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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. 


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


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 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

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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


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

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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


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


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


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

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annona muricata, soursop


halabos to steam shrimps or prawns in their own juice

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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


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


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


kadyos cadjanus cadjan, pigeon pea
kaimito, caimito chrusophillum caimito, star apple
kakang gata coconut cream
kakanin snacks, light cakes, usually made of rice

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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)

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mula sa Philippine Daily Inquirer Internet Edition, 25 September 2001

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


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


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


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


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
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


queso de bola Edam ball cheese


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


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


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


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


wansoy corindrium sativum, coriander leaf


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