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For Locals, Expats and tourists in the Philippines.
Basics of Philippine Cooking and Cooking Styles

Basics of Philippine Cooking and Cooking Styles

Dishes in the Philippines are quite simple to prepare and would require less cooking utensils. A Chinese wok should do the trick when cooking food in the Philippines. We’ll discuss some of the basics of cooking in the Philippines. We’ll also discuss the cooking styles in the Philippines, as well as the common ingredients used.

In the Philippines, when you are cooking food, you don’t need any special styles or skills. Most dishes in the Philippines are stewed, sauteed, broiled, braised, or fried. You will rarely find baked dishes in Philippine cooking. That is typical for a tropical cuisine.

There are two major cooking styles of preparing and cooking food in the Philippines. The first cooking style has vinegar as a major theme. You’ll find that popular dishes in the Philippines like adobo, paksiw, and sinigang are based on the sour taste. Dishes like these are not necessarily based on the sour taste alone but more on the preserving effects of vinegar.

This first major cooking style in the Philippines focuses more on preserving the food. Dishes prepared in this cooking style are meant to last longer even without refrigeration. The food created in this cooking style seems to taste better after some time.

The second major cooking style in the Philippines has Patis as its major theme. Patis is the Philippine equivalent of the Vietnamese “Nuoc mam” or the Thai “nampla”. It is a very salty, thin, fish or shrimp sauce.

This cooking style focuses on accentuating the taste of the food using Patis. Though Patis is kind of rare and sometimes is really hard to find, it still remains a major theme among many dishes in the Philippines. Where patis is not found, salt is used as a substitute in this cooking style.

The ingredients used in Philippine cooking have either an Oriental (more Chinese by the way) or Hispanic influence. Let’s take a look at the common ingredients used in Philippine cooking.

Coconut milk is common in Philippine cooking, quite popular in the Bicol region. Anatto seeds (known in the Philippines as “achuette”) can be bought in the Philippines at the local wet market or in groceries in four or eight ounce bottles. This can be bought in oriental stores in the US.

Bagoong (fermented shrimp or fish paste) is quite popular in the northern and southern regions of the Philippines. This can also be bought in any oriental food store.

The Chinese influence in Philippine cooking comes in through several ingredients such as dried Chinese mushrooms, Chinese sausages, bak choy, and an array of different kinds of noodles. All these can be bought at local food markets or in oriental stores in the East and West coasts of the United States.

Cooking the dishes of the Philippines is quite easy to begin with. The ingredients are readily available and if not, substitute ingredients can still be used. The cooking styles in the Philippines were developed with practicality in mind. Try them out and enjoy a taste that is uniquely Filipino.

[Tags]Filipino Cuisine, Food, Philippines, Pinoy food, Philippine dishes, Cooking[Tags]


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