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Philippines – National Dish

The Philippines is comprised of over 7,000 islands,but there are only a few specialties that are commonly thought of as  “national dishes”, these specialties have an important role in the culture and traditions of the Philippines. The “national dishes” include lechon, adobo, bistek, and sinigang.  One of the most famous national dishes of the Philippine’s is a whole spit-roasted pig called Lechon (Litson). It is the culinary centerpiece at every celebration, fiesta, family event (wedding, birthday), and is also popular around Christmas time.  Lechon is prepared by stuffing the inside of the animal with herbs and vegetables. The pigs are slowly roasted, usually by hand-turning over hot coals for hours, until their skin becomes crispy and turns reddish brown, while the inside flesh becomes tender and flavorful. The crispy skin is always a favorite. The dish is often served with a thick liver sauce that is simmered with vinegar, sugar and herbs.  The lechon capital of the Philippines is La Loma district in Quezon City.The roasted pigs are displayed on the sidewalks and are sold whole or by the kg. The Spanish name for pig is Lechon, in the Philippines it means a spit-roasted suckling pig.  They also have spit-roasted cow (lechon baka) and spit-roasted chicken (lechon manok).
Other popular cuisine in the Philippines that could be considered national dishes are adobo, bistek, and sinigang.  Adobo is made from chicken, pork, squid (pusit) or vegetables stewed in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf.  Bistek is another popular national dish of the Philippines it is made by braising beef and onion rings in soy sauce.  Sinigang is a  slightly sour soup served with rice, it could be considered the national soup. The soup is cooked with souring agents like unripe guavas, tamarind leaves and flowers, kamias and tomatoes. There are different varieties of sinigang such as, sour vegetable soup with fish (sinigang na isda)  and sour vegetable soup with pork (sinigang na baboy).  Enjoy your food with a San Miguel Beer the national drink of the Philippines.
Do you have any pictures of your celebration or fiesta, in the Philippines that include lechon?  Send them to us, so we can show the world how you celebrate!!!