revelation was the “lechon sisig” featured here. And from there, variations on that in empanadas and buns…
13. Pancit Luglug – I have never made this myself, and should hunker down and just do it. But I am still confused between this and Pancit Palabok…
14. Laing – Nice and spicy, try these recipes.
15. Bistek Tagalog – My version was first “made in America” and hence some of its ingredients. Here is another version, marinating the beef. But you like what you are used to. And if you want a luxurious version, try this one with leftover roast beef.
16. Tortang Talong – Satisfying comfort food, recipe here.
17. Rellenong Bangus – I am not particularly fond of this, and have never done a recipe for it on the blog.
18. Beef Bulalo/Nilagang Baka – Here’s my version.
19. Chicken Inasal – Possibly the singe most visited recipe on this blog, recipe here.
20. Beef Kaldereta – Recipe here.
21. Bihon Guisado – Here’s one version. Though I have to say I am partial to sotanghon guisado… here a wonderful recipe graciously shared by La Cocina de Tita Moning.
22. Longganisa – I have never made it using the casings, but I did do a “naked” version that was quite tasty.
23. Pritong Galunggong (and other fish) – But of course. Galunggong here. Other fish here, here, here, here, here and here.
24. Kinilaw – When this dish is done well, it is utterly superb. Our best version, here. You might also be intrigued by these dilis (anchovy fry) or malasugi (swordfish) versions.
25. Pancit Palabok – See Number 13, above.
26. Lechon Kawali – Lechon kawali/bagnet in two part posts, part I here, and part II here.
27. Manggang Hilaw at Bagoong – Not much you can do to screw this up.
28. Paksiw na Lechon – Here’s a great version, with a hint of cinnamon and thyme. Or try it outdoors in a wood-fired palayok.
29. Beef Tapa – This recipe attracts a lot of attention from pinoys surfing the net abroad for filipino recipes. If you want to take it up a notch, try this recipe for casajos.
30. Ginataang Kalabasa – This is a rich, satisfying dish, I do it with sitaw or long beans as well, here.
The next 20, though some of the actual rankings may move up or down a few notches, given the sampling was taken at different times with different audiences, but whose quibbling…
31. Crispy Pata – Yes, absolutely. I was surprised this wasn’t in the Top 30 to begin with. Here is a recipe.
32. Arroz Caldo/Lugaw – Pospas for Visayans. A flavorful version, here.
33. Paksiw na Isda – Inun-unan for Visayans, here with vinegar and kamias. Another version with dayap.
34. Pork Barbecue – A classic, but believe it or not, despite a few attempts, and lots of reader suggestions in this post, I don’t have a recipe I am totally happy with. But this variation with bagoong was quite a surprise hit.
35. Binagoongang Baboy – A version here. But also have a look at the binagoongang bagnet recipe, here.
36. Bicol Express – We make this at home fairly often, it is a nice foil for grilled fish or pork. And some history, here. Others refer to this as gulay na lada.
37. Embutido – I personally don’t fancy this dish. So I never made it. :)
38. Menudo – A cafeteria staple, try it at home with this recipe.
39. Inihaw na Liempo – Few dishes are as simple and delicious as this. And try one of these five versions.
40. Fried Lumpia – Here is a great post with lots of reader input for all kinds of fillings…
41. Lengua – I made it once, to pretty good results, but never made it again. I am not a fan of lengua. :)
42. Pork Tocino – One of the top 5 “searched” recipes on this site, make sure you don’t use iodized table salt. Or try this version made with baboy ramo or wild boar.
43. Ukoy – I like this dish, but have never made a good one by myself. I particularly want to learn how to make the ephemeral, airy version from Bacolod without whole shrimps in it. Several attempts to find someone to show us how to do this has ended in failure. :(
44. Batchoy – Definitely on my short list of things to try. I have no recipe yet. Just check out this wonderful bowl of soup at 21 in Bacolod.
45. Adobong Pusit – A mediocre take on it, here.
46. Ginataang Langka – Recipe, here.
47. Afritada – Another favorite in our home, we use a recipe like this one.
48. Tokwat Baboy – I like this dish, but have never made it at home.
49. Humba – The Visayans are sneaking in a regional favorite. Recipe, here.
50. Itlog na Maalat at Kamatis – Hard to screw this one up. Bad eggs would be a bummer.
And just five more dishes, very close contenders, so I thought I would add them in too:
51. Pinapaitang Baka/Kambing – I actually have never tasted either of these dishes.
52. Pochero/Cocido – Surprised this wasn’t higher up on the list. A good recipe, here.
53. Pancit Molo – Another comfort food. Can never get it quite like the original, but here’s a pretty good recipe.
54. Chicharon Bulaklak – I’ve eaten this several times, but have never made it myself, despite all the lechons we have cooked…
55. Tinapang Isda or Bangus – I love tinapang bangus and other fishes, but have never made it myself. The closest I can take you is a factory, see this favorite post here. I just buy it and fry it to enjoy it. :)