You may know that in the Philippines they eat pig all the time. In fact, aside from chicken, no other meats are regularly eaten there. It’s all about the pork! And Filipinos don’t leave anything to waste, either, as the head, blood, offal, trotters, ears, intestines, and even the brains are cooked for a supposedly tasty dish!
Lechon is the most recognisable pork dish in the Philippines. After seasoning, the entire pig is skewered on a large stick and cooked over a pit filled with charcoal. The stick is turned in a rotisserie action until the pig is roasted on all sides for several hours. The process of cooking and basting usually results in making the pork skin crisp and this is a distinctive feature of the dish. As such, lechon is a popular Filipino food for special occasions that the whole family can enjoy together.
Dinuguan is a savoury stew of meat and offal that is simmered in a rich and spicy gravy of pig blood, garlic, and vinegar. English translation of this dish is “pork blood stew”. It is frequently considered an unusual or alarming dish to foreigners, though it is rather similar to European-style blood sausage, or British black pudding in a saucy stew form. Dinuguan can also be served without using any offal, using only choice cuts of pork.
Tenga is considered to be something a bar snack and it is basically deep fried pig’s ears. They can be seasoned with olive oil and herbs before or after serving and they make a great accompaniment to a bottle of San Miguel after work.
Isaw is a street food from the Philippines, made from barbecued pig intestines. The intestines are cleaned, turned inside out, and cleaned again, repeating the process several times. They are then either boiled, then grilled, or immediately grilled on sticks. They are usually dipped in vinegar and eaten with onion and peppers.
Crispy Pata is a Filipino dish consisting of deep fried pig trotters or knuckles served with a soy-vinegar dip. It can be served as party fare or an everyday dish. Many restaurants serve boneless crispy pata as a specialty.
Sisig is a dish made from parts of the pig’s brain, and is usually heavily seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers. The dish is said to have originated by locals who needed a use for spare pig’s heads that hadn’t been put into existing meals.
Eating pigs or eating like pigs? You be the judge! Although, the crispy pata does sound quite nice to me…