A lot of restaurants these days have been hopping on the fusion cuisine bandwagon. You only have to Google “Filipino fusion food” and you will find a plethora of restaurants that offer wild food combinations like tapa eggs benedict, kare kare burrito, or watermelon sinigang. However, it’s worth noting that most of these food fusion ideas combine Western dishes with Filipino dishes, but you rarely see people doing Chinese and Filipino food fusion. Granted, combining Chinese and Filipino food might seem redundant, since a lot of beloved Filipino dishes have Chinese influences, but in the case of foods such as lumpiang shanghai or pancit canton, their recipes have already been adapted and adjusted to suit the Filipino palette. But what happens when you literally combine Filipino food with Chinese cooking techniques? The cooking channel BiteSized.ph shows you some of the endless possibilities (most of which you can easily make at home!). So without further ado, here are 6 Chinese and Filipino fusion dishes you should definitely try.
Dumplings are arguably one of the most well-known Chinese dishes out there. They are typically filled with ground pork, shrimp, and cabbage, and they can either be steamed or fried (or even a combination of both). Dumplings are so delicious that they even spawned many versions in different cultures, with notable examples being the Japanese Gyoza and the Korean Mandou. If you’re a dumpling lover, then you’ve likely tried all kinds of fillings already, but have you ever tried sisig dumplings? Yes, you read that right! Check out this recipe to see how you can turn your crispy sisig into a dumpling filling.
Pinoy Xiao Long Bao (3 ways)
Xiao Long Bao, also known as soup dumplings, sort of became a local trend when the first few branches of Din Tai Fung opened in the Philippines. They are also typically made with ground pork and pork broth, but recently, there have been new fillings like truffle and crab. If you think you’ve tried all the flavor combinations already, you’re probably wrong because this recipe shows you how to make xiao long bao with Nilaga, Tinola, and Sinigang. It also shows you a cool trick on how to fill the dumplings with soup).
Tokwa’t Talong Tantanmen
Tokwa’t Talong is a relatively simple dish made with tokwa eggplant as its name suggests, coupled with soy sauce and vinegar. Although the dish has Chinese influences, it’s more popularly known as a Filipino food item. Tantanmen, on the other hand, is a Japanese version of the Chinese dish Dan Dan Mian, which has a combination of spicy and nutty flavors. Upon first glance, you wouldn’t think Tantanmen and tokwa’t talong would even go together, but this recipe is here to prove you wrong.
Gising Gising Fried Rice
Gising Gising is an iconic yet somewhat underrated Filipino dish that originated from Nueva Ecija and Pampanga. Its core ingredients are sigarilyas, coconut milk, sili labuyo, and bagoong, and occasionally contains chicken. As for fried rice, you probably already know how to make it (if you don’t, then you probably disappointed your ancestors). You can turn almost anything into fried rice, and this recipe shows you how to make gising gising fried rice.
Bicol Express Lumpia
At this point, Lumpiang Shanghai can be considered both a Chinese and Filipino food. It originated from China and eventually became a popular comfort food in the Philippines, but the Filipino version is actually not that different from the original. What happens if you add a bit more Filipino flair to lumpia by using Bicol Express as the filling. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Bicol Express, it’s a stew typically made with pork belly, bagoong, chili peppers, and coconut milk. It has a unique, contrasting flavor of spicy and creamy, so what could go wrong if you roll it in a lumpia wrapper and deep fry it?
There is currently a heated debate on whether or not the DTI should standardize adobo, but personally, I don’t think that’s the best idea. There are different ways to make adobo, with various families claiming that their recipe is the best. (You can’t tell a Filipino grandma that their adobo recipe is wrong. You’re just asking for punishment.) People are free to cook adobo in whatever way they want, whether they want to do it the traditional way or turn them into noodles. Standardizing adobo will just keep you from enjoying the glorious creation that is adobo noodles.