Branded as one of the most favorite Filipino main dishes, adobo is also unofficially named as the Philippine national dish. Simply prepared, adobo typically consists of chicken or pork braised/stewed in a dark brown sauce made from soy sauce, cooking oil, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic and peppercorns. Bistek is another remarkable Pinoy favorite. Bistek is commonly referred to as the Filipino version of beef steak. It is mainly composed of thin slices of beef, mainly marinated in calamansi (Filipino lime) and soy sauce. The marinated meat is then fried in a skillet and usually topped with sweet onions.
Several famous stews are dinuguan, kare-kare and Bicol express. Dinuguan (from the root word ‘dugo’ or blood), is a savory meat stew simmered in a richly thick pig’s blood, meat and entrails with long chili, vinegar and garlic. Bicol express on the other hand, is a pork stew made from long chillies, coconut milk, garlic and onions. Peanut stew popularly known as kare-kare with oxtail its primary ingredient added with meat and/or tripe is cooked with vegetables in thick peanut sauce. Kare-kare is typically served with bagoong (a Philippine condiment made of fermented shrimps or fish and salt, or simply known as shrimp paste).
In the Philippine cuisine, humba (braised pork belly) is the nation’s #1 comfort food for main dishes. In terms of appearance, this pork dish resembles that of pork adobo. This popular dish originated somewhere in the central and southern part of the country. Some other Pinoy main dishes are crispy pata and the widely known lechon manok. Crispy pata (pork’s leg and/or knuckles) is tenderly simmered in water and in conjunction with other spices then deep-fried until become crunchy. Lechon manok is the Filipino rendition of rotisserie chicken. Lechon manok is a popular dish, especially seasoned and roasted over a medium-heat charcoal flame (or oven baked) is commonly seen along roadside kiosks. It is normally served with a unique lechon sauce called ‘sarsa’.
Spaniards having reigned the country for roughly 400 years have a big influence on the Philippine cuisine. Filipinos adapted the foods: kaldereta, afritada, and mechado all of which are made of tomato-based dishes are interestingly almost similar to each other.
The Filipino soups are likely to be hearty as well. But the majority of the soups are heavy meals and are not intended to be a preparatory food for the main course. The soup itself is the main course, and is normally paired with rice. Sinigang (sour meat broth), tinola (chicken broth with papaya) and La paz batchoy (pork noodle soup topped with raw egg) are among the dishes in this category.
Some other noodle foods are variations of pancit such as pancit canton, pancit lomi, pancit bihon guisado, pansit malabon, sotanghon, pancit palabok, pansit luglug and misua. These treats mainly consist of noodles, meat portion, vegetables, and spices.
And for those who loves to eat vegetables, there are pinakbet, dinengdeng, ginisang monggo (sauteed mung beans), and kinilnat (a dish originated from the province of Ilocos).