Christmas holiday is undeniably the most favorite season for a lot of us. And for Filipinos, Christmas is not just about remembering the birth of the Savior but the perfect time to celebrate with loved ones. Celebration is all about good times with the people close to our hearts and savoring the tastiest foods the holiday has to offer.
Here are the BEST TRADITIONAL FILIPINO CHRISTMAS FOODS that any Filipino living abroad can prepare at the comfort of their home:
- Home-made Lechon Belly
Filipinos love their lechon on almost every occasion. Pork belly is a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig. Anyone with an oven at home can easily prepare this special dish.
- Filipino-style Spaghetti
Filipino-style spaghetti has a very distinct flavor compared to its european version. The sauce is typically sweetened with banana ketchup that makes it the favorite of every Filipino child. It’s topped with sliced hotdogs & grated cheese.
- Lumpia(Filipino Spring Rolls)
Another Filipino favorite is Lumpia which is a crispy side-dish or snacks, made mainly from ground pork, veggies, and soy sauce, wrapped in a thin paper pastry. It is dipped in a sweet-chilli sauce or ketchup.
- Pancit Bihon/Canton
Whether there is an occasion or not, pancit bihon is always present on the table. It is a Filipino rice noodle dish that’s mixed with sauteed pork or chicken meat, cabbage, carrots,& other veggies.
Humba is a braised pork dish that originated in Visayas islands. It is slowly-cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves, garlic, onions, and fermented black beans. The longer it is stored, the tastier it is!
- Beef Kaldereta
Another main dish for the Christmas holiday is Kaldereta. It is perfect for steamed hot rice. You can use beef, pork, or chicken meat, and to make the sauce tastier and thicker, use a liver spread. What makes kaldereta so festive is the use of vegetables like red & green bell peppers, carrots, and potatoes.
- Filipino-style Pineapple-glazed Ham
There are so many different varieties of hams all over the world. So grabbed the ham from your favorite meat shop that captures your taste buds. To make your ham Filipino style, make the sauce using pineapple juice, beer, sprite, sugar, garlic, and garnish it with sliced pineapples.
- Pork Embutido
Embutido is a Filipino version of meatloaf. It is a tasty dish that can be served as a cold cut or warm by heating on a pan-fry. It is not that difficult to prepare an embutido, so give it a try this Christmas. The good thing is that you can store embutidos in the freezer for as long as a month or two.
- Escabeche(Sweet and Sour Fish)
What best way to bring your fried fish to the next level than making an escabeche. You can use any good-sized fish that you love like tilapia, lapu-lapu, maya-maya, or whatever available in the market. Once the fish is fried, it is then cooked in a sweet and sour sauce with bell peppers.
- Crispy Pata
No oven to cook the lechon belly? No problem! Crispy pata is the best alternative for lechon this holiday season. It is so easy to prepare. You will need to use pork knuckles or trotters, and marinate it overnight in spices. The meat needs to be softened first before putting in a deep-fryer until crispy.
A hearty soup that is perfect for this holiday is bulalo. It is a light soup made from beef shanks and bone marrow. Few vegetables like corn cob and pechay are added.
You will never go wrong with this traditional Filipino rice dessert called biko. It is made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, and brown sugar. Make it special by adding more coconut milk and brown sugar sauce on top, and bake it in the oven for several minutes until brown.
- Filipino-style Macaroni Salad
There are different kinds of Macaroni salad but the Filipino style is the most special. First, this macaroni salad is a sweet dish. It is made of elbow macaroni, kaong, nata de coco, cheddar cheese, fruit cocktail, raisins, condensed milk, cream, and mayonnaise.
A drink that is truly traditional for Filipinos is tsokolate. It is made from tableya or pure ground cacao beans made into tablets. Tsokolate is achieved by dissolving the tableya into warm water with sugar and milk.
- Leche Flan
It is the Filipino version of crème brûlée but richer and a lot sweeter. It is made from condensed milk, evaporated milk, white sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. This dessert is surely a crowd-favorite.
Are you getting excited now to prepare the family menu for Christmas and New Year’s Eve? Try out these 15 Best Traditional Filipino Christmas Food and you will definitely feel like you’re just in The Philippines!