There is probably no other country in the world that celebrates the holiday season as joyously, abundantly, and early as the Philippines. Delicious food is a Christmastime tradition for the Filipino people. During the holidays, we like to eat delectable Filipino dishes like lechon, pancit, puto bumbong, and bibingka.
These are just a few of the favorite dishes that Filipinos enjoy during Christmas; don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the others since this is one of the best Christmas traditions in Filipino culture.
If you’re a foodie like me, allow me to share with you some of the most well-known and heartfelt Christmas meals to serve this season!
Lechon – present in all Holiday Meals
One of the staples on every Filipino Christmas table is lechon. Lechon manok, or Lechon baboy. Known as the national meal of the Filipinos, serving Lechon at the celebration increases its value and enjoyment. Additionally, it stands for the significance of the occasion and the closeness of family gatherings.
Lechon is frequently served with a soy sauce and vinegar dip or a rich liver sauce. The celebration lasts for days as leftovers are cooked once again into lechon paksiw using liver spread, vinegar, bell peppers, garlic and the lechon sauce.
Liempo – Traditional Filipino Christmas Table has Pork
Pork liempo is a tradition at every Filipino Christmas table since Filipinos like pork. In this recipe, flavorful pig belly is used. Some people marinade the pork in soy sauce, garlic, and a particular blend of spices that includes cayenne pepper for those who like it fiery. This is perfectly cooked till the meat is soft and the skin is crispy.
This is one of the best and my favorite Filipino recipes every Christmas season.
Filipino Spaghetti, Pancit Malabon or Pancit Bihon – Pampahaba ng Buhay for Every Filipino
From Christmas celebrations to birthday parties, every significant event and occasion will have at least one pancit dish. Both of these are liked by both adults and children. While Pancit, a Chinese delicacy, uses eggs or rice noodles, pork meat, chicken or bull liver, carrots, and cabbage and is delicious when drizzled with Clamansi, a local citrus meal, Filipino sweet spaghetti is one of the best pasta recipes and contains ground pork meat, hot dogs, tomato sauce, and cheese.
It is sometimes referred to as the Pampahaba ng Buhay or that eating pancit increases life expectancy.
Lumpiang Shanghai – Most Popular Christmas dish
This dish has essentially become the punchline of jokes about Filipino parties. Without this food, an event is considered unfinished or unprepared for a celebration. They love lumpia so much that they have elevated it to the status of being the ultimate Christmas or Birthday meal.
This popular dish is essentially a Filipino take on the egg roll. As they are known in English, lumpia wrappers—paper-like skins—are wrapped over seasoned minced pork and veggies to form spring rolls. This spicy meal is perfectly deep-fried and goes nicely with sweet chili sauce.
Fruit Salad, Buko Salad, Buko Pandan – One of the Favorite Christmas Dessert Recipes
During the Christmas season, supermarkets become overloaded with enormous cans of fruit cocktails, signaling the arrival of Filipino fruit salad. Fruit salad is the ideal Christmas dessert as it is colorful, sweet, and cold.
During Holiday parties and other celebrations in the Philippines, buko salad is a hit with the crowd. The buko, or fresh young coconut meat, is the star of this dish, which is somewhat comparable to fruit salad. You can also include fruit cocktail, kaong (a sweet palm fruit), or corn kernels. The addition of gulaman (jelly cubes) specifically flavored with pandan or screwpine, which has a distinctive brilliant green hue and a grassy but aromatic perfume, distinguishes Buko Pandan from other varieties of buko salad.
12 Round Fruits – for Good fortune!
While we’re talking about fruits, it’s traditional for most Filipino households to serve a sizable bowl of fruits around Christmas and New Year’s.
However, there is a special requirement that must be followed: there must be 12 distinct varieties of round fruits, with 12 representing the number of months in a year and round representing money symbolically. This is said to bring good prosperity for the upcoming year.
Bibingka and Puto Bumbong – all time favorite Kakanin
Bibingka and Puto Bumbong are popular Filipino sweets during the Christmas season, while some vendors also provide these treats year-round. Both Puto Bumbong and Bibingka are rice cakes that are made in various ways but are both delectable. While Puto Bumbong is created from steamed pirurutong rice, Bibingka is a fluffy cake made with glutinous galapong rice.
In addition to toppings like butter, cheese, sugar, grated coconut, or salted egg pieces, bibingka can also be eaten plain. Puto bumbong, on the other hand, is a dish made from puto, or rice cake, which is cooked in bumbong, or bamboo cylinders, and is then either dusted with sugar or sprinkled with grated coconut. It comes from two Tagalog words that accurately describe it.
It is also a traditional treat after Simbang Gabi, or dawn masses, which are held 9 mornings before Christmas.
Angelika is an aspiring producer and writer with a love for film and media production. She enjoys writing on a diverse range of topics, including lifestyle, health, and movie-related content. She likes to cook for her family and spend her free time with friends.