Being a country in Asia, rice is naturally a major ingredient and food substance in every day life for Filipinos. Eaten approximately three times a day, it is eaten with basically everything. Having rice in every dish is an old Filipino and Asian tradition, but other characteristics of Filipino cuisine have been strongly influenced from the Chinese and Spanish.
The Chinese were the first foreign nation to leave their mark, introducing the method of stir-frying food to the Filipino people. It was the Chinese who also ensured that ingredients such as soy sauce and noodles feature heavily in Filipino cuisine. Then along came the Spanish who brought stews, meats and sauces to the Asian nation’s food.
Due to it’s situation beside the Pacific Ocean, and also because the country is made up of over 7,000 islands, seafood features heavily in Filipino food and thanks to the surrounding waters. As well as fish, fresh crabs and squid are also used frequently. Unlike some other South-East Asian countries, they don’t spice up the food too much.
The Philippines’ most famous national dish is probably Adobo which is chicken or squid stewed with a unique sauce made from oregano, garlic, thyme and paprika among others. Other national dishes include ‘mechado’ (Filipino beef stew) and ‘longganisa’ (Filipino style sausages).