Traditional Filipino Christmas Food
Christmas season here in the Philippines is always so festive. Christmas decorations get put up as early as September, Christmas songs get played on radios and malls, plus Christmas parties get tons of preparation. And of course, we cannot forget the wonderful Filipino Christmas food! Now that Christmas is only a few days away, you can definitely expect a lot of traditional Filipino Christmas dishes at family dinners, gatherings, and even parties. Are you getting hungry? Here are 15 traditional Filipino Christmas food you can look forward to!
#1 Filipino-style Spaghetti
Filipino-style spaghetti is a staple among occasions, but it is most especially present every Christmas because of all the kids around. The Filipino-style spaghetti is sweeter than the traditional Italian one, complete with sliced hotdogs, ground meat, and cheese. This is what every Filipino adult grew up with, and what children are currently loving. Having this at Christmas will definitely make the family come together.
#2 Fried Chicken
Now, if you see Filipino-style spaghetti at the table, you will most likely see fried chicken as well. Fried chicken is crowd favorite, especially among the kids, and it is usually paired with the spaghetti. It is easy to prepare and easy to cook, so most Filipino families opt for this dish every Christmas.
#3 Queso de Bola
Queso de Bola is a unique sight at the table when it is Christmas, but it is a traditional Filipino Christmas food people love since the Spanish occupation. It is unique because this ball of cheese is completely coated in red paraffin wax. Inside you will find Edam cheese that is creamy, salty, and rich which goes well with crackers, bread, ham, fruits, and even wine.
#4 Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is definitely a traditional Filipino Christmas food! This cold dessert is the perfect end to a Christmas dinner with families and relatives. Fruit salad can be made with canned fruit cocktails or fresh fruits that are cut up into cubes. Either way, it is a Christmas dish that every family member loves.
#5 Christmas Ham
Christmas Ham or hamon is a sight to behold at Christmas. Most Filipino moms will definitely have this on their grocery list for Christmas since it is easy to cook and is a favorite among family members. The sweet and tender ham is cooked with pineapple juice rendered down into a syrup. This can be paired with rice or pasta, which makes it such a great Christmas food.
#6 Graham Cake
Though it originated from the west, Graham Cake is a popular dessert among Filipinos, but it becomes even more popular once Christmas rolls around. When dinner is over, expect this dessert to be taken out of the fridge. It is made with layers of graham crackers, crushed graham crackers, cream, and bits and pieces fruits. Famous versions of graham cakes are the Mango Graham Cake, Fruit Cocktail Graham Cake, and Buko Graham Cake.
#7 Roasted Chestnuts
Roasted chestnuts or castañas is popular among Asia and Europe, and it is considered here as one of Philippines’ Christmas food. Roasted chestnuts make one delicious snack—a healthy and warm option amongst the other Filipino Christmas dishes.
#8 Puto Bumbong
Puto Bumbong is a rice delicacy that is popular every Christmas season. Both kids and adults love this purple-colored rice cake that is sweet and sticky. Cooked inside upright bamboo tubes, it is served with margarine, grated coconut, and muscovado sugar. Once the yuletide season rolls around, you will see puto bumbong vendors in marketplaces, malls, and in the streets outside the church.
Bibingka, just like puto bumbong, is a rice cake delicacy that is popular in the yuletide season. It is made with ground rice, coconut cream, and sugar. It can also be served with shredded coconut as toppings, butter, and brown sugar. Without a doubt, bibingka is one holiday treat Filipinos love.
#10 Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate or tsokolate is the perfect beverage for a cold Christmas day. If Westerners warm up with eggnog, then Filipinos warm up with a cup of good hot chocolate. Hot chocolate here in the Philippines can be made with native chocolate known as tableya or with commercial cocoa powder. This Filipino Christmas food is definitely a hit among children, and can be paired with puto bumbong or bibingka.
#11 Macaroni Salad
Macaroni salad is also favorite among Filipino Christmas food. Some variants can be sweet, and some can be rich and savory. Some macaroni salads can consist of fruits, while other versions have chicken and vegetables as the ingredients. Though there are many versions possible, you can expect a macaroni salad at the dinner table at family gatherings this Christmas season.
#12 Pancit Malabon
With its rich sauce, thick tasty noodles, and heaps of chicharon, shrimp, and eggs, Pancit Malabon is a Filipino Christmas food perfect for large family gatherings and parties. Some even put various toppings such as mussels, oysters, and squid. This Christmas food is definitely one hearty meal.
#13 Lumpiang Ubod
Lumpiang Ubod is a fresh and healthy Filipino Christmas food. It is a variety of spring rolls, made with ubod or coconut’s heart, lettuce, carrots, ground pork, and more. It is also served with a sweet peanut sauce that makes all the ingredients come together.
#14 Roasted Chicken
If fried chicken is not present at the dinner table, then you might see roasted chicken instead. This Christmas dish is delicious and savory, and with that tender meat and aroma, this is a dish you can expect at Christmas dinners and gatherings among families and friends.
And of course, who can forget about Lechon or roasted pig? Filipinos serve this in a lot of occasions, and most importantly in Christmas. Its skin is crispy, and its meat inside is tender and juicy. Pair that with a delicious lechon sauce, and it is the perfect Filipino holiday feast. Even the late TV personality and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain called lechon as the “best pork dish ever”.
Christmas here in the Philippines is truly a jovial season for friends and families. With these traditional Filipino Christmas food, people will surely come together this Christmas and celebrate this one-of-a-kind occasion.
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