23 Feb2009

When I go to a Thai restaurant, I almost always have Tom Yum, the spicy sour soup, a beef salad, pad thai noodles… regardless where I am in the world. At a Vietnamese restaurant, I look for a comforting bowl of pho, some fresh and fried spring rolls. At a Japanese restaurant, sushi, tempura and possibly a teppanyaki dish. At Indonesian restaurants, a nasi goreng or fried rice, or if feeling flush, a rijstafel. So I guess Tony Bourdain’s point that we need to narrow our food offerings to gain international recognition is probably a point well taken. And the our food offerings have to have broad appeal, must be replicable in most major metropolitan areas around the world, and attract a broad audience from young to old, adventurous to not so adventurous. So for the past few days I have been trying to narrow down my PERSONAL view of what those iconic Filipino dishes might or should be. Here are my thoughts, and I am very much interested in your opinions on this conundrum…

1. Sinigang na Sugpo – I think a sinigang of some sort must be in the top 3. I know we have endless variations on this dish, but if I had to choose just one, I think it would be an unripe tamarind sinigang with prawns. I am a purist, but this dish CAN be well replicated abroad with sinigang mix. It is healthy, without fat, and the sourness easily tempered if so desired. It is quick to make and gorgeous to look at. Yes, I think this is my top pick.

2. Adobong Baboy – Again, we have evolved into 300 versions of this dish. But if one were to do something like this slow-cooked “confit of pork” equivalent, I think it would do well with a varied international palate. Served with some well made acharra on the side, I could see this doing very well. And it can be done anywhere they sell pork belly. And if it were up to me, a minimum of soy sauce on this one. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried a properly made slow cooked non-soy sauce version…

I was sure about the top two picks. But I struggled for several hours with the third choice. Personally, I would have picked a fantastic kinilaw or seviche of some sort. If Japanese restaurants can get decent tuna and other fish for sashimi in most major cities, then we should be able to do a decent kinilaw. But raw or almost raw and sour may be a bit less mainstream, so while I would love a kinilaw anywhere on the planet, I would put it a little further down my “top” list. Instead, I chose:

3. Sotanghon Guisado – I suspect many of you would find this a curious choice. But if you make a carefully crafted and flavored sotanghon guisado, it is heaven. Try this recipe, graciously given by the folks behind La Cocina de Tita Moning to understand what I am talking about. And the appeal of this sotanghon guisado would we wide, from kids to adults with dentures. Also, it is attractive to look at, would pair well with other Filipino dishes as well. I have served this to dozens of western guests and they have unanimously declared it delicious. Don’t forget the kalamansi.

Now, if only we could pick 5 or 7 dishes as the ones to promote intensively before we presented a wider spectrum of dishes…

4. Lechon Kawali – Fat and flavor and crunch. Served with a liver sauce on the side.

5. Inasal na Manok – Done properly, this is delicious, familiar yet new at the same time. Replicable anywhere you can grill. Achuete powder can be used to color and for authenticity. Use lots of herbs.

While I love vegetables, and am smitten by a fabulous pinakbet, I don’t think this would have as wide appeal as other pinoy vegetable dishes, and bagoong, though bottled, is not as readily available elsewhere on the planet. Also, that bitter gourd thing is not as thrilling as it might be to many of us. I love pinakbet, I love pako salad, I love laing, but if I had to put a veggie dish on an international menu, I might go with

6. Sitaw at kalabasa sa gata – Kabocha squash and long beans in coconut milk. The creaminess and richness of the coconut milk presents a different aspect of filipino cuisine, and it can border on the sweeter side. So a salty adobo, a sour sinigang, a noodle dish, a crisp fried pork and a grilled tasty chicken… yes, a coconut cream vegetable dish. But a part of me was routing for a roasted eggplant and tomato salad. Not unfamiliar to many western palates, and the acidity of the dressing would make it the perfect complement to fried and grilled meat or fish.

7. Kinilaw – Sorry, I just had to get this in there. I love it. And if it is properly done, it is brilliant.

So let me stop there. And no, I couldn’t include lechon because it just isn’t practical to believe we could do lechon well around the world. Lumpia sariwa would be too difficult to do without fresh ubod. Bangus is not readily available in most supermarkets globally. Sisig needs lots of pig heads. Arrgh, and I haven’t even done dessert or kakanins. So those are my first 7 dishes that I would focus on if trying to introduce a foreign and unfamiliar palate to Filipino food. And I would explain the concept of developing one’s own sawsawan as part of the meal.

But now I want to know what you guys would select as the top 3 or the top 5 dishes. Please think about this and leave a comment and number it 1/2/3/4/5 so I can do some tallies of the answers. Remember, they aren’t necessarily your personal 3 to 5 favorite dishes or what YOU would order in pinoy restaurants… but rather, dishes that would well represent our cuisine and which would be accessible and replicable around the world. Many thanks for your thoughts on this!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Topster says:

    Oh, I guess we could offer the world and have a standard fare for the following classic Pinoy fare:
    1. Sinigang (beef, seafood, pork)
    2. Shank/bulalo nilaga
    3. Pinakbet
    4. Adobo
    5. Laing

    I know regionally it may differ in preparation or presentation but let us choose the “best” version to represent the Philippines. I think that feat alone would move require a consensus among Filipinos which version would the dish represent.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 9:10 am

     
  2. kikas_head says:

    I am a funky foreigner who lives in Manila (American). The dishes that our guests from abroad always seem to love (in no paticular order) are:

    1. Pork Adobo
    2. Mechado
    3. Lechon (Pig or Cow, they love it)
    4. Pancit
    5. The fish that is grilled with tomatoes and whatnot inside the cavity.
    6. Liempo

    Feb 23, 2009 | 9:33 am

     
  3. Jaja says:

    Mine would be:

    1. Adobo
    2. Sinigang (Pork or Sugpo)
    3. Lechon Kawali
    4. Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw
    5. Pansit

    Feb 23, 2009 | 9:39 am

     
  4. Kat says:

    This post made me really hungry. My choices would be:

    1. Adobo
    2. Sinigang Sugpo (since I’d say the adobo would already be pork)
    3. Lechon Kawali (or if you could do it in the Ilocano style bagnet, that’ll be great too)
    4. Ginataang Kalabasa at sitaw gets my vote too
    5. For dessert, halo-halo.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 9:51 am

     
  5. Marlon says:

    my picks would be:

    1. Sinigang na Baka sa Dahon/Bulaklak ng sampaloc
    2. Pancit Miki-Bihon ng Lucena
    3. Adobong Tuyo sa Tustadong Bawang(pork/chicken)
    4. Sarsyadong Isda Kapampangan
    5. Tinolang Native na Manok.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 9:53 am

     
  6. bijin says:

    1. laing
    2. kare kare
    3. daing bangus
    4. lumpia shanghai
    5. pancit
    6. sinigang

    Feb 23, 2009 | 9:55 am

     
  7. Anne says:

    1. kare – kare
    2. sinigang
    3. enseladang mangga
    4. adobo
    5. inihaw with atchara
    6. lechon (baboy, baka, manok)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:03 am

     
  8. dragon says:

    Not necessarily to be served all at the same time:

    1. Adobo
    2. Sinigang (Prawn or Pork)
    3. Lechon/Lechon Kawali/Bagnet
    4. Pinakbet or Ginataang Kalabasa & Sitaw
    5. Some form of pancit

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:07 am

     
  9. deirdregurl says:

    1. sinigang na baboy or sugpo or bangus
    2. pork adobo
    3. kare kare with bagoong
    4. lechon kawali
    5. pancit guisado

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:07 am

     
  10. Ellen says:

    1. Sinigang sa sampalok. Whether it be fish, shrimp or pork.
    2. Kare-Kare.
    3. Adobo.
    4.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:10 am

     
  11. Ellen says:

    Sorry. Puppy paws.

    Anyway,

    4. Ginataang Hipon.
    5. Crispy Pata.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:12 am

     
  12. Tiffany says:

    Adobo, laing, lechon, guinisang munggo, pakbet

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:20 am

     
  13. atticus says:

    1. Sinigang (if anything, Filipino food makes use of a lot of ‘asim’ ingredients so that’s a staple)
    2. Kaldereta/Mechado (something with gravy for the latin influence)
    3. Lechon (we’re no.1 right?)
    4. Pansit (it’s Chinese in origin but we reeaally love our pansit)
    5. Adobong Baboy (this could be our ‘tom yum’)
    6. Laing/Tinumok (simply flavorful and unique)

    Filipino food is fantastic esp when served as a whole menu. part of the reason why filipino food has difficulty getting world recognition is because some of our dishes aren’t really ‘superstar’ material. you know, the kind of viand whose taste is so inexplicable that you must simply have another bite. it’s the kind which makes you say ‘hmmm, is it sweet? or salty? or sour? again, again, again’. for instance, tuyo is simply too salty for anyone to have a constant craving for it.

    so i tried to choose on the basis of what is most memorably flavorful and what will complement the other viands well. just like how other countries did it, we need to work on existing dishes to make them more craving-worthy (although lechon is probably okay already;-).

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:26 am

     
  14. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    1. kinilaw
    2. Bulalo
    3. Lechon Kawali
    4. Chicken Pork Adobo
    5. Leche Flan/Fresh Fruits in season

    The main course is eaten with steamed &/or garlic rice.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:46 am

     
  15. uniok says:

    1.Chicken Adobo
    2.Sinigang na HIpon
    3.Lechon Kawali
    4.Ginataang sitaw at kalabasa
    5.Pansit guisado with madaming chopsuey veggies

    ******plus regional food.

    Also establish the theme of the establishment.
    1. may banderitas
    2. At least have a kawayan furniture.
    3. China plate like a banana leaf.
    4. SErve with banga.
    5. BIg spoon and Fork display.
    etc….

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:49 am

     
  16. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Considering availability of ingredients anywhere and that they will not be served all at the same time:

    1. Pork Adobo
    2. Pork Sinigang
    3. Crispy Pata with vinegar/soy sauce/tinge sugar
    4. Eggplant kinilaw (roasted,cubed and with
    vinegar,tomatoes,onions,ginger)_bisaya way
    5. Calabasa/Sitaw sa gata

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:00 am

     
  17. bluegirl says:

    1. Adobo
    2. Bulalo
    3. Sinigang
    4. KareKare
    5. Tapa, Tocino or Longanisa with Garlic Fried Rice & Atchara

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:02 am

     
  18. anthony says:

    1) Adobo
    2) Adobong pusit
    3) Inihaw na baboy
    4) That goes well with a fish sinigang maybe kandule
    5) Adobong kang kong

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:07 am

     
  19. Mimi says:

    1. fresh lumpiang ubod, topped with mani and bawang with the sauce on the side
    2. tinolang manok with papaya and tanglad as the soup
    3. adobong baboy on the dry side but still with a little sarsa
    4. rellenong bangus/alimasag platter
    5. bicol express – magata talaga with crispy chicharon on top

    rice, gulaman-sago and a dessert of maja blanca with lots of budbod and halo-halo and a seclection of freshly sliced local fruits – manga, lakatan, papaya, pakwan

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:09 am

     
  20. Marketman says:

    Hi guys, try to remember to keep this REPLICABLE in major cities around the world… so you have to choose dishes with ingredients that are reasonably available… not likely to find green papaya, or green mango, or whole bangus, or sampaloc leaves in Boston, Paris or Tokyo… :)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:12 am

     
  21. Mike says:

    I’m also a fan of Lechon Kawali, but what is the difference between Lechon Kawali and Lechon Macau?

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:19 am

     
  22. nayannika says:

    1) Tapsilog or Tocilog
    2) Inihaw na baboy
    3) Pancit bihon
    4) Tinolang manok
    5) Miswa with shrimp

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:30 am

     
  23. Quillene says:

    Hi MM!

    How can you leave out the ultimate in the heirarchy of lechon? Hehehe…

    For countries / cultures that allow pork or beef in their diets, I would have to say:

    1. LECHON BABOY or BAKA

    If not,

    2. PAKSIW OR PANGAT NA ISDA if sinigang ingredients are not readily available
    3. KARE-KARE (either the usual w/ meat or all vegetarian)
    4. INIHAW NA ISDA NA MAY KAMATIS AT SIBUYAS
    5. ADOBO (in all its varied forms)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:31 am

     
  24. Rob says:

    Keeping in mind the following parameters…
    A) “…if trying to introduce a foreign and unfamiliar palate to Filipino food.”
    B) “..they aren’t necessarily your personal 3 to 5 favorite dishes or what YOU would order in pinoy restaurants…”
    ~and~
    C) “…dishes that would well represent our cuisine and which would be accessible and replicable around the world…”

    Plus the fact that I live in North America, have travelled extensively around the world and have personally witnessed non-filipinos attempting to eat filipino food, I have narrowed my list to the following:

    1. PANCIT
    ~Canton, Miki, or Bihon, whatever is available locally.
    2. CHICKEN and/or PORK ADOBO
    ~Pork, depending on local diet preferences. Also, I absolutely agree with MM regarding minimal soy sauce.
    3. LUMPIANG PRITO
    ~Served with 2 sawsawan…sweet Thai chili sauce and suka’t bawang, the latter does not seem to please the non-filipino palate, but the former is always a crowd pleaser.
    4. MORCON
    ~Ditch the vienna sausage and use chorizo. (What is it with filipinos and processed meat products?! How embarrasing to serve this to foreigners.)
    5. ESCABECHE ISDA

    My overall main gripe with filipino restaurants (outside of the Philippines) is that food presentation is lacking and dismal in 99% of these places. Contrast this with Thai restaurants where a simple garnish and a bit more color on a platter can really transform a dish, one eats with the eyes too, right?

    My non-filipino relatives & friends say that Filipino dishes are too monochromatic…..too brown! (Quote from a recent dinner: “I think we’re having filipino food tonight because all the pots on the stove are filled with brown food!”)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:37 am

     
  25. flip4ever says:

    Here is one Houston restaurant’s take on kinilaw:

    http://blogs.chron.com/cookstour/archives/2008/11/at_reef_meet_ki_1.html

    Because of the need to serve this minutes after it is prepared, I can imagine this more as part of a tasting menu at a seafood bar — like a sushi bar but serving different variations of “raw” seafood — from sashimi (Japan), to kinilaw, to Tahiti’s version, to Hawaiian poke, ending up with Peruvian ceviche (which I read was the oldest version in the Americas).

    Sort of like a “Pacific Ring of Fire” tour of fresh cuisine.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:38 am

     
  26. lei-lei says:

    my top five Pinoy food potluck sure hit(we are multi-racial @ my workplace.)

    1. lumpiang shanghai
    2. chicken adobo
    3. Filipino beefsteak (bipstik with caremelized onions)
    4. embutido
    5. pancit (bihon, canton)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:39 am

     
  27. bagito says:

    You nailed my top 3!
    #1 sinigang anything
    #2 adobo anything
    #3 I agree w/ the sotanghon, my all-time favorite noodles
    #4 kare-kare oxtail w/ bagoong
    #5 lechon (either lechon kawali or real lechon)
    #6 pinakbet

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:40 am

     
  28. tna says:

    Hmmm… let’s see,
    1. Adobong Baboy
    2. Lechon
    3. Monggo Guisado
    4. Bulalo
    5. Dinuguan (why not? The Scots have Haggis and the English have black pudding) :) okay, okay…SISIG na lang (just a tad fear factor-y when described “pigs ears, cheeks, etc.”)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:41 am

     
  29. Marketman says:

    Mike, I don’t know the actual answer to your question, so I will ask a question in return… is there really lechon macau in macau? Or is it a pinoy chinese restaurant thing here in Manila?

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:43 am

     
  30. Rob says:

    The Lechon Macau that I’ve had is lechon de leche cooked AND served a la Peking Duck. Is this what everyone else is used to?

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:48 am

     
  31. flip4ever says:

    Definitely agree with you on sinigang and adobo. I think sourness is a taste that is often overlooked and is a flavor profile that even Tony recognized was different from what he’s had in the past. I’ve brought sotanghon guisado to the office for potluck and its been well received. I’ve added ingredients just for the novelty — woodear mushrooms (tainga ng daga); quail eggs (told them those were from bonsai chicken in case someone freaks out).
    I think its probably easier to introduce the cuisine in a home setting instead of a restaurant. My cousin hosted a dinner of my other cousin’s Caucassian in-laws so she served both Western and Filipino dishes. The mother-in-law loved the ginatang hipon and begged my cousin for the recipe — and these were the shell-on and head-on shrimps. They lived in Minnesota but were originally from Louisiana, so any shrimp dish was like comfort food to them — even sucking the fat out of the heads.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:05 pm

     
  32. flip4ever says:

    sorry for the typo – that should have read “a dinner FOR my other cousin’s” not “of”. Wouldn’t like you to think we were cannibals or something…hehehe

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:08 pm

     
  33. Angela says:

    1) Lechon kawali
    2) Adobo (chicken or pork)
    3) Pancit / Sotanghon
    4) Lumpia
    5) Sinigang

    Okay, I know you said 3 or 5 dishes, but I really want to include:

    6) Halo-halo

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:14 pm

     
  34. Serey says:

    Hello Marketman,

    My recommendations are the following:

    1) Adobo which can be prepared with pork or chicken or vegetables and some seafood (e.g.shrimp, squid) so it can cater to individuals with dietary needs and other restrictions.
    2) Nilaga also can be prepared several ways using pork, chicken, beef, seafood and again vegetables. Add tamarind and it becomes “Sinigang”.
    3) Grilled or inihaw dishes with pork, chicken, seafood and vegetables
    4) Lumpia dishes: Lumpia Shanghai, Lumpiang gulay/vegetables, Lumpiang Sariwa. I also found out that lumpia shanghai ingredients can be altered to make Embutido or wonton, etc…
    5) Roasted or lechon: pork, chicken, beef, vegetables, etc…
    6) Pancit or noodles -(different varieties found in the Philippines)
    7) Halo-halo
    8) Cassava Cake
    9) Ube ice cream and other Filipino flavored ice cream
    10)Ginataan

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:16 pm

     
  35. kroozer says:

    I’d go for: sinigang na sugpo, tinolang manok (just to have our version of chicken soup, maybe add more veggies in there like string beans), calderetang baka (or lamb if desired…. this is to highlight our Spanish influence for a tomato-based dish), adobong manok (i prefer manok over baboy, but either way, adobo is a sure add) and chopsuey for the vegetable dish (if cooked well, it looks beautiful with the color combination of carrots, green, red, yellow bell peppers and cabbage – and yes I do agree that dishes in the Philippines care less for plating)… now if i may add to a more upscale palate – lengua either in white sauce (mushroom sauce with whole kernel corns) or can be cooked asado-style too, ginataang suso, and have any of you tried biringhi (arroz valenciana)? i think this is good for a one-meal dish.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:22 pm

     
  36. kroozer says:

    Oh, how could i have missed inihaw? I love our version of inihaw na pork-chop and inihaw na manok!

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:25 pm

     
  37. maris says:

    I think the top 6 for me are
    adobo
    sinigang na baboy
    pansit bihon/sotanghon
    pakbet
    caldereta beef
    kare-kare
    I love reading your blogs. God bless.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:26 pm

     
  38. mary grace says:

    1. sinigang pork,suahe or fish
    2. bulalo or ginisang monggo
    3. beefsteak tagalog
    4. chicken and/or pork adobo
    5. sotanghon/canton guisado
    6. steamed or grilled rellenong tilapia serve with mango salsa
    7. not laing but ginataan gulay (kalabasa, sitaw, okra, ampalaya, winged bean) with bagoong on the side
    i would also go for sinuwam mussels, the phils is composed of 7000+ islands, offer at least a seafood special.
    i agree with rob, filipino food abroad lacks presentation and color in most parts.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:34 pm

     
  39. kulasa says:

    1. Lechon
    2. Kare-kare
    3. Sinigang (shrimp, pork, beef)
    4. Abodo (pork, chicken)
    5. Sisig

    It’s hard to keep it down to just 5, so this is all ulam.
    Pero masarap din ang:

    6. Laing
    7. Inasal na manok
    8. halo-halo
    9. turon

    For appertizers and desserts, maybe you can do another poll. Nakakgutom naman ito.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:34 pm

     
  40. Johnny says:

    MM,
    Why does it have to be replicable? Yung peking duck nga mahirap gawin eh. Kaya ko lang nasabi kasi yung una kong naisip na Pinoy dish ay sisig! Madali lang ba yan gawin? I never tried making it. Yun pa naman ang isa sa mga nagustuhan ni AB di ba? Remember he just had to take an extra spoonful of it in NR? Yum yum yum! But of course if restaurants have crispy lechon like the one you did…

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:38 pm

     
  41. Cecilia MQ says:

    Being an Ilongga I would rate:
    1. Pancit Molo
    2. Lapaz Batchoy
    3. Pinakbet
    4. KBL-Kadyos, Baboy, Langka
    5. Inasal na Manok

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:40 pm

     
  42. Cecilia MQ says:

    Regular pinoy dishes:
    1. Lechon Kawali
    2. Kare-Kare
    3. Sinigang na Hipon
    4. Sotanghon Guisado
    5. Crispy Pata

    Now I’m really hungry.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:44 pm

     
  43. kongwi says:

    I would list my Top Five as follows:
    1. Sinigang
    2. Adobo
    3. Pinakbet
    4. Lechon Kawali (Bagnet)
    5. Lumpia

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:44 pm

     
  44. zena says:

    1. Kare-kare with oxtail and ground peanuts, not peanut butter
    2. Sinigang either the MM pick or guava with beef or milkfish
    3. a perfectly balanced Adobo
    4. i agree with Chicken Inasal
    5. I’d go with a good Laing for vegetables, Pinakbet a close 2nd
    6. Leche flan and halo-halo tie for dessert
    7. appetizer…. vegetable ukoy?

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:45 pm

     
  45. titashi says:

    my opinion would be…
    1. Sinigang (shrimp,pork, fish)
    2. Adobo (pork and chicken)
    3. Bulalo
    4. Inasal or Tinolang Manok
    5. Laing
    6. Leche Flan (for Dessert!)
    7. Lechon (we really have to let them eat this…kahit during special occassions)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 12:48 pm

     
  46. boknoyz says:

    Hi MM,

    First comment ever.

    1. Adobo – because we are synonymous to it.
    2. Bicol Express – definitely original. Mabuhay Bicolanos! (and I’m Ilongga, mind you).
    3. Kinilaw (tanique/dilis) – an old yummy way to preserve (and eat!) fresh fish.
    4. Dinengdeng/Diningding – sort of represents how we Filipinos create a wonderful dish by making use of whatever simple ingredients are available.
    5. Ginisang Munggo – yummy pinoy comfort food. I like how it appears in the menu every Friday of the week in most office cafeteria. The reason, a typical office worker has spent his week’s allowance by Friday, hence, Ginisang Munggo is a popular lunch because it is cheap and deliciously filling :)

    Lechon is speacial. We are number one, thanks to you.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 1:05 pm

     
  47. Rafael Castillo says:

    1) Sinigang
    2) Adobo
    3) Kare kare
    4) Bistek Tagalog
    5) Halo halo

    Feb 23, 2009 | 1:25 pm

     
  48. Rafael Castillo says:

    “Marketman says:
    Hi guys, try to remember to keep this REPLICABLE in major cities around the world… so you have to choose dishes with ingredients that are reasonably available… not likely to find green papaya, or green mango, or whole bangus, or sampaloc leaves in Boston, Paris or Tokyo… :)”

    Reading this comment of yours made me chuckle. I had the mental image of a Marketman equivalent scouring the markets of Boston, Paris, or Tokyo looking for green mango, whole bangus, or sampaloc leaves. Exceedingly difficult? Perhaps. Unlikely? I wouldn’t bet the house on it.

    Perhaps that could be the basis of another post or poll. You could ask those MM readers living outside the Philippines just exactly how difficult or easy it is to find certain ingredients for Pinoy dishes, or what substitutes they use.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 1:34 pm

     
  49. mini says:

    Hi MM! My top 3 are:
    1) Sinigang
    2) Adobo
    3) Kinilaw

    God bless!

    Feb 23, 2009 | 1:36 pm

     
  50. Ona says:

    Here’s my picks:

    Meals

    1. Seafood sinigang
    2. Adobo (Pork or Chicken)
    3. Crispy Pata with the vinegar/soy/chili dipping sauce or a tomato-onion salsa like relish: non-Pinoys in SF who’ve tried this dish really go crazy for it! But it does need some improvement in plating.
    4. Vigan style empanadas
    5. Guinataang gulay (string beans, kalabasa, etc.)
    6. Crispy bangus that’s been marinated in vinegar and garlic
    7. Vigan or some other garlicky (not sweet) Longanissa that would taste great grilled and eaten as a sandwich with melted quezo de bola or as a traditional breakfast ulam – there’s just so many possibilities with longanissa.

    Now for desert…

    1. Leche Flan – the richer, creamier Pinoy style.
    2. Buko Pandan fruit salad or ice cream
    3. Bibingka–my all time favorite, but if it will be marketed to non-Pinoys skipping on the red egg will be ok
    4. Ube, Pandan and Queso flavored Puto
    5. Frozen Brazo de Mercedes
    6. Sans Rival
    7. Suman

    Feb 23, 2009 | 1:42 pm

     
  51. Ona says:

    Oh no…I forgot about Morcon and Mechado!

    Feb 23, 2009 | 1:45 pm

     
  52. RobKSA says:

    1. Kare-kare with bagoong should be one that represents us pinoys.
    2. Adobo is another one that is easily identified with us.
    3. Sinigang is tops in soup for me, at ulam pa :)
    4. Dinuguan, yes kasi aswang ako, hehehe. Seriously, I like it with laman-loob and all.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 1:49 pm

     
  53. myra_p says:

    1. Sinigang
    2. Bistek Tagalog topped with lots of caramelized onions
    3. Chicken and Pork Adobo with liver
    4. Bicol Express
    5. Pinoy Salad — grilled eggplant, red eggs, onions, tomatoes

    Feb 23, 2009 | 1:52 pm

     
  54. portugalbear says:

    1. Kare-kare
    2. Crispy pata / lechon kawali
    3. bulalo

    Feb 23, 2009 | 1:53 pm

     
  55. Jel says:

    my top 5

    1) Adobo (w/o soy sauce)
    2) Sinigang ( we can include “batuan” as a choice for flavoring)
    3) BICOL EXPRESS (I’m not from bicol, but love this food)
    4) Chicken Inasal
    5) SISIG

    Feb 23, 2009 | 1:54 pm

     
  56. steph says:

    this is a great list! currently living in wellington, nz and while i haven’t made filipino dishes for my kiwi colleagues to taste, they have tried leche flan (i used your canned milk recipe) and they loved it!

    my top 3 would be-
    (i am glad we have the same first two dishes)
    1. sinigang (really the best with hipon/sugpo but an issue in nz as they do not have access to fresh prawns!)
    2. adobo (i used cendrillon’s recipe with coconut milk and it was great. must try your recipe without soy sauce soon!)
    3. kare-kare (even if i do not eat it, it’s easy to do i guess, we have access to ox tail in wellington).
    4. i like GSK too. but we usually do not have easy access to yardlong beans so i swap this with french/green beans instead. still tasty, but sitaw is more memorable. :)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 2:02 pm

     
  57. nancy says:

    1. Adobong baboy
    2. Sinigang na bangus/sugpo
    3. Dinuguan
    4. Kare-kare
    5. Laing

    Feb 23, 2009 | 2:12 pm

     
  58. sanojmd says:

    1. Sinigang na baboy
    2. Laing
    3. Kare kare
    4. Paksiw na bangus
    5. Pansit chami

    Feb 23, 2009 | 2:13 pm

     
  59. sister says:

    I agree the dishes, although labour intensive, have to be easily replicated. When asked for a Philippine meal I usually start with a deeply flavoured pancit molo, based on a homemade chicken stock, dumplings filled with pork and shrimp, strips of country ham, and garnished to taste with chives, fried garlic and chopped cilantro or kinchay. Sinigang would be my first choice if I could get live shrimp from Florida or Maine. Then a whole grouper, striped bass, red snapper or even porgies, broiled, since I cannot grill anything in an apt. Serve with several dips. Eggplant salad is wonderful with fish. Fresh lumpia roll, made with jicama, is an appealing, slightly familiar offering. Pork or chicken adobo served with a coconut sauced squash and bean stew is very easy to like. Kari-kari can be made anywhere with oxtails and peanuts, and the bagoong can easily be made optional as it is pretty foul to anyone who hasn’t grown up with it. I have made several decent suckling pigs in my oven but a whole pig kneeling on a platter is somewhat shocking to uninitiated guests. Finally a noodle dish, chicken sotanghon or seafood palabok. I serve all these dishes as separate courses with white rice instead of all together as is common in the Philippines. Presentation matters. I would offer all of the above as a tasting menu. It gives the guests a chance to focus on the flavours in each dish.
    Rice based desserts are too heavy for the western palate unless doled out in minute portions with fruit as succesfully served by Jean Georges. Avocado, ube, mango, coconut ice creams, all easily homemade, a very nice way to end the meal.
    I must admit I make some, or most of this menu only twice a year but a restaurant could easily start with the above suggestions.
    Cendrillion, in Soho, now relocated to Brooklyn, almost got it right, except for wide swings in quality and very poor service. I’m waiting for someone to open an upscale Philippine restaurant, instead of a turo-turo, with an atmosphere that would reflect the sunny, musical,inclusive, merry, and generous hospitality of the islands. Okay, marketman, here’s the challenge, come take New York!

    Feb 23, 2009 | 2:22 pm

     
  60. sister says:

    And, if I had a restaurant, I would definitely offer a crab relleno stuffed into a crab shell, with a tomato, ginger, onion coulis.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 2:31 pm

     
  61. Morena says:

    Foods that are always popular with non-Filipino friends and co-workers are the following:

    1. Pork/Chicken BBQ (a big hit!)
    2. Lumpia Shanghai/Lumpia Prito- at least a couple of hundreds to serve each time. Also Ukoy.
    3. Pancit Guisado
    4. Spicy Caldereta/Apritada/Mechado –
    5. Camaron Rebosado with dipping sauce

    No Bagoong or patis.

    For desserts, Turon tops the list with no langka, Leche Flan and Fruit Salad,

    Feb 23, 2009 | 2:31 pm

     
  62. Marketman says:

    sister, you realize that if you opened a Filipino restaurant in NY, we could probably get Mr. Bourdain, or perhaps his yaya, to try it in the first month of operations…. :) And I hear restaurant leases are coming down in price these days…

    Feb 23, 2009 | 2:39 pm

     
  63. nunosapunso says:

    in my experience from making dinners inviting friends of various nationalities, they really liked and kept asking for:

    1. adobo- but avoid it being greasy
    2. lumpia -fried or fresh
    3. daing na bangus
    3. kinilaw but my version is modified with rucola, diced mango, cucumber so it comes off as a raw fish salad…

    sinigang had mixed acceptance -even when paired with adobo…

    Feb 23, 2009 | 2:51 pm

     
  64. Bong says:

    1. Sinigang na Hipon
    2. Adobong Baboy
    3. Kare-kare
    4. Pancit Guisado
    5. Pinakbet – I too love a good Pinakbet and I also share the same reservation you have about it not having wide appeal among non-Filipinos well… except in Okinawa! My Okinawan friends love Pinakbet because they eat a lot of ampalaya there too. Google Goya Chanpuru!

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:01 pm

     
  65. GG19 says:

    Hi Marketman,
    Thank you for providing this site, its wonderful! I live in Australia and I think this is a great topic that you’ve raised as I’ve often found it difficult to describe what filipino foods are to my non-filipino friends. I’ve always just said Adobo is the national dish!

    My top 5 based on what would appeal to a broad range of palates and the availability of ingredients here at home:

    1. Sinigang na hipon (its attractive and ingredients can be found locally. I’ve often described this as our version of tom yum).

    2. Adobo (pork or chicken – I can’t imagine that the pork belly adobo would be popular here. It’s just too fatty for everyone to enjoy (it’s a pity really as they miss out on the taste, but fatty foods would not be popular. It would require a leaner cut of meat.

    3. Fish escabeche – this to me is the chinese sweet’n’sour version which would appeal to most palates. Especially the recipe from this site – that is a winner!

    4. Grilled/BBQ anything – from stuffed fish that someone mentioned a few posts back to pork chops to chicken inasal. (We are a nation of bbq’ers here in Oz so anything on the bbq would be considered delicious. Plus all marinade ingredients are locally available).

    5. Beefsteak filipino style with lots of onions. (Marinated with lots of calamansi. This has always been a hit with non-filipino’s).

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:13 pm

     
  66. nunosapunso says:

    lechon would be a hit but it is not easy to replicate..
    sorry for my inclusion of daing na bangus- occasionally it is available in the fish market here..

    bistek tagalog is also a hit.

    i will tend to agree with marketman on the guinataang sitaw and kalabasa…why didn’t i think of that before…pinakbet is hard to replicate in some countries in europe because not all veggies are available… paris however has everything in the 13th arrondissement- barrio chinois…seriously considering bringing a cooler with me next time we go there just to bring some asian stuff back to where I normally live.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:20 pm

     
  67. nunosapunso says:

    bulalo/dinuguan is difficult to make here in europe because the BSE scare…i heard you can used blood sausage for dinuguan but it ain’t the same..

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:29 pm

     
  68. kate says:

    hi MM! i am from Singapore and its funny because despite being so close to home (distance and climate-wise) there are some vegetables which i can’t seem to find here. Our sinigang is always incomplete. anyway, here are some of the dishes that i think best represent our cooking:

    1. adobo (baboy or chicken)
    2. sinigang
    3. kalabasa/sitaw with gata

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:35 pm

     
  69. chad says:

    To have that mark of the Philippines, we have to represent the cooking and palate that is kind of unique to us.

    1. Sinigang na Lechon (My god what country roasts their pig and then boils them in sour broth the next day? Pinoy lang.)

    2. The good old-fashioned adobo recipe aka the adobo-in-a-garapon-ulam-ng-gerilya-recipe. The kind that MM cooked in the palayok.

    3. Tinapang boneless bangus. National fish, native cooking, international standards.

    4. Kinilaw with coconut milk

    5. A good Laing

    6. Bicol Express (Using bagnet/ fried pork chunks)

    7. Crispy Pata (remove the knuckle and hoof for better plating)

    8. Inasal

    9. Sisig

    10. Tinola or maybe a well made pancit

    Im kind of leaning away from dishes that were clearly inspired from other countries. Like, there are loads of spring roll variations, fresh or fried, all over Asia, do we really want to compete? And as much as I love bulalo, you can’t tell me cowboys haven’t been boiling shanks with onions and peppercorns before. So its not exactly new. We need the dishes that will define us in the world plate.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:35 pm

     
  70. linda says:

    1. sinigang seafood
    2. adobo (marc medina’s,I cooked this and it was so good)
    3. pancit guisado (with leftovers, I love it with toast)
    4. inihaw fish or pork served with atchara or tomato salad

    5. lumpia fried or fresh
    6. chicken inasal

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:38 pm

     
  71. danney says:

    Soup – Bulalo, Sinigang, Tinolang Manok, Monggo Soup,
    Sotanghon Soup, Tahong Soup

    Salad – Lumpiang Ubod or Lumpiang Sariwa, Singkamas
    Salad, Upo Salad

    Appetizer – Grilled Tahong with butter, cheese and garlic
    Springrolls, Stuffed Crabs

    Main Course – Guinataang Prawns, Morcon (pork or Beef),
    Kare kare, Bicol Express, Bistek Tagalog,
    Crispy Pata with our local sauce, Adobo,
    Tocino, Guinataang Gulay, Fried Whole Tilapia,
    Pork or Chicken Barbecue, Caldereta

    Rice – Arroz Valenciana, Fried Rice

    Dessert – Halohalo, Sago/Gulaman sa Gata, Puto, Brazo de
    Mercedes, Puto Bungbong, Bibingkang Galapong,
    Kalamay Kuhit in ramekin, Palitaw, Maja Blanco,
    Sans Rival, our famous Enseymada and more

    Lechon is common everywhere. They have it in China, Spain, Puerto Rico,Caribbean and more. Most Europeans and Americans are not prone to eating cholesterol laden lechon with the pig’s face and butt on the table.They prefer beef, turkey and lamb.

    Pancit is common too. We all know it originated in China. If some of us will say, our pancit tastes better and that makes the big difference, is our pancit comparable in taste to the tastiest pancit in Hongkong, Singapore and even in USA? Their pancit is full of flavor and spices that we don’t have.

    Leche plan is the sweeter version of custard therefore it is a common dessert. We should push more on our puto and native delicacies. Did you know that Indonesia and Malaysia have the same kind of native desserts we have? Its a matter of how we can do best.

    The most common fried rice we eat in a restaurant is called Java rice just because it is yellow plus the flavoring. We need to create our own name like Manila Fried Rice or Sagada Rice instead of calling it Java rice. The name Java is to obvious. We can have yellow fried rice with garlic and mint leaves.

    If we are to create a Filipino craving that will impress gourmets and foreigners, we should focus more on what Filipino food they would probably like to choose to eat. Foreigners are not into sour food. They prefer creamy food like the French does, spicy food like the Thai does and not oily food like the Japanese does. Our main courses are mostly sour, very oily and salty. We always serve pork, pork and pork again. We should focus more on beef, seafood, chicken, vegetables and spices. We need to improve our noodles. Thailand has so much spices and so do we. We need to use more spices and not the typical toyo, patis, mantika at asin.

    I hope we can all work on creating a big international market for Filipino food.

    I would like to add guinataang kuhol because French have escargot. We should also serve it the same way they do it and serve it but ours should be cooked in coconut milk with garlic and mint leaves

    We should also serve our soups really hot, our main courses in sizzling plates and the dessert at its fresh.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:42 pm

     
  72. peachy says:

    i worked here in Bangladesh, all my colleagues find our Filipino way of cooking so simple, just fish sauce, fish paste, vinegar, soy sauce. We dont use to much masalas or spices so they find it so simple and they think it will not taste good, but so far, the things that I cooked and let them taste, eh pumasa naman sa panlasa nila, so here are my top picks:

    1. adobo (chicken or pig)
    2. Sinigang
    3. Kalabasa at Sitaw sa gata or without gata
    4. Pancit Miki
    5. sisig (pork or tuna)

    i don’t cook pig that much since most of my officemates are muslims.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:50 pm

     
  73. eustressor says:

    1. sinigang na sugpo
    2. sitaw, kalabas at alimasag sa gata
    3. karekare
    4. chicken inasal
    5. crispy/sizzling sisig

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:54 pm

     
  74. iyoy says:

    adobong pusit?

    Feb 23, 2009 | 3:59 pm

     
  75. Sandy says:

    1. Fried lumpia
    2. Adobo
    3. Pancit – guisado or sotanghon soup
    4. Fish – stuffed with tomatoes, onions and roasted
    5. Eggplant salad

    Lechen flan for dessert.

    I LOVE sinigang but get mixed reactions too when served to non-pinoys.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 4:04 pm

     
  76. bearhug0127 says:

    Hey MM, your sister’s idea for you to open a new york Philippine restaurant sounds great. Why not really think about it?

    Here’s my take on the 5 dishes:
    1. adobong pork and chicken
    2. ginataang sitaw and kalabasa
    3. kare-kare
    4. pancit molo
    5. sinigang (hipon, sugpo, pork)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 4:38 pm

     
  77. Marketman says:

    bearhug, because I live in Manila? And I don’t want to risk my retirement fund? :)

    Feb 23, 2009 | 4:53 pm

     
  78. Ley says:

    1. adobo
    2. kalderetang kambing
    3. crispy pata
    4. sinigang na sugpo
    5. beefsteak tagalog

    Feb 23, 2009 | 4:56 pm

     
  79. Victoria Flores says:

    Hi Marketman, been lurking and this is my first time leaving a comment.
    My husband (he’s French) and his parents love the following dishes:
    1. Mechado
    2. Lamb kaldereta
    3. Lumpiang prito
    4. Ukoy/okoy
    5. Tortang talong
    6. Almondigas
    7. Sotanghon

    I never tried impressing them with Nilaga since they have their very own “pot-au-feu” which is quite similar to it.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 5:18 pm

     
  80. mixxy says:

    1. adobo
    2. sinigang
    3. ginisang monggo soup
    4. pinakbet
    5. pancit luglog or malabon

    desserts:
    1. buko pie
    2. halo halo
    3. leche flan
    4. ube halaya
    5. putong puti with cheese and salted egg topping

    Feb 23, 2009 | 5:32 pm

     
  81. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Nakakagutom talaga itong ginagawa natin. Grrr. Anyway,maybe another post would be to find out how Filipinos abroad source things they need for pinoy cuisine. I have cooked for my daughters in Singapore but found it hard to find bigger cuts of meats in supermarkets. I went to the local market and found imported beef in desired bigger cuts. I have seen-in visits to groceries abroad –that an area would have Thai condiments like patis etc. Or they would have Japanese mayo,wasabi,etc or Malaysian stuff.
    Cooking in Canada or the U.S, would make you go to the Asian Store or I would find relatives use for sinigang,instead of kangkong,cabbage which is easier to buy.Sometimes fresh kangkong was available but expensive. They did have swamp cabbage (Kangkong-canned) but like me they didnt like “canned” kangkong. Parang lantang kangkong.In Europe or North America,it seems easy to cook something like bulalo–just use cut up shanks. Clean the broth..umm and its like bulalo. Add either corn or other related veggies.
    It is wonderful how filipinos substitute veggies for other local produce–but I know,reading all these as a Filipino would make you salivate for the “real ingredients”. Staying for two weeks in Singapore once I yearned to go home to our markets and buy things our way–in two or three kilos unlike most of their supermarket poultry or pork wrapped in really small quantities. I tried visiting several groceries but still same packaging of small quantities–except if they are really frozen and imported from abroad (like on sale chicken).
    It’d be great to hear from pinoys abroad how they source or substitute ingredients for our “putahes”.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 5:48 pm

     
  82. risa says:

    1. Sinigang (fish or seafood particularly, although I have a bias for guava based soup)
    2. Bistek Tagalog
    3. Guinataang Kuhol
    4. Kare Kare

    Feb 23, 2009 | 6:09 pm

     
  83. Adam says:

    This is a good post MM

    Whenever we have friends visiting from overseas who have not eaten food here we try to ensure that they get to sample one of the following:

    1. Kinilaw – an absolute must and easily prepared overseas. As you say MM it’s a bit mainstream but made well it is absolutely synonymous with Philippines food for me.

    2. Adobo – it’s all about the pork of course! And absolutely NO soy sauce. Using, dare I say, white wine vinegar will make for a very clean but earthy and easy to replicate taste for restaurants outside the country. And boy is it good!

    3. Ginisang Munggo – if the restaurant is based in a cold climate then this is is the best warming comfort food ever. And should be good value.

    4. Absolutely anything with Calamansis! – import them by the box full from here, pinch them from the local tropical gardens or encourage local citrus growers to plant the trees now. Quite why the humble Calamansi is not one of the worlds most popular citrus fruits is beyond me. IMHO it is the best fruit to be found here and is incredibly versatile. It makes me happy just to see baskets of them in the markets. And of course the restaurant could serve whopping Caipirinhas made with Calamansi (not lime) and Tanduay!!

    One quick word about Kare Kare – I am not too convinced that the rest of the world would fall in love with it in a hurry – Sorry! And there are arguably better and more interesting versions of the peanut / fish sauce based recipe in other ares of the globe. Hope that doesn’t offend any Kare Kare fans out there….

    Feb 23, 2009 | 6:19 pm

     
  84. Lava Bien says:

    Tinola
    Tinola
    Tinola
    Old school Tinola with native chicken (inahin or Sunshine ) with green papaya and dahon ng sili and/or malunggay.

    I usally look for this whenever I’m back home and found out not a lot of carinderias or regular restos have this anylonger. My take is every household could cook their own and only like their own version. hehehehe was this offered to AB?

    Nobody else has Tinola, or do other countries do?

    I’ve been all over South East Asia, Europe and Latin Americas (South and Central) and haven’t found anything close to it. (I could be wrong)

    Very easy to prepare, very nice on winter days even summer time.

    Whadya’all think about that.

    TINOLA! Put them back in your local neighborhood carinderias or restos ….hehehehehe

    Feb 23, 2009 | 6:31 pm

     
  85. Lava Bien says:

    P.S.

    If a dish become popular anywhere, they find ways to have it locally.

    Sushi from Japan, it’s everywhere right? Do we have locally caught Salmon in the Philippines or other tropical countries? No, but we have them everywhere right?

    So I wont worry about the green papayas and stuff like that.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 6:41 pm

     
  86. roland says:

    Chicken Adobo
    Pinakbet
    Bulalo
    Lechon
    Fragrant Steamed Rice
    Rellenong Bangus

    Feb 23, 2009 | 6:49 pm

     
  87. Jay Bee says:

    1. Palabok Fiesta
    2. Chickenjoy
    3. Burger Steak
    4. Champ
    5. Extra Rice

    Feb 23, 2009 | 6:52 pm

     
  88. sister says:

    Filipino food needs to be presented with eye appealling garnish like sprigs of scallion, kinchay, chives, etc. so it’s not all brown on the plate. Gussie it up. Authentic is a variable according to what you grew up with. Cendrillon was the only one who attempted this to a certain degree. If only it had decent wait staff and reliable cooks, not to mention decor. But the Besas are to be commended for trying.
    Calamansi is available in the US from Florida, often sold as the ornamental plant calamondin. Frozen calamansi juice is used by upscale bars for $15. mixed drinks (had one at Walse proudly offered by the bartender with “You have never tried calamansi before). Every city over 1 million inhabitants has a chinese/asian market center where many ingredients can be sourced although I have still to see fresh unripe tamarind. I envision a turo-turo at lunch and fiesta food at night restaurant, with a live Filipino band, hitting both ends of the spectrum and folks you have to step up to the plate and be willing to pay high end prices for the ambience, otherwise, stay home and cook.
    One needs millions of $ to start a restaurant in NYC and we can’t risk whatever is left of the pot even if we can get AB and the crew of NR to the soft opening. Here we are, 3 million strong in the tri-state area, and we do not have one Philippine restaurant worth recommending to a non-Pinoy. 10 million documented Filipinos in the USA, the second largest immigrant group after the Chinese, and no highly recognized restaurant or visible cuisine. It doesn’t have to be exactly like the food Nanay made for you back home, it has to be slightly adjusted to appeal to a larger audience. Thai and Vietnamese restaurants are sucessful because they have focused their menus and very seldom offer regional variations and that is what we have to do to promote Filipno food.
    Have to make a Filipino meal in a couple of weeks for folks who were in the Philippines for years in the 60′s. Unfortunately the one main accessory to making Phil. food are many hands, volunteer or unpaid.

    On another note, Marketman did you read that Les Halles was closed by the health dep’t for serious violations? I’m sure that would amuse AB.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 7:21 pm

     
  89. suzette says:

    1. adobo
    2. sinigang
    3. lechon
    4. kare-kare
    5. pinakbet

    Feb 23, 2009 | 7:34 pm

     
  90. Jen says:

    1. adobo
    2. tinolang manok or beef nilaga
    3. beefsteak tagalog
    4. chopseuy
    5. kaldereta

    Feb 23, 2009 | 7:55 pm

     
  91. Lani says:

    1. kare-kare
    2. sinigang
    3. pinakbet
    4. bulalo
    5. pansit malabon

    Feb 23, 2009 | 8:36 pm

     
  92. diday says:

    1. Kare-kare – oxtail with peanut sauce
    2. Dinuguan – In my neck of the woods, traditional owners who are descended from a Filipino seaman from Bohol cook dinuguan and call it the same.
    3. Goat Caldereta – There are no taboos against eating goat meat. Goats cut across all religions.
    4. Chao pat chin
    5. Ginataang Hipon
    6. Fish escabeche
    7. Puso sa Saging salad – Banana blossom/heart is sold in Asian Foodstore in cans, or use artichoke.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 8:55 pm

     
  93. andykamatis says:

    1. Pork Adobo
    2. Sinigang
    3. Fish Escabeche
    4. Bulalo
    5. Pancit Luglog

    Feb 23, 2009 | 9:16 pm

     
  94. ragamuffin girl says:

    1. sinigang na sugpo or baboy
    2. chicken pork adobo done 2 ways: with sauce and adobo flakes, served with atsara and sinangag
    3. any veggie with gata
    4. sisig: any place that sells pig face or neck parts should be able to do this
    5. a dessert like kakanin or halo halo

    Feb 23, 2009 | 9:52 pm

     
  95. aiden says:

    1. Adobo (Pork, Pusit)
    2. Fish/Pork Sinigang
    3. Beef Caldereta
    4. Chicken Inasal with Sinamak
    5. Pancit Guisado
    6. Escabeche

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:52 pm

     
  96. Dendu says:

    1. Kare kare 2. Adobo 3. Sinigang 4. Crispy pata 5. Halo halo

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:52 pm

     
  97. Nina says:

    Sister, I thought Cendrillon is going to move to Brooklyn in April. Their food is decent but I agree that the price is quite on the high side(but I guess they have to because of the location). I happen to like the decor, though……it’s Soho-like. Out of the few times I dined there, twice it was because I was attending a catered affair complete with a piano concert by a well-known Fil. pianist. At both times, the food, decor, ambiance and service were excellent! There is another Fil. restaurant in NYC owned by Thai-Filipino New Yorker who cooked for Bouley and Boulud, http://www.kumainn.com/main.htm. In the ‘burb of NJ, there is Pandan, highly regarded, well reviewed…I will not hesitate to bring a Fil./non-Fil. friend there. Marissa, we usually sub kangkong with spinach (very, very slightly cooked). Adam, the oriental store that I go to does not stock fresh kalamansi as according to the owner, FDA does approve of its importation, ditto with fresh Phil. mango. My vote will be:
    1) Pansit and small fried lumpia (either veg. or combo pork/veg.)
    2) Crispy pata
    3) Stuffed tilapia
    4) Squash/Sringbeans/Okra with Coconut milk
    5) Pork/Beef/Fish/Shrimp Sinigang

    Dessert
    Turon served with coconut coulis and ube or mango ice cream (I call it Turon ala Pandan).

    MM, will you be tabulating the top 5? That would be nice. Love, love your blog (I am an addict, been spreading it around friends); maybe I will start an MM anonymous here in the East Coast?

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:55 pm

     
  98. Nina says:

    Sorry, I meant FDA does not approve importation of kalamansi & fresh mango.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 10:57 pm

     
  99. charmaine says:

    main dishes:
    1. pansit
    2. lechon / lechon kawali / pork shoulder or pata boiled then baked till skin is crispy
    3. adobo pork and chicken
    4. kilawin – (here we use salmon or tuna)
    5. lumpiang shanghai
    6. pakbet veggies
    7. sinigang pork

    dessert:
    1. suman/biko
    2. leche flan
    3. brazo de mercedes
    4. puto
    5. ube

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:11 pm

     
  100. Sachi says:

    I’ll break mine to a five or six course meal

    - Kinilaw (Tangigue or shrimp) – Ceviche is very popular nowadays and its being served even in high end restaurants to street corners. I had great ceviche from Daniel Boulud’s restarant here in NY with whipped gata (coconut milk). Its good to cleanse the palate as a starter or amouche bouche.

    - Pork Belly Adobo – For the protein, I will serve pork belly adobo, Americans loove bacon the layers of meat and fat in liempo melts in your mouth when doen well.

    - Laing – Rich and spicy. good compliment to an adobo or any fried dish.

    - Sinigang Sugpo. I would serve this as part of this course, would cut the richness of the adobo and the laing and will add another seafood component.

    - Halo- halo – Finally for dessert, nothing beats halo halo. The creaminess of the leche flan or ube and the crunch of the popped rice, sweet varied textures of the kaong, nata de coco etc

    substitute for the adobo as the protein

    - lechon de leche – Most countries in the world have a roast pig recipe, but nothing beats filipino lechon. Crunchy outside soft and chewy inside hehe

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:19 pm

     
  101. jayc1323 says:

    I live here in Seattle and finding filipino ingredients is not that difficult most major supermarkets carry staples such as patis , toyo, and suka however the herbs can be procured in Asian stores. I can say the same thing about restaurants here in the Seattle area, there are about a million Filipinos here and only one good restaurant. It is called Cebu they have a very simple menu and the food is good and believe it or not the best dish in their menu is. Pinakbet and their cassava pudding, the patronage is generally western with only a few filipinos in fact I would be the only filipino dining there when I go. I can also say that most westerners freak out about fish sauce and fish paste what I found out is that when I cook with it I just don’t them what is in it and they will happily eat it. The same goes for most thai restaurants here they generally leave fish sauce out, they would only use it if you ask them to add it.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:24 pm

     
  102. flip4ever says:

    I think they are growing calamansi in commercial quantities in San Ramon, California. Whole Foods (in my area) stocks calamansi juice from time to time, and my area is a bedroom community that is still predominately Caucassian. Its the same brand that the Filipino supermarkets carry. I don’t have a green thumb so I’ve had problems trying to grow it myself although I know many others who have successfully grown theirs in their backyards.

    Feb 23, 2009 | 11:50 pm

     
  103. jayc1323 says:

    Calamansi plants are a pain to raise here in the pacific nothwest bought one plant for $75.00 nad it just died on me although it might be possible to grow it in some parts of california, or florida. The closest citrus taste to calamansi would be lime, or buy the frozen ones from the filipino stores, once in a while whloe foods up in bellevue will have Philippine mangoes for $5.00 a pop

    Feb 24, 2009 | 12:07 am

     
  104. ECC says:

    To flip4ever: are you located in Houston (re: the chronicle article you linked to)? EbbaMyra and I are getting together. You are most welcome to join us. Let us know how we can contact you. BTW, I have two big calamansi pots in the backyard. I harvested them a few weeks ago and made MM’s marmalade. I have also been able to buy canned calamansi juice at Super H Mart.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 12:28 am

     
  105. ljc says:

    We just had a filipino lunch at work. Our office is a mix of Caucasian, African American, Mexican, and Filipino people. There are 5 of us pinoys (3 from Manila and 2 from Cebu). We served the following and am ranking them in order of preference from the group:

    1. Pork/turkey lumpia shanghai
    2. Chicken Adobo
    3. Menudo (I used your recipe – Thank you!)
    4. Pancit Bihon

    Dessert:
    1. Leche Flan
    2. Brazo de Mercedes
    3. Pineapples and Cantaloupes

    Side:
    1. Mangoes with Bagoong (yes, some of them tried it)

    Feb 24, 2009 | 12:39 am

     
  106. ljc says:

    Forgot to mention that I brought in my rice cooker so we could all have fresh steamed rice!

    Feb 24, 2009 | 12:40 am

     
  107. ECC says:

    MM, just a thought – perhaps if someone can compile these suggestions, do some more research and write a paper, then we (as your readers) can send/share it with the Filipino restaurants in our respective areas/cities abroad. I am thinking that maybe it can help them improve their offerings, presentation, etc. and somehow contribute to increasing the global awareness for Filipino cuisine.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 12:49 am

     
  108. sister says:

    It’s all about hype. Once we get that we’re well on our way to competing and getting to world class recognition.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 1:35 am

     
  109. flip4ever says:

    Hi ECC, thanks for the offer but I’m here in Southern California. I just came across that article when I googled “kinilaw”.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 1:36 am

     
  110. Katrina says:

    In no order, I would say:
    1. pork/chicken adobo
    2. pancit (Canton, sotanghon and bihon are probably more palatable to foreigners than palabok or Malabon.)
    3. fried lumpia (vegetable or Shanghai)
    4. shrimp or fish sinigang sa sampaloc
    5. kinilaw

    They’re all doable abroad, and foreigners generally seem to like them. Even kinilaw is no longer exotic, since sushi and ceviche have become mainstream.

    For dessert:
    1. leche flan (I know it’s basically creme caramel, but when done right, it’s so much better.)
    2. turon (I think foreigners would go crazy over a good turon!)
    3. ice cream topped with macapuno and ube jam (sssuming one can import them — they’re preserved, so it shouldn’t be TOO difficult.)

    Feb 24, 2009 | 1:59 am

     
  111. Ona says:

    I just found out that the best (elegant, sit-down, non turo-turo) Filipino restaurant in San Francisco just closed down…so sad, and it was doing so well but had to close due to late payments. Palencia in Castro was attracting a lot of non-Filipinos and the most recommended dish was the Mechado and shrimp ukoy appetizers.

    On another note:

    If I had a lot of money to invest for a restaurant and to introduce Filipino food, I would probably specialize in a small Vigan style empanada cafe in downtown SF. A take-out only joint where the lunch crowd can line up and get a hot crispy empanada and some kind of salad or side dish. Aside from that, offer some Pinoy baked goods like ensaymada, Pimiento breads, turon, etc. For beverages – barako coffee and tsokolate.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 2:47 am

     
  112. mhvmhv says:

    My vote:

    Based on what my international friends have enjoyed the most and even asked for recipes are:

    1. Adobo
    2. Lumpiang Shanghai or Lumpiang Monggo Sprouts
    3. Leche Flan

    I never tried serving kilawin because of the difficulty getting fresh seafood and some have the creeps still with raw food. But I love kilawin, especially with gata. Kare-Kare is easy to cook, too, and I think Tony Bourdain liked it, too. Sinigang would be great, too. But I think it may be limited to a smaller market – people who have accustomed to “sour” food. Sotahon guisado kasi is still noodles to foreginers so it may just seem more oriental to them than Philippines cuisine.

    So adding to that:

    4. Kare-Kare
    5. Lechon Kawali

    Question: Why was lumpiang shanghai named from Shanghai? I lived in Shanghai for 8 years and never saw a meat spring roll like our lumpiang Shanghai.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 3:02 am

     
  113. jade186 says:

    My top three:
    1. Adobo (pork or chicken)
    2. Sinigang (preferably prawns or whatever seafood)
    3. Kare-kare.

    Then I’ll add:
    4. Ginataang gulay (a veggie component needed, not only for vegetarians)
    5. Inihaw/Inasal (fish, chicken, more veggies).

    Feb 24, 2009 | 3:54 am

     
  114. Pat Gil says:

    MM – my take is that we need to have a very distinct flavor profile that non-Filipinos can remember and relate to. As I think about what seems to be a shared national flavor profile, we as a people seem to like the sour and acidic. So things like sinigang, manggang hilaw, adobo.

    So 2 of my 3 would work with the “asim” theme:
    a) adobo – but either broiled just before serving or quickly fried to give that texture and caramelization. I would also do pork and chicken – the mix seems to be a pleasant surprise for non-Pinoys.
    b) Kinilaw – also to help with color and presentation
    c) A reverse engineered Lumpiang Sariwa: to me the ubod is important but not a deal breaker. Think the non-Pinoy takeaway from this would be – freshness and lightness, the taste of the lumpia wrapper and the wonderful garlic flavor of the sauce.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 3:55 am

     
  115. Mari says:

    MM, here is my take on the top 5.

    1. Adobo (chicken or pork or a combo)
    2. Laing
    3. ginataan sitaw and kalabasa
    4. sinigang (pork or beef or shrimp)
    5. fresh lumpia (not necessarily ubod, mixed veggies is fine)

    Now based on my hubby’s faves:
    1. Crispy pata/lechon kawali
    2. Adobo (he’ll have that anytime)
    3. Laing or Bicol express
    4. Lumpiang shanghai
    5. Nilaga (any meat as long as it has the eggplant w/garlic
    on the side)

    Pancit is good too but not all people like the type of noodles… I love sotanghon and malabon, but my family likes canton better.

    Dessert:
    Halo-halo
    Biko
    ube cake
    sapin-sapin
    turon or valencia

    Feb 24, 2009 | 4:08 am

     
  116. Marney says:

    1. Adobo
    2. Kare Kare
    3. Crispy Pata/Lechon Kawali

    Feb 24, 2009 | 5:40 am

     
  117. Edwin D. says:

    Appetizer: Lumpia or fresh lumpia
    Soup dish: Sinigang/Sour soup pork, shrimp…etc
    Main dish: 1)Kare-Kare w/side dish of shrimp paste
    2)Lechon or lechon kawali
    3)Side of pansit
    Dessert: Leche flan or bibingka or mango ice cream

    Feb 24, 2009 | 5:40 am

     
  118. Liz says:

    1) Beef Nilaga or Bulalo
    2) Pork/Chicken Adobo
    3) Beef or Pork Sinigang
    4) Lechon Kawali
    5) Mechado

    Feb 24, 2009 | 6:20 am

     
  119. ted says:

    Speaking of Adobo, does anyone have the recipe for the Adobong Hipon that was featured in NR-Philippines?

    My list as follows:
    1. Adobo (chicken/pork)
    2. Grilled bbq chicken/pork
    3. Lechon Kawali
    4. Pritong Lumpia – Veggies with pork or shrimp.
    5. Menudo Pinoy (not the mexican menudo)
    6. Pancit (Bihon/canton/sotanghon)

    Feb 24, 2009 | 7:40 am

     
  120. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Hi MM again. I was looking at your SURVEY and realized there are more Filipinos abroad than those in the Philippines logging in to your site.(Discounting lurkers who don’t vote). This must be because there are more E-conscious people abroad or that our Filipinos abroad yearn for connecting with our food here at home—or how to cook it in their areas. I noted that a lot would comment they’d find the site when they were looking for a particular recipe.
    Hope that through your site,someone with the financial clout, capability and resource would start a really good chain of Filipino restos abroad which when mentioned—would make us proud. Bravo!!

    Feb 24, 2009 | 7:54 am

     
  121. tnm says:

    1. Adobo – Pork/Chicken
    2. Pansit sotanghon
    3. Sinigang na Sugpo
    4. Ukoy (small shrimps optional)
    5. Ginataang kalabasa
    6. Fried Lumpiang Gulay
    7. Lechon Kawali
    8. Fish Escabeche
    9. Chicken Inasal
    Dessert:
    1.Leche Flan
    2. Brazo de Mercedes
    3. Rice Cake
    4. Purple Yam Ice Cream

    One thing I hear a lot from Non-Pinoys is that our diet is heavy on meat/pork. Not enough veggie type dishes.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:01 am

     
  122. michelle h. says:

    This thread has me wondering: when you think of filipino food, what do you SMELL? What particular odor says “Filipino food”? Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese….. I can close my eyes and smell the fragrance associated with these cuisines, but I just can’t pinpoint what Filipino smells like!

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:10 am

     
  123. AleXena says:

    May take are:

    1. Sinigang (sugpo,baboy,isda,manok with any souring agent!)
    2. Lechon Kawali
    3. Inihaw na Liempo
    4. Ensaladang Mangga
    5. Kinilaw na isda
    6. Tinola, as Lava Bien puts it=)

    I work for a Japanese non-profit organization and so far sinigang, tinola and our inihaw tops the list when it comes to their favorite Filipino cuisine. The only comment they have is that our food is too oily and too salty for their taste but the reason is mainly because of their eating habits.=)

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:50 am

     
  124. Mimi says:

    with the popularity of thai and indian foods, i believe that green papaya, banana leaves, malunggay and most of our pinoy ingredients are available worldwide. even if there is no filipino store in a particular country, these food are easily available in thai and indian stores and most asian markets, although possibly not in the same name as we know them.

    i think bangus might be a problem, so i second sister that the rellenong alimasag in its shell is a better option.

    looking at the posts, i believe that the pinoy spread of dishes should cover vegetables, a clear soup, some pork, seafoods and an assortment of ensaladas and sawsawan.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:50 am

     
  125. michelle h. says:

    1. Sinigang na sugpo made with sampalok – I agree with your top pick MM!

    2. A no soy-sauce Adobo made with both chicken and pork, but heavier on the chicken, because my third pick would be…..

    3. Lechon Kawali

    4. Ensalada made with diced green mangoes, tomatoes, onions, salted eggs. If mangoes can’t be found, grilled eggplant as a substitute.

    5. A toss-up between Halo-halo and Turon —– so perhaps the halo-halong turon a la Kanin Club!

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:55 am

     
  126. Ona says:

    Just posting some ideas in regards to marketing Filipino food.

    AB made a suggestion in an Inquirer article (during his trip to Pinas last Oct)about presenting Filipino cuisine in various Food Fairs just like the Spanish did with their cheeses (when they were faling behind other European nations)

    Anyways, there are tons of Sunday Market Fairs and Food & Wine festivals in the US. Maybe setting up a stall serving homemade pastillas wrapped in decorative paper, lengua de gatos, colorful putos piled up in a decorative way, malagkit goodies, bibinka, buko pandan salad and various Pinoy sweets and artisinal jams could be a good start.

    Then as more people are intrigued, it’d be safe to introduce the more savory foods little by little – freshly baked long pandesal with chopped longganiza & some Pinoy style relish that’ll complement it (Vietnamese cafes here in SF serve “Vietnamese” sandwiches which are basically stir-fried chicken with spices and green onions inside a baguette or croissant), tortang crab on the shell, various empanadas (focusing more on savory than sweet), chicaron with some hot vinegar dipping sauce.

    Then for drinks, serve up some buko juice, melon juice, etc.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 9:02 am

     
  127. millet says:

    1. chicken-pork adobo
    2. tinolang manok
    3. lumpiang sariwa (ubod) – am sure enterprising pinoys will find ways to get the ubod all over the globe

    Feb 24, 2009 | 9:29 am

     
  128. Queen B says:

    1. Sinigang
    2. Adobo
    3. Crispy pata or lechon kawali
    4. Kare-kare and bagoong
    5. Ginisang Monggo

    Feb 24, 2009 | 9:50 am

     
  129. aleli says:

    1. ginataang alimango
    2. tinapang bangus

    Feb 24, 2009 | 9:56 am

     
  130. Mila says:

    1. Lumpia – fried, crispy, with a vegetable and pork filling. Serve with spicy suka and lots of garlic.
    2. adobo – pork, or pork and chicken, but it has to have pork!
    3. Monggo with bitter greens – our version of dhal, it could be cooked with coconut milk to add a layer of SEA influence.
    4. Sinigang na sugpo and bangus – show off the seafoods that make our lives worth living, plus a rich tamarind or guava based soup
    5. Bibingka, palitaw, suman, puto – round off the meal with a sample of our kakanins. I find foreign guest like them if you serve it with hot chocolate :)

    Feb 24, 2009 | 10:06 am

     
  131. sunset says:

    * adobo – light on soysauce or non cooked d old way
    * tinolang manok – if green papaya is hard to find use sayote instead
    * inasal na manok
    * crispy pata / lechon kawali
    * ginataang sugpo
    * ginisang puso ng saging is yummy

    Feb 24, 2009 | 10:11 am

     
  132. sunset says:

    i think it’s kilawing puso ng saging not ginisa. does anyone know how to cook this?

    Feb 24, 2009 | 10:15 am

     
  133. joey says:

    MM: i agree with your suggestions #1 to 6 but kinilaw, not so much. a little too exotic to a non-Filipino. i think sizzling sisig would be a better bet. and oxtail kare-kare (no bagoong). we’re in los angeles so ingredients are not that hard to come by. btw, my white south african friend is nuts about Filipino food (except dinuguan), he has mastered cooking garlic fried rice and adobo!

    Feb 24, 2009 | 10:42 am

     
  134. dragon says:

    To GG19: pork belly IS easily and readily available here in Australia. Where are you? Try asking the butcher at the local grocery; otherwise, your local butcher could prepare it for you. I found out as well, they refer it here (believe it or not) as ribs.

    If oxtail is not available or you don’t have a particular liking for it (like I do) for kare kare, do either a seafood or vegetarian version. For me, kare-kare is more about the peanut/bagoong mixture than the oxtail flavor.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 11:25 am

     
  135. MarketFan says:

    1. Sinigang na hipon o baboy
    2. Adobong baboy
    3. Bulalo

    Feb 24, 2009 | 12:15 pm

     
  136. steven says:

    Dear MM,

    I certainly agree with Mr Bourdain that we have to narrow down out food offerings inorder to gain recognition internationally. It is a pity that up to now our cuisine hasnt taken off yet.

    I also learned that one of the reasons why Thai food has been known is because the King himself years ago took efforts to promote it. I still have to think of my own list, but meantime I hope that someday soon Filipino cuisine will finally be recognized. Your part in the No Reservations program certainly helped a whole lot, a very good push.. Kudos to you !

    Steven
    Vancouver BC

    Feb 24, 2009 | 12:31 pm

     
  137. Brother says:

    Scanning thru all the above comments, it seems sinigang is a clear favorite… Yay!! I would vote for sinigang too, with fresh, whole, wild prawn (not pond-raised), or a very fresh tangigue or talakitok head, or even pork.

    2nd, I would say deep water (clear/grey) pusit adobo with garlic, coconut vinegar, and the black squid ink – I know, many would say non-pinoys would find it hard to eat, but all my italian and french friends always request this dish. Presentation – it’s death-star black, I know, but spooned into the center of a plate of white rice, garnished with a whole red chili – dramatic, to my eye.

    My mouth is watering na.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 1:31 pm

     
  138. baquitania says:

    Who’s palette are we satisfying with this list? Bourdain’s, Americans or ours?

    My list is based on what I like to cook, what I would cook for non-filipinos, and what I’ve always loved about our cuisine…

    1) Beef Tapa
    2) Lumpia Shanghai
    3) Lechon
    4) Sparerib Sinigang
    5) Pancit Canton
    6) Sansrival

    Feb 24, 2009 | 1:57 pm

     
  139. Belgin says:

    My choices are:
    1) Pork and/or Chicken ADOBO
    2) Beef Mechado
    3) Sinigang
    4) Bangus Eschabeche
    5) Pancit Palabok
    6) Shanghai Lumpia
    7) Scrambled eggs with onions and tomatoes

    For me this selected dishes truly represents our pinoy mainstream cuisine.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 2:29 pm

     
  140. jun says:

    I love sinigang and it will definetely be the first in my list of item BUT the problem is that THAI TOM YUM is already up there and the world will always compare our sinigang to Tom Yum. Not that Tom Yum is better tasting than Sinigang but it is hard to start putting our product on a global foot print if there is an almost similar product that already known globally. So let’s pick something uniquely filipino and once the filipino food are known Sinigang, Lumpia, palabok will follow… So for top 3 I’ll pick:

    1. Lechon – MarketMan has already started the marketing part and AB certified it.

    2. Adobo – Tradional way on a palayok or claypot. Cook it the same way chinese cook their claypot rice.

    3. Inihaw or Inasal (FRESH Sugpo/Fish/Squid/Chicken) – What is really needed here to elevate it into the next level is our sawsawan. 3-4 types of dippings will make the difference.
    – Virgin Coconut vinegar or Ilocos vinegar with onion, siling labuyo, garlic
    – hand squeeze Tomato salsa with spring onion and a high quality salt from pangasinan or bagoong with generous serving of olive oil.
    – Eggplant dip
    – Patis with dayap and siling labuyo.

    What else is needed? This is important Goverment/Tourism department has to start working on it on a global scale work with Restaurant/Traders/Importers etc…

    QUALITY and PRESENTATION has to be the best!!!! We should have a standart recipe to follow this 3-5 dish and put it in an official website like marketman, Saveur, No Reservation etc….

    Have you guys seen Thai having food fare in every corner of the world. In fact they have a separate department to support this industry on a global scale. That means we need GOVERMENT SUPPORT To make this successful.

    Feb 24, 2009 | 2:39 pm

     
  141. odie says:

    1. Inihaw na Liempo with green mango-tomato-onion-bagoong salad
    2. Lechon
    3. Adobo

    Feb 24, 2009 | 4:41 pm

     
  142. betty q. says:

    Adobo, Lumpia Shangai, PINOY BARBECUE, Fresh Lumpia made with the crepe as wrapper, Embotido with Pan de Sal (oh, MM …the proportions I wrote on your “burn” post…maybe just base the % on 1 kg. of bread flour instead of 3kg….I am already sleepy so please just do the math!).

    Those are usually what is requested of me and the Pancit Malabon and the ensaymada which is really surprising…among my Cauacasian friends and Asian friends as well.

    For matamis: it is always Sans Rival…I am really getting “sawa” making this!

    Feb 24, 2009 | 6:17 pm

     
  143. Chris says:

    Long time reader, first time poster. :-)

    My pick:

    1. Sinigang anything
    2. Adobo paired with…
    3. Guinisang munggo
    4. Inihaw na isda stuffed with tomatoes, onions, etc
    5. Pancit
    6. Fried lumpia (either shanghai or with veggies) with sweet chili sauce and/or vinegar with crushed garlic
    7. Crispy pata or Bagnet

    Side note: I cooked Sinigang na baboy to a group of international staff once and it was a hit. We ran out of rice and the Europeans actually ate it with bread and still proclaimed that it was really good.

    (I just couldn’t get over that they ate it with bread!)

    Feb 24, 2009 | 8:44 pm

     
  144. Divine G says:

    When we had a diversity meal here at work the Filipinos chose to serve beef kaldereta and lumpiang shanghai. All the nationalities who came liked it. With these I like to add:
    1. Any kind of pancit guisado ( sotanghon, bihon, canton et. al.)
    2. BBQ – Pork or chicken on a stick
    3. Dinuguan – I know very few foreigners would like it.I
    like it mixed not only plain meat but use the pig’s head
    and the stomach.
    4. Lechon plus lechon kawali
    5. Kare-kare using ox tail plus the honeycomb and the
    “tuwalya” and maybe even the intestines.
    MM you said 3 – 5 but we Filipinos don’t just serve 3 kinds of food. I don’t know why but it is not just like us. we love to serve more…
    6. Leche flan
    7. Bibingka with latik
    8. Turon – if you don’t have bananas use apple
    9. Filipino fruit salad and more…..

    Feb 25, 2009 | 12:14 am

     
  145. noes says:

    inihaw na bangus
    paksiw na isda
    turon.
    kambing.
    sisig tuna.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 3:11 am

     
  146. Maria Clara says:

    Fresh lumpia made out of veggies with garlicky and peanuty sauce; pancit palabok and chicken, pork and beef barbecue.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 4:54 am

     
  147. tagabacolod says:

    This is hard but I’ll give this a try.

    I’ve seen some foreign friends who loved these:

    1. Sinigang na baboy
    2. Nilagang baka
    3. Pancit
    4. Adobo
    5. Lumpiang shanghai

    I’d probably add:
    6. Chicken inasal

    For dessert, I’d say…
    1. Turon with caramel (and maybe some sesame seeds?)
    2. Leche flan

    Feb 25, 2009 | 11:44 am

     
  148. maria says:

    I would pick

    sinigang (bangus, baboy, ribs)
    adobo
    lechon kawali or crispy pata
    authentic pinakbet
    kare-kare

    Feb 25, 2009 | 12:03 pm

     
  149. Eileen says:

    My picks! The first three would be ulam. The fourth, dessert. The last, merienda. Haha. =D It’s just that they’re the first things that come to mind when I think of Filipino food, and nowhere else in the world have I ever tried any of them in any other “version”.

    1. Sinigang (preferably pork, but fish head comes close =))
    2. Chicken-pork adobo
    3. Menudo
    4. Halohalo
    5. Turon! (=))

    Feb 25, 2009 | 12:05 pm

     
  150. peachybrets says:

    This is what we always have for our balikbayans and foreign guests:
    1. Sinigang (Maya-maya or hipon)
    2. Inihaw na liempo (plain salted only)
    3. Pinakbet
    With these 3, we always have Mango salad (manibalang na mangga, onions mixed in bagoong)

    An alternative to our inihaw na liempo is whole roasted chicken inasal. But we don’t do it ourselves. Instead, we buy from Tambokikoy’s chicken inasal near our house in Mandaluyong. I swear, it is sooo good and sooo juicy. The only problem is, you can only get it at their one and only roasting place around the Mandaluyong rotonda. You should try it, Marketman.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 12:20 pm

     
  151. Cathy says:

    1. Adobo
    2. Lechon Kawali
    3. Kare kare

    Feb 25, 2009 | 12:43 pm

     
  152. chichay says:

    For soup Bulalo/Sinigang/ or Nilaga

    Feb 25, 2009 | 1:45 pm

     
  153. chichay says:

    My top three picks

    Feb 25, 2009 | 1:45 pm

     
  154. cai says:

    Laing
    Sisig
    Lechon
    Pinakbet
    Ginisang Monggo
    Caldereta
    any Sinigang

    Feb 25, 2009 | 5:36 pm

     
  155. Robyn says:

    From the point of view of an American who knew zilch about PHI food (and yes – carried some misconceptions about it) until she visited 2 years ago, and was immediately bowled over – these are the dishes that surprised and delighted me right off the bat:
    1. Kinilaw. This is a no-brainer. Sushi is incredibly popular in the US and ceviche gaining in popularity, even in the deep Midwest. Most diners would love kinilaw – and eating it would immediately upend the widely held misconception of all PHI food as stodgy, heavy, entirely meaty, and (yes, people do think this) tasteless.

    2. Seafood or fish sinigang. I don’t know how Danney gets the idea that ‘Foreigners are not into sour food’. (No offense intended here, Danney.) Hello – tom yam gong? Americans at least can’t get enough Thai food and the dish almost every table at a Thai restaurant orders is tom yam gong which, while often spicy, is also certainly sour.
    Sinigang is also another refutation of misconceptions about PHI food – it’s light, healthy, refreshing, and it’s usually packed with veggies.

    3. Bibingka. What foreigner doesn’t love a puffy baked pancake? OK, that’s a dumbed-down description of a bibingka, but the texture, the fragrance (that baked skin), the look, the combination of flavors – salty and sweet, which is really gaining traction in the US – makes it a good candidate.

    4. Adobo made with pork belly. There is a real revival of appreciation in the States for long-stewed, rich cuts of meat like pork belly. The Philippines has its own version to rival all others. Every foreigner I’ve made this dish for LOVES it. It’s comfort food. Everyone loves comfort food.

    5. Tsokolate. I know, it’s not a food. But again – a complete (and very delightful) surprise to one who knows nothing about food in the PHI. Served with a slice of excellent ensaimada, so much the better.

    I would also say do promote regional specialties. Give American diners some credit – we’re getting more and more sophisticated when it comes to Asian cuisines. Ten years ago a Thai restaurant was exciting. Now the Los Angeles Times is trumpeting small restaurants that specialize in the varied cuisines of Thailand. Another advantage to promoting regions – the PHI table is so vast, so varied, that it’s confusing for the uninitiated foreigner to take in all at once. The same applies to Malaysian cuisine. Why is not so popular? Because Malaysian restaurateurs in the States insist on putting char koay teow, roti and curry, yong taufoo, and rendang on the same menu. Diners want to be able to define a cuisine, but they just can’t do it with Malaysian food because it’s all over the map. The same could be said if you’ve got 40 PHI dishes from all over.

    Anyway, that’s my five cents. And one more thing – prospective restaurateurs: Please don’t dumb it down for us. Give us (them, those as-yet ignorant diners in the US) the real thing. Don’t give us what YOU think we would want (creamy food? no fat? no sour? – again, no offense intended Danney) … find some American guineau pigs, throw a range of dishes in front of them, and find out what works. But make it like you, a Filipino would want it.

    Feb 25, 2009 | 6:37 pm

     
  156. Marketman says:

    Robyn, I totally agree with your point of view. It must be authentic, it must be made from the finest ingredients and it must be honest Filipino food. I wasn’t thinking rice cakes per se, but yes, I think they would do well in a North American context. The red egg and white cheese might be difficult to find, but the basic bibingka would work. Indonesian cuisine also can be a bit confusing for westerners, but they have wonderful dishes as well. Tsokolate is easy to do and if done right, wonderful. Kinilaw is a personal favorite, but I fear if done poorly, would turn off a lot of folks to Filipino food overall…

    Feb 25, 2009 | 6:58 pm

     
  157. Bubut says:

    here’s my line up ; Adobo, sinigang, kare-kare, laing, escabecheng isda, lechon

    Feb 25, 2009 | 7:58 pm

     
  158. Iron Chef Lintag says:

    Being a first generation Filipino American I have introduced many dishes to my Maerican friends and they have loved many dishes my family has offered. The top 5 I think that would go well internationally would be:

    1. Pancit bihon
    2. Adobong baboy of course
    3. Lumpiang shanghai for appetizers.
    4. Kaldereta ng baka or mechado
    5. And halo-halo of course, this one is a sure winner as a filipino chef from a previous show in the states called TOP CHEF made this and was enjoyed by the judges.

    Great blog by the way, I watch Bourdain religiously and after watching his show I jumped on your blog. I too share your passion with filipino food and hope to keep our traditions alive here in the states.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 3:48 am

     
  159. joey says:

    I would say sinigang, adobo, and a really fab lechon kawali!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 10:16 am

     
  160. Dinah says:

    My top 5 would be Sinigang(seafood,pork or fish), ginataang sitaw at kalabasa, relleno (bangus or tilapya, pansit canton or bihon or palabok, and sisig!

    Feb 26, 2009 | 2:37 pm

     
  161. Lava Bien says:

    Some of the stuff AB missed in the Philippines:

    http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/la2/recomendados/index.html#410228

    Feb 26, 2009 | 3:30 pm

     
  162. Marketman says:

    Lava Bien, Thanks for the link. I saw just a portion of the program. I don’t think it was AB’s purpose or intent was to cover the maximum amount in a minimum number of minutes. He builds stories in his shows and it is not his intention to be an all-encompassing, all food covering, all-travelogue kind of a show. If you watch several other episodes of his, he does not attempt to do everything or eat everything or show everything. To say he missed so much is simply missing the point. And besides, he has clearly been asked the question and answered that his primary target audience consist of the second and third generations of immigrants who are just aware of where they came from, but are really quite American at this point… So while other programs would have a different take on the way they shoot the Philippines, I don’t think we can apply those points of view to AB or No Reservations… It really isn’t our place to second guess their storyline, just enjoy it or not. It’s as simple as that.

    Feb 26, 2009 | 3:39 pm

     
  163. newcomer says:

    My choices would be any one of each food type:

    1. Beef – Bistek Tagalog, Nilagang Baka, Bulalong Batangas, kare-kare buntot at bituka
    2. Pork – Lechon Cebu, Sinigang na baboy, Lechon Kawali, Sisig, Bicol Express, Dinuguan w/ Gata, Crispy pata
    3. poultry – nilagang manok, pinaupo sa asin, pinikpikan, chicken ass bbq, inasal, balut sa puti
    4. Seafood – Kinilaw na tanigue o dilis, Steamed Talaba, Gisang Tahong, sigang na sugpo/bangus sa miso o bayabas, ginataang alimango/alimasag with malunggay, halabos na hipon, pinaputok na tilapia
    5. Noodles – Batchoy Lapaz, Pancit Palabok, sotanghon
    6. Veggies – Pinakbet, bulanglang, ginataang puso ng saging o laing, lumpiang ubod o sariwa, steamed talbos kamote with bagoong,
    7. Rice – plain fragrant, fried rice in garlic, fried rice with dried danggit bits
    8. desert – Razon’s halo halo, ginataan bilo-bilo, bibingka latik, buko pandan, sans rival, kapeng barako, calamay with pinipig, tsokolate/tabliya, buko pie, tupig
    9. liquor – SMB, lambanog

    Take your combo. Any would be as Juan de la Cruz as can be.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 8:22 am

     
  164. MarketFan says:

    I forgot to mention that most of the food mentioned above we wouldn’t be able to enjoy without rice and plenty of it. Is that what makes a typical Filipino meal? Di tuloy ang handa pag walang kanin.

    Feb 27, 2009 | 7:57 pm

     
  165. Frau says:

    My three iconic PI dishes
    Pancit, Lumpia, and Adobo.

    For dessert Bibingka with Latik, or Flan

    Mar 9, 2009 | 8:18 am

     
  166. joel says:

    My top pinoy food would be
    appetizer: shrimp gambas, atchara. cucumber in vinegar& pepper, garlic mushroom adobo
    Nilagang baka,Sinigang na Sugpo,Chickenpork adobo,escabeche lapulapu,mechadong baka & calderetang baka, twalya n buntot kare kare, menudo, pork humba, lengua estofado, pork lechon, paksiw na bisugo
    veggies:adobong kangkong,pinakbet,toge guisado,lumpiang sariwa,laing
    for dessert: halohalo, leche flan, maja blanca mais/anis, moron
    drinks: pop cola, sarsi, cheers, sagot gulaman
    liquor: SMB, lambanog ( melon flavor )

    Mar 14, 2009 | 11:00 pm

     
  167. joel says:

    I forgot the sinampalukang manok, tinolang manok w green papaya n chili leaves,crispy pata, relyenong pusit or bangus, soft grilled pusit w calamansi and soysauce, binagoongang baboy
    veggies: ensaladang lato( bubbles in stems like seaweed)munggo w tinapa
    appetizers: sweet n spicy pusit
    merienda: suman sa ibos w mangga, pancit malabon, binagol and buko salad

    Mar 14, 2009 | 11:19 pm

     
  168. peasmom says:

    I am really not a fan of Filipino food but I guess the following dishes would suit foreign tongues:

    1. meat – adobong baboy or manok (using pork with very thin layer of fat)
    2. soup – sinigang na sugpo
    3. veggie – tortang talong or pinakbet or laing
    4. fish – fried daing na bangus or butterflied fried tilapia
    5. seafood – adobong pusit
    6. carbs – garlic rice or any pansit (my favorite is palabok)
    7. sweets – halo-halo, bibingka or cassava cake

    Other possible choices: crispy pata, ginisang munggo, lumpiang shanghai, rellenong bangus

    Jun 17, 2009 | 3:16 pm

     
  169. Rain Mojica says:

    Hi. Sister and MM. Cendrillon has closed and it’s the only decen place here in NYC where you cab take your non Filipino friends to enjoy Filipino food. I personally think they really tried to be a progressive Filipino restauant. What with the ukoys and bibingka with goat cheese?!
    Oh and their black rice paella? I kss Cendrillon.
    My friends and I have discovered though to our amusement anotherfilipino restaurant called Tito Rads in Sunnyside Queens. They are the only ones who offers excellent tuna belly and panga ng tuna done anyway you like it-grilled, singang, inadobo and what not. Thy also feature a Filipino menu that’s nit your usual fare. The ukoy is light and they have Laing and pancit bam-I.

    Anyway, my choices would be

    1.grilled tuna belly! Eye opener for non Filipinos
    2. Adobo
    3.kinilaw but really fresh kinilaw
    4.something with noodles but authentically Filipino and incomparable to other Asian noodle dishes- palabok! Unusual and distinctive.
    5.pinakbet! I served this to my two Jewish American Upper West side friends and they raved about it! I just told them it’s a Philippine Ratatouille… Not telling the bagoong part.:) oh and adding squash blossoms!
    6.something special- any relleno:)

    I agree with the calamansi thread. I’ve actually been toying with the idea of a key lime pie but made with calamansi!

    Love ur blog MM!

    Aug 21, 2009 | 12:04 pm

     
  170. adamj says:

    Here’s a very late comment:

    Where I live here in the US, when you say “Filipino food”, everyone thinks of lumpia. The deep-fried, meat-and-veggie version is served at farmer’s markets throughout our county and, however “inauthentic”, it’s wildly popular. Similarly, the dish I’ve served to the best response in my own home is lumpia shanghai, and the cheat-y ketchup-based agre dulce from Alejandro’s cookbooks is usually treated like a kind of ambrosia. (I have always served it with other sawsawan, but honestly, no one cares.) I think to some extent it’s already becoming the emblem of Filipino food in America.

    I think tinola, mentioned enthusiastically in a comment above, is an inspired choice, but that might be my own bias speaking; where I grew up in Mindano, it was pronounced tinulu, and was served with coconut flakes toasted with sili as a topping. It’s probably one of my strongest and fondest taste memories of the Philippines, and for that reason, it goes on my list. Trying to be a bit more objective, I think it holds cross-over potential, but I’ve never tried serving it. One day!

    From all the other options, I’m finding it hard to chose!

    I *do* think Sister makes some very good points above about introduction and presentation to non-native eaters – and so often it’s that personal touch that helps convince a neophyte of the joys of eating Pinoy!

    (By the way, and perhaps unrelated, because of the large Mexican-American population in my city, I never have a hard time finding fresh, whole tamarind – even in mainstream supermarkets! Better ones are, of course, to be found in smaller shops. I wonder if you could find them in Mexican groceries in NY?)

    Aug 26, 2009 | 2:46 pm

     
  171. bina p. yuson says:

    i agree with u on sotanghon guisado, here in my area we already have a slang name 4 it we call it tanghon and dont be surprise we eat it with pairs of american bread, the bread should be in pairs….guess why? of course to make a sandwich out of it…i guess we have come a long way in fusion eating…happy eating to all.

    Sep 14, 2009 | 8:30 am

     
  172. bina says:

    heres my top 5 filipino dishes, one, roasted pig or chicken or fish over local uling(charcoal). two, dalandan or duhat or calamansi juice . noodle-based dish like lapaz batchoy or sotanghon guisado or pancit malabon-third . vinegarbased dishes-fourth, and lastly sugar and banana based sweets. hope u like my choices.

    Sep 15, 2009 | 4:12 am

     
  173. bina says:

    i think lets not over promote our food coz,if they have to substitute our local ingredients im afraid it wont taste filipino at all. and also, they might like our food so much that im afraid there wont be enough local ingredients to supply abroad. this might affect us, u know.

    Sep 15, 2009 | 4:28 am

     
  174. bina says:

    to make it distinctly filipino served it on dulang.wooden basin, or those wooden carved shellacked wood pieces our parents use to put on glass cabinets,

    Sep 15, 2009 | 4:51 am

     
  175. emsy says:

    i agree with you on sinigang and adobo…but my number three would probably be dinuguan. there’s this place in queens (or brooklyn, i forget) called engeline’s. they serve filipino food. dunno if it’s good though…have you ever been?

    Dec 7, 2009 | 3:29 pm

     
  176. jimbo says:

    anybody have the recipie for BIRINGHI? chicken/rice dish similar to arroz valenciana but mainly just rice and chicken with coconut milk cooked in banana leaves. please e-mail me! Also a treat fromthe Visaya region called BINAGOL, very thick and sticky brown goody in a coconut shell. thanks

    Dec 10, 2010 | 5:45 am

     
  177. nina says:

    Top 5 pinoy foodies…

    Chicken adobo (everyone loves this one not only americans but even europeans)
    Chicken or Pork Sisig (bar chow – love it or simply match it with garlic rice or Na’an Bread)
    Crispy Pork Dinuguan
    Seafood/Pata/Beef Kare-kare
    Daing na bangus ( just only the aroma… ulam na!)

    Jan 23, 2011 | 10:34 pm

     
 

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