Filipino food is jam-packed with flavor! We love dishes that are combinations of flavors.
Examples of this common characteristic of our cuisine span our breakfast to dinner dishes. Pinoy food incorporates contrasting flavors and textures, which is just one of the reasons why Pinoy dishes are so irresistible.
If it’s sweet, such as pork tocino or sweet hamonado longganisa for breakfast, this is commonly paired with a vinegar dip. If our dish is salty, we love adding an element of sourness such as the chicken and pork adobo. We also love the contrast of textures as well as flavors which we see in our love for pairing salty and crispy tuyo with soft and sweet champorado.
That’s why when it comes to planning meals around Filipino food, it means having lots of flavor and contrasting textures and tastes in almost every meal. You’ll never get bored with this exciting and definitely flavorful meal plan either.
Apart from salt and ground pepper, here’s what you need to buy for this meal plan:
- • 1 kilogram beef shank, bone-in, bulalo cut
- • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- • 1 small cabbage, quartered
- • 1/4 cup fresh calamansi juice
- • 4 pieces chicken breasts
- • 1/2 kilogram chicken legs
- • 1 whole chicken
- • 2 tablespoons cilantro
- • 3 fresh corn cobs
- • 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon patis (fish sauce)
- • 400 grams cream dory fish fillets
- • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- • 1 cup gabi (taro root)
- • 2 heads garlic
- • 1/2 tablespoon ginger
- • 1/2 cup sitaw (green beans)
- • 1 piece green siling Tagalog (chili)
- • 3 bunches kang kong (water spinach)
- • 3 pieces laurel or bay leaves
- • 1 cup lechon sauce
- • 1 teaspoon liquid seasoning
- • 1 154-can evaporated milk
- • 1 284-gram can mushrooms, pieces and stems
- • 3/4 cup oil
- • 1/2 cup okra
- • 1 medium + 1 small red onion
- • 2 tablespoons white onion
- • 1 bunch pechay Tagalog
- • 1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- • 1/2 kilogram liempo (pork belly), cubed
- • 1/2 kilogram liempo (pork belly), lechon kawali cut
- • 1/2 kilogram pork, sinigang cut (large chunks)
- • 1/4 cup labanos (white radish)
- • 1/4 cup rock salt
- • 4 tablespoons sinigang na gabi mix
- • 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
- • 1 teaspoon sugar, brown
- • 1 medium tomato, native
- • 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons white vinegar
If you can’t get enough Filipino food, you’ll love trying out this ulam Pinoy meal plan for a week! Aside from these affordable dinner ideas, we offer a few leftover recipe ideas to create new meals with whatever is left from the dish. Not only that, we break down current online supermarket prices per serving. These Pinoy budget meal recipes commonly serve a family of four, so at these prices, you know exactly how much you are spending for the week on food per person:
Monday: Lechon Paksiw Recipe (P48/serving)
Did you have lechon kawali last weekend? Perfect! Time to transform any leftover lechon kawali into a whole new dish: the lechon paksiw. While you normally would use leftover lechon from some celebration, the home-cooked lechon kawali is much easier to have and cook on a weekly basis.
The good news is that even if you didn’t have any leftover lechon kawali, you can still make this dish using pork belly cuts. Just simmer until tender just like you would normally do, but for a longer period of time in more water.
Want even better news? If you made pork adobo instead last weekend, you can use that instead of lechon kawali. How’s that for a versatile yet low-budget ulam Pinoy recipe?
Tuesday: Chicken and Pork Adobo Recipe (P67.50/serving)
You’ll love the fact that the ingredients you just used to make the lechon paksiw the day before are almost the same ingredients you’ll need for today’s chicken and pork adobo recipe. The main difference is the main flavor profile. While the paksiw is sweet and tangy from the sugar and vinegar, the adobo meanwhile is loaded with salty and sour flavors, this time from the soy sauce and the vinegar.
If you want to tweak this recipe so you have something similar but still delicious for the next meal, try adding star anise for a Chinese-inspired version or even gata or coconut milk to make adobo sa gata. You gotta love the creamy contrast of flavors that this brings to this vinegar-based recipe! If however, all you have left is the sauce, you can enjoy the best Filipino breakfast you can make using that leftover adobo sauce: adobo fried rice!
Wednesday: Bulalo Recipe (P145.50/serving)
One of the easiest ways of cooking meat is to use a pressure cooker or an electric multicooker. These appliances are basically your ticket to bringing the food to a simmer and then leaving it to tenderize your meat on its own in an hour or even less. It all depends on what meat you have in the pot.
For bulalo or the beef shank, it’s a whole cut of beef but what’s fantastic about it are the rivulets of tendon that run through it. This makes it super easy to tenderize compared to other cuts of meat. The result is faster cooking time and super tender and flavorful broth.
If you have leftover bulalo with more sabaw (soup) than meat, you can turn it into a delicious lugaw or rice porridge. If you have an excess of meat, you can make creamy mushroom sauce to go with it. Alternatively, you can also flake it and turn it into crispy bulalo flakes as if it were adobo! You’ll definitely want that for breakfast!
Thursday: Pork Sinigang Recipe (P57/serving)
Sinigang is always going to be a favorite among the many kinds of soup recipes. The tangy sampaloc or tamarind soup is just deliciously unique! You can make this in many ways using different kinds of meat.
It can be classic with shrimp, with hearty pork chunks, or even make it with canned meat like SPAM! You can even tweak the soup itself to be heartier and more flavorful! Use miso or gabi to thicken the soup or swap out the sampaloc for other tangy ingredients such as green mango, guava, or even batuan or batwan for the regional Ilonggo version.
Leftover sinigang can still be a main dish or a side dish if only the veggies are left. You can also turn that into a super flavorful rice meal, too!
Friday: Calamansi Fish Fillet Recipe (P12.60/serving)
Fish fillets are the fast and easy-to-eat fish to cook. There are no bones to worry about, no scales to remove, and it’s all just delicious succulent fish. You can of course have your choice of fish filleted by your local vendor but you can also grab the frozen cream dory fillets that are affordable and no fuss to shop.
This is a super simple fish recipe but the flavor is what makes this tasty. You can steam the fish or coat it in a batter, dredge in flour, or press crushed crackers before frying and it will crisp up wonderfully. Then just season it with squeezes of the calamansi. You can also try coating it with another kind of sauce so you can experience a delicious Chinese-inspired dish at home.
Saturday: Air Fryer Max’s-Style Fried Chicken Recipe (P42/serving)
The air fryer is the quarantine kitchen appliance. It air fries food without the need for excess oil and can even fry without extra oil! It’s super easy to use, and there is no danger of dreaded oil splatters. Plus, since it is contained in a basket, everything you fry is easily cooked. What we particularly love about this appliance is that small portions are easily made since the basket encourages you to make small portions.
Try this air fryer recipe using chicken or you can try it with a lechon kawali cut, too.
Sunday: Creamy Chicken With Mushrooms and Kang Kong Recipe (P59/serving)
Creamy chicken recipes are addictive for a reason. First, there’s the creamy texture. Then there’s the chicken that is commonly fried until golden brown so if fried chicken is your weakness, that alone should lure you in. Then, there are the delicious mushrooms that make up the flavor of the creamy sauce. Umami is the main flavor that delivers the irresistible taste of these humble caps.
You can keep it simple or you can amp up the flavors with garlic, use kang kong for an appetizing green, or add sliced lemons and capers for a piccata dish that might become your new favorite creamy chicken dish with its bright tang.
Leftovers will be delicious when shredded and used as a spread for pandesal the next day.