In a Filipino home, the heart of the family often resides in the kitchen. Considering how most nanays, tatays, lolos, lolas, uncles, and aunties show love through food, it’s no wonder that Filipino cuisine is filled with comforting and delicious dishes that are perfect for any occasion.
These dishes are not only delicious but also steeped in culture and tradition, making them the ultimate comfort foods for many Filipinos around the world.
If you’re looking for a taste of home or just want to try something new, here are some of the best Filipino comfort foods you should definitely try.
At its core, Chicken Mami features a soul-soothing broth, fresh egg noodles that add a comforting chewiness, tender flaked chicken, and an array of vegetables that contribute both color and crunch.
Chicken Mami is more than just a bowl that fills you with energy. It can also give you warmth with every spoonful.
When it comes to this dish, less is more. The trick to crafting the perfect Chicken Mami is to keep it simple, allowing the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine. Each diner should have the freedom to adjust the taste to their liking, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to this already heartwarming dish, such as pepper, salt, soy sauce, fish sauce, and other seasonings.
Recipe: Chicken Mami
There’s nothing quite like Bulalo to make you feel like you’re home. This savory and hearty stew is a Filipino classic that is perfect for colder weather or when you need a hug in a bowl. The dish features a rich beef broth that is flavored with bone marrow, vegetables like corn, cabbage, and potatoes, and tender beef shanks.
To make the perfect Bulalo, you need to let the soup simmer for hours to extract the full flavor of the ingredients. The result is a broth that is both rich and comforting, with a depth of flavor that is hard to beat.
The tender beef shanks and vegetables make this dish filling and satisfying, perfect for those who need a warm meal to get through the day.
You truly can’t go wrong with Sinigang, the most-loved sour soup in the Philippines. This popular dish features a tamarind-based broth that is tangy, flavorful, and comforting.
The soup can be made with a variety of meats such as pork, beef, or fish, and is loaded with vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and leafy greens.
The key to Sinigang is finding the perfect balance of sourness and saltiness. Some like their Sinigang more sour, while others prefer it to be more savory. Served over a bed of steaming hot rice, this dish will truly be your favorite.
Recipe: Sinigang na Salmon
When it comes to Filipino comfort food, Tinola is definitely a crowd-pleaser. This simple yet delicious soup features tender chicken pieces, ginger, garlic, onions, and green papaya cooked in a clear broth. The result is a comforting and nourishing soup that is perfect for any occasion.
The ginger and garlic are the stars of this dish, infusing the broth with a fragrant and flavorful punch. The green papaya adds a subtle sweetness to the soup, while the chicken provides a meaty texture.
Meanwhile, the malunggay adds an extra layer of nutrients to the soup. You can serve this dish over freshly cooked rice and fish sauce for dipping.
Recipe: Chicken Tinola
Chances are, you were served Arroz Caldo when you were sick as a child. This warm and comforting rice porridge is a staple in many Filipino households, especially during cold and flu season.
Arroz Caldo features tender chicken pieces, garlic, ginger, and onions cooked in a creamy and savory rice broth. It’s the perfect dish for when you need a little extra love and care.
When cooked for a long time, the different flavors of the ingredients meld together and the rice becomes creamy and soft. The chicken adds a protein element to the dish, while the ginger and garlic provide a healthy kick of warmth and spice. Arroz Caldo is best served with calamansi, pepper, soy sauce, and fish sauce.
Recipe: Arroz Caldo
Imagine a steaming bowl filled with thick, wide noodles swimming in a flavorful and rich broth. Lomi usually comes with chewy bits of pork or chicken, and vegetables like carrots and cabbage.
What sets Lomi apart from other noodle soups is its signature thickness. The broth clings to the noodles, giving each slurp a satisfying texture. It’s a top choice for people looking for something to keep them warm on a rainy day.
Champorado is an indulgent chocolatey bowl of goodness usually served for breakfast. It is made with glutinous rice and cocoa. When mixed together, these two ingredients create a velvety porridge that’s as rich in texture as it is in flavor.
Champorado also showcases a contrast of flavors. The sweetness of chocolate is perfectly balanced with a subtle hint of saltiness when paired with the classic accompaniment of salty dried fish or tuyo. So if you want to elevate your breakfast game, Champorado is the answer.
La Paz Batchoy
La Paz Batchoy is a hearty noodle soup that originated in Iloilo City. It’s the ultimate comfort food that is perfect for any time of day.
The soup features egg noodles, pork meat, and organs, crushed pork cracklings, and scallions, all swimming in a rich and flavorful broth that is made with beef or pork bones.
Aromatics like garlic and onions are added to the meat, resulting in a deeply satisfying flavor.
Recipe: La Paz Batchoy
Ginataang Bilo Bilo
When it comes to meriendas, Ginataang Bilo Bilo is a popular choice in the Philippines. This sweet and creamy dessert features small glutinous rice balls, sweet potato, taro, and plantain, all cooked in a rich coconut milk broth.
The coconut milk not only adds creaminess but also fragrance to the dish, while the sweet potato and plantain bring a natural sweetness that pairs perfectly with the chewy rice balls. It’s a comforting treat that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Recipe: Ginataang Bilo Bilo
Chicken Sopas is a creamy and comforting soup that is perfect for a cozy night in. This Filipino classic comfort food features macaroni noodles, tender chicken pieces, carrots, and celery. It is cooked in a creamy milk-based broth.
The creaminess of the soup comes from evaporated milk, giving it a rich and silky texture. The carrots and cabbage provide a healthy crunch, while the macaroni noodles and chicken pieces keep you full.
It’s a versatile soup that can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or even a main course. Served hot with a slice of bread on the side, this dish is sure to warm your stomach.
Recipe: Chicken Sopas
Visit a Filipino home on a rainy day, and you’ll likely find a pot of Nilagang Baka on the stove. This cozy soup is a mix of tender beef, potatoes, cabbage, and veggies in a clear broth flavored with ginger and onions.
What makes Nilagang Baka special is how everything is cooked together to let the flavors blend perfectly. The beef becomes super tender, the potatoes soak up all the tasty broth, and the veggies add a fresh element to the dish.
Recipe: Nilagang Baka
Notoriously popular due to its unique ingredients, Dinuguan is a Filipino stew made with pork meat and blood.
To make Dinuguan, pork meat is simmered in a vinegar-based broth with garlic, onions, and chili peppers. Once the meat is cooked, pork blood is added to thicken the stew and give it its signature color and flavor.
The result is a filling, flavorful, and savory dish that’s best served with steamed rice. This dish is usually served on special occasions like birthdays and fiestas. As long as there’s lechon, you can count that there’s also Dinuguan.
There’s no mistaking the mouthwatering aroma of Bistek Tagalog. This beloved Filipino dish features thin slices of beef marinated and then cooked in a tangy mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice, and onions.
The meat is tender and the sauce is a perfect balance of savory, tangy, and slightly sweet.
As a finishing touch, thin slices of onions are elegantly arranged atop the dish, not just adding flavor but also contributing to its visual appeal.
Recipe: Bistek Tagalog
A common dish served on the dining table or as pulutan, Crispy Pata is a Filipino favorite that features a deep-fried pork leg that’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The dish is made by boiling the pork leg with aromatics like garlic and bay leaves until it’s tender, then deep-frying it until it’s crispy.
The crispy skin of the pork gives way to tender and juicy meat. It’s a burst of flavors when dipped in a tangy soy-vinegar dipping sauce mixed with onions, whole peppercorns, and garlic.
Recipe: Crispy Pata