Let us take you on a food trip through the rich culinary landscape of Northern, Central, and Southern Luzon! With these recipes, you can learn how to cook these Filipino dishes at home.
Ilocos (Northern Luzon)
Ilocano cuisine reflects their habit of frugality. In cooking, it means minimizing waste and making the most of your produce and ingredients.
“Many Ilocano dishes use innards. Think about it: igado, dinuguan, dinakdakan all use innards even if these parts are often thrown away,” says Chef Mira Angeles.
These Ilocano recipes are home cook-friendly—a simple gisa, or saute, will bring these all together. Make your way to your local market for the best ingredients, too.
This dish, which is notorious for having an uncanny name, is a prime example of making humble ingredients shine with flavor. Made with vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, and eggs, poqui poqui stands out as a flavorful meatless dish.
The name of this dish is derived from the Spanish word for “liver.” You can probably guess why—Igado is made with a mix of pork tenderloin and pork liver! Remember to clean the innards thoroughly before cooking this stew.
Dig into this luscious Ilocano favorite and all its glory: pig ears, pig face, and pig brain in a quick saute with fresh vegetables brings this dish together.
Pampanga (Central Luzon)
When it comes to food from Pampanga, Chef Claude Tayag knows best:
“I would describe it as a symphony of subtle, sweet flavors combined in different proportions to make our food taste delicious—linamnam is what we always go for,” he says.
“Locals in Pampanga were always exposed to foreign trade and influence, which then carried over to how food was prepared. What’s amazing about Filipinos in this region is that they adapted to the diversity of international cuisine that was present in Pampanga, while not forgetting pre-Hispanic and traditional cooking techniques.”
Give these recipes a go at home—they are more simple than you think!
Pork sisig is the ultimate Filipino bar chow. Whip it up with a mix of pork belly, pork face, and pork ears for a savory, tasty treat. Level it up with a sizzling plate and an egg!
This chicken asado takes after a cooking habit that is always evident in dishes from Pampanga: taking simple ingredients and highlighting their natural flavors with perfect seasoning. Here, it is important to use fresh tomatoes and stew them slowly with chicken to create bold flavor.
Pampanga’s geographical position at the heart of trade centers in Central Luzon made its people predisposed to foreign ingredients and cooking techniques. Bringhe is a simplified Filipino version of Spanish paella, made with local ingredients!
Bicol (Southern Luzon)
Sili (bird’s eye chilies) and gata (coconut milk) are ingredients that you will often find in Bicolano cuisine—and for good reason!
These dishes are packed with heat, but are also earthy and creamy from the use of coconut milk and the freshest produce. Recreate these Bicolano masterpieces at home!
The secret to the best laing? Leave it to simmer gently for more than an hour to allow the flavors to develop.
Originating from the town of Bato in Camarines Sur, this dish is Bicol’s version of the popular pancit canton. The noodles used are also yellow and made with egg, but are flatter and thicker.
Kinunot translates to “flaked,” so this dish, traditionally made with sting ray, is made up of flaked fish cooked in coconut milk along with malunggay and other aromatics. The vinegar gives it a good kick!