Filipino Food/Cuisine Glossary

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FILIPINO FOOD/CUISINE GLOSSARY

This page provides a list of Filipino cuisine/food glossary, based on Doreen G. Fernandez's Palayok: Philippine Food Time, On Site, in the Pot. Manila: Bookmark Inc., 2000. Some definitions were expanded and/or modified. Terms in italics are the corresponding scientific names of plants, fruits, vegetables, fish, animals. Click on any of the letters on the left-side frame if you know the beginning letter of the cuisine/food terms in Tagalog/Filipino and you will be linked to the appropriate table.


A.

  • achuete, atswete
-bixa orellana, annato seed; also called lipstick plant
  • adobo
-a dish of meat, seafood or vegetables cooked in vinegar and spices
  • adobado
-cooked in vinegar and spices
  • agahan
-breakfast
  • agkud
-(Manobo) a liquor made from rice, corn, cassava or sorghum
  • alak
-the generic Tagalog term for liquor or wine
  • alibangbang
-bauhinia malabarica, butterfly-shaped leaves from a tree used for souring
  • alimango
-mud crab
  • alimasag
-blue crab
  • alugbati
-bassela alba, Ceylon spinach
  • ampalaya
-momordica charantia, bittermelon or bitter gourd
  • anonas
-annona reticulata, custard apple, bullock heart
  • apa
-wafer, also cone for ice cream
  • apahap
-lates calcarifer, silver sea bass
  • aratiles
-muntingia calabura, a little cherry-like wild fruit
  • arroz caldo
-rice gruel cooked with chicken, often flavored with kasubha
  • atis
-annona squamosa, sugar apple
  • ayungin
-datnia plumbea, silver perch


B.

  • babaylan
-high priest/priestess in the native religion
  • bacalao (a la Vizcania)
-(Spanish) salted codfish cooked in the style of Biscayne
  • balbakwa
-in Luzon, salted fish; in Mindanao, a meat stew
  • bag-o
-(Waray) tuba newly taken from the coconut
  • bagoong
-salted, fermented fish or shrimp paste/sauce
  • bahal, bahalina
-fermented tuba weeks, months, or years old
  • bakuli
-ophicephalus striatus, murray fingerling
  • balangay
-balanghay, a sailboat with 12-16 rowers
  • balimbing
-averrhoa carmbola, star fruit, carambola
  • balut

balut sa puti

-a fertilized duck's egg 16-19 days old, balut sa puti is still wrapped in white membrane and thus literally "wrapped in white", which is what the phrase means
  • banak
-family magulidae, mullet
  • bangus
-chanos chanos, milk fish


  • baon
-a food package from home taken to work or school
  • barilis
-(Davao Bisayan) neothunnus macropterus, yellowfin tuna
  • batsoy
-a dish of pork internal organs in broth
  • batuan
garcinia morella, a small sour green fruit with a large seed
  • baya
high-grade rice wine (tapuy) from the Cordillera
  • bayabas
psidium guajava, guava
  • baye-baye
(Ilonggo) a snack made of pinipig (young rice, pounded) and young coconut
  • bayawak
monitor lizard
  • beche-de-mer
-(French) sea slug, trepang, sea cucumber
  • betute
-(Pampango) a dish of stuffed frog
  • bia
-biya family gobiidae, goby
  • bibingka
-a rice cake often garnished with salted eggs and carabao (water buffalo) milk cheese
  • bignay
-antidesma bunius, Chinese laurel
  • binubudan
-(Ilokano) yeast for rice wine
  • binuro
-(Ilonggo) fish salted in layers
  • bodbod
-(Cebuano) glutinous rice cooked iwth coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaf
  • brazo de mercedes
-a meringue roll with an egg filling
  • buan-buan
-megalops cyprinoides, tarpon
  • bukayo
-a sweet made from mature coconut
  • bulalo
-kneecap; a dish of this and other beef bones and meats boiled with vegetables
  • bulalohan
-the eateries that offer boiled bulalo
  • buñuelos de viento
-(Spanish) wind puff, a pastry served with syrup
  • burong isda
-fish fermented with rice
  • buwad
-(Cebuano) dried salted fish


C.

  • cadera
-(Spanish) sirloin
  • caldero
-(Spanish) cooking pot
  • caldereta
-(Spanish) goat stew
  • callos con garbanzos
-(Spanish) tripe cooked with chick peas
  • camachille
-pithecellobium dulce, kamachille, Madras thorn fruit
  • camaron rebozado
-(Spanish) batter-fried shrimp, a Chinese dish
  • camote
-ipomoea batatas, sweet potato
  • canonigo
-(Spanish) a dessert of meringue with an egg-butter sauce
  • carajay
-a native frying pan with a rounded bottom, a wok
  • carinderia
-karinderia a low-priced eating place, often at roadsides or markets
  • champurrado
-a dish of rice cooked with chocolate
  • chicharron
-crackling made from pork, beef, or carabao skin
  • chico
-manilkara zapote, a brown sweet fruit with black seeds
  • chorizo
-(Spanish) sausage
  • churros
-(Spanish) fluted breakfast crullers usually taken with chocolate
  • cocido
-(Spanish) a stew of mixed meats, sausages, and vegetables


D.

  • dahon bawang
-the leaves of the garlic plant, allium sativum
  • daing
-fish split open, salted, and dried
  • dalag
-ophicephalus striatus, murrel
  • dayap
-citrus aurantifolia, lime
  • de recado
-(Spanish) spiced; in the Philippines, it refers to spicy sausages
  • dikin
-the woven rattan ring on which the round-bottomed palayok is set to stand
  • dilao, dilaw
-curcuma domestica, turmeric
  • dinuguan at puto
-a dish of blood stew with steamed rice cakes
  • duhat
-syzygium kumini, Java plum
  • dulang
-a low table, formerly for dining
  • durian
-durio zybethinus, a fruit with a strong smell


E.

  • embutido
-(Spanish) a ground pork roll
  • ensaimada
-(Spanish) a brioche-like roll that is buttered, sugared, and cheese-sprinkled
  • escabeche
-(Spanish) fish cooked with vinegar, garlic, onions, and ginger


G.

  • gabi
-colocasia esculenta, taro root
  • galletas
-(Spanish) very thin biscuits
  • gata
-coconut milk
  • ginataan
-cooked in coconut milk; the dishes so cooked
  • guisa, mag-guisa
-to sauté
  • guisar
-(Spanish) to sautè
  • guyabano
-annona muricata, soursop


H.

  • halabos
-to steam shrimps or prawns in their own juice
  • halo-halo
-a mixture of sweetened beans and fruits topped with crushed ice or ice cream; a refresher served in a tall glass
  • hamonado
-ham-cured; usually referring to sausages
  • hapunan
-supper, dinner
  • hibe
-small shrimps, peeled and dried
  • hipon at kasuy
-shrimps cooked with cashew nuts
  • hojaldres
-(Spanish) a thin pastry, sometimes of puff paste
  • humba
-a dish of stewed pork


I.

  • inday-inday
-(Ilonggo) a snack made of glutinous rice and coconut
  • inihaw
-roasted, charcoal-broiled or grilled
  • inihaw na panga
-roasted or charcoal-broiled jaw of yellowfin tuna
  • inuman
-a drinking session
  • inumin
-a drink (could be plain water, soda, beer, juice, wine) taken together with a meal
  • inun-unan
-(Cebuano) fish cooked in vinegar; in Tagalog, paksiw
  • itlog
-egg


J.

  • jamon
-(Spanish) ham
  • jamon en dulce
-(Spnaish) ham cooked in and/or coated or glazed with sugar
  • jamonado
-(Spanish) ham-cured


K.

  • kadyos
-cadjanus cadjan, pigeon pea
  • kaimito, caimito
-chrusophillum caimito, star apple
  • kakang gata
-coconut cream
  • kakanin
-snacks, light cakes, usually made of rice
  • kalamansi
-citrus madurensis, a small lime indigenous to the Philippines; also called Chinese orange, Panama orange
  • kalan
-a clay stove for wood or charcoal fuel
  • kalkag
-(Ilonggo) tiny shrimps, lightly salted and dried
  • kamachille
-see camachille
  • kamaru
-(Pampango) mole cricket
  • kamayan
-eating with hands instead of Western utensils (see comic strip below)
  • kamias
-averrhoa bijimbi, a small acidic fruit
  • kanduli
-family ariidae, sea catfish
  • kangkong
-ipomoea aquatica, swamp cabbage, also called potato vine
  • kaong
-the fruit of a sugar palm
  • kari
-pre-cooked food
  • kari-kari
-a stew of ox tail/feet/tripe with vegetables and a sauce thickened with ground roasted peanuts and rice
  • karihan
-an eatery selling pre-cooked food
  • karinderia
-an eatery selling pre-cooked food
  • kasim
-lean pork, picnic
  • kasubha
-the dried stigmas of a plant, used for coloring and flavoring food; a kind of saffron
  • kasuy
-anacardium occidentale, cashew
  • katuray
-sesbania grandiflora, a white flower used in salads
  • kawa
-a vat used for cooking large amounts of food
  • kesong puti
-literally "white cheese", a cottage cheese made of carabao's (water buffalo) milk
  • kinchay
-apium graveolens, Chinese celery
  • kinilaw
-a dish of fish, seafood, meat or vegetables dressed with vinegar or lime juice, but not cooked over fire
  • kiping
-a rice wafer used for decoration in Lucban and other towns in Quezon
  • kolis
-pisonia alba, lettuce tree, also called maluko in Tagalog
  • kulitis
-amarnthus viridis, slender amaranth
  • kundol
-benicasa hispida, wax gourd
  • kutsay
-allium odorum, Chinese chives
  • kutsinta
-a little cake made of steamed mixture of sugar, rice, lye


L.

  • lagundi
-vitex negundo, a medicinal plant
  • laksoy
-liquor distilled form the sap of a nipa palm
  • lakub
-the bamboo tube attacked to the coconut bud to catch the sap for tuba
  • lambanog
-liquor distilled from the sap of coconut palm
  • langkawas
-galingale, galenggal
  • lanzones
-lansium domesticum, a small fruit that grows in bunches, with translucent flesh in segments enclosing seeds
  • lapu-lapu
-family serranidae, grouper
  • laswa
-(Ilonggo) a dish of mixed leafy, pod and fruit vegetables steamed with bagoong and dried shrimps
  • lawot-lawot
-(Waray) a dish of mixed leafy, pod, and fruit vegetables
  • leche flan
-(Spanish) milk custard; creme caramel
  • lechon, letson
-(Spanish) pig; in the Philippines, split-roasted pig
  • lechon manok
-chicken roasted on a split
  • lengua estofada
-(Spanish) stewed ox tongue
  • liempo
-pork belly
  • lina
-(Ilonggo) newly-gathered tuba
  • lomi
-wide noodles in broth
  • lomo
-(Spanish) beef loin
  • longaniza
-(Spanish) long sausage
  • lugaw
-rice porridge or gruel
  • lumpia
-Chinese-style eggroll; meat and/or vegetables wrapped in thin crepe


M.

  • macapuno
-sport coconut
  • mameng, maming
-family labridae, wrasse
  • mami
-a dish of noodles, chicken or beef, and broth
  • manamis-namis
-(adjective) mildly sweet, not the sweetness of sugar but of freshness
  • marang
-artocarpus odoratissima, a large aromatic fruit containing segements each enclosing a seed
  • mazapan
-(Spanish) marzipan
  • mechado
-(Spanish) beef cooked with pork lardoons
  • menudo
-a stew dish of diced pork, chicken, sausage, potatoes, carrots, peas, and tomato sauce usually eaten with rice on the side
  • merienda
-a mid-afternoon snack
  • merienda-cena
-a late afternoon meal; an early supper or dinner
  • minoron
-a snack of glutinous rice cooked with a streak of chocolate
  • miso
-soybean cake or mash
  • mole
-(Spanish) a Mexican dish of chicken cooked with peanuts
  • morisqueta tostada
-(Spanish) rice fried with vegetables and other condiments
  • munggo
-phaseolus aureus, green mung bean
  • musang
-civet cat
  • mustasa
-brassica juncea v. integrifola, mustard greens


N

  • nata de coco
-a sweet made by growing a culture on coconut water
  • nilaga
-boiled; a dish of boiled beef, or pork, or chicken, and vegetables


P

  • paella
-(Spanish) a dish of rice cooked with meats and/or seafood and vegetables
  • pahiyas
-the feast of San Isidro Labrador on May 15, celebrated in Lucban, Quezon by decorating the houses with food. In Madrid, Spain, the same feast is celebrated on the same day, and San Isidro Labrador is also the patron saint of Madrid.
  • pako
-arthyrium esculentum, edible fern
  • paksiw
-a dish cooked in vinegar and garlic
  • paksiw na pata
-pork trotters cooked in vinegar
  • palay
-unhusked rice
  • palayok
-a round-bottomed clay pot
  • palitaw
-small cakes made from glutinous rice
  • pan de sal, de limon, de coco, de leche, americano
-(Spanish) bread respectively with salt, lemon, coconut, and milk; sliced loaf bread
  • pandan
-pandanus odoratissimus, screw pine
  • panga
-literally jaw; the jaw of yellowfin tuna
  • panghimagas
-dessert; a sweet taken after meals
  • pancit, pansit
-a dish of noodles and shrimps, fish, meat, or vegetables, with many variations, e.g., luglog (shaken in hot water, flavored with sauce), molo (with pork-filled wontons and broth), Malabon (with shrimps, oysters, and squid), habhab (eaten off a banana leaf), Canton (with egg noodles), bihon (with rice noodles), buko (with coconut strips instead of noodles)
  • pansit-pansitan
-peperomia pellucida, a scculent herb, the leaves of which have medicinal properties
  • pantulak, panulak
-literally "for pushing"; refers to drinks, which "push" the pulutan down
  • pasalubong
-a gift brought home from a trip
  • pastel de pollo
-(Spanish) a chicken pie; a dish of chicken with crust
  • pastillas
-(Spanish) pastilles; usually pastillas de leche, sweets made of milk
  • pata tim
-a Chinese dish of stewed pork leg
  • patis
-fish sauce
  • patola
-luffa cylindrica, sponge gourd
  • patupat
-(Ilokano) a rice cake wrapped in banana leaf
  • pavo embuchado
-(Spanish) stuffed turkey
  • pesa

pesang manok

-a dish of fish or chicken cooked with vegetables, often served with a miso sauce
  • pescado en salsa agrio-dulce
-(Spanish) fish in a sweet and sour sauce
  • petsay
-brassica chinesis, pakchoy, bokchoy
  • pili
-canarium ovatum, a hard nut indigenous to the Philippines, with an oil-rich kernel
  • pinya, piña
-pineapple
  • pimientos morrones
-(Spanish) red bell peppers
  • pinais
-a dish native to Quezon province, of shrimps and coconut wrapped in banana leaf and steamed in coconut water
  • pinakbet
-a dish of Ilokano origin, of ampalaya, okra, eggplants, and tomatoes steamed with fish bagoong
  • pinamalhan
-(Ilonggo) fish cooked in vinegar, which is allowed to evaporate
  • pinapaitan
-(Ilokano) a dish of goat meat with goat bile
  • pinaupong manok
-chicken steamed in a bed of salt
  • pochero
-(Spanish) a stew of mixed meats, sausages and vegetables with tomatoes
  • polvoron
-a sweet of powdery texture made of powdered milk and sugar
  • postre
-(Spanish) dessert
  • puchero
-a native stew of meat, sausage and vegetables with an eggplant relish
  • pulutan
-any cooked dish (meat, chicken, pork, seafood) taken with beer, wine, liquor during a drinking session; could also be nuts; a pulutuan is similar to Spanish tapas-tapas
  • punta y pecho
-(Spanish) beef brisket
  • pusu
-rice cooked in a fist-sized woven-leaf basket; "travelling" or "hanging" rice
  • puto
-steamed rice cake
  • puto bumbong
-a cylindrical cake of violet rice (pirurutung) steamed upright in a bamboo tube


Q

  • queso de bola
-Edam ball cheese


R

  • relleno
-(Spanish) stuffed food, dish
  • rellenong alimasag
-crab sauteed and stuffed into the crab shell
  • rellenong manok
-stuffed chicken
  • rellenong bangus
-milkfish stuffed with its own flesh that has been sauteed


S

  • sa malamig
-cold drinks sold at streetside
  • sahog
-the shrimps, meat, etc. used to flavor vegetables or noodle dish
  • salabat
-ginger tea/brew
  • saluyot
-corchorus olitorius, Jew's mallow
  • sangke
-star anise
  • santol
-sandoricum koetjape, a fruit with a thick rind and pulp enclosing whitish, furry seeds, sour-sweet in taste
  • sapin-sapin
-a rice sweet of blanc-mange consistency, made of several layers, usually of different colors
  • sarten
-(Spanish) frying pan
  • sawa
-snake; python or boa constrictor
  • sayote
-sechium edule, chayote, mirliton pear
  • shawarma
-a Middle Eastern snack of sliced meat (beef, lamb, chicken) and condiments served with pita bread
  • sili
-capsicum annuum, chili
  • sinalok
-(Cebuano) a steamed corned cake eaten with kinilaw
  • sinampalukang manok
-chicken cooked with tamarind leaves and sprouts
  • sinangag
-garlic-fried rice
  • sineguelas, sinegwelas
-spondias purpurea, Spanish plum
  • sinigang
-a stew of meat/fish/seafood and vegetables in a sour broth
  • singkamas
-pachyrrhizus erosus, yambean
  • solasi, sulasi
-ocimum sanctum, holy basil
  • solomillo
-(Spanish) tenderloin
  • sotanghon guisado
-mungbean noodles sauteed with meats and vegetables
  • suam
-soups and dishes made of rice water
  • suha
-citrus grandis, pomelo
  • suki
-a vendor from whom one buys regularly; also a regular customer
  • sugpo
-prawn
  • suman
-a rice cake from glutinous rice, often wrapped in palm or banana leaves


T

  • tabon-tabon
-hydrophytune orbiculatum, a fruit, the juice of which is used in kinilaw, and for finishing baskets
  • tagay, tagayan, tagatagayan, tagay-tagay
-the measure, the practice, and the one in charge of drinking at a drinking session
  • taho
-a drink made of soybean curd and syrup
  • tahuri
-soy bean cake
  • talbos
-the young sprouts or tendrils of squash, camote or sayote plants
  • tamales
-a rice cake flavored with peanuts, pork, eggs, etc. and wrapped in banana leaves
  • tanghalian
-the noon meal; lunch
  • tanglad
-cymbopogon citratus, lemon grass
  • tapa
-slices or strips of dried meat; tapang usa is dried venison
  • tapey
-(Manobo) the yeast for making rice wine
  • tapoi
-(Igorot) the yeast for making rice wine
  • tapuy
-(Igorot) rice wine
  • tausi
-tawsi salted soybeans
  • tilapia
-tilapia zili, a fast-growing fish
  • tinapa
-smoked fish
  • tinolang manok
-a dish of chicked cooked with vegetable (green papaya, chili leaves) and broth
  • tinowa
-(Cebuano) a dish of fish and vegetables in a lightly soured broth
  • tocino
-(Spanish) salt pork; in Tagalog or Pampango it is sweet cured pork
  • toge, togue
-mung bean sprouts
  • tokwa
-firm soy bean curd, also fried soy bean curd
  • torta de cangrejo
-(Spanish) crabmeat cooked with egg
  • torta del rey
-(Spanish) a cake of many thin layers
  • tortilla de patatas
-(Spanish) potato omelet
  • tuba
-palm toddy
  • tupig
-(Ilocano) a kind of rice cake wrapped in banana leaves
  • turo-turo
-an eatery in which the pre-cooked foods are laid out, and chosen by pointing (turo)
  • turon
-a fried spring roll, either meat, vegetable, or banana; turong saging (deep fried banana fritter) is usually cooked in oil with brown sugar and some jackfruit strips, and a typical snack or dessert in the Philippines
  • turron
-(Spanish) nougat
  • tuyo
-whole fish, dried and salted


U

  • ubod
-the core of the coconut palm; heart of palm
  • ukoy
-a vegetable patty, of mixed vegetables, or of flour and vegetables; a variation is a combination of shrimps, tofu, and vegetable patty
  • ulam
-viand, the main dish that comes with rice
  • ulang
-ustacidae, crayfish; also macrobrachium rosenbergii, giant freshwater prawn
  • upo
-lagenaria leucantha, bottle gourd


W

  • wansoy
-corindrium sativum, coriander leaf

Reference