Batchoy, Humba, And More: Which Of These Regional Dishes Do You Miss Most?

Go on a virtual food trip with these dishes. We have recipes!
La paz batchoy topped with chicken, toasted garlic and shallots, and pork bits in a mustard bowl

Nostalgia can be the reason why you’re missing certain food. The dishes you grew up eating at the dinner table and loved to eat whenever it was served will and can leave an indelible mark on your taste buds as well as your memory. Or that regional dish you tried out on your last vacation? It may be awhile before we travel again and yearning for those tasty eats is not unusual. 

If you are feeling nostalgic in this new normal, take a trip around the Philippines for a taste of regional dishes:      

Photo by Riell Santos

1 Iloilo: La Paz-Style Batchoy Recipe 

Filipinos seem to love the batchoy. There are at least two other versions of this soup recipe: a Kapampangan recipe and a Tagalog one. Each of these recipes is different from the other. The Tagalog version uses misua instead of egg noodles while the northern version is doesn’t even have noodles at all. 


What makes this batchoy from Iloilo unique from the other kinds of noodle soup recipes we have? This version is a chicken and pork soup with thick noodles, strips of pork, chicken, liver, fried crispy garlic, fried crispy onions, crushed chicharon, and if desired, a whole egg, so this soup bowl is definitely heartier. 

Photo by Bianca Laxamana

2 Bacolod: Inasal na Manok Recipe 

No Manileño can possibly grasp the recipe as perfectly as those in Visayas but it doesn’t stop them from trying to recreate chicken inasal. For those who have tasted the real thing in Bacolod, no recipe might ever compare but for those of us who can only dream of it, these recipes will have to do.  

The other similar dish that you might be familiar with is its sour soup or sinigang recipes. There are at least two versions that are popular in Negros Occidental: the kansi and the KBL or kadyos, baboy, at langka dishes. Both dishes contain the regional fruit the batuan, a regional fruit that bears a striking flavor to that of the sampaloc or tamarind


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Photo by Karishma Etong

4 Davao: Humba Recipe 

Davao is a huge province and an even larger city than that of Metro Manila. Surprisingly, the most popular dish we know is the humba, a version of the adobo that is sweeter than it is salty and is usually the pata or the hind pork leg cut that’s used in this recipe.

Photo by Majoy Siason

5 Bulacan: Inipit Recipe   

Not all places can say that it is famous for a dessert. In Bulacan where many dishes are quite popular in this part of the Philippines, which include the chicken pakam, a simple chicken stew simmered in fresh tomatoes, vinegar, and patis, it is also famous for its bibingkang malagkit as well as its cake sandwich, the inipit cake. 


The inipit is a dessert with a sweet yema filling is pressed between two sponge cakes. However, this isn’t your ordinary sponge cake. It’s got a secret ingredient in the cake batter that makes it delicious and unique: mashed potatoes. This inipit is said to be the invention of Salome P. De Ramos of Malolos, Bulacan. 

Photo by Mark Jesalva

6 Cebu: Bam-i Pancit Recipe 

Many dishes from the central Visayas are similar to the dishes you might see in other parts of the Philippines. The dish that spans the country in many variations might just be the adobo as well the different kinds of pancit. In Cebu, there is one version that is quite unique in its own right: the bam-i or pancit bisaya. 

This pancit recipe is a combination of two kinds of noodles, not just one! The bam-i uses both the sotanghon as well as the canton or egg noodles in the recipe. 

Photo by Majoy Siason

7 Mindanao: Beef Kulma Recipe

Beef kulma is essentially a beef stew simmered in rich coconut milk. That’s not all. This won’t be a Mindanaoan dish if it didn’t have some spiced thrown in! In this recipe, the kulma is a Muslim dish that’s creamy, super flavorful, and rich in both taste and spices from the lemongrass, curry spices, and tomatoes. This regional beef stew also has peanut butter, making this taste even creamier! 

Another Tausug recipe that is quite popular is the chicken pyanggang or chicken in blackened coconut curry sauce. This black dish may not look appetizing because of its ashen color but the burnt coconut is the star flavor of this dish! The spices mixed to create the curry sauce is quite unlike any that you may ever taste elsewhere and is an experience that you may want to try when you do visit the south.  

Photo by Bianca Laxamana

8 Pateros/Taguig: Inutak Recipe

The tiny town of Pateros is more popular for its duck eggs, both the balut (boiled fertilized duck eggs) and the itlog na maalat (salted eggs). However, it’s also home to a kakanin that takes its name from a rather unusual body part: the brain. Called inutak because of its alleged resemblance to brain matter, this is a no-bake kakanin that’s super gooey, sweet, and super delicious, especially when charred under the broiler.

Heed the local’s advice and serve this with some local ice cream for the best inutak experience yet. 

Many dishes around the Philippines are delicious but have yet to be discovered by the majority of those in Metro Manila! Do you know a regional dish that you love? Share it with us so we can feature your beloved province’s dish with everyone. 


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