Philippines Ingredients Glossary

Achara-pickled fruits or vegetables served as a relish with grated green papaya or sauerkraut.

Achuete or Achiote-annatto seeds used to give food a reddish color. Seeds are soaked in water to extract the color. Usually available in bottles in most supermarkets or Hispanic food stores.

Adobo-a generic term of cooking meat, fish or vegetables in garlic, vinegar, soy sauce and pepper. It is the name of the dish as well as the style of cooking.

Alimasag-a variety of crab with large pincers.

Apritada-meat dish with tomato sauce and vegetables; a Spanish-influenced dish.

Arroz-Spanish word for “rice.”

Asado-a meat dish cooked with romatoes, onions and other seasonings.

Baboy-Tagalog term for “pork” or “pig.”

Bagoong-salty, fermented sauce or paste made from small shrimps or fish, used as an accompaniment to main dishes; also known as ancovy sauce. It is available regular or sauteed.


Buko-a young coconut.

Calamansi-a small limelike fruit found in the tropics. Lemon is the best substitute.

Caldereta-goat-meat stew.Camaron rebosado-shelled shrimps (with tail on) dipped in a batter and deep fried.

Cassava-an edible, starchy root used in making bread or tapioca.

Chicharon-crisp fried pork rind or skin.

Chorizo de Bilbao-Spanish sausage used for flavoring dishes.

Dilis-long-jawed anchovy.

Embutido-ground meat roll, usually made with ground pork stuffed with ham, pickles, eggs and raisins.

Empanada-meat turnover with ground beef, chopped olives, raisins and a slice of hardboiled egg.Empanadita-small turnover with honey and nuts.

Ensalda-Spanish term for “salad.”

Escabeche-fish in sweet-and-sour sauce.

Estofado-stewed meat dish cooked with vinegar, sugar and other spices.

Frito-Tagalog term for “fried.”

Flan-custard made of milk and egg yolks.

Fritada-see Apritada.

Gallina-Spanish word for “chicken.”

Gata-Tagalog word for “coconut milk.”

Ginataan-method of cooking food in coconut milk.

Guisado-Tagalog word for “sauteed.”

Hamon-Tagalog spelling of the Spanish word for ham (jamon).

Inihaw-Tagalog term for “charcoal-broiled.”

Kangkong-green, smooth-leafed vegetable native to the Philipines. It has a flavor that is milder than spinach and a texture similar to watercress.

Kare-Kare-Philippine meat-vegetable stew with ox tail, beef or tripe, eggplant, banana buds and other vegetables cooked in peanut sauce and ground toasted rice

Kawali-Tagalog word for “snails.”

Kutsay-Tagalog word for “leeks.”

Labong-Tagalog word for “bamboo shoots.”

Leche flan-leche is the Spanish word for milk; a milk and egg yolk custard.

Lechon-roast suckling pig.

Lengua-Spanish word for “tongue.”

Lomo-Beef loinLonganiza-native sausage.

Lumpia-Philippine egg rolls

Manok-Tagalog word for “chicken.”

Mechado-meat into which long strips of fat have been inserted, then simmered in tomato sauce and spices.

Menudo-diced pork and liver stew with vegetables

Merienda-afternoon tea.

Miki-rice noodle.

Misua or Miswa-threadlike wheat noodle; a vermicelli

Misu-soybean paste

Mongo-mung beans.

Morcon-beef meat roll stuffed with eggs, ham, pickles and sausages.

Nilaga-Tagalog word for “boiled.”

Paksiw-fish or meat cooked in vinegar, garlic and hot cooking peppers.

Pansit-noodle dish.

Pastillas-sweets in the form of little bars made of milk and sugar, with or without nuts.

Patis-very salty, amber-colored, thin liquid extract from salted and fermented seafood (usually fish). Very similar to the Vietnamese nuoc mam and the Thai nampla, which may be substituted.Pesa-fish or meat dish with vegetables simmered with fresh ginger.

Pipino-Tagalog for “cucumber.”

Pochero-dish of boiled beef, chicken, dumplings and vegetables, which is similar to the Spanish cocida.

Pusit-Tagalog word for “squid.”

Puto-steamed rice cake.

Relleno-Spanish word for “stuffed;” used for any stuffed dish.

Salabat-ginger tea.

Sili-long green cooking pepper.

Sinigang-sour soup dish of meat or fish with vegetables, seasoned with tomatoes, onions and lemon juice.


Sitao-string beans, a yard-long bean.

Sotanghon-transparent bean noodles; also known as cellophane noodles.

Sugpo-giant tiger prawn.

Talaba-Tagalog term for “oyster.”

Talong-Tagalog term for “eggplant.”

Tapa-dried meat cured with salt and vinegar.

Tausi-black soy beans, salted and fermented.

Tinola-fish or meat dish flavored with ginger.

Togue-bean sprout.

Tokwa-soy bean cake.

Tulya-freshwater clams.

Ubod-hearts of palm.

Upo-Philippine gourd.

Yema-Spanish for “egg yolk.”