The Filipino drinking experience will not be complete without pulutan. From the root word pulot or to pick, pulutan is food meant to be enjoyed with alcoholic drinks. Since everyone loves pulutan, there is a wide variety of choices for such. This list, though, got you covered if you are looking for a quick rundown of the crowd’s favorite pulutans.
2 in 1 Cuisine
Some Pinoy dishes, if not finished in the party buffet, can instantly become a pulutan – efficient, right? Although costly, you can ensure that your guests are eating a delectable dish and enjoying the drinking session.
Sisig is a spicy dish served on a sizzling plate and made originally with pork. However, other variations, such as tuna, chicken, or squid, have been made throughout the years. It is also topped with either mayonnaise or egg.
Tokwa’t Baboy is a dish made out of literally diced tofu and pork mixed with soy sauce, vinegar, and lots of onions and douchi (or tausi). This is a perfect pulutan if you have friends who cannot eat pork but would still love to enjoy a flavourful dish.
For non-meat eaters, grilled milkfish or inihaw na bangus is your choice. To create this dish, you simply need to cut the milkfish’s belly, insert some onions and tomatoes, toss the fish in the griller and wait for it to be done. This is best paired with a dip of soy sauce mixed with red chili pepper.
Another grilled dish that you can serve is barbeque. Barbeque is basically pork skewers marinated with a sweet sauce. If you do not have the time to prepare this dish, you can easily find this along the streets, for barbeque is also a popular street food in the Philippines.
Liempo, or pork belly, is another popular dish to serve in drinking sessions. You can cook this in two ways: grilled or fried. Either way, just make sure to cut it into bite-sized pieces to ensure that everyone gets a piece. A dip will also complete this dish; a soy sauce dip for grilled liempo or a lechon sauce for the fried one.
Staple Finger Foods
If you do not have the time to cook a full-on dish, you can always resort to finger foods that you can purchase or requires little to no preparation. Either way, it will for sure still complete the inuman session.
Chicharon is a deep-fried pork rind or fat with a salty or spicy taste. It is commonly dipped in spicy vinegar, or you can just enjoy it on its own.
Adobong Mani (Roasted Peanuts)
Roasted peanuts are also a staple finger food on the drinking table. It is sauteed with salt, toasted garlic, or red chili peppers.
Kropek (Prawn Cracklings)
Much like Chicharon, this is also a deep-fried finger food but is made of fish (or shrimp) mixed with starch and tapioca flour. This crunchy treat is also best served with spicy vinegar dip.
Kikiam, Fishball, Kwek-kwek, Squidball
These popular Pinoy street foods can also be your pick for the table’s pulutan. Made with various ingredients from pork, fish, and egg, these will surely keep your guests munching. Pair it with a thick, sweet and spicy sauce, and you are good to go!
Nothing beats the good old chips as pulutan. Widely available, cost-efficient, and having a variety of flavors, they sure will help in keeping the alcohol down. Just make sure to buy enough chips to cater even to those who are not part of the drinking table (a.k.a children circling the table.)
There you have it, a list of favorite Pinoy pulutan you can choose from for your next drinking session. However, always remember to keep things in moderation (both in drinking and eating the pulutans.)
Darlene, better known as Da, is currently a broadcasting student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines - Manila. Her interests lie in K-pop, books, and coffee. With living an *extra* life in mind, she aspires to change the world for the better with the same grace and grandeur as Legally Blonde's Elle Woods.