Known as one of the happiest places on earth, the Philippines is well-known for extravagant feasts during the holiday season.
With the Filipino’s rich gastronomic culture and strong family ties, it’s no surprise that we spare no expense when it comes to picking excellent dishes that each family member will enjoy.
This article will give you a brief overview of the top Filipino dishes to serve during the holiday season.
Add these to your menu and let your celebration be extra sweet, warm, and delightful!
Cochinillo, commonly known as Roast Suckling Pig, is a traditional Spanish dish famous in the historic city of Segovia.
The Cochinillo has succulent meat, tender and crispy skin, a thin layer of fat, and is flavorful inside. Suckling pigs are typically smaller, about one-third than the standard pig size.
In Spain, local chefs use a plate instead of a knife to show how delicate and off the bone this dish is – the main reason why it melts in your mouth!
Cochinillo is a perfect centerpiece to rule your holiday table. Cochinillo is festive. It means a glorious celebration. And when our family knows about having Cochinillo at the table, no doubt everyone puts a smile on their faces, starts giggling, and shifts to an instant holiday feel!
2. Lechon Kawali
Lechon Kawali is one of the most excellent and all-time favorite pork dishes around the world during the holiday season. Its name was derived from the traditional cooking pan used to cook it – wok or Kawali.
It is a pork belly or liempo deep-fried to golden perfection – crunchy on the outside (especially when a little blistered) and moist inside. Lechon Kawali’s interchanging layer of meat and fat blends perfectly upon biting, making it juicer and tastier. No wonder every family member always looks for it at the table during holidays.
To fully enjoy it, serve it with cane vinegar, liver sauce, and mayo dip with plenty of onions and cucumbers on the side.
3. Celebration Ham
Like Cochinillio, Celebration Ham is very popular as a holiday centerpiece, especially during Christmas.
The Christmas Ham, also known as Yule Ham, came from an English tradition specifically from Germans who wanted to appease Freyr, the God of fertility, harvest, and boars. As Christianity spread worldwide, Christmas influences us, including Celebration Ham as a staple dish during holidays.
Today, Celebration Hams has various flavors such as Hickory-smoked, Honey-cured, and Sugar-cured.
There are plenty of ways on how to relish it – make thin slices while reminiscing, chatting, and having a toast of wine, top it with Queso De Bola, or stuff your pandesal and ensaymada with it. For leftovers, make thin slices or bites and pair it with Sinangag, Egg, Black Coffee, and have an extended merry day!
As Filipino culture is heavily influenced by Spanish culture, Paella, a classic rice dish from Spain, is another addition to your holiday menu.
The dish consists of vegetables, protein, and arborio rice, a staple for most Filipino dishes. It is a classic favorite at Christmas parties, family reunions, and other holiday celebrations because of its beautiful aroma, which is only enhanced because it’s scooped out of a communal pan for consumption around the table with the family.
There are several Paella varieties such as Chicken Paella, Seafood Paella, or Mixed Paella (a combination of seafood, meats, and vegetables).
Make this coming Christmas extra special with this iconic rice dish – nutritious, grand, and refreshing from all the meat dishes dominating the season!
5. Classic Beef Lasagna
Who says spaghetti gets all the fun? Alternating layers of flat and wide noodles with lean ground beef — lasagna is known as a tasty favorite for most Filipino families.
Lasagna is a classic holiday-time meal, not only in the Philippines but also in other countries. It is a simple yet popular pasta meal characterized by a series of layers with homemade meat sauce and a combination of ingredients like ricotta cheese mixture.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need expensive ingredients to serve it. The ingredients are almost the same as classic Filipino-style spaghetti, except for the lasagne pasta. Simply combine ground beef and tomato sauce, and you’re good to go.
Most Filipino kids remember holiday Lasagna as a traditional Christmas Eve dinner growing up, primarily because it is great to serve at a holiday buffet party — slice it up in serving portions and let guests help themselves.
Fresh Meat Ingredients For Your Holidays
Filipino holiday celebrations are not complete without meat as a key ingredient like the list above.
Many believe that meat symbolizes wealth and prosperity, but beyond that, it shadows beautiful relationships with our loved ones!
To achieve healthy, safe, and more sumptuous meat dishes, always pick fresh and high-quality meat.
Visit your trusted meat shop in the Philippines today because you deserve a splendid and memorable holiday season!