My post last week on the Top 10 Pinoy/Filipino Dishes main courses (savory dishes/putahes) got an overwhelming response from readers. The article got over 10,000 page hits and encouraged over 130 readers to leave a comment with their list of 10 or more Pinoy favorites. Thank you for that fantastic response. I have always felt that 98+% of Marketmanila’s readers have never left a comment and this exercise certainly confirmed that; but that post also lured about 30+ lurkers into making their first comments ever on the site. Comments add a lot to the discussion and I strongly encourage everyone to participate now and then. I was so overwhelmed with the 1200+ “votes” received that I had to ask an assistant to collate them all and put them on a simple spreadsheet for me. It was rather time consuming task as folks used up to a dozen different words or phrases for say, adobo or sinigang and we had to make a judgment call on several suggestions listed. We also had to eliminate double votes, side dishes, condiments, sweets, etc. to “clean up” the data a bit. It wasn’t very scientific and there is a little bit of fudge factor involved. But at any rate, I was just aiming for a rough feel and we definitely got that. After reviewing all the responses, the results are both expected and unexpected — read on and enjoy!
Of all the savory dishes mentioned (all desserts were eliminated from the analysis), the total list after adjusting for similar groups of dishes came out to roughly 60-70 dishes ranging from bangus, sisig, lumpia, cripy pata, morcon, inihaw na isda, kuhol, talangka, pako, bringhe and bopis. I would imagine that this list of 70 pinoy or adopted pinoy dishes is a good representation of what most Filipinos consider to be the best that our national cuisine has to offer. I would say that I am familiar with, or have eaten in the past year, at least 70% of the dishes on this list. Of this long list, only the Top 30 dishes received more than 10 or so votes out of a maximum of about 120 votes which means that a minimum of 8% or 1 in 12 voters included it in their list of Top 10 dishes. The 40 less voted on dishes had some surprisesâ€¦ in the lower 40 were “pinoy spaghetti” and pork barbeque (two mainstays of any large pinoy gathering and yet they did not get mentioned that often in the survey), adobong kangkong (why?), binagoongang baboy, sinangag or fried rice with garlic, sinampalukang manok and a whole list of what I would call other adapted/adopted dishes — chorizo, tocino, pritong lumpia, lumpia shanghai, morcon, afritada, embutido, paella and menudo.
The countdown from 30 to 11:
30. Ginataang Kalabasa — just made it into the Top 30, yum, I love this dish.
29. Tapa — yikes, itâ€™s a bit far down on the list for meâ€¦what would breakfast be like without this and some spicy vinegar?
28. Paksiw na Lechon — Oh no, I like this dish better than lechon itself. I would have thought this would be much higher up the rankings!
27. Manggang Hilaw with Bagoong — Love it.
26. Lechon Kawali — Definitely.
25. Pancit Palabok — if lumped together with Pancit luglug would have been in the Top 10.
24. Kinilaw — probably one of our oldest and most representative local dishes.
23. Pritong Galunggong — I posted this one just recentlyâ€¦
22. Longganisa — Definitely, with gaseous burps and all.
21. Bihon Guisado — Merienda food, lots of kalamansi please!
20. Beef Caldereta — Gotta make me some of this, have never cooked it myself before.
19. Chicken Inasal — Yes, I see why this is up there in the rankings.
18. Beef Bulalo/Nilagang Baka — I know these are different dishes but as a grouped theme of boiled beef soups, this was up there in votesâ€¦
17. Rellenong Bangus — Hmm, Iâ€™m not a big fan, but many others obviously are.
16. Tortang Talong — Definitely gotta have this. And with lots of ketchup please.
15. Bistek Tagalog — A personal favoriteâ€¦I thought this would be higher up in the rankings.
14. Laing — Yes.
13. Pancit Luglug — Ditto, yes.
12. Sisig — I can see why, but I am not a converted fan yet.
11. Dinuguan — Ugh. I have a childhood phobia and I just have to get over it and cook this dish to perfection myself in the coming months!
And finally, The Putahe Top 10!!!
10. Tinola — another satisfying comfort food that is a complete meal in a bowl with protein, vegetables, fruit, soup and flavor — lots of rice, patis and kalamansi on the side, please.
9. Monggo — Definitely a top 10 though possibly one of those highly adapted/adopted dishes from the Chinese Mainland. Nutritious, delicious and economical.
8. Lumpiang Sariwa — Yes. Ever since those Americans pushed all those coconut plantations we had to figure out how to use palm hearts and this is a brilliant manifestation. Some family friends send over this stuff at Christmas after a long, slow simmer in pork lard and it is stunningly delicious and stunningly deadly on the cholesterol meter. I like the accompanying sauce, but oddly, keep my chopped peanuts on the side.
7. Inihaw na Isda — Yes. This was a difficult one to lump into one as voters sometimes specified the fish, but suffice it to say that grilled fresh fish is on most folks Top 10 list.
6. Daing or Pritong Bangus — Yes. And Marketman says you MUST have a fish pan to go with that, Mylai Dimaculanganâ€™s asideâ€¦heehee.
5. Pinakbet — Yes. Yes. Yes. An Asian ratatouille? No. A native vegetable dish that can range from horrific to sublime depending on how it is cooked. Acquired taste because of the bagoong, I think. This is definitely in my personal top 10.
4. Lechon — No wonder this is the stuff of Fiesta dreams, folks really do place it in a super high regard. I personally would have it lower on the list. Though I LOVE good lechon skin and ribs, I just donâ€™t think it should be that high up in the rankingsâ€¦
3. Kare-kare — A surprise for me, but nearly 50% of all voters had this on their list and it garnered the third largest number of votes. I was never a big fan and perhaps I always got bum examples of this dish so after seeing these results I read up on kare-kare and spent nearly four hours trying to make the ultimate version (in a post up next!).
2. Adobo — Duhh. Nearly 60% of all respondents had this on their list of Top 10 Pinoy Putahes. No wonder they say it should be the national dish. And yes, I believe it existed before the Spaniards got here and they named it so due to similarities with dishes in Mexico/Spain.
1. Sinigang — Sinigang na Baboy was the third largest individually voted dish. However, 4 Sinigang versions were in the top 13 dishes so if you grouped them as a “Sinigang” option, this was far and away the absolute favorite. Approximately 80% of all respondents had one or more types of Sinigang in their Top 10 list. I totally agree with this choice. Whether pork, beef, prawn, shrimp, bangus, talakitok or other protein with the sour broth of tamarind (or guava, kamias, etc.) and fresh vegetables, this is truly the number 1 Pinoy dish in my book.