Home » Practical Travel » World Cuisine » Much-maligned Filipino Delicacies

Much-maligned Filipino Delicacies

by Likha on 15/02/09 at 1:44 am

These delicacies have received a lot of flak from those unfamiliar to them but they remain in my list of favorites especially on cold rainy days.

I have been a vegetarian for some time but I find it difficult to pass up an opportunity to have a  small serving of these much-maligned yet delectable Filipino delicacies. Get to know more about them and who knows, you may soon end up being a member of its legions of Filipino fans.


image source

Balut is an aborted duck fetus. It is very different from the ordinary egg with yolk and all. This one is a healthy, fertilized duck embryo that is almost ready to be hatched. In fact, it got its ill reputation from its readily recognizable duck embryo with bulging eyes, pink little limbs, gray feathers and beak. It is often served with a dash of salt and beer. When I was young, I ate this with my favorite cola drink in a totally dark room lest I come face-to-face with the grossly pathetic duck creature. Balut is an aphrodisiac. Elders recommend it to strengthen the knees especially if one is to engage in the sexual act.

Green Mangoes and Bagoong

image source

Bagoong or shrimp paste is made from fermented ground shrimp. Other varieties are made from fermented fish. It has to be cooked well prior to consumption by stir frying it with garlic and onions. In the Filipino cuisine, bagoong is used as an alternative to salt, soy sauce or monosodium glutamate to enhance food flavor. It is best used as a condiment or dipping sauce for green mangoes. To those unfamiliar with this condiment, its notoriously pungent odor could be extremely repulsive. Filipinos have gotten complaints from neighbors in Western countries for cooking bagoong. To me, however, the aroma of freshly cooked bagoong is a treat to my nostrils especially if it comes with green mangoes.

Tuyo or Dried Salted Fish

image source

Tuyo is salted fish that has been dried under the sun. It may be stored for sometime since it has been preserved by the salting and drying process. Different variants of tuyo can be made from different kinds of fish. Tuyo is fried with moderate amount of cooking oil. To most Filipinos, this is a classic breakfast viand together with fried rice, eggs and tomatoes. Vinegar with garlic and a little chili pepper is the ideal dipping sauce for tuyo. This Filipino delicacy is known to be a poor man’s dish as it is quite cheap and may be readily purchased from any small variety store nearby. The reality is, tuyo has legions of fans from all walks of life despite its nasty odor. I’m a certified tuyo lover and I’m right there heading the pack!


image source

Dinuguan is also known as pork blood stew. It is made from pork meat simmered in a rich, spicy gravy of pig blood, garlic, chili and vinegar. Dinuguan derives it name from the Filipino word “dugo” meaning blood. It is best served with white rice or Filipino rice cake called puto. Westerners are usually alarmed by this dish because of its morbid origin though some think it is rather similar to the European-style blood sausage or British black pudding in a saucy stew form. The Westernized euphemism, “chocolate meat” is based on its recognizable thick and dark appearance. This is a pleasant substitute to what has been jokingly referred to by Filipinos as the “menstruation dish.”


image source

Durian is a tropical fruit found in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, it abundantly grows in Davao City.  It is similar to jack fruit, only more velvety.  Its hard crust keeps the edible flesh intact inside. As in other Filipino delicacies, durian’s smeared reputation originates from its offensive odor; strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact.  In fact, the odor has caused its banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia. To me, however, the aroma is like aged wine, something that keeps you craving for more and intoxicates you for life. Those who judge and throw off this fruit unfairly miss out on one of the best things nature has to offer.

“Do not judge a book by its cover,” so goes the popular saying. Many may find these delicacies extremely peculiar but it takes one to try them to appreciate them. When in the Philippines, eat as the Filipinos eat. You’ve never really been in the country until you’ve had a taste of these treats.

Liked it


Feb 15th, 2009

wow! feels like I am in a Filipino restaurant with the Menu presented beautifully.. but I`ll take them anywhere even in Turo-turo, these food are delicious!

K Kristie

Feb 15th, 2009

That got my mouth watering…


Feb 15th, 2009

wow, yummy, i love all in your list, except the durian… i love to eat balut at night, it gives me energy, Green Mangoes and Bagoong is one of my favorite, i can eat 4-5 cups of rice with Tuyo or Dried Salted Fish, Dinuguan is really good, but i really hate the odor and the texture of durian, i dont even like the taste, though a lot of people really love this fruit.

Dee Gold

Feb 15th, 2009

really pinoy

nobert soloria bermosa

Feb 15th, 2009

just finished eating balut just a while ago

Blue Buttefly

Feb 15th, 2009

Manga na may alamang? mouth watering. I missin Pinas more!

Vikram Chhabra

Feb 15th, 2009

Very interesting. am not much not much nto cuisine, but this was helpful!!

Home Biz

Feb 15th, 2009

A free portal for amazing financial services, jobs, home based businesses, personal & mortgage loans and much more. Website is http://www.dreamwork4u.com

F J McCarthy

Feb 15th, 2009

I’ll pass on the Dinuguan, not much into pork blood, but serve up some Balut and I’m Mr. friendly,lol Great article Thanks.

Joshua Miguel

Feb 15th, 2009

Count Drakula loves dinuguan. lol

Joni Keith

Feb 15th, 2009

I’m one of those Westerners who has never tasted these delicacies. You’ve done a wonderful job describing all of them with beautiful pictures to compliment. Thank you for the culinary education.

PR Mace

Feb 15th, 2009

Not sure if I could eat any of these but thanks anyway.

Melody SJAL

Feb 15th, 2009

Thanks for showcasing our native delicacies, but I don’t eat balut and durian, and quite choosy when it comes to bagoong, dinuguan, and tuyo.

Anne McNew

Feb 15th, 2009

This reminds me about balut adventure after office works at night (lol)…this is great. mouth watering…

Moron Savant

Feb 15th, 2009

Ate Likha, miss ko na ang mga yan!!!!

Jose Monaca

Feb 15th, 2009

I would like to taste some of these delicacies!


Feb 15th, 2009

That’s what i call Oinoy Power Foods. I like most dinuguan lalo na kung may puto..LOL balot, basta wala ng puti and Why didn’t you add 1 day ol’ chicks. yummy yun..


Feb 16th, 2009

I love all these mouthwatering delicacies.

Kate Smedley

Feb 16th, 2009

they all look so tasty, thanks for sharing ths.

Unofre Pili

Feb 16th, 2009

All of them are yummy. Balut is best with SMB…Lol.


Feb 16th, 2009

I have never tasted any of these dishes, but I would be willing to give them a try so that I can have an honest opinion.

Wylrhyss Terrado RN

Aug 10th, 2010

Ipakilala sa buong mundo ang lutuing Pilipino..nice post..


Nov 15th, 2010

di ko pa natitikman ang durian pero nahihilo ako sa amoy yung candy pala nakakain na ko masarap naman sya. yung balut yung sabaw lang ang kaya ko saka yung dilaw, niluluwa ng sikmura ko yung sisiw kahit anong pilit ko. I love mangga’t bagoong. Dinuguan depende sa pagkakaluto. Tuyo is best sa almusal yummy!!

Brewed Coffee

Nov 23rd, 2010

I eat all of these except yun sisiw and dinuguan. Can’t stomach them hehehe. Yun dinuguan, masarap yun sa kin dati but now it’s repulsive. I saw how it was prepared, the blood still red and that made my stomach churn hehehe…The best ang mangga at bagoong!

Francois Hagnere

Feb 18th, 2011

Yes do not judge a book by its cover. but the first one….oh!
I never knew this, sister.


Feb 19th, 2011

your balot looks scary!!!!

i tried durian once. oh the smell!

love tuyo!


Feb 20th, 2011

wow, this just made my mouth water..

Leave a Comment
comments powered by Disqus