If you’re a seafood lover looking to explore Filipino cuisine, you won’t be disappointed. In this guide, we introduce you to five must-try Filipino seafood dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From Adobo na Bangus to Kinilaw na Tuna, get ready to embark on a seafood adventure.
There is a delicious Filipino seafood dish waiting to be discovered — and here are five of the best. So if you’re ready to tantalize your taste buds, keep reading to learn more about these must-try Filipino seafood dishes.
Filipino Cuisine and Seafood Dishes
Filipino Cuisine is the most unique variation of cuisine you can find, using some of the most interesting ingredients from all over Southeast Asia. This cuisine infuses a mix of Spanish and Chinese cooking styles, with different variations depending on region.
Seafood dishes are one of the staples of Filipino Cuisine, using fish, shrimp and crab as the main ingredients to form incredibly delicious dishes. The end result is an incredible mixture of flavors unlike anything else you will find in any other cuisine in the world.
Adobo na Bangus (Adobo-style Milkfish)
Adobo na Bangus is a unique version of the classic Filipino dish called ‘adobo’. This version, commonly referred to as ‘Adobo-style Milkfish’, is made with ingredients found in the traditional adobo recipe including garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper and bay leaves.
The difference in this version lies in the use of fresh milkfish and its marinating process which includes massaging it thoroughly before adding the mixture of sauces. It is then simmered until the oil from the fish has been cooked out and most importantly, until it has a burst of flavor.
Tips on Making Delicious Adobo na Bangus
Adobo na Bangus is a classic Filipino dish that is known for its rich and savory flavor. Here are five tips on how to make a delicious Adobo na Bangus:
- Choose fresh and high-quality milkfish. To make a delicious Adobo na Bangus, you need to use fresh and high-quality milkfish. Look for fish that has bright eyes, firm flesh, and a clean smell. If you can, buy fresh fish from a local fish market or grocery store.
- Marinate the fish for at least 30 minutes. The key to flavorful Adobo na Bangus is marinating the fish in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. This marinade infuses the fish with flavor and helps to tenderize it. For best results, marinate the fish for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Cook the fish gently over low heat. Milkfish is a delicate fish, and it can become tough and dry if overcooked. To prevent this, cook the fish gently over low heat until it is just cooked through. This will keep the fish moist and tender.
- Add vegetables to the dish. Adobo na Bangus is traditionally served with a side of vegetables like onions, tomatoes, and green beans. These vegetables not only add flavor and nutrition to the dish but also complement the richness of the fish.
- Let the dish rest before serving. Like most stews, Adobo na Bangus tastes even better the next day. After cooking, let the dish cool down and store it in the fridge overnight. This will allow the flavors to meld together and create a more complex and delicious flavor. When reheating the dish, do it slowly over low heat to prevent the fish from becoming tough.
Sinigang na Hipon (Sour Shrimp Soup)
Sinigang na Hipon (Sour Shrimp Soup) is a distinctively Filipino soup cooked in a sour-sweet broth, generally made from tamarind. It has become one of the most popular Filipino cuisines, with many variations per region in the Philippines.
A typical version of Sinigang na Hipon includes shrimp heads, vegetable greens, okra and slices of tomatoes as some of its ingredients. There are also versions that use other types of seafood such as fish or squid as an alternate to shrimp. The resulting soup is typically very flavorful and sour due to being cooked with tamarind.
Tips on Making Sinigang na Hipon
Sinigang na Hipon is a popular Filipino dish that is known for its tangy and savory flavor. Here are five tips on how to make delicious Sinigang na Hipon:
- Choose fresh and high-quality shrimp. To make a flavorful Sinigang na Hipon, you need to use fresh and high-quality shrimp. Look for shrimp that is firm, bright in color, and has a sweet aroma. If you can, buy fresh shrimp from a local fish market or grocery store.
- Use tamarind or other souring agents for the soup base. The sour taste is the key to Sinigang’s unique flavor. Traditionally, tamarind is used as the souring agent, but you can also use other ingredients like calamansi, kamias, or guava. Start with a small amount of souring agent and adjust to your liking.
- Add vegetables for flavor and nutrition. Sinigang na Hipon is typically made with a variety of vegetables like onions, tomatoes, eggplant, okra, and spinach. These vegetables add flavor and nutrition to the dish and complement the sourness of the soup.
- Don’t overcook the shrimp. Shrimp cooks quickly, so it’s important not to overcook them. Add the shrimp to the soup towards the end of the cooking process and cook for just a few minutes until they turn pink and opaque. Overcooking the shrimp can make them tough and rubbery.
- Adjust seasoning to your taste. The sourness of Sinigang na Hipon can vary depending on the type and amount of souring agent you use. Adjust the seasoning to your liking by adding more salt, fish sauce, or souring agent as needed. You can also add chili for a bit of heat, or sugar to balance out the sourness. Taste and adjust until you achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
Inihaw na Pusit (Grilled Squid)
Inihaw na Pusit is a type of Filipino seafood dish that has been around for generations. The squid is marinated in a mixture of citrus juice and calamansi, garlic, ginger, and onion for added flavor before being skewered and grilled to perfection.
The savory yet slightly smoky flavors created by the grill further enhance the traditional seasoning and make this traditional finger food incredibly delicious. It is best served with rice or enjoyed as an appetizer or snack. This flavorful dish is sure to make any meal truly special.
Tips on Making Inihaw na Pusit
Inihaw na Pusit, or grilled squid, is a classic Filipino dish that is loved for its smoky and savory flavor. Here are five tips on how to make delicious Inihaw na Pusit:
- Choose fresh and high-quality squid. To make delicious Inihaw na Pusit, you need to use fresh and high-quality squid. Look for squid that is firm, bright in color, and has a clean smell. If you can, buy fresh squid from a local fish market or grocery store.
- Clean and prepare the squid properly. Cleaning the squid can be a bit tricky, but it’s essential for a delicious dish. Remove the head and tentacles from the body, and gently pull out the internal organs. Rinse the squid thoroughly in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Marinate the squid in a flavorful mixture. Marinating the squid will infuse it with flavor and help to tenderize it. You can use a simple marinade of soy sauce, calamansi juice, garlic, and pepper. Let the squid marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Grill the squid over high heat. Inihaw na Pusit is traditionally grilled over hot charcoal or a gas grill. The high heat will give the squid a smoky and charred flavor. Grill the squid for just a few minutes on each side until it is cooked through but still tender.
- Serve with a dipping sauce. Inihaw na Pusit is typically served with a dipping sauce made with vinegar, soy sauce, chili, and onions. This dipping sauce adds extra flavor and acidity to the dish and complements the smoky flavor of the squid. Serve the dipping sauce on the side, or pour it over the squid before serving.
Ginataang Alimango (Crab Cooked in Coconut Milk)
Originating from the Philippines, Ginataang Alimango is a traditional dish made of crab cooked in coconut milk. The intense flavor of the crabs combines with the fragrant creaminess of the coconut milk to create an unforgettable taste experience.
While it is generally served as a main course, it can easily be altered to become a unique starter or side dish with different types of accompaniments. Moreover, its vibrant color presentation and complex texture makes it an ideal choice for entertaining guests.
Tips on Making Ginataang Alimango
Ginataang Alimango, or crab cooked in coconut milk, is a creamy and flavorful Filipino dish that is perfect for seafood lovers. Here are five tips on how to make delicious Ginataang Alimango:
- Choose fresh and high-quality crabs. To make delicious Ginataang Alimango, you need to use fresh and high-quality crabs. Look for crabs that are heavy for their size, have intact shells, and smell fresh. If you can, buy live crabs from a local fish market or grocery store.
- Clean and prepare the crabs properly. Cleaning crabs can be a bit messy, but it’s essential for a delicious dish. Remove the top shell and gills from the crabs, and clean out the insides. Rinse the crabs thoroughly in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Use fresh coconut milk. Coconut milk is the key ingredient in Ginataang Alimango, and using fresh coconut milk will give the dish a rich and creamy flavor. If you can’t find fresh coconut milk, you can use canned coconut milk, but make sure to shake the can well before using.
- Add aromatics for extra flavor. Aromatics like garlic, ginger, and onions add depth of flavor to the dish and complement the sweetness of the coconut milk. Sauté these aromatics in oil before adding the crabs and coconut milk.
- Don’t overcook the crabs. Crabs cook quickly, so it’s important not to overcook them. Add the crabs to the coconut milk mixture towards the end of the cooking process and cook for just a few minutes until they turn bright orange and are heated through. Overcooking the crabs can make them tough and rubbery.
Kinilaw na Tuna (Tuna Ceviche)
Kinilaw na Tuna, also known as Tuna Ceviche, is a popular Filipino seafood dish that combines fresh tuna with citrus juice and other interesting flavorings. Preparing the meal requires no cooking whatsoever; the acidity of the citrus juice essentially “cooks” the fish as it marinates in the mixture.
Other ingredients are often added to give it an even more distinctive taste; most commonly used are garlic, onions, chili peppers, ginger and tomatoes. A portion of vinegared rice is usually served alongside to help break up the intensity of tastes. Kinilaw na Tuna is especially recommended for those who don’t want to compromise on taste while seeking a light and refreshing meal.
Tips on Making Kinilaw na Tuna
Kinilaw na Tuna, or raw fish salad, is a popular Filipino dish that is refreshing and flavorful. Here are five tips on how to make delicious Kinilaw na Tuna:
- Choose fresh and high-quality tuna. To make delicious Kinilaw na Tuna, you need to use fresh and high-quality tuna. Look for tuna that is bright in color, has a clean smell, and firm to the touch. If you can, buy fresh tuna from a local fish market or grocery store.
- Use the right vinegar. Vinegar is a key ingredient in Kinilaw na Tuna and provides the dish with its sour flavor. Use a mild vinegar like coconut vinegar or white vinegar that won’t overpower the flavor of the tuna.
- Marinate the tuna for the right amount of time. The longer you marinate the tuna, the more it will cook in the acidic marinade. Marinate the tuna for 30 minutes to an hour to achieve the perfect balance of flavors and textures.
- Add aromatics for extra flavor. Aromatics like garlic, ginger, onions, and chili add depth of flavor to the dish and complement the sourness of the vinegar. Chop these aromatics finely and add them to the marinade before adding the tuna.
- Use fresh and colorful vegetables. Kinilaw na Tuna is typically served with fresh vegetables like onions, tomatoes, and peppers. Use fresh and colorful vegetables to add texture, color, and flavor to the dish. Cut the vegetables into small pieces so that they can mix well with the tuna.
Filipino seafood dishes offer a wide array of flavors and tastes for anyone to enjoy. The five featured dishes ranging from classics to unique local cuisine like Pinakbet Ilocano are sure to give any seafood lover an unforgettable palette experience. With their flavor combinations rooted in centuries of local culturing and cooking practices, it’s no wonder why these five must-try Filipino seafood dishes are so popular around the world.