Cultural Cooking: Filipino Cuisine

by Rachel Cohen and Natalie Tee

Kumusta ka! On November 7th, the Food and Nutrition Education Lab was used to share an uprising cuisine trend with UD students – Filipino food. The Filipino Student Association (FSA) collaborated with the Nutrition and Dietetics Club to host a Filipino Cooking Night.

The Philippines make up 7,107 islands, with 95% of the population living on 11 of those islands. Coming from Spanish, Chinese, Indian and American influences, Filipinos are known to be a religious, very pleasant people who enjoy singing, dancing and performing.


Filipino cuisine is heavily influenced by Spain, China, and India. Local crops include mango, pineapple, corn, sugarcane, and rice, which is eaten at almost every meal. Common methods of eating is through the use of a spoon and a fork, picked up from the Spaniard peoples, or with using one’s hands. Filipinos also have an entire meal eaten with their hands, called “Kamayan”, which is banana leaves spread across a table as the main serving platter with portions of rice and a variety of food laid out.

One member of the FSA gave a brief introduction describing where Filipino people come from, how the country exists today, and classic foods. Nutrition students were paired with at least one Filipino student. We had six groups cooking different recipes, varying from Adobo, an unofficial “national dish”, to vegetarian options and adaptations from American dishes. The recipes included:

  • Pork Lumpia (spring roll)
  • Chicken Adobo
  • Vegetable Pancit (noodles)
  • Filipino-Style Spaghetti
  • Menudo (tomato-based stew)
  • Polvoron (shortbread)

Everyone shared their dishes and ate together once each dish was cooked. The students from the FSA shared how similar the recipes tasted to their family’s classic meals while the students from the NTDT Club enjoyed the flavors and new combinations from this culture.