The Philippines is a country known not only for its stunning landscape and warm hospitality but also for its vibrant and diverse culinary traditions.
At the heart of Filipino cuisine lies the sari-sari, a soup-like meal that consists of mixed meats and vegetables.
The words “Sari-Sari” basically translate to “variety,” meaning a meal made up of whatever is available.
There are also small convenience stores in the Philippines called “Sari-Sari Stores,” which sell miscellaneous items like candy or skewers.
These delightful dishes are a harmonious medley of various ingredients, all coming together to create a sumptuous and satisfying meal.
Join us as we explore the 10 best Filipino sari-sari recipes that will tantalize your taste buds and have you saying, “Sari-sari, not sorry!”
The History Of Sari Sari
As previously mentioned, sari-sari means “variety” or “assortment” in Tagalog while reflecting the heart of Filipino cuisine. Because of the many invading and occupying forces that have passed through The Philippines, not to mention the strong trade alliances that the islands have, Filipino food is something of a melting pot of cultures and traditions.
Filipino sari-sari cuisine is a true testament to the country’s rich history. It’s an ever-evolving menu that thrives on fusion, diversity, and a love of food so strong that you’re willing to try out crazy combinations.
The best thing about this type of food is that it’s always changing as cultures and traditions change. Sari-sari continues to evolve, embracing global influences while staying true to its roots.
It’s comfort food, street food, and gourmet food all in one.
Meat Sari-Sari Recipes
Pork sari-sari is a comforting dish that features tender pork chunks and a mix of veggies in a savory but still slightly sweet sauce. This dish is perfect for colder nights when you need a filling meal.
To create this meaty masterpiece, start by browning your pork in a pan, then add your garlic and onions and simmer until the pork is tender.
Pairing Dish: A side of garlic-fried bagoong or fermented shrimp paste pairs perfectly with this dish.
Cooking Tip: In order to make the pork extra tender, marinate it with soy sauce, calamansi juice, and sugar before cooking.
Pork with Mixed Filipino Vegetables, also known as pork sari-sari, is a hearty dish with marinated pork slices and a vibrant mix of vegetables. Serve this meal for lunch or dinner, depending on how hungry you are!
Pairing Dish: Enjoy this meal with a side of bagoong isda or fish paste and a generous serving of steamed rice.
Cooking Tip: Let the marinated pork sit for at least an hour for maximum flavor infusion.
Sari-Sari, Not Sorry is Bittersweet’s quintessential Filipino dish that celebrates the art of mixing and matching ingredients. It’s a delightful stew featuring an assortment of vegetables and proteins, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.
Pairing Dish: Savor it with a serving of steamed rice or crusty pan de sal for an authentic Filipino experience.
Cooking Tip: Ensure the vegetables remain crisp and tender by adding them in stages, with the firmer ones going in first.
Sari-Sari – Shaken, Not Stirred is a playful twist on the classic sari-sari, featuring tender slices of beef mixed with an array of colorful veggies in a tasty stir-fry.
With eggplant, squash, and bitter melon, this dish is super satisfying as you get to the end of Summer and the start of Fall.
Pairing Dish: Enjoy this dish with a side of garlic noodles or pancit canton for a mouthwatering experience.
Cooking Tip: For a smoky flavor, cook the beef in a hot wok or pan until it’s seared and slightly charred.
Shrimp Sari-Sari Recipes
This dish offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures, featuring a medley of vegetables, shrimp, and pork. It’s a wonderful fusion of sweet, savory, and tangy, all on one plate.
Pairing Dish: Pair it with a side of garlic fried rice and a dipping sauce of soy and calamansi for a truly unforgettable meal.
Cooking Tip: Don’t skimp on the shrimp paste or bagoong – it adds a distinctive umami kick to this dish.
Shrimp Sari-Sari is a seafood lover’s dream come true. This dish combines plump, succulent shrimp with an array of fresh vegetables in a savory tomato-based sauce.
Start by sauteeing the garlic and onions, then add your tomatoes and shrimp. As the shrimp turn pink, toss in a mix of vegetables, creating a stunning blend of flavors and textures.
Pairing Dish: Serve it with a side of fluffy jasmine rice and some sliced green mangoes for that extra zing.
Cooking Tip: Be mindful not to overcook the shrimp. They should be firm, opaque, and slightly curled.
Vegetable Sari-Sari Recipes
Utan Bisaya Sari-Sari is a delightful Visayan dish that highlights the freshness of local vegetables simmered in a clear and light broth.
This comforting dish is filled with squash, okra, string beans, and eggplant, so you know it’s going to be simple yet filling.
Pairing Dish: Enjoy it with a serving of puto or plain rice to let the natural flavors shine through.
Cooking Tip: Use a good quality fish sauce to enhance the broth’s depth of flavor.
For our vegetarian friends, here is a sari-sari recipe that’s sure to please. Ginisand Sari-Sari Gulay brings a variety of vegetables together in a tasty stir-fry.
You’ll find everything from okra to eggplant, though you’ll have to leave out the sauteed shrimp paste to keep the meal vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Pairing Dish: A plate of crispy puto or rice cakes complements the flavors of this dish perfectly.
Cooking Tip: When using okra, make sure not to overcook it, as it can get slimy. A quick blanch before adding it to the saute helps!
Another great vegan and vegetarian-friendly recipe, this vegetable sari-sari is a delicious meal with a rainbow of veggies cooked in a savory sauce. This is a dish that is guaranteed to satisfy any hungry bellies at the table.
Pairing Dish: A warm bowl of arroz caldo, or Filipino rice porridge, compliments the simplicity and flavors of this dish.
Cooking Tip: Saute the vegetables in a bit of ginger for an extra layer of aroma.
10. Pinakbet Tagalog
No list of sari-sari dishes would be complete without a recipe for Pinakbet Tagalog, which is why we’ve saved the best for last.
This classic Filipino dish is a delicious blend of sauteed vegetables with a hint of bitterness from the ampalaya, also known as bitter melon.
Pairing Dish: Serve it with a side of crispy lechon kawali or deep-fried pork belly for a rich and contrasting flavor profile.
Cooking Tip: Bagoong alamang, or fermented shrimp paste, is key to the dish’s distinctive flavor. Adjust the amount to your taste.
Sari-sari recipes offer a mouthwatering journey through the diverse and vibrant landscape of both Filipino cuisine and culture.
It’s a testament to the rich culture of the Philippines, where flavors, traditions, and ingredients from all over the world come together in deeply satisfying dinners.
Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast, a vegetarian, or a self-professed carnivore, sari-sari cuisine has something special to offer. These recipes show off the versatility and creativity of Filipino cooking, proving that there’s something for everyone on the sari-sari menu.
So, embrace the variety and let your taste buds revel in the many different flavors of Filipino cuisine. Experience the Filipino culture of warmth and hospitality through its delicious food, where every mouthful tells a story of fusion and cultural appreciation.
Hungry for more? How about these Filipino slow cooker recipes?
Sari-sari recipes are a beloved part of Filipino cruising, known for their blend of local ingredients and flavors. They have evolved over generations to become a symbol of Filipino culinary diversity.
Dishes like sari-sari can be found all over the world. In communities that have experienced food scarcity, dishes that are essentially just whatever you have leftover thrown into a pot are very popular and common meals that are warming and nourishing.
Absolutely! You can adapt sari-sari recipes to include seafood like shrimp, fish, or crab, adding a delightful twist to these dishes.
For a vegetarian sari-sari, try Ginisang Sari-Sari Gulay or Vegetables Sari-Sari, which showcase the vibrant flavors of Filipino vegetables without meat.
Considering that about 5% of the Filipino population identifies as Vegetarian, it’s no wonder that there are some amazing meat-free dishes available.
The 10 Best Filipino Sari-Sari RecipesCourse: Other Recipes
- Choose a sari-sari recipe from above
- Collect your ingredients
- Prepare your dish