Regional Cuisine of Visayas
The Visayas region is composed of several islands grouped in the middle of the Philippine archipelago. Being surrounded by waters and rich land, Visayas is abundant in marine and land products as indicated in various Visayan cuisine.
Visayan cuisine is simple and uses local produce as main ingredients. The region is also known for various dried products and salted seafood including daing, pusit, tuyo, ginamos, and hipon. Among the popular native sweets produced from the region are pinasugbo, rosquillos, turrones, and banana chips. There’s some more below.
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An Introduction to the Popular Visayan Cuisine
A favorite dish by every Visayan, kinilaw is basically a fresh fish or shellfish marinated in vinegar, lime, chilies, ginger, onion, spring onion, and garlic. It is eaten raw. You can try one of our kinilaw recipe that uses tuna.
Pancit molo is a dumpling soup dish popular in Iloilo. The dumplings contain minced chicken, ground pork, and chopped prawn cooked in a very tasty chicken broth.
Another great addition to the luscious Visayan cuisine is lumpiang ubod. It’s a vegetable dish from Iloilo, made with palm heart strips and pork and shrimp bits, wrapped in a wrapper made with cornstarch and eggs, drenched in a sweet sauce and infused with garlic and peanuts.
La Paz Batchoy
Batchoy is a soup dish originally from La Paz, Iloilo, and is one of the bestsellers among soup dishes during cold rainy days. It is composed of sliced pork, pig’s guts, and miki noodles. Another famous version which also originates in Iloilo is the buko batchoy.
One of balikbayans’ favorite baon is biscocho. It’s a bread topped with butter and sugar, baked until perfectly sweet and crunchy. The delicious Iloilo delicacy is best paired with coffee.
Another Visayan delicacy that captured the taste of many is the piaya, [pronounced /pee-yah-yah/]. This sweet delicacy originally came from Negros, where it is popular, but it is also known in many parts of the country. Its dough is made with flour and water and muscovado sugar is used as fillings. It is then flattened and toasted until cooked.
Binakol is a tasty chicken dish similar to tinolang manok, except that coconut milk and meat are used in this particular Bacolod dish. What makes this Visayan cuisine treat really tasty is the use of native chicken, which is known to be more flavorful than the common poultry. Because native chickens are also tougher, binakol cooking takes several hours to make the meat tender and release all the flavors.
Inasal na Manok
Bacolod chicken inasal simply is chicken barbecue. But what makes Bacolod’s grilled chicken different from other chicken barbecues is the unique spices used for marinating and basting.
Lechon refers to roasted suckling pig. The dish is usually served during special occasions and is popular throughout the country. But the best-tasting lechon is unarguably found in Cebu as acknowledged no less than by famous American chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain. As a matter of fact, tourists that visit Cebu usually take lechon as their pasalubong for their loved ones back home.
Cebu is the first manufacturer of dried mango in the country. This sweet, chewy, and delicious dried fruit is one of the favorite pasalubong of both locals and foreigners coming out of Cebu.
Another native delicacy from Cebu. It’s a puff pastry composed of flour, shortening, sugar, and coconut milk. It is flaky, crunchy, and so delicious that you’ll ask for more.