Healthy Filipino Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Filipino recipes as well as recipes that draw inspiration from Filipino cuisine, from EatingWell's food and nutrition experts and our contributors.

Staff Picks

Tinola (Filipino Ginger-Garlic Chicken Soup)

Rating: 5 stars 4
Tinola, a comforting Filipino soup seasoned with plenty of ginger and garlic, has countless variations throughout the Philippines.
Natalia B. Roxas
By Natalia B. Roxas

Lumpiang Sariwa (Fresh Spring Rolls)

These spring rolls (sariwa means fresh in Tagalog) were first introduced to the Philippines by Chinese immigrants and traders. They usually consist of vegetables, meat or seafood, rolled up in lettuce and a thin wrapper. Read more about this recipe.
By Yana Gilbuena

Kaning Dilaw (Golden Rice)

In the Philippines, rice is life. There's archaeological evidence of it being grown as early as 3400 B.C. Even so, rice was historically produced in limited quantities for spiritual rituals. Because of its associated luxury, rice was considered only for elite members of the tribe, given as tribute to chiefs. When Spanish colonists introduced plow technology, rice production increased and it became a staple for everyone. Read more about this recipe.
By Yana Gilbuena

Pinya Flan (Roasted Pineapple Flan)

When the Spanish colonized the Philippines, they established the epic global trade route known as the Manila Galleon, linking Acapulco and Manila. Plants and products shipped from Mexico included the pineapple. It quickly flourished throughout the Philippines and many pineapple-based dishes were created, including this flan, also introduced by the colonizers. Read more about this recipe.
By Yana Gilbuena

Calamansi Rickey Cocktail

This quick and easy cocktail showcases the refreshing zing of calamansi, aka calamondin or Philippine lime. The citrus fruit, a staple of Filipino and Southeast Asian cooking, tastes like a very tart combination of lemon, lime and orange. This recipe makes enough syrup for 4 cocktails and the syrup can be made ahead. For a nonalcoholic version, simply leave out the gin.
By Natalia B. Roxas

Ensaladang Ubod (Hearts of Palm Salad)

Ubod, or hearts of palm, are the edible pith of the coconut tree. Yana Gilbuena, who's toured the world sharing her culture's cooking, considers this ingredient to be a great example of how Filipino cuisine honors a plant by using as many parts as possible. Read more about Gilbuena and this recipe.
By Yana Gilbuena

Ensaladang Mais (Grilled Corn Salad)

The Spanish introduced the cultivation of corn to the Filipino island of Cebu in the 1700s. This propelled the vegetable to staple status not just in that province, but throughout the country. Yana Gilbuena features this dish in her pop-up kamayan dinners showcasing her culture's cuisine. Read more about Gilbuena and the pop-up kamayan dinners.
By Yana Gilbuena

Arroz Caldo

Arroz caldo, a bowl of comforting rice porridge seasoned with plenty of ginger and garlic, has countless variations throughout the Philippines. The porridge can have a variety of toppings, such as hard- or soft-boiled eggs, crispy tofu, crispy garlic bits or crispy shallots, lime, lemon, nutritional yeast and so much more. For a change of pace, you can swap cubed smoked tofu for the chicken. Quinoa, wild rice, cauliflower rice and other grains can also be substituted for the jasmine rice. Feel free to increase the amounts of garlic and fish sauce for an even more flavorful porridge. Serve this easy and healthy ginger-garlic rice porridge with love as my mother would always do.
By Natalia B. Roxas

Bistek Tagalog

In this savory Filipino beef-and-onion dish, bistek Tagalog (also simply called beef steak), calamansi juice tenderizes the beef and makes it more flavorful. The citrus fruit, a staple of Filipino and Southeast Asian cooking, is also called calamondin or Philippine lime and tastes like a very tart combination of lemon, lime and orange. Serve with steamed rice.
By Natalia B. Roxas

Adobong Baboy (Filipino Pork Adobo)

In the Philippines, adobong baboy (pork adobo) is made by stewing pork in soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and aromatics. Serve this healthy pork adobo recipe with rice to get every last bit of the flavorful sauce. This dish gets better as it sits, making it a perfect make-ahead candidate for effortless entertaining.
By Yana Gilbuena
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Inspiration and Ideas

Chef Yana Gilbuena Is Reclaiming Her Filipino Heritage Through Pop-Up Dinners
If you attend one of Yana Gilbuena's dinners, don't bother asking for utensils. Learn about kamayan and how eating with your hands is crucial to Filipino culture—and get recipes for hosting your own kamayan at home.