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This page provides a list of Filipino cuisine/food glossary, based on Doreen G. Fernandez's
Palayok: Philippine Food Time, On Site, in the Pot. Manila: Bookmark Inc., 2000. Some
definitions were expanded and/or modified. Terms in italics are the corresponding scientific
names of plants, fruits, vegetables, fish, animals. Click on any of the letters on the left-side
frame if you know the beginning letter of the cuisine/food terms in Tagalog/Filipino and you
will be linked to the appropriate table.

achuete, atswete

bixa orellana, annato seed; also called lipstick plant


a dish of meat, seafood or vegetables cooked in vinegar and spices


cooked in vinegar and spices




(Manobo) a liquor made from rice, corn, cassava or sorghum


the generic Tagalog term for liquor or wine


bauhinia malabarica, butterfly-shaped leaves from a tree used for



mud crab


blue crab


bassela alba, Ceylon spinach


momordica charantia, bittermelon or bitter gourd


annona reticulata, custard apple, bullock heart


wafer, also cone for ice cream


lates calcarifer, silver sea bass


muntingia calabura, a little cherry-like wild fruit

arroz caldo

rice gruel cooked with chicken, often flavored with kasubha


annona squamosa, sugar apple


datnia plumbea, silver perch


high priest/priestess in the native religion

bacalao (a la Vizcania) (Spanish) salted codfish cooked in the style of Biscayne


in Luzon, salted fish; in Mindanao, a meat stew


(Waray) tuba newly taken from the coconut


salted, fermented fish or shrimp paste/sauce

bahal, bahalina

fermented tuba weeks, months, or years old


ophicephalus striatus, murray fingerling


balanghay, a sailboat with 12-16 rowers


averrhoa carmbola, star fruit, carambola

balut sa puti

a fertilized duck's egg 16-19 days old, balut sa puti is still wrapped
in white membrane and thus literally "wrapped in white", which is
what the phrase means


family magulidae, mullet


chanos chanos, milk fish


a food package from home taken to work or school


(Davao Bisayan) neothunnus macropterus, yellowfin tuna


a dish of pork internal organs in broth


garcinia morella, a small sour green fruit with a large seed


high-grade rice wine (tapuy) from the Cordillera


psidium guajava, guava


(Ilonggo) a snack made of pinipig (young rice, pounded) and young



monitor lizard


(French) sea slug, trepang, sea cucumber


(Pampango) a dish of stuffed frog

bia, biya

family gobiidae, goby


a rice cake often garnished with salted eggs and carabao (water
buffalo) milk cheese


antidesma bunius, Chinese laurel


(Ilokano) yeast for rice wine


(Ilonggo) fish salted in layers


(Cebuano) glutinous rice cooked iwth coconut milk and wrapped in

banana leaf

brazo de mercedes

a meringue roll with an egg filling


megalops cyprinoides, tarpon


a sweet made from mature coconut


kneecap; a dish of this and other beef bones and meats boiled with


the eateries that offer boiled bulalo

buuelos de viento

(Spanish) wind puff, a pastry served with syrup

burong isda

fish fermented with rice


(Cebuano) dried salted fish



(Spanish) sirloin


(Spanish) cooking pot


(Spanish) goat stew

callos con garbanzos

(Spanish) tripe cooked with chick peas


pithecellobium dulce, kamachille, Madras thorn fruit

camaron rebozado

(Spanish) batter-fried shrimp, a Chinese dish


ipomoea batatas, sweet potato


(Spanish) a dessert of meringue with an egg-butter sauce


a native frying pan with a rounded bottom, a wok

carinderia, karinderia

a low-priced eating place, often at roadsides or markets


a dish of rice cooked with chocolate


crackling made from pork, beef, or carabao skin


manilkara zapote, a brown sweet fruit with black seeds


(Spanish) sausage


(Spanish) fluted breakfast crullers usually taken with chocolate


(Spanish) a stew of mixed meats, sausages, and vegetables

dahon bawang

the leaves of the garlic plant, allium sativum


fish split open, salted, and dried


ophicephalus striatus, murrel


citrus aurantifolia, lime

de recado

(Spanish) spiced; in the Philippines, it refers to spicy sausages


the woven rattan ring on which the round-bottomed palayok is set

to stand

dilao, dilaw

curcuma domestica, turmeric

dinuguan at puto

a dish of blood stew with steamed rice cakes


syzygium kumini, Java plum


a low table, formerly for dining


durio zybethinus, a fruit with a strong smell


(Spanish) a ground pork roll


(Spanish) a brioche-like roll that is buttered, sugared, and cheese-


(Spanish) fish cooked with vinegar, garlic, onions, and ginger


colocasia esculenta, taro root


(Spanish) very thin biscuits


coconut milk


cooked in coconut milk; the dishes so cooked

guisa, mag-guisa

to saut


(Spanish) to saut


annona muricata, soursop


to steam shrimps or prawns in their own juice


a mixture of sweetened beans and fruits topped with crushed ice

or ice cream; a refresher served in a tall glass


ham-cured; usually referring to sausages


supper, dinner


small shrimps, peeled and dried

hipon at kasuy

shrimps cooked with cashew nuts


(Spanish) a thin pastry, sometimes of puff paste


a dish of stewed pork


(Ilonggo) a snack made of glutinous rice and coconut


roasted, charcoal-broiled or grilled

inihaw na panga

roasted or charcoal-broiled jaw of yellowfin tuna


a drinking session


a drink (could be plain water, soda, beer, juice, wine) taken

together with a meal


(Cebuano) fish cooked in vinegar; in Tagalog, paksiw




(Spanish) ham

jamon en dulce

(Spnaish) ham cooked in and/or coated or glazed with sugar


(Spanish) ham-cured


cadjanus cadjan, pigeon pea

kaimito, caimito

chrusophillum caimito, star apple

kakang gata

coconut cream


snacks, light cakes, usually made of rice


citrus madurensis, a small lime indigenous to the Philippines;

also called Chinese orange, Panama orange


a clay stove for wood or charcoal fuel


(Ilonggo) tiny shrimps, lightly salted and dried


see camachille


(Pampango) mole cricket


eating with hands instead of Western utensils (see comic strip



mula sa Philippine Daily Inquirer Internet Edition, 25 September 2001


averrhoa bijimbi, a small acidic fruit


family ariidae, sea catfish


ipomoea aquatica, swamp cabbage, also called potato vine


the fruit of a sugar palm


pre-cooked food


a stew of ox tail/feet/tripe with vegetables and a sauce thickened

with ground roasted peanuts and rice


an eatery selling pre-cooked food


an eatery selling pre-cooked food


lean pork, picnic


the dried stigmas of a plant, used for coloring and flavoring food;
a kind of saffron


anacardium occidentale, cashew


sesbania grandiflora, a white flower used in salads


a vat used for cooking large amounts of food

kesong puti

literally "white cheese", a cottage cheese made of carabao's

(water buffalo) milk


apium graveolens, Chinese celery


a dish of fish, seafood, meat or vegetables dressed with vinegar

or lime juice, but not cooked over fire


a rice wafer used for decoration in Lucban and other towns in



pisonia alba, lettuce tree, also called maluko in Tagalog


amarnthus viridis, slender amaranth


benicasa hispida, wax gourd


allium odorum, Chinese chives


a little cake made of steamed mixture of sugar, rice, lye


vitex negundo, a medicinal plant


liquor distilled form the sap of a nipa palm


the bamboo tube attacked to the coconut bud to catch the sap for


liquor distilled from the sap of coconut palm


galingale, galenggal


lansium domesticum, a small fruit that grows in bunches, with

translucent flesh in segments enclosing seeds


family serranidae, grouper


(Ilonggo) a dish of mixed leafy, pod and fruit vegetables steamed

with bagoong and dried shrimps


(Waray) a dish of mixed leafy, pod, and fruit vegetables

leche flan

(Spanish) milk custard; creme caramel

lechon, letson

(Spanish) pig; in the Philippines, split-roasted pig

lechon manok

chicken roasted on a split

lengua estofada

(Spanish) stewed ox tongue


pork belly


(Ilonggo) newly-gathered tuba


wide noodles in broth


(Spanish) beef loin


(Spanish) long sausage


rice porridge or gruel


Chinese-style eggroll; meat and/or vegetables wrapped in thin



sport coconut

mameng, maming

family labridae, wrasse


a dish of noodles, chicken or beef, and broth


(adjective) mildly sweet, not the sweetness of sugar but of



artocarpus odoratissima, a large aromatic fruit containing

segements each enclosing a seed


(Spanish) marzipan


(Spanish) beef cooked with pork lardoons


a stew dish of diced pork, chicken, sausage, potatoes, carrots,

peas, and tomato sauce usually eaten with rice on the side


a mid-afternoon snack


a late afternoon meal; an early supper or dinner


a snack of glutinous rice cooked with a streak of chocolate


soybean cake or mash


(Spanish) a Mexican dish of chicken cooked with peanuts

morisqueta tostada

(Spanish) rice fried with vegetables and other condiments


phaseolus aureus, green mung bean


civet cat


brassica juncea v. integrifola, mustard greens

nata de coco

a sweet made by growing a culture on coconut water


boiled; a dish of boiled beef, or pork, or chicken, and vegetables


(Spanish) a dish of rice cooked with meats and/or seafood and



the feast of San Isidro Labrador on May 15, celebrated in Lucban,

Quezon by decorating the houses with food. In Madrid, Spain, the
same feast is celebrated on the same day, and San Isidro Labrador
is also the patron saint of Madrid.


arthyrium esculentum, edible fern


a dish cooked in vinegar and garlic

paksiw na pata

pork trotters cooked in vinegar


unhusked rice


a round-bottomed clay pot


small cakes made from glutinous rice

pan de sal, de limon, de (Spanish) bread respectively with salt, lemon, coconut, and milk;
coco, de leche,
sliced loaf bread

pandanus odoratissimus, screw pine


literally jaw; the jaw of yellowfin tuna


dessert; a sweet taken after meals

pancit, pansit

a dish of noodles and shrimps, fish, meat, or vegetables, with

many variations, e.g., luglog (shaken in hot water, flavored with
sauce), molo (with pork-filled wontons and broth), Malabon (with
shrimps, oysters, and squid), habhab (eaten off a banana leaf),
Canton (with egg noodles), bihon (with rice noodles), buko (with
coconut strips instead of noodles)


peperomia pellucida, a scculent herb, the leaves of which have

medicinal properties

pantulak, panulak

literally "for pushing"; refers to drinks, which "push" the pulutan



a gift brought home from a trip

pastel de pollo

(Spanish) a chicken pie; a dish of chicken with crust


(Spanish) pastilles; usually pastillas de leche, sweets made of milk

pata tim

a Chinese dish of stewed pork leg


fish sauce


luffa cylindrica, sponge gourd


(Ilokano) a rice cake wrapped in banana leaf

pavo embuchado

(Spanish) stuffed turkey

pesang manok

a dish of fish or chicken cooked with vegetables, often served with

a miso sauce

pescado en salsa agrio- (Spanish) fish in a sweet and sour sauce


brassica chinesis, pakchoy, bokchoy


canarium ovatum, a hard nut indigenous to the Philippines, with an

oil-rich kernel

pinya, pia


pimientos morrones

(Spanish) red bell peppers


a dish native to Quezon province, of shrimps and coconut wrapped

in banana leaf and steamed in coconut water


a dish of Ilokano origin, of ampalaya, okra, eggplants, and

tomatoes steamed with fish bagoong


(Ilonggo) fish cooked in vinegar, which is allowed to evaporate


(Ilokano) a dish of goat meat with goat bile

pinaupong manok

chicken steamed in a bed of salt


(Spanish) a stew of mixed meats, sausages and vegetables with



a sweet of powdery texture made of powdered milk and sugar


(Spanish) dessert


a native stew of meat, sausage and vegetables with an eggplant



any cooked dish (meat, chicken, pork, seafood) taken with beer,
wine, liquor during a drinking session; could also be nuts; a
pulutuan is similar to Spanish tapas-tapas

punta y pecho

(Spanish) beef brisket


rice cooked in a fist-sized woven-leaf basket; "travelling" or

"hanging" rice


steamed rice cake

puto bumbong

a cylindrical cake of violet rice (pirurutung) steamed upright in a

bamboo tube

queso de bola

Edam ball cheese


(Spanish) stuffed food, dish

rellenong alimasag

crab sauteed and stuffed into the crab shell

rellenong manok

stuffed chicken

rellenong bangus

milkfish stuffed with its own flesh that has been sauteed

sa malamig

cold drinks sold at streetside


the shrimps, meat, etc. used to flavor vegetables or noodle dish


ginger tea/brew


corchorus olitorius, Jew's mallow


star anise


sandoricum koetjape, a fruit with a thick rind and pulp enclosing

whitish, furry seeds, sour-sweet in taste


a rice sweet of blanc-mange consistency, made of several layers,

usually of different colors


(Spanish) frying pan


snake; python or boa constrictor


sechium edule, chayote, mirliton pear


a Middle Eastern snack of sliced meat (beef, lamb, chicken) and

condiments served with pita bread


capsicum annuum, chili


(Cebuano) a steamed corned cake eaten with kinilaw

sinampalukang manok

chicken cooked with tamarind leaves and sprouts


garlic-fried rice

sineguelas, sinegwelas

spondias purpurea, Spanish plum


a stew of meat/fish/seafood and vegetables in a sour broth


pachyrrhizus erosus, yambean

solasi, sulasi

ocimum sanctum, holy basil


(Spanish) tenderloin

sotanghon guisado

mungbean noodles sauteed with meats and vegetables


soups and dishes made of rice water


citrus grandis, pomelo


a vendor from whom one buys regularly; also a regular customer




a rice cake from glutinous rice, often wrapped in palm or banana



hydrophytune orbiculatum, a fruit, the juice of which is used in

kinilaw, and for finishing baskets

tagay, tagayan,
tagatagayan, tagaytagay

the measure, the practice, and the one in charge of drinking at a

drinking session


a drink made of soybean curd and syrup


soy bean cake


the young sprouts or tendrils of squash, camote or sayote plants


a rice cake flavored with peanuts, pork, eggs, etc. and wrapped in
banana leaves


the noon meal; lunch


cymbopogon citratus, lemon grass


slices or strips of dried meat; tapang usa is dried venison


(Manobo) the yeast for making rice wine


(Igorot) the yeast for making rice wine


(Igorot) rice wine

tausi, tawsi

salted soybeans


tilapia zili, a fast-growing fish


smoked fish

tinolang manok

a dish of chicked cooked with vegetable (green papaya, chili

leaves) and broth


(Cebuano) a dish of fish and vegetables in a lightly soured broth


(Spanish) salt pork; in Tagalog or Pampango it is sweet cured pork

toge, togue

mung bean sprouts


firm soy bean curd, also fried soy bean curd

torta de cangrejo

(Spanish) crabmeat cooked with egg

torta del rey

(Spanish) a cake of many thin layers

tortilla de patatas

(Spanish) potato omelet


palm toddy


(Ilocano) a kind of rice cake wrapped in banana leaves


an eatery in which the pre-cooked foods are laid out, and chosen
by pointing (turo)


a fried spring roll, either meat, vegetable, or banana; turong

saging (deep fried banana fritter) is usually cooked in oil with
brown sugar and some jackfruit strips, and a typical snack or
dessert in the Philippines


(Spanish) nougat


whole fish, dried and salted


the core of the coconut palm; heart of palm


a vegetable patty, of mixed vegetables, or of flour and

vegetables; a variation is a combination of shrimps, tofu, and
vegetable patty


viand, the main dish that comes with rice


ustacidae, crayfish; also macrobrachium rosenbergii, giant

freshwater prawn


lagenaria leucantha, bottle gourd


corindrium sativum, coriander leaf

Filipino Food Glossary

Adobo: a rich, dark, well-marinated stew of chicken or pork, vinegar, soy
sauce, garlic and peppercorns, bay leaf. A good adobo is said to last a week
without refrigeration.In Spanish cuisine, adobo refers to a pickling sauce
made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, paprika and
Ampalaya (Tagalog) or Amargozo (Aklanon): Chinese bitter melon or bitter
gourd, rich in iron.
Apritada: a tart tomato sauce
Atsara: a chutney-like vegetable preserve
Atsuwete: Annatto oil
Baalut: take a fertilized duck or chicken egg, bury it in the ground for a few
Baboy: pork
Bagnet: fried pork belly, a delicacy in The mountainous Cordillera region.
Bagoong: a fish paste
Baka: beef: beef ribs
Balayan: anchovy sauce
Bangus: the bony but prized milkfish
Batchoy: pork organ stew
Biko: a sweet and sticky rice
Bulalo: a Bisayan soup with veg's and pork liver, intestines, etc], spices,
topped with crushed pork skin crackles
Callos: Ox tripe
Chicharong bulaklak: it means pork intestines fried very crisp, goes well with
dip of vinegar, salt, diced/crushed garlic

Daing Na Bangus: Milk fish in garlic a fine textured fish

Dinakdakan: Pig's Ears and Tounge in Pig's Brain
Dinuguan: a stew made with pork blood and flavored with whole hot peppers,
livery tasting
Embutido: Pork Roll
Filipino Breakfast: traditionally fried rice, longaniza (native sausage) and
dried and salted fish. Together with the tomatoes and patis (fish sauce)
Ginataan: a method of cooking with coconut milk, common in Southeast Asia.
Filipino way is much simpler because coconut flavor is not overwhelmed by
spices. Seafoods, poutlry, other meat/vegs cooked with cocnut milk and garlic,
onions, ginger, chilis and lemongrass.
Ginisang monggo: Mung Beans with pork, contains ampalaya tops
Halo-halo: literally, mix-mix. cubed sweet potato, cut up bananas and
jackfruit, some red beans, some ube jam (a gluitnous yam), ice cream, whatever
else you want to put in, shaved ice, milk, and sugar, and there you have it.
Humba: soy and sugar flavoured braised pork belly served with hard boiled eggs
. The Visayas region
Inihaw na Talong: broiled eggplant with chopped tomato, onions and bagoong
Inihaw: broiled
Kalamansi: the local lemon
Kaldereta: casserole (often a goat stew)
Kare-kare: meaty oxtail stew with pieces of tender tripe and vegetables in
peanut sauce served with bagoong, eat with rice
Kinilaw: raw fish marinated in a spicy vinegar dressing from Visayas region.
Labuyo: the fiery native pepper
Laing: Shrimp in Coconut Milk
Leche flan to the brazos: custard wrapped in meringue.
Lechon Kawali: pan-fried Roast Pork
Lechon: roasted whole pig
Lomi: pig's Stomach
Lumpia: fresh (lumpiang sariwa) are like crepes (rice/egg pastry) filled with

Chinese vegetables and topped with peanut sauce. fried (lumpiang Shanghai )
are small spring rolls, rice pastry filled with ground beef or pork. Fried
lumpias are basically the fresh variety, deep fried. a Chinese-inspired
vegetable snack much like the poh-pia of Singapore and Malaysia, and the khanpyan of Burma. Generally, a mixture of vegetables or meat wrapped in delicate
egg wrapper. There are four kinds: lumpiang Shanghai (mixture of pork and
spices, served as appetizer), lumpiang labong (made of tender bamboo shoots),
lumpia with peanuts, and lumpiang sariwa (made mostly of vegetables). They're
dipped in a sauce that consists simply of crushed garlic and vinegar.
Maliputo: sweet fish found in deep-water lakes.
Minatamis Na Saging: Sweetened bananas,
Monok: chicken
Palabok: rice vermicelli
Palitaw: dainty poached rice cakes rolled with grated coconut, sugar and
sesame seeds. Palitaw means "float and sink," The ground glutinous rice dough
for Palitaw sinks in boiling water and floats when cooked. Its fried version
is Pilipit Bulacan (Sweetened ground rice).
Pancit: sauteed noodles with bits of fresh vegetables, thinly sliced savory
sausage and tiny shrimps laced throughout. Different types of noodles can be
used: bihon (rice noodles), Canton (flour noodles),sotanghon (soybean noodle)
and mike (pronounced as mee-kee, fresh egg noodles). incomplete without a
squirt or two of fresh kalamansi. pancit miki.
Pata : pig knuckles
Patis: fish sauce
Pili nut brittle: a crunchy sweet made with the luscious pili nuts found only
in the Bicol region
Pinakbet: similar to ratatouille: vegetables sauteed with pork and bagoong, or
a sauted mixture of fresh vegetables (squash, eggplant, string beans and
amplaya) in bagoong. mainstay in the Ilocos region
Pinapaitan: Beef Tripe, Beef Sirloin in Beef Bile
Pusit: dried squid
Relleno: boned and stuffed chicken or fish Central Luzon region
Rellenong Manok: a whole chicken, deboned and stuffed with a mixture of ground
chicken, pork and ham, plus whole sausages and hard-boiled eggs.
Sago: tapioca, served like halo-halo or in water with molasses as a special

Siapao: steamed bread.

Sinigang: lightly boiled fish in a sour stock with vegetables and fish sauce.
Considered the most representative dish of the Filipino, the sinigang is a
slightly sour soup with broth the color of peach, comparable to the French
boullabaise. There are no fixed ingredients. Fish, shrimp, or meat, any kind
of vegetable, as many as you wish, all according to your tastes. The broth is
soured not by using vinegar, which is considered unimaginative, but by using
the fruits and leaves of sour plants.
Sinilaban Na Baka: Charbroiled beef marinated with a mixture of chillies and
calamansi juice
Sinugba: grilled mixed platters, The Visayas region
Sisig: grilled pig cheeks & ears, chopped w/chicken liver, onions, chili
&pepperserved on sizzling plate. popular in flatlands
Tinola: fish or chicken soup with ginger The Visayas region
Ukoy at Camarones: deep-fried vegetables and prawn fritters.

Filipino Food Glossary

-=A=Achara - Pickled vegetables usually in a sweet-sour solution.
Achuete - Dried seed of the annatto tree mainly used as red food coloring. The seeds are either
soaked and squeezed in water or tossed in hot oil to get the red coloring. Achuete is now
available in easy to use powder and liquid forms; just add a tsp. to color a dish.
Adobo - Regarded as the Filipino national dish; made of pork beef, poultry, seafood, vegetables
(or a combination of these) in a tangy sauce.
Afritada - Braised meat (pork or chicken) in tomato sauce.
Alamang - Very small shrimps usually made into bagoong.
Almondigas - Meatballs.
Ampalaya - Bitter melon, also known as amargoso. A gourd-like vegetable with green wrinkly
skin that has a bitter taste.
Alugbati - Fragrant, leafy green vegetable with purple stems.
Apulid - Water chestnuts. The Philippine varieties are smaller than the Chinese ones which are
more popular.
Arroz caldo - Philippine thick soup with rice, chicken or tripe.
Asado - To roast in Spanish; in Filipino cooking, to cook like a stew.
Atay - Liver.
Atis - Custard apple; sweet with many seeds, similar to chirimoya.
-=B=Baboy Pork.
Bacalao Dried salted codfish sold by the piece.
Bachoy A thick soup of variety meats and noodles.
Bagoong Shrimp or fish paste fermented in salt and used for seasoning.

Bangus Milkfish, the most popular fish in the Philippines, mainly cultivated in brackish fish
ponds; the wild ones caught in the ocean are called cabala. It is bony with a taste quite similar to
white fish.
Bawang- Garlic.
Binagoongan Any dish cooked with bagoong (shrimp paste).
Bibingka Rice cake with glutinous rice (malagkit) or rice flour (galapong).
Bihon Thin, white rice noodles, also known as rice vermicelli or rice sticks.
Bilo-bilo Marble sized balls of glutinous rice powder usually cooked in coconut milk and
brown syrup with pandan flavor.
Binagol A dessert of shredder taro, coconut milk, condensed milk, and eggs.
Binalot A meal wrapped in banana leaves; called maluto in Laguna.
Bistek Beef steak, sliced thin, marinated in soy cause and lemon juice, stir-fried and served
with sauted onions.
Budin - Bread pudding.
Buko Fresh, whole young coconut with tender meat; meat of young coconut.
Bulaklak ng Katuray large flowers of a native tree called katuray. The flowers are used in
salads with vinaigrette dressing.
Bulaklak ng Saging Purplish banana blossoms, usually sold dried and used as seasoning.
Bulanglang A regional dish mainly of vegetables boiled with broiled or fried fish and seasoned
with bagoong.
Bulalo Clear beet broth soup from beef shank and shin bones.
Buro Pickled

Butuan A variety of cooking banana with lots of tine black seeds when ripe.

Cadereta Spicy stew of beef or goat meat usually thickened with liver paste.
Caldo Spanish for broth, stock or soup. The term is commonly used in the Philippines to mean
Callos Spanish for tripe; the Filipino term is goto.
Camatis Tomato. Also spelled as Kamatis.
Camaro beetle-like insects about 2 inches long, usually found embedded on riverbanks during
the rainy season, a delicacy in Pampanga.
Camaron Spanish for shrimp; the Filipino term is hipon for small and medium shrimps; larger
ones or prawns are called sugpo.
Canton noodles deep fried, crisp, yellow egg noodles.
Carne Meat, usually beef.
Castaas Chestnuts.
Champorado Chocolate flavored rice porridge usually eaten with fried dilis (dried anchovies),
tuyo (dried salted fish) or tapa (dried meat).
Chitcharo Snow peas. Flat green peas eaten pods and all.
Chorizo de Bilbao Spicy sausage from Bilbao, Spain.Maybe substituted with an equal amount

of garlic sausage or pepperoni.

Cilantro Coriander or Chinese parsley.
Cocido Spanish stew adopted by Filipinos; a sauted version of nilaga.
-=D=Daing Sun-dried cured fish.
Dalag Mudfish. A common fresh water fish in the Philippines.
Dalandan Native oranges, small but sweet; green skinned even when ripe.
Danggit samara fish, dried flat, usually fried crisp.
Dayap Lime.
Dilao or dilaw Turmeric. Yellow, mild flavored ginger called galangal in Thai.
Dilis Small long jawed anchovies usually salted and dried. They are toasted in a small amount
of oil until brown and crispy and served as appetizers. Also available fresh.
Dinengdeng Assorted vegetable stew seasoned with bagoong.
Dinuguan A pork or chicken dish cooked in pigs blood or blood pudding.
Duhat Purplish berries often made into wine.
Dulong Very small white fish common in Southern Tagalog provinces.
Durian Fruit with a spiny shell and strong aroma; a delicacy in Mindanao.


Embutido A large sausage-like roll stuffed with meat, vegetables and eggs.
Empanada Turnovers with meat, poultry, seafood or jam filling.
Empanaditas Bite-sized turn overs.
Ensaymada Cheese buns usually topped with cheese, sugar and salted egg.
Escabeche Fried fish in a sweet-sour, spicy sauce.
Espasol Also called baybaye in the Visayas; toasted sticky rice flour and fresh young coconut
meat pounded or ground together and formed into long 6x1 cylinders, then rolled on toasted
rice flour and wrapped.
Estofado Spanish for braised meat dished with vegetables.
-=F=Fidelos Spanish for paste or noodles.
Five-spice powder Chinese spice mixture of ground star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, fennel
seeds, cloves, and cinnamon.
Frito Spanish for fried; the term commonly used by Filipinos is prito.
Flan Spanish for custard, as in Leche Flan milk and egg custard.
-=G=Gabi Taro root.
Galangal Thai for yellow ginger or turmeric, called dilaw in the Philippines.

Galapong Dough made from rice soaked in water, ground and drained in muslin cloth; used
for rice cakes.
Garbanzos Chick-peas.
Gata Coconut milk. Not the coconut water inside the coconut but the milk extracted when
coconut meat is grated and then pressed between the palms to squeeze out milk. A blender will
the job with less fuss.
Goto Filipino term for trip.
Guinamis a dessert made of pinipig (sticky rice pounded flat) and coconut.
Guinamos Salty fish paste commonly used in the Visayan Islands.
Guinataan Dishes cooked in coconut milk.
Guiniling ground, as in guiniling na karne or ground beef.
Guisa To saut; guisado sauted dish; guinisa sauting mixture.
Guisantes Peas.
Gulaman Gelatin from seaweeds called agar-agar. Sold in 6x1 dried strips or bars; keeps
indefinitely. Unflavored. Some are colored red or green.
Gulay Vegetables.
-=H=Halabos To steam-fry in a small amount of salted water until almost dry; no fat or oils is used.
Fresh shrimps are usually cooked this way.

Haleya Native dessert made of sweetened mashed purple yams or squash.

Halo-halo A mixture of sweetened fruits, gelatin, and beans served with shaved ice and milk,
and often topped with a scoop of ice cream.
Hamon Ham.
Hibe Dried shelled shrimps.
Hinalo A black rice cake usually prepared during the Christmas season in Laguna. It is made
with violet rice (pirurutung), which gives it its black color, glutinous rice flour, sugar and
coconut milk. It is stirred for hours (thus called hinalo meaning to stir) over very low heat until
think and chewy; takes almost a whole day to cook.
Hipon Shrimps.
Hito Cat fish or bull fish; black in color.
Hoisin Thick, reddish brown, sweet and spicy Chinese sauce usually used in Peking duck and
barbecue pork. It is made from soybeans, sugar, sesame, garlic, chili, and other spices.
Humba pork pieces stewed in fermented black bean or tangy soy sauce.
-=I=Inabrao a dish of broiled fish or pork boiled with vegetables and bagoong.
Inantala a salty snack made of glutinous rice, slat, and coconut milk, stirred over low heat;
thus the name inantala which means delayed.
Inasal Broiled.
Inihaw Charcoal-broiled or roasted.
Isda Fish.

Itlog Eggs.
Itlog-alat Salted eggs; usually ducks eggs pickled in saline solutions and then hard cooked.
The shell is usually colored in reddish maroon.
-=K=Kabute Mushrooms.
Kadios Purple pigeon pea pods popular in the Visayas.
Kakanin Native snacks.
Kalabasa Squash.
Kalamansi Very similar to lime in appearance but closer to lemon in taste.
Kalamay Native sweets usually made of sugar, coconut milk and glutinous rice. Also spelled
as Calamay.
Kalkag Dried whole shrimps, very small, usually stir fried. Also called calcag.
Kamias A small acidic fruit usually used in sinigang to give it a sour flavor.
Kamote Sweet potato or sweet yam, a common root crop in the Philippines. The tender leaves
also make an excellent vegetable or salad when steamed.
Kamoteng-kahoy Cassava. A root crop or tuber used as a staple in some regions in the
Philippines. Also used in desserts.
Kangkong A water plant the tender stems and leaves of which are commonly used as a
vegetable. Also known as swamp cabbage.

Kanduli A variety of catfish, gray and white in color.

Kaong Palm fruit usually cooked in syrup.
Kape Coffee. Well known local carieties are grown in Batangas.
Kare-kare A stew of oxtail or pork hocks and vegetables in peanut sauce; at times with tripe.
traditionally eaten with sauted bagoong.
Kasubha Dried petals of safflower plant used as yellow food coloring.
Kasuy Cashew. Pear-shaped, it is orange in-yellow when ripe with the seed from which
cashew nuts are taken growing outside the fruit.
Keso de bola Cheddar cheese shaped like a ball; queso de bola in Spanish.
Kesong Puti soft, elastic white cheese (somewhat similar in taste to cottage cheese) made from
carabao milk to which salt and vinegar are added to curdle it. Originally produced in Laguna and
sold wrapped in banana leaves.
Kilawin Uncooked pickled dishes, similar to kinilaw.
Kinchay Cilantro or coriander, Chinese parsley.
Kinilaw Fresh shelled shrimps or raw fish, sliced thin, marinated in lime juice or vinegar and
hot peppers; sometime with coconut milk.
Kroketas Croquettes.
Kulawo A dish common in Pila, Laguna, especially after a typhoon when many banana plants
are blown down by the wind. It is shredded fresh Butuan banana heart cooked in smoked

Kutsay Chives.
Kutsinta Steamed rice cake flavored with a very small amount of lye water.
-=L=Labong Bamboo shoots.
Labanos Icicle of white radish.
Labuyo tiny hot pepper. Also called siling labuyo.
Laing Taro leaves cooked in coconut milk and seasoned with bagoong.
Lambanog Distilled coconut or nipa palm wine.
Langka Jackfruit, also called nangka. An aromatic fruit related to the bread fruit found in the
Lanzones A tropical fruit that comes in grape-like bunches, has thin yellow skin when ripe and
sweet white flesh in sections. Seasonal.
Latik Brownish residue when coconut milk is cooked to the point where it turns to oil; used as
a tasty topping for native rice cakes.
Leche Spanish for milk.
Leche flan 0 Milk and egg custard baked or steamed in a caramel-lined pan.
Lechon To roast; also a while pig roasted over live coals.
Lengua Spanish for tongue; ox or calf tongue is commonly used.

Lihiya Cooking lye water used to flavor rice cakes.

Linga Sesame seeds.
Lomi Hawaiian for to knead as in Lomi Salmon Salad; in the Philippines, it is a type of flat
and wide Chinese noodles usually used in soups.
Lomo Tenderloin.
Longanisa Native sausage.
Lugaw Rice porridge; similar to the Chinese congee.
Lumpia A dish similar to the Chinese spring roll or the Indonesian loempia but the dough
wrapper used is paper thin and almost transparent. Rolls may contain vegetables, meat or
Luya Ginger. May be kept frozen indefinitely.
-=M=Macapuno A variety of coconut containing soft sticky meat instead of coconut water; a
coconut sport, usually sweetened and used for dessert.
Mais Corn. Introduced to the Philippines by the Spaniards via Mexico.
Maja Blanca native snack made of coconut milk thickened with rice flour or cornstarch and
flavored with lime zest or aniseed or anise.
Malagkit Glutinous, sticky, or sweet rice.
Mami Chicken noodle soup, Chinese style.

Mangga Mango, both unripe and ripe fruits are eaten.

Manok Chicken.
Maruya Sweet fritters usually of ripe cooking bananas or sweet potatoes.
Matamis na bao Coconut jam made of coconut milk and panocha.
Mechado Boneless roast with fat lardoons, braised and served with a spicy tomato sauce;
garnished with fired potatoes or bananas.
Menudo Dish of sauced diced pork and liver with chick peas.
Merienda A snack or a light meal eaten between regular meal.
Merienda Cena A late afternoon or early evening meal combining an afternoon snack and
Miki Broad wheat noodles made with egg.
Milagrosa A variety of long grain rice with an aroma like jasmine rice.
Minukmok A snack of mashed boiled unripe saba bananas, sugar, and young coconut; also
called nilupak.
Miso Think paste made from fermented soy beans and rice.
Misua Very fine, white noodles.
Mochiko A Japanese brand of sweet rice flour.
Morcon Stuffed rolled beef.

Munggo or monggo Mung beans. Tiny green beans sold dried by weight.
Mustasa Mustard greens.
-=N=Nata de coco Clear gelatin-like substance, but firmer, made from cultured coconut water;
usually sold bottled as cubed preserves in syrup.
Nata de pia Gelatin like preserves from cultured pineapple skins and sugar.
Nilaga Boiled; a simple boiled dish of mean or chicken with vegetables.
-=P=Paella Rice dish with chicken and seafood; of Spanish origin.
Paksiw A pickled dish of fish , pork hocks or left-over lechon.
Palayok Unglazed earthen cooking pot.
Palitaw Sticky rice dumplings, coated with grated coconut and served with sugar and toasted
sesame seeds.
Paminta Black pepper.
Paminton Paprika.
Panara A meat turnover popular in Pampanga.
Pancit A dish of noodles with meat and vegetables; may be dry or with broth.
Pandan leaf Frond of and aromatic pandanus plant usually cooked with rice and native cakes
to give them a unique fragrance, similar to vanilla, and a leafy green color.

Pan de sal A Small, oval shaped, salty buns, usually eaten for breakfast. It is top brown and
crusty outside but soft and fluffy inside.
Pan Americano White load bread also called pan de unan (literally, bread shaped like a
Panocha Unrefined brown sugar usually sold in solid round shapes.
Pastillas Molded candies in the shape of little rolls or bars.
Pata Pork of beef hocks.
Patis Clear amber colored sauce, usually a concentrate, from fermented salted fish or shrimps;
used as seasoning or as a dipping sauce.
Pato Duck.
Patola Gourd-like vegetable but with a thicker skin; about the size of a cucumber and tastes
like zucchini.
Pechay Vegetable with dark green leaves and think white stalks; usually has yellow flowers.
Also called bok choy.
Pesa A soup dish of fish or chicken with vegetables and ginger root.
Pili Almond-like nuts but soft in texture, grown in the Bicol region.
Pia Pineapple.
Pinakbet A dish of boiled vegetables and pork seasoned with bagoong.
Pinaltok Sticky rice balls cooked in syrup. Also called pinindot or palitaw.

Pinamarhan Pickled fish cooked until almost dry.

Pinangat A regional fish dish which is boiled in the Luzon area but steamed in the Bicol and
Visayan regions.
Pinasugbu Sun-dried banana chips glazed with caramel.
Pinipig Roasted unripe glutinous rice pounded flat; also called green rice.
Pipino Tagalog for Cucumber.
Pollo Spanish for chicken.
Pochero Beef or chicken or pork stewed with Spanish sausage, chick peas, potatoes and other
vegetables; served with a tangy eggplant sauce.
Pusit Squid.
Puto - Steamed muffins.
Puto bumbong Purple rice cake cooked in bamboo tubes.
Puto maya Sticky rice cakes topped with grated fresh coconut.
-=R=Rebosado Breaded or dipped in batter and then fried.
Relleno Any stuffed fish of seafood.
-=S=Saba Cooking bananas similar to plantain but smaller and sweeter.

Saging Bananas.
Sago Tapioca.
Salabat A native beverage made by boiling ginger root, water and panocha or brown sugar.
Salitre Saltpeter used as a preservative for meats; now considered unhealthy.
Saluyot A leafy green vegetable similar to spinach in appearance but turns slippery like okra
when cooked.
Sampaloc Tamarind.
Sangke or Sangque Chinese star anise with a licorice taste.
Santol Thin-skinned tropical fruit with large seeds and white, sweet-sour pulp, eaten fresh; the
yellow skin is usually candied.
Sapin-sapin Multi layered, multicolored sticky rice cake.
Sarsa Gravy or sauce.
Saut Fresh for stir fry; the term is often used the Philippines for stir fry.
Sayote Chayote.
Sibuyas Onion.
Sibuyas Tagalog Shallots. Small reddish onion with a sweet-pungent flavor.
Sibuyas Mura Green onions.

Sigarilyas Winged beans. Also spelled as sigarillas or sigadillas.

Sili Pepper.
Siling Labuyo Small hot chili pepper.
Sinangag Fried in a small amount of fat or oil; usually referring to fried rice.
Sinanglay A dish of broiled fish cooked with coconut milk, pechay and chilies.
Sinapaw Tender leafy greens placed on top of cooking rice to steam them.
Sinigang A sour soup of meats or seafood and vegetables.
Sinugba Visayan for broiled.
Sinukmani Sticky rice slowly cooked in coconut milk and brown sugar, stirred continuously
until dark brown and chewy.
Siopao Steamed buns with meat filling; of Chinese origin.
Sitao Thin yard long beans usually green or purple; also called snake beans.
Sitsaron Crisp pork rind or pork cracklings usually made from pork belly or skin; called
sitsarong bulaklak when made from fried intestines.
Sofrito A sauted mixture of garlic, onions and tomatoes, similar to guinisa.
Sotanghon Noodles made from ground mung-beans; transparent and slippery when cooked.
Also called cellophane noodles of bean thread.

Suman Sticky rice and coconut milk steamed in banana or palm leaves.
Suka Vinegar; has many varieties made from rice, coconut water, coconut sap, sugar cane, or
other palm spas.
-=T=Taba ng talangka Reddish yellow fat from a variety of small crabs.
Tahure or tahuri Fermented soy beans paste.
Taingang Daga Clouds ears or black wood ears. A cultivated fungus sold dried by weight.
When soaked, it doubles in size and turns velvety brown; gives a crisp texture to dishes.
Tahong Mussels.
Talbos Young, tender leaves of vegetables, usually the tops.
Talong Eggplant.
Tamales A dish of heavily spiced rice paste with pork, chicken and hard cooked eggs usually
steamed in banana leaves or corn husk.
Tanglad Lemon grass.
Tapa Dried cured meat, usually fried in a small amount of fat.
Tausi Strongly flavored and salted fermented black beans.
Tempura Japanese style fritters of seafood or vegetables in very light batter.
Tilapia Tropical fresh water fish, mainly cultivated in ponds.

Tinapa Smoked fish.

Togue Mung bean sprouts.
Tokwa Firm soy bean curd sold in square caked; also called tofu.
Torta- Omelet; tortilla small omelet.
Tosino Philippine bacon.
Totong Guinataan snacks of sticky rice and toasted mung beans.
Toyo Soy sauce. Salty, almost black liquid made from fermented soybeans, wheat, yeast and
salt. Philippine cooking uses Chinese, Japanese or Philippine soy sauces which are naturally
aged and have a special flavor not found in chemically made soy sauce.
Tsaa Tea.
Tsokolate Chocolate.
Tuba A mildly alcoholic drink from coconut sap; also called coconut toddy.
Turrones Rolls of honey and net paste which are wrapped in paper-thin egg white wafers; of
Spanish origin.
Tuyo Small fish, dried and salted whole, often fried in a small amount of oil; traditionally
considered a poo mans meat. Kanin at tuyo (rice and tuyo_ being the proverbial peasants daily
-=U=Ube A variety of sweet yam that is purple in color.
Ubod Heart of pith of a palm tree or coconut tree used as a vegetable.

Ukoy Vegetable and shrimp fritters.

Ulam Food usually eaten with plain boiled rice can be meat, fish, vegetable, fruit or even
salt; commonly referred to in the Philippines as viand.
Untosinsal Leaf lard or cold fat.
Upo Bottle-shaped gourd, similar to chayote or sayote in taste.
Utap A type of crisp biscuits popular in the Visayas.
-=W=Wansoy Fresh Chinese coriander.
-=Y=Yemas Caramel coated candies made of egg yolks and condensed milk.