Filipino cooking is characterized as simple and dishes are cooked without requiring an elaborate number of utensils. Most dishes in the Philippines are stewed, sauteed, broiled, braised, or fried. There are a few major styles in preparing and cooking Filipino food. The first involves vinegar which is present in popular dishes such as adobo, paksiw and sinigang.
In addition to adding sour base taste, vinegar also brings its presevative effects into the food. Another style in Filipino cooking style is the use of fish sauce or patis as main ingredient. Patis is not as prominent as vinegar though and, in its absence, is substituted with salt. In fact, many cooking ingredients not available can be substituted with appropriate replacements, thereby altering the flavor a bit.Despite eclectic mixture of various Asian and Western influences, Filipino cooking methods remain relatively simple.
Here are some common cooking methods in the Philippines. These cooking styles were developed and practiced with practicality in mind: few, cheap and readily available ingredients, fewer utensils and relatively quick cooking.
Nilaga or Boiled Dish – soup dish favored especially during wet seasons. Among the popular dishes cooked using this method are nilagang baka, pochero and bulalo. It consists of boiled leg bone marrow with cartilage, meat and green vegetable such as cabbage.
Inihaw or Grill – one of the best means to cook fish, chicken and meat. It is performed by cooking directly on heat of fire or charcoal. Lechon manok and lechon baboy are examples of this cooking method.
Steaming – done in a bowl-shaped pan and dish is often wrapped in aluminum foil to preserve flavor or laid bare and covered.