Dubai: The Philipines celebrated their Independence Day on June 12. On that day, Filipino people commemorate their independence from Spain in 1898.
Filipinos are a big part of the UAE population in the UAE with almost 700,000 people living and working here.
So naturally, you would find a lot of Filipino restaurants catering to their people.
Filipino cuisine has grown in popularity over the last three years and multiple restaurants have sprung up across Dubai. We asked Filipinos all over the UAE what their favourite foods were and came up with 6 dishes and where to find them.
What is it? Chicken marinated in soy sauce and vinegar, mixed with some sugar, and sautéed in onion, garlic and ginger, and stewed until it’s cooked.
This dish is a well-loved staple because of the exciting flavour combination of sweet, sour, and salty. It hits all of the right notes on your taste buds and as a result has become an iconic dish and the top choice of foodies of all ages. It’s one of those dishes that stays in the family and recipes get passed down for years.
Adobo isn’t typically something you eat out of the home. It’s a very home cooked kind of dish, however if you are craving a quick, cheap plate of Adobo, we still got you covered.
Where to get it? Tulo Lawaay
What is it? A beef and vegetable dish of ox tail and tripe cooked in a thick peanut sauce.
This Filipino version of beef stew. Kind of a ramen without the noodles. It’s usually served during special occasions and is made with a rich and thick peanut sauce and topped with either oxtail, beef slices, chicken and even seafood, depending on what you fancy. The stew is also made with pechay, a type of Chinese cabbage, eggplant, and string beans.
Where to get it? Carinderia ni Tandang Sora
3. Chicken Insaal
What is it? A sticky grilled chicken dish
This delicious BBQ dish is made of chicken marinated in a mixture of calamansi (that’s a Filipino lime, in case you were wondering) brown sugar, pepper, coconut vinegar and annatto. It is then cooked by grilling it over hot coals. This dish originated from a City called Bacolod. This chicken dish stands out because it’s marinated in vinegar, which gives it a very unique taste. It’s usually served on bamboo skewers with a side of rice, calamansi soy sauce, chicken oil and vinegar.
Where to get it? Mang Inasal House Restaurant & Grill
What is it? A seafood pasta or rice dish made with a crab paste
Aligue is the name of a paste made out of crab fat. It’s like a soft yellow colour and is considered a delicacy in the Philippines, but should be eaten in moderation because it is high in cholesterol. Aligue, is a favourite among Filipinos to mix with either rice or pasta. To make it even richer, some will add coconut milk to it.
Where to get it? You buy the sauce from your local supermarket and make the dish at home
5. Boodle Fight dishes
What is it: Not exactly a dish, more of a style of communal dining, where the seafood is dumped on a table of rice and diners get to eat with their hands.
Boodle Fights has become a very trendy way of dining out in the Philippines and this trend has been all the rage in Dubai over the last few years. This style of eating was inspired by the Philippino military way of eating where food is piled on top of banana leaf spread across a long table.
Where to get it? Boodle Fight Resto
What is it? Marinated chicken intestine that’s been barbequed.
This unusual but delicious treat for Filipino food lovers is usually enjoyed sauce or vinegar. To prepare, the intestines are turned inside out and cleaned again. They are layered on sticks and then grilled. To eat them, you eat them by dipping them in vinegar spiced with minced garlic and onions.
Where to get it? La Mesa Restaurant