When traveling to the province of Abra in the Philippines, you’ll be delighted by a wide variety of local dishes and delicacies. From savory meat dishes to sweet desserts, there’s something for everyone.
Abra in the Philippines offers a diverse culinary scene worth exploring. Don’t miss trying the unique Pinikpikan and flavorful Dinakdakan. The classic Pakbet, hearty Sinanglaw, and traditional Adobo are also must-tries, along with the local sausage specialty Longganisa and sweet rice cake Tupig. Finally, savor the delicious Pancit Abra, a flavorful noodle dish.
Here are 10 dishes that you should try when visiting Abra.
1. Pinikpikan – A Unique Local Delicacy
Pinikpikan is a unique local delicacy in the Cordillera region of the Philippines, particularly in Abra. It is a chicken dish prepared by repeatedly beating a live chicken with a stick until it is bruised and tender. This process is known as “pikpik,” hence the name Pinikpikan.
The chicken is then cooked in a flavorful broth with vegetables and spices, resulting in a rich and aromatic dish. Pinikpikan is often served during special occasions or as a traditional remedy for common illnesses, believed to have healing properties due to the unique preparation process. While controversial, Pinikpikan is an important cultural dish and a must-try for adventurous foodies visiting Abra.
2. Dinakdakan – A Flavorful Pork Dish
Dinakdakan is a flavorful pork dish that originated in the Ilocos region of the Philippines but has since become popular throughout the country. The dish is made from boiled and grilled pork parts such as ears, liver, and face, which are then chopped and mixed with onions, vinegar, calamansi juice, and chili peppers. The result is a tangy and spicy dish with a slightly crunchy texture.
What sets Dinakdakan apart from other pork dishes is its use of pig’s brain as a creamy and flavorful binder. This ingredient adds a unique richness to the dish, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. While Dinakdakan may not be for everyone, it is a must-try for those who love bold flavors and are willing to explore the diverse culinary landscape of the Philippines.
3. Pakbet – A Classic Filipino Vegetable Stew
Pakbet is a classic Filipino vegetable stew that features a medley of locally grown vegetables such as eggplant, bitter melon, okra, tomatoes, and squash. The dish is typically cooked with bagoong or fermented fish paste, which adds a savory umami flavor to the vegetables. The combination of fresh vegetables and salty fish paste creates a unique and delicious dish that’s both healthy and flavorful.
Pakbet is a staple in many Filipino households, often served as a side dish to complement grilled or fried meats. It is also a popular vegetarian option for those looking for a meat-free meal. Pakbet’s simplicity and versatility make it a beloved dish throughout the Philippines, and a must-try for anyone visiting Abra or other regions of the country.
4. Sinanglaw – A Hearty Beef Soup
Sinanglaw is a hearty beef soup that originated in the Ilocos region of the Philippines but has become a popular dish throughout the country. It is made from beef tripe, liver, and other internal organs that are boiled until tender, then mixed with onions, garlic, ginger, and vinegar. The result is a rich and flavorful soup that’s perfect for warming up on a cold day.
What sets Sinanglaw apart from other beef soups is its use of bile, a digestive fluid extracted from the cow’s gallbladder, which adds a slightly bitter and tangy flavor to the dish. This ingredient, along with the beef’s natural umami flavor, gives Sinanglaw a unique taste that’s both comforting and satisfying. While Sinanglaw may not be for everyone, it is a must-try for those looking to explore the diverse culinary landscape of the Philippines.
5. Inabraw – A Bitter Melon-based Dish
Inabraw is a popular dish in the Ilocos region of the Philippines, particularly in Abra. It is a vegetable stew made with bitter melon, also known as ampalaya, and other locally grown vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, and onions. The dish is often seasoned with fish sauce or bagoong, a fermented fish paste, which adds a salty and savory flavor to the vegetables.
Inabraw is a healthy and nutritious dish that’s rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Bitter melon is known for its bitter taste, but it’s also believed to have numerous health benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels and improving digestion. Inabraw’s unique combination of bitter and savory flavors, along with its health benefits, make it a must-try dish for anyone visiting Abra or other regions of the Philippines.
6. Adobo – The Philippines’ National Dish
Adobo is widely regarded as the national dish of the Philippines and is a popular and beloved dish throughout the country. It is made by marinating meat, usually chicken or pork, in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and other spices before cooking it in the marinade. The result is a tangy and savory dish with a tender and juicy texture.
Adobo has a long history in the Philippines and has become a cultural icon, representing the country’s diverse culinary heritage. It is often served at family gatherings and special occasions, as well as in restaurants and food stalls across the country. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, no visit to the Philippines is complete without trying a plate of adobo.
7. Igado – A Savory Pork and Liver Dish
Igado is a savory pork and liver dish that originated in the Ilocos region of the Philippines but has since become popular throughout the country. The dish is made by cooking pork belly and liver in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, onions, and spices, which gives it a tangy and slightly sweet flavor. Igado is often served with rice and a side of vegetables, making it a hearty and satisfying meal.
What sets Igado apart from other pork dishes is its use of liver, which gives the dish a unique texture and flavor. The dish is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, and many consider it a must-try when visiting Abra or other regions of the Philippines. If you’re a fan of bold and savory flavors, be sure to add Igado to your list of Filipino dishes to try.
8. Longganisa – A Local Sausage Specialty
Longganisa is a local sausage specialty that is widely enjoyed throughout the Philippines, including in the province of Abra. It is made from ground pork that is seasoned with a mixture of garlic, vinegar, salt, and pepper and is often sweetened with sugar or pineapple juice. The mixture is then stuffed into casings and left to cure for several hours before being cooked.
Longganisa is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It is often served for breakfast with eggs and rice or as a filling for sandwiches or wraps. It can also be grilled or pan-fried and served as an appetizer or side dish. Longganisa’s unique blend of sweet and savory flavors, along with its versatility, has made it a beloved dish in the Philippines and a must-try for anyone visiting Abra or other regions of the country.
9. Tupig – A Sweet Rice Cake to End Your Meal
Tupig is a sweet rice cake that is commonly found in the Philippines, particularly in the northern region of the country. It is made by mixing glutinous rice with coconut milk and sugar, then wrapping the mixture in banana leaves and grilling it over an open flame. The result is a chewy and fragrant rice cake with a slightly smoky flavor.
Tupig is often served as a dessert or snack and is the perfect way to end a meal. It is typically enjoyed with a cup of hot tea or coffee and can be found in many local markets and food stalls in Abra and other regions of the Philippines. If you have a sweet tooth and enjoy trying new and unique desserts, be sure to give Tupig a try during your visit.
10. Pancit Abra – A Flavorful Noodle Dish
Pancit Abra is a flavorful noodle dish that is a staple in the province of Abra in the Philippines. It is made by stir-frying thin rice noodles with a variety of meats and vegetables, including pork, chicken, cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers. The dish is seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, and onions, which gives it a rich and savory flavor.
Pancit Abra is often served at special occasions and celebrations, such as weddings and fiestas. It is also a popular dish in local restaurants and food stalls. The dish is known for its hearty and satisfying flavor, as well as its colorful presentation, with the various meats and vegetables creating a vibrant mix of textures and colors. If you’re looking to try a classic Filipino noodle dish during your visit to Abra, be sure to give Pancit Abra a try.
Visiting the province of Abra in the Philippines is an exciting opportunity to explore a unique culinary scene filled with delicious dishes. From classic adobo to bold Pinikpikan, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for hearty soups or flavorful desserts, Abra has it all. Be sure to try some of these 10 dishes when visiting Abra and discover a whole new level of culinary delight. Bon appetite!