15 Delicious Filipino Side Dishes To Enjoy

Have you ever wondered how to elevate your Filipino dining experience?

Well, wonder no more because we’ve got the perfect guide for you. From sizzling street food to comforting home-cooking classics, we’re diving into the heart of Filipino side dishes.

Join us as we share kitchen secrets, cooking tips, and perfect pairings, making your kitchen the stage for creating these Filipino favorites.

Filipino Side Dishes

So, grab your apron, prep your ingredients, and let’s dive into the delightful recipe book of delicious Filipino side dishes.

Vegetable-Based Side Dishes

1. Ensaladang Talong

First on the list, we have Ensaladang Talong, a delightful grilled eggplant salad! Roasted eggplants mingle with juicy tomatoes and onions, creating a refreshing medley of flavors.

Cooking Tip: When grilling the eggplant, make sure to get that perfect smoky flavor. Char them just enough for a tempting aroma and a slightly crispy texture.

Pairing Dish: This salad is a fantastic companion to grilled meats like inihaw na baboy (grilled pork) or inihaw na manok (grilled chicken). The smokiness of the eggplant complements the char of the meat beautifully.

2. Ginisang Sayote

Meet ginisang sayote, a sauté dish that transforms chayote into a savory delight. Garlic, onions, and tomatoes work their magic, turning simple ingredients into something extraordinary.

Cooking Tip: To keep the dish crisp and vibrant, don’t overcook the sayote. Stir-fry until it’s just tender but still maintains a bit of crunch.

Pairing Dish: This side dish pairs great with grilled or fried fish. The mild taste of sayote provides a nice contrast to the bold flavors of fish dishes.

3. Pinakbet

Pinakbet is a symphony of mixed vegetables sautéed to perfection with shrimp paste (bagoong). It’s a savory journey with each bite!

Cooking Tip: Balance is key! Don’t be shy with the bagoong, but taste as you go to achieve that perfect savory harmony without overwhelming the veggies.

Pairing Dish: Enjoy Pinakbet with crispy lechon kawali or grilled bangus (milkfish). The rich, crispy meat complements the hearty vegetable mix wonderfully.

4. Dinengdeng

Dinengdeng takes you to the heart of Filipino comfort food. A medley of greens cooked in fish bagoong, it’s simplicity that packs a punch.

Cooking Tip: Let the natural flavors shine. Cook the greens until they’re just tender, preserving their freshness and nutritional goodness.

Pairing Dish: Pair dinengdeng with grilled or fried fish. The lightness of the greens balances well with the richness of the fish, creating a wholesome meal.

5. Atchara

Next, we’ve got Atchara, a zesty and crunchy pickled green papaya that adds a burst of flavor to any meal. It’s like a party in your mouth!

Cooking Tip: For that perfect crunch, julienne the green papaya thinly. Don’t be shy with the carrots and bell peppers – more colors mean more vibrancy.

Pairing Dish: Atchara is an ideal companion for grilled or fried dishes like barbecue or fried chicken. Its tangy goodness balances the richness of these savory treats.

Seafood-Based Sides

6. Baked Tahong

Our next recipe is a delightful seafood-based side dish. Baked tahong is a celebration of mussels baked to perfection. Garlic, cheese, and sometimes butter make this a delectable treat for your taste buds.

Cooking Tip: When baking, keep an eye on the mussels to prevent overcooking. We want them tender and juicy, not rubbery.

Pairing Dish: This pairs wonderfully with a bowl of garlic fried rice. The cheesy, garlicky mussels elevate the humble rice to a gourmet experience.

7. Kinilaw na Isda

Kinilaw na isda is our Filipino ceviche, a zesty dance of raw fish that has been marinated in vinegar, citrus, and spices. Freshness in every bite!

Cooking Tip: Use the freshest fish you can find. The quality of the fish makes all the difference in a dish like kinilaw.

Pairing Dish: Pair kinilaw na isda with a bowl of steamed rice or as an appetizer before indulging in grilled pork or chicken. The contrasting flavors will leave your taste buds singing.

8. Ukoy

Let’s take a look at our next recipe, Ukoy, crispy shrimp, and vegetable fritters. Imagine a delightful mix of flavors and textures in every bite – crispy, savory, and utterly satisfying.

Cooking Tip: Make your batter light and airy by using ice-cold water. This ensures a crispy texture that’s simply irresistible.

Pairing Dish: Pair ukoy with a dipping sauce made of vinegar, garlic, and a pinch of sugar. The acidity of the sauce complements the richness of the shrimp and vegetables.

Noodle And Rice-Based Sides

9. Pancit Canton

Pancit canton is a veritable stir-fried noodle sensation! Loaded with veggies and meats, it’s a celebration of flavors and textures that’ll leave you wanting more.

Cooking Tip: Prep all your ingredients before starting; stir-frying is a quick process. Keep the noodles slightly undercooked, as they will continue to cook when stir-fried.

Pairing Dish: Serve pancit canton alongside grilled or roasted meats for a complete meal. The noodles will absorb the savory juices, making every bite a taste explosion.

10. Bibingka

Bibingka is a delicious festive rice cake. It’s a sweet and chewy delight, perfect for celebrations or satisfying your sweet tooth.

Cooking Tip: Traditionally cooked in banana leaves over hot coals, try baking it in the oven for that same smoky flavor. Don’t forget the salted egg and coconut on top!

Pairing Dish: Pair bibingka with a cup of hot tsokolate (Filipino hot chocolate) for a classic Filipino merienda (snack) experience.

Soup And Stew-Based

11. Tinolang Manok

Next on our list is tinolang manok, a heartwarming chicken soup with green papaya and ginger. It’s practically a comforting hug in a bowl.

Cooking Tip: To infuse the broth with flavor, sauté the ginger and garlic until aromatic before adding the chicken and water.

Pairing Dish: Pair this tinolang manok with a side of steamed rice and fish sauce with calamansi for a comforting and complete meal.

12. Laing

Laing is a spicy sensation of taro leaves cooking in coconut milk, chili, and dried fish. Brace yourself for a flavor experience like no other.

Cooking Tip: Balance the spice by adjusting the amount of chili you add. The creaminess of coconut milk should complement, not overpower.

Pairing Dish: Laing pairs well with grilled or fried fish, creating a burst of flavors that dance on your palate.

13. Sinigang na Baboy

Sinigang na baboy, the Filipino sour pork soup that’s both comforting and refreshing. It’s a culinary hop skip and jump from sour, savory, and hearty.

Cooking Tip: Taste the tamarind broth as you go; the perfect sinigang is a harmonious balance of sourness and savory flavors.

Pairing Dish: Pair the sinigang na baboy with steamed rice and a side of fish sauce with crushed red pepper. The contrasting flavors create a truly memorable dining experience.

Fried And Grilled Filipino Sides

14. Fried Lumpia

Fried lumpia are crispy spring rolls filled with a mix of vegetables and meat. It’s a party favorite that disappears in a blink. You might have to make extra just so everyone gets a chance to try them!

Cooking Tip: Seal the edges well to prevent the filling from oozing out during frying. A well-sealed lumpia is a happy lumpia.

Pairing Dish: Serve fried lumpia with a sweet and savory dipping sauce with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and a dash of sugar. It’s the perfect balance of flavors.

15. Kamote Cue

The final recipe that we’re going to look at here is kamote cue. We love this recipe because it’s a snack or side dish that satisfies cravings for both sweet and savory foods. Kamote cue is a sweet and caramelized nibble of deep-fried sweet potato on a stick.

Cooking Tip: Try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey or caramel syrup just before serving for a warm, comforting twist on the dish.

Pairing Dish: Pair your kamote cue with a creamy Ube ice cream (purple yam) to create a delightful combination of vibrant flavors.

Final Thoughts

As we finish up this lineup of Filipino side dishes, remember that the heart of Filipino cuisine lies in the vibrant mix of colors, textures, and tastes.

From the zesty kick of atchara to the crispy umami perfection of ukoy, each dish tells a tale of tradition, warmth, and, of course, fantastic food.

So, the next time you find yourself in the kitchen, why not add a touch of Filipino flair to your culinary adventures?

With these delightful side dishes, you’re not just cooking; you’re creating a symphony of flavors that will electrify your taste buds.

Hungry for more? Try these Filipino appetizers next.


What side dishes go well with lumpia?

As well as the soy sauce dip that we recommended, you can also pair lumpia with chicken wings, shrimp fried rice, or chop suey.

Why do Filipinos love lumpia?

Because it’s so delicious! It’s the kind of dish that can be served as an appetizer, main course, or snack. Cultures around the world have discovered “savory meat filling wrapped in pastry,” and lumpia is just the Filipino equivalent of that combination.

15 Delicious Filipino Side Dishes To Enjoy

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Other Recipes


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  • Choose a recipe
  • Gather your ingredients
  • Prepare your dish
  • Enjoy.
Barbara Hunt


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