Filipino food

Adobo, sisig among ‘100 Best Dishes in the World’ of 2021 ranked by Taste Atlas

Steph Arnaldo
Adobo, sisig among ‘100 Best Dishes in the World’ of 2021 ranked by Taste Atlas


Adobo beats China's Kung Pao chicken and Italy's puttanesca, among others

MANILA, Philippines – It’s no surprise that adobo and sisig continue to be globally recognized – and as they should be! International food database Taste Atlas has included the two well-loved Filipino dishes on their annual 100 Best Dishes in the World list for 2021.

Adobo (4.3 stars) came in 81st place, beating France’s Fondue Savoyarde in 85th place, China’s Kung Pao chicken in 86th, and Italy’s puttanesca, which was in 92nd place. Taste Atlas mentioned that the one of the “best adobo” can be found in Manila’s Cafe Adriatico. They also described the salty-sour meat staple as the “closest thing to a national dish in the Philippines,” consisting of browned chunks of meat (usually pork and/or chicken, sometimes seafood), mixed with white vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, garlic, salt, sugar, oil, and black pepper.

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“The combination of these ingredients is left to simmer over low heat, resulting in succulent, juicy, and tender ingredients covered in thick, rich, and savory sauce. Adobo got its name from the Spanish word adobar, meaning marinade or pickling sauce,” Taste Atlas wrote, also nothing that there are a number of varieties of the dish – from spicy, mild, to saucy, or dry versions. Additional ingredients can also be added, such as onions, ginger, lemongrass, chili peppers, atsuete, and/or coconut milk.

Pampanga’s famous traditional dish, sisig (4.4 stars), also made it in 72nd place, coming in right after Malaysia’s laksa and beating India’s butter chicken at 78th place. Taste Atlas recommended Aling Lucing’s Sisig in Angeles, Pampanga.

The pulutan favorite is typically made by boiling, chopping, and grilling parts of a pig’s head (ears, cheeks, and jowls) and seasoning them with salt, pepper, vinegar, and other spices. The meat is combined with fried onions, chili pepper, and sometimes chicken liver, and then traditionally topped with a raw egg and served on a sizzling plate. Sometimes, mayonnaise or crunchy pork chicharon are added on top for extra texture and flavor.

“Originally, sisig had no meat in it, and was first described in a 1732 Kapampangan dictionary by Fr. Diego Bergano as a salad consisting of guava or green papaya. The name of the dish is believed to derive from the word sisigan, meaning to make sour. It was used as an early remedy for nausea and hangovers, because its sour flavor was considered a vomit suppressant,” Taste Atlas wrote.

Rounding out the top 100 list is Indonesia’s satay in 99th place and Japan’s tonkatsu in last.

Spain’s gambas al ajillo is in 6th place, while the top five dishes for this year are Italy’s trofie al pesto, Thailand’s massaman curry, Poland’s pierogi ruskie, Brazil’s picanha, and Mexico’s cochinita pibil in first place.

On Saturday, December 25, Taste Atlas included lechon, bibingka, kesong puti, and lugaw in their top 100 Most Popular Christmas Dishes around the world. Filipino savory-sour soup sinigang was deemed the World’s Best Vegetable soup in August, with a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5.

In March 2019, kare-kare, lechon, and crispy pata found their places on Taste Atlas’ Top 100 Best Traditional Dishes In The World list of the year. 

Taste Atlas is an online gastronomic database that promotes the local culinary culture of countries all over the world. The website contains over 10,000 specialty dishes, drinks, recommended restaurants, and local ingredients for anyone to check out before an international trip. –

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.