Christmas in the Philippines begins on December 16 with a nine-day Simbang Gabi series of Masses, some of which start as early as three in the morning. Most Filipinos celebrate Christmas Eve, also known as Noche Buena, on the ninth day with a Thanksgiving banquet at midnight.
Christmas celebrations always involve a feast. As soon as the clock strikes midnight, families assemble around dinner tables as our streets are decorated with flashing parols and glowing holiday lights. The diners act quietly while grace is being said, but beam with excitement when they see the spread that has been set out in front of them. What were the sights? These delectable and popular Filipino dishes in the Philippines:
1. Lumpiang Sariwa
One of the healthiest and most delicious dishes in Filipino cuisine is Lumpiang Sariwa, which is light and refreshing. also referred to as “Fresh Lumpia.” It has an egg crepe-like wrapper the size of a hand roll and is filled with slivers of stir-fried vegetables like string beans, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Most people consider the Christmas dish lumpiang sariwa one of their favorite comfort foods because it makes them think of warmth and family. This lunch is well-liked by the more mature members of your family and children who will like the meal’s crunchy veggies and sweet sauce.
2. Pancit Canton
Filipinos are huge fans of noodles! Noodles have become a mainstay at celebrations, especially around birthdays as a sign of long life, thanks to a strong Chinese influence brought about by pre-colonial trading. One of the numerous savory noodle meals offered around Christmas is pancit canton.
There is a good likelihood that you will find sweet and chewy treats on the Filipino table at any event, small or large. Bibingka is a delicious sweet that Filipinos have made even before the time of the Spanish colonizers. They are locally known as kakanin, which is derived from the word kanin, which means “rice.”
4. Puto Bumbong
Puto Bumbong has always been associated with Christmas since it is typically sold outside of churches during the customary simbang gabi, it has come to be associated with the Christmas season. This Glutinous rice, coconut milk, and sugar can be combined to create the purple-hued delicacy, which is then cooked and garnished with grated coconut, butter, and sugar.
In the Philippines, hamonado is frequently served as the main dish at Christmas dinners, according to some. The sweet and fruity glaze, most frequently made from pineapple juice, distinguishes the Hamonado that Filipinos have grown to love. Typically, it is consumed alone, fried to add taste, or paired with bread and kesong puti.
Lechon, a roasted entire pig with its shiny reddish-brown skin would most certainly be on top of the table on any occasion, whether it was a little birthday party, a wedding reception, or a community festival. This dish continues to take center stage at Christmas feasts as well.
Pigs are roasted whole on a spit over charcoal until the meat is tender and the skin is exceptionally crisp. The Lechon could be chopped and served in bite-sized slices, or family, relatives, and friends would rush over and start grabbing their pieces!
7. Leche Flan
Rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness – That is Leche Flan. Leche flan is basically the Filipino equivalent of crème caramel, and it’s a fan favorite at celebrations (or really every day). Golden caramel is made by slowly melting sugar over a llanera, an oval-shaped tin container.
8. Fruit/Buko Salad
During the Christmas season, retailers get overrun with enormous cans of fruit cocktails, signaling the arrival of Filipino fruit salad. Fruit salad is the ideal Christmas dessert since it is vibrant, sweet, and cold.
During Christmas celebrations, buko salad is a hit in the Philippines. 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.
9. Pinoy-Style Spaghetti
Filipino spaghetti is a variation of Bolognese-sauced spaghetti from Italy. It features a characteristic, sweet sauce typically made of tomato sauce flavored with brown sugar and banana ketchup. Sliced hot dogs or smoked longganisa sausages, ground beef, and grated cheese are typically added to the top.
Christmas is indeed a time for joyous celebrations. From preparing the most delectable Filipino dishes to making your Christmas special together with your family, Christmas is a holiday that holds a special place in our hearts. With that said, let us discuss some takeaways that you can bring with you during this Christmas season:
- Celebrate Christmas with delectable Filipino Dishes. A wide array of Filipino dishes will make you feel that Christmas cheer and nostalgia. From Lechon to Fruit or Buko Salad, these dishes will make us reminisce about our childhood during the Christmas season and make new memories in the process. Enjoying Filipino Cuisine is indeed sought after this Christmas Season.
- Prepare dishes that your family would love. While there are a lot of Christmas dishes to choose from, choose those which you and your family would enjoy! Indeed, it would be a waste if some dishes prepared was not touched or eaten. So, only prepare food that you think your family would enjoy! This is the season of giving, not wasting.
- Always make your Christmas Special. Making Christmas special is a rather easy task. Once you have made your home feel like Christmas, adding Christmas cheer to your home, such as watching a movie with your family or even just enjoying hot cocoa, can make your Christmas Extra Special!
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