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The History of 6 Popular Filipino-Chinese Dishes

Chinoys and Pinoys have been cooking side-by-side since the Chinese first immigrated here! 

Photo credit from DarShey Goes To

For example, batchoy is a delicious traditional Filipino comfort food. But did you know that the Chinese community in La Paz, Iloilo were the ones who created the savory soup dish? It was then popularly served with puto (steamed Filipino rice cake) and the rest is history. 

Sharing of food allows us to try more flavors and enrich our plates with tastes from other cultures. Filipinos making Chinese noodle dishes and Chinoys serving chopsuey alongside bagoong and fried fish is only the tip of the iceberg. With that, here are six iconic Filipino-Chinese dishes and their rich histories as well as the links to their recipes!


1. Lumpiang Shanghai

Photo credit from the Maya Kitchen

Lumpiang Shanghai, or Filipino spring rolls, are eaten widely at Filipino celebrations as well as lunches, weddings, birthdays, and even weddings! The crunchy dish is a mainstay at Filipino dining tables around the country.

It is a distant cousin of Popiah, a delicacy in Fujian, China. It is eaten during the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year. These rolls, which are also known as lumpia, were brought to the Philippines by early Chinese traders. The Filipinos added their local twist to the dish, and it eventually became the lumpiang shanghai we know and love today.

Speaking of distant cousins, did you know that turon is actually a sweet version of lumpia? If you remove the banana and jackfruit from turon and replace it with the ingredients of lumpiang shanghai, it will taste the same.

Try this recipe yourself at home for some lumpiang shanghai goodness!


2. Pancit Canton

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The name pancit comes from the Hokkien word “pian-e-sit” which means something that is conveniently cooked. This stir-fried noodle dish is so beloved in the Philippines that almost every region in the island country has its own version of pancit. For example, Malabon has pancit luglog (with oyster, shrimp, and squid) while Quezon has pancit habhab which is flavored with meat and vegetables while served on a leaf.

Just like lumpiang shanghai, the dish was brought here by Chinese traders who came to the Philippines. One can imagine the Chinese traders missing their homeland, and cooking noodles to eat (and share with Filipino friends.) 

Other Chinoy noodle dishes include sotanghon, lomi, and bihon! Try this pancit canton recipe from Panlasang Pinoy for an authentic Chinoy noodle experience!


3. Kiampong

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Truly a product of cultural fusion, this dish is the combination of Chinese machang and Spanish paella, which are the main cuisine influences in the Philippines. It consists of sticky rice, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese sausages, and meat (chicken and pork.)

While it is less common on the traditional Filipino dining table, it is consumed widely and heartily in Binondo as well as nationwide in the Chinoy community.

The word “Kiampong” means fried rice in Hokkien. Click on this link to try making kiampong yourself!


4. Taho (buy from taho man)

Photo credit from Ang Sarap Recipes


Chances are, upon reading the word “taho,” the booming voice of a taho man echoed in your head. Taho is a popular local delicacy that originated in China, and Filipinos and Chinoys alike have been enjoying this dish in the Philippines before the Spaniards arrived. 

The word “taho” is derived from the Chinese word “douhua” or soybean pudding which was invented during the Han Dynasty Period.  Try this homemade taho recipe for a taste of pudding that has been around for centuries!


5. Goto

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Goto, with its rich and savory flavor, is made from rice and beef tripe cooked with ginger and garnished with crispy garlic, scallions, pepper and chicharon. The name of the dish is derived from the Hokkien word 牛肚 (gû-tǒ͘) which means ox tripe.  

Click this link to learn how to make goto yourself!


6. Siomai and Dumplings

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The Filipino word “siomai” comes from the Hokkien word “siomai.” Yup, they’re the same word! The tasty dumpling is a popular street food served with soy sauce and chili sauce, but is also prepared at restaurants, cafeterias, and carinderias around the country.

Here is a step-by-step recipe for siomai. Hope you enjoyed this mouth-watering list!

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