Breakfast in the Philippines can be a mouthwatering journey through various flavors and textures. Filipino breakfast is known for hearty and diverse offerings, featuring a delightful fusion of Spanish, Chinese, and indigenous influences.
What’s Special About Breakfast In The Philippines?
One of the most notable traits of Filipino breakfast is its use of bold flavors and contrasting textures that reflects the country’s rich cultural heritage.
Traditional Filipino breakfast favorites include silog dishes, which typically consist of garlic fried rice, eggs cooked to your preference, and a protein such as tocino (sweet cured pork), tapa (dried or cured beef), or longganisa (Filipino sausage).
Other popular dishes include champorado (chocolate rice porridge) and arroz caldo (rice porridge with chicken or pork), which is typically garnished with crispy garlic and spring onions.
Another thing that sets Pinoy breakfast apart from other cuisines is its heavy use of vinegar and soy sauce as condiments. These add an acidic and salty kick to many dishes and are especially delicious when paired with fried foods.
Let’s explore some of the traditional Filipino breakfast dishes that will increase your appetite. We will delve into the delightful array of morning treats that make up the Pinoy breakfast experience and make you say “Magandang Umaga.”
Filipino Breakfast – Our Favorite Silog!
I’m telling you, when you say Filipino breakfast, we say silog. It’s a Pinoy term combining sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg) because they taste better together! Let’s see what else we can pair it with.
Tapsilog / Tapa-Sinangag-Itlog (Marinated Beef – Fried Rice – Egg)
Tapsilog is a beloved Filipino breakfast staple that combines irresistible flavors in a single plate. Tapa, the star of the dish, is sweet with a bit of tanginess from the marinade. It is often tender and savory, depending on how you want it done.
The tender beef pairs harmoniously with the fragrant garlic rice, while the richness of the fried egg creates a symphony of flavors that balance each other perfectly. Locals make sure to add vinegar and chili on the side to add a little spice.
Longsilog / Longganisa-Sinangag-Itlog (Filipino Sausage – Fried Rice – Egg)
Longganisa is made from ground pork seasoned with garlic and pepper, spices, sugar, and sturdy vinegar, then stuffed into casings. Most Filipino-styled sausage has a unique sweet, salty, or garlicky flavor.
Depending on the location, each region has its version of Longganisa. Northern parts of the Philippines, like Ilocos and Vigan, are known for their spicy-sweet longganisa. Meanwhile, in the South, they prefer mild-flavored sausage.
When enjoyed together, Longsilog results in a satisfying and hearty Filipino breakfast many locals love.
Bangsilog / Bangus-Sinangag-Itlog (Marinated Milkfish – Fried Rice – Egg)
Bangus, the Philippines’ national fish, also creates a complementary flavor along with aromatic fried rice and a sunny-side-up. The fish can be prepared by frying or grilling, producing crispy skin and succulent flesh.
You will enjoy this Pinoy breakfast. But beware, the fish bones may be tricky if you are not used to eating them! Just like Tapsilog, Bangsilog is enjoyed with a side of vinegar or tomato ketchup for added tanginess.
Tocilog / Tocino-Sinangag-Itlog (Sweet Cured Pork – Fried Rice – Egg)
Next to Tapsilog, Tocilog is one of the most popular silog dishes. Tocino, or sweet cured pork, is marinated and cured with sugar, soy sauce, and various spices.
The tender and caramelized tocino pairs beautifully with the aromatic garlic rice, while the creamy egg adds a satisfying richness to every bite. No sauce or condiments are necessary because the savory flavors of tocino are enough to tantalize your taste buds. It makes for the perfect breakfast in the Philippines.
Cornsilog / Corned Beef-Sinangag-Itlog
Creative, right? Cornsilog is a Filipino breakfast that features flavorful and tender beef brisket brined and seasoned with spices. Unlike Tapsilog, the meat of Corned Beef is shredded, often cooked with small cubed potatoes.
This Pinoy breakfast showcases the fusion of international influences and Filipino culinary creativity, as corned beef is a product of Western cuisine incorporated into local breakfast favorites.
Hot Rice And Signature Dishes For Filipino Breakfast
Don’t skip; we’re not done yet. If you feel like going the extra mile and are having something heavy for breakfast, here are Filipino signature dishes to pair with hot rice.
Adobong Manok (Filipino Chicken In Soy Sauce And Vinegar-braised Stew)
Adobong Manok, the unofficial national dish that the Philippines is known for, holds a special place in the hearts and palates of locals and foreigners.
The combination of vinegar and soy sauce creates a distinct flavor profile that is both comforting and addictive, while the slow cooking process results in the meat absorbing the flavors.
Adobo can be chicken, pork, or other proteins such as beef, seafood, or vegetables. Each variation offers a slightly different taste experience, but they all retain the essence of the adobo cooking method.
Tortang Talong (Filipino Eggplant Omelet)
Tortang Talong is a Filipino breakfast food that showcases the simplicity and deliciousness of eggplant, mashed or flattened, then pan-fried with scrambled eggs until golden brown on both sides.
The basic version – eggplant and egg – can become special with additional ingredients like ground meat, onions, tomatoes, or cheese, enhancing the flavors and creating variations of the dish. The charred flavor from the roasted eggplant enhances the overall taste, giving it a unique smoky undertone.
Sinangag (Filipino Garlic Fried Rice)
Yes, fried rice is one of the many signature Filipino breakfast food. It is loved for its aromatic flavors and versatility.
Sinangag is known for its ability to transform leftover rice into a delicious and satisfying meal. It is often prepared using day-old rice, as the drier texture of the leftover rice allows it to absorb the flavors more effectively during the frying process.
To make this Pinoy breakfast a standalone dish, locals mix it with shreds of leftover meat and small cuts of vegetables and garnish it with a stripe cut of scrambled eggs on top, giving you the Filipino version of Chinese Chao Fan but more appealing to Filipino tastebuds.
Tinolang Manok / Chicken Tinola (Filipino Chicken Stew)
Chicken Tinola is a comforting and flavorful soup made with chicken pieces simmered in a broth flavored with ginger, garlic, onion, and papaya or chayote, enriched with malunggay (moringa), spinach, or chili leaves.
Chicken Tinola is commonly cooked for lunch, but who makes the rule? It may as well be enjoyed as a Filipino breakfast since locals are very flexible.
It is commonly served during rainy days or as a remedy for common illnesses, as it is believed to have a warming effect on the body and provide relief. The pairing of the soup and rice creates a wholesome and complete meal.
Sinigang na Baboy / Pork Sinigang (Filipino Sour Soup Dish)
This is another on the lunch menu, but Filipinos also enjoy eating in the morning. Because why not? Sinigang na Baboy with steamed hot rice is always perfection.
This is one of those delightful Filipino breakfast ideas featuring pork as its main protein, cooked in a tamarind-based broth along with kangkong (water spinach), gabi (taro), radish, tomatoes, and string beans.
The hallmark of Sinigang na Baboy is its distinct sourness, achieved by using tamarind as the primary souring agent. The harmonious blend of flavors becomes so comforting it makes you feel at home. It’s one of the interesting facts about Filipino cuisine.
Filipino Breakfast – More Rice, Anyone?
Filipinos love rice. This means that you will almost always find it somehow in an authentic breakfast in the Philippines. Check these out for some Pinoy breakfast ideas.
Ginataang Bilo-Bilo (Sticky Rice Balls In Coconut Milk)
Ginataang Bilo-bilo is a popular and comforting Filipino dish, bursting with flavors of creamy and fragrant coconut milk broth along with chewy and slightly sweet rice balls, sweet potatoes, taro, jackfruit, plantains, and tapioca pearls.
With its velvety texture and sweet, creamy nature, Ginataang Bilo-Bilo is commonly served warm for the best taste. It is often consumed as a Filipino breakfast, snack, or a post-meal treat, meaning you can enjoy this dish any time of the day.
Champorado (Filipino Chocolate Rice Porridge)
Champorado is a sweet iconic Filipino breakfast that combines the richness of chocolate and the comforting warmth of glutinous rice.
The chocolatey flavor comes from the natural cocoa powder or tablea (traditional Filipino chocolate). The rice absorbs the flavors of the chocolate, resulting in a thick and velvety consistency.
Champorado is typically served with condensed milk, evaporated milk, or powdered milk for added creaminess. Locals pair the sweetness with tuyo or dilis (dried fish or anchovy) to contrast the sweetness. The result is both surprising and satisfying.
Did you already miss it for breakfast? No worries, you can even enjoy it as a filling Filipino dessert or sweet. There’s always an excuse for good food, isn’t it?
Chicken Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Porridge)
Chicken Arroz Caldo or Congree is a popular dish among many Asian cuisines. It is commonly served as a Filipino breakfast, a comfort meal, or a remedy for colds and flu.
Chicken Rice Porridge is slowly cooked and continuously stirred rice simmered in chicken broth, flavored with spices. Shredded or small pieces of chicken are often added to the porridge to provide protein and depth of flavor.
The porridge has a smooth and creamy consistency, is seasoned with soy sauce, and is often garnished with toppings like spring onions, crispy garlic, and a squeeze of calamansi or lemon for a hint of tanginess.
Goto (Filipino Rice Porridge with Ox tail)
Goto is another version of rice porridge served as a Filipino breakfast or late-night snack. This comforting dish is tasty and offers a sense of warmth and familiarity.
The difference between Goto with chicken rice porridge is the beef tripe, or the lining of the cow’s stomach, offering a slightly chewy and gelatinous component.
Goto is also enjoyed with a range of toppings and condiments. Popular choices include crunchy fried garlic, crispy fried pork intestines called chicharon bulaklak, spring onions, calamansi (Philippine lime), and chili peppers for added heat.
Lugaw (Filipino Rice Porridge)
The simplest version of rice porridge, served alone or with a hard-boiled egg. This Filipino breakfast can comfort and nourish in a humbling way, representing a warm and familiar Pinoy taste.
The flavor of Lugaw is enhanced with various toppings such as ginger, garlic, onions, and calamansi, depending on your preferences. Whatever it is, your choice of ingredients will infuse the porridge with a savory and aromatic taste that gives a sense of warmth and well-being with every spoonful.
Pastries And Cakes For Filipino Breakfast
Even if you’re not a rice lover or someone undergoing a strict diet, the following Filipino breakfast ideas are the ideal start for you.
Puto (Steamed Rice Cake)
It’s a famous Filipino breakfast and delicacy, and you can often see it with Kutsinta (sticky rice cake). Puto has a soft, fluffy, airy texture, delicate sweetness, and distinctively light flavor.
Puto is often white, but variations with different flavors like pandan, ube (purple yam), or cheese are also popular. Some variations include toppings like cheese, salted eggs, or grated coconut for added texture and taste.
It can be enjoyed independently or paired with dishes like Dinuguan (Filipino Pork Blood Stew) or Pancit (dry noodles). The light taste and versatility is what makes Puto one of the popular street foods in the Philippines.
Pan de sal (Filipino Salt Bread)
Pandesal is a staple Filipino breakfast that is soft and slightly sweet, typically enjoyed with butter, jam, or cheese. It’s a classic bread roll known for its delightful aroma and warmth when freshly baked early in the morning.
Pandesal is incredibly versatile and can be eaten plain, but it goes well with a variety of fillings like ham, eggs, corned beef, or even sweet spreads like peanut butter or condensed milk.
This beloved Pinoy breakfast is shared among family members or neighbors, symbolizing Filipino hospitality and camaraderie.
Kakanin (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)
Kakanin, or Filipino sticky rice delicacies, are traditional desserts and snacks. But as it tastes so good with hot coffee, it’s not rare to see locals serve it as Filipino breakfast.
Kakain has different variations in the Philippines, but most of them are a chewy texture and are right in sweetness. We have rice cakes cooked in banana leaves; another topped with latik or coconut milk curds; one with colorful layers; and one coated in grated coconut and sugar.
Kakanin is special in Filipino culture, particularly during festive occasions, religious celebrations, and family gatherings. It reflects creativity, resourcefulness, and Filipino love for rice.
Pan de Coco (Filipino Coconut Bread)
Did you know that the sweet and comforting taste of Pan de Coco has made it a favorite among Filipinos of all ages? It is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the Philippines and the creativity in using coconut in traditional baked goods.
Pan De Coco is a Filipino breakfast made from flour, sugar, and milk and filled with a sweet coconut mixture before it is rolled and baked. Once golden brown, the coconut filling becomes moist and tender, infusing the bread with its delightful tropical flavor.
Pianono (Filipino Sponge Cake Roll)
Pianono is a delightful sponge cake roll loved for its light and fluffy texture and sweet, creamy custard filling. Who wouldn’t love this for breakfast, right?
Pianono is often served sliced into bite-sized pieces, making it easy to enjoy as a finger food. But as locals enjoy a cup of hot beverage, typically a coffee or chocolate, they’ve learned to enjoy it as a Filipino breakfast.
The simplicity of the Pianono offers a taste of Filipino indulgence and is a delightful reminder of the sweet moments shared with loved ones during special occasions.
One Big Heavy Filipino Breakfast Meal
Filipino breakfast dishes are incredibly varied, and the options can satisfy all kinds of cravings. Whether you’re looking for something savory or sweet, there is a dish that will fit your needs. Generations of Filipinos have enjoyed these traditional recipes as they come together to share stories over morning meals.
Try out some of these classic Filipino breakfasts! And if you’re feeling adventurous enough to take on the challenge – pamper yourself with a hearty meal before exploring the stunning attractions in the Philippines.