Filipino food

6 Filipino ‘ulam’ hog Best Pork Dishes in the World list of Taste Atlas for 2024

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6 Filipino ‘ulam’ hog Best Pork Dishes in the World list of Taste Atlas for 2024
Lechon kawali, sisig, adobong baboy, and more – did your favorites make the list?

MANILA, Philippines – It’s time to pig out and celebrate, because six Filipino dishes have made it on Taste Atlas’ 50 Best Pork Dishes in the World list for 2024!

6 Filipino ‘ulam’ hog Best Pork Dishes in the World list of Taste Atlas for 2024

The international food database released the list on Monday, May 27, with lechon in 29th place with 4.3 stars. Lechon kawali follows in 33rd place, Bicol express in 34th, inihaw na liempo in 40th, adobong baboy in 42nd, and sisig in 46th place.

In first place this year is Colombia’s lechona, which is similar to our lechon – it’s a whole roasted pig typically served during special occasions. Other notable global dishes also on the list are Singapore’s braised pork belly and char siu; Mexico’s carnitas; Korea’s samgeyopsal, ogyeopsal, and moksal; Japan’s tonkatsu; and USA’s pulled pork.

Taste Atlas describes lechon as one of the most popular festive dishes in the Philippines, derived from a Spanish word for “roasted suckling pig.” It is usually stuffed with lemongrass, tamarind, garlic, onions, and chives, and is slow-roasted on a large bamboo spit over an open fire until the reddish-brown skin is crackling and crispy. Filipinos usually eat lechon with a rich liver sauce, made with sugar, herbs, and vinegar – this sauce is also a component of lechon paksiw, a famous dish that uses leftover lechon meat.

Lechon kawali – deep-fried pork belly – is made by first boiling the meat in plain or seasoned water, rubbed with salt, cut into chunks, then deep-fried until it develops a golden-brown, crispy skin, but remains juicy and tender on the inside. Sisig is the popular Kapampangan dish made by “boiling, chopping, and grilling parts of pig’s head such as ears, cheeks, and jowls, which are then seasoned with salt, pepper, and vinegar.”

Bicol express is the famous sliced pork dish made in a creamy-spicy, coconut-based sauce, seasoned with shrimp paste and sili.

Inihaw na liempo is the Filipino version of grilled pork belly. It is usually made from pork belly that is marinated in soy sauce, calamansi juice, salt, pepper, and garlic, and then grilled until smoky and soft. It is basted with the leftover marinade, as well as with banana ketchup and oil for many others. Inihaw na liempo is eaten with white rice, spiced vinegar with onions, and/or toyomansi (soy sauce and calamansi).

Adobong baboy is the Philippines’ traditional stew, made with pork belly, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt. The pork is marinated, browned, and then simmered in the savory-tangy sauce. Adobo is best eaten with white rice on the side.

In 2023, Taste Atlas also included the same contenders on the same list, with lechon in 17th place, lechon kawali in 22nd, Bicol express in 23rd, and sisig in 28th place. 

Three other Filipino dishes made it to the top 51-100 list – binagoongan in 52nd place, inihaw na liempo in 53rd, and crispy pata in 57th.

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. – Steph Arnaldo/

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