7 All-time Favorite Dishes Filipinos Serve on Christmas Noche Buena
If there’s one vice that shouldn’t be eliminated, that would be eating. Christmas is a season of giving, fun, and renewed association and bond with family and friends, and LOTS of eating. We can say that it is during this time of the year that diets are out of the list. Here are some of the all-time favorite dishes Filipinos serve on Christmas Noche Buena.
Who can ever forget this one in a Filipino feast? This has and will always be the star of any celebration. Also called litsong baboy, it came from the Spanish term that means “roasted suckling pig.” After seasoning, the whole pig is cooked by skewering the entire animal, entrails removed, on a large stick and cooking it in a pit filled with charcoal. The pig is placed over the charcoal, and the stick or rod it is attached to is turned in a rotisserie action. The pig is roasted on all sides for several hours until done. The process of cooking and basting usually results in making the pork skin crisp and is a distinctive feature of the dish.
It is the Philippines’ national dish, with Cebu being acknowledged by American chef Anthony Bourdain as having the best pig. The famous lechonmakers and sellers in the Philippines include Mila’s Lechon, Lydia’s Lechon, Aling Nene, Pingping, and Mang Tomas! You can even turn the leftovers into Lechon Paksiw so no part of the roasted pig ever gets wasted! Now, I’m hungry.
This will forever remain a favorite dish, especially with children. It’s been with almost every event that you can sometimes get tired of eating it! The good news is that many people create their own versions of spaghetti! But while spaghetti is preferred by foreigners to be a bit sour, for us, we prefer it to be sweet! Meatier and cheesier too! Our taste buds just beg to differ!
Probably the best alternative to lechon, ham takes the limelight of the food on the table during Christmas. It costs around Php 250 or higher, depending on the brand and the size of the ham. It is often bought as a gift as well. You might also consider it as a means of additional income during the Christmas season. Now isn’t that just great?
This is probably one of the most common dish on any Filipino occasion as well. Fried chicken is a crunchy, mouthwatering delight. The dish has created a large number of spin-off recipes which are commonly used around the world.
Christmas in the Philippines is rarely without fruit salad. This is very popular in the country because of the abundance in fruits. It is easy to prepare and considered a staple in parties and gatherings. Similar to the dessert Ambrosia, it differs in terms of the fruit ingredient. In the Filipino context, that usually means drained canned fruit cocktail and shredded fresh coconut tossed in a mixture of cream and sweetened condensed milk. But because fresh fruits cost a lot more than fruit cocktail, most Filipinos choose the latter.
This is a salad that everyone seems to love. Like other pasta, Filipinos come to develop their own versions of this popular dessert from the west. Aside from the usual macaroni, cream and mayo, it can be packed with shredded chicken, cubed cheese and ham, raisins and crushed pineapple. We have just turned it into something much more delicious to the taste – our very own twist.
Known by the world as the Spanish flan, leche flan is the one the wonderful ways to end the Christmas night with a bang. Leche, the Spanish for milk, is one of the dessert’s two main ingredients. Filipino leche flan is a rich steamed custard topped with a syrupy caramel. It is made with egg yolks, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. It is one of the most popular desserts served at parties, fiestas and other special occasions. This sweet dish is also popular in some Latin American and Caribbean countries. Among the Hispanic population of North America, leche flan is also known as creme caramel.
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