9 Exotic and Unusual Filipino Dishes to try in the Philippines

Must try Exotic Dishes in the Philippines

Are you tired of the usual Pinoy dishes you see in the Philippines? Why not try some unusual and exotic Filipino dishes? Aside from the common street food, here are some of my most-recommended unusual local delicacies that you must-try when traveling and dining around the Philippines. I bet, you've got to try some of these! You'll never know what you're missing if you haven’t tasted any of these exotic dishes from the Philippines!

Tamilok Palawan Must try Exotic Dishes in the Philippines
Tamilok from Palawan

1. Tamilok

Best eaten raw or kinilaw (dip in vinegar), Tamilok is a wood worm mollusk found in the mangroves or "bakawan" around the shores of Palawan. Eating tamilok will surely make your Palawan adventure exciting and more memorable! Considered as one of the most popular exotic delicacy in Palawan, this is a must-try and a must-experience when traveling to Palawan.

SEE ALSO: Palawan Travel Guide

Restaurants in Pampanga Abes Farm in Magalang
Betute from Abe's Farm in Pampanga

2. Betute

A Kapampangan specialty, Betute are deep fried farm frogs stuffed with minced pork, garlic and spices. It tastes like chicken, smells clean and the stuffing is quite flavorful. This one is definitely a must-try when dining in Pampanga. You really have to try it!

SEE ALSO: Abe's Farm in Pampanga, "A Haven for Kampampangan Cuisines"

Pinikpikan Must try Exotic Dishes in the Philippines
Pinikpikan from Sagada, Mountain Province

3. Pinikpikan

A popular dish in the Cordilleras of the Philippines, Pinikpikan is a chicken soup dish where the chicken used was beaten to death through a process called "pikpik" from which the dish got its name. The process of its cooking makes this dish unusual and exotic. You should try it when visiting the provinces in the Cordilleras such as the Mountain Province (Sagada), Benguet (Baguio) and Ifugao (Banaue).

SEE ALSO: Things to Do in Sagada

Bistro Remedios Malate Manila Philippines
Crispy Frog Legs from Bistro Remedios, Manila

4. Crispy Frog Legs

Crunchy frog legs that has a subtle flavor that goes well with a spicy sauce. Made from farm frogs legs that were deep-fried to perfection. It actually tastes like fried chicken, just don't think you're eating frog legs. Hahaha!

SEE ALSO: Must-try Dishes at Bistro Remedios, Malate Manila

Adobong Balut from 19 Copung-copung Restaurant, Pampanga

5. Adobong Balut

A common street food in the Philippines, Balut is boiled fertilized duck egg with a 9 to 14 day old embryo inside. Uniquely Filipino, this dish combines two of the most popular dishes in the Philippines, Balut and Adobo!

SEE ALSO: 10 Common Street Food in the Philippines

Exotic dishes in the Philippines
Bulca Chong from Davai City (photo by pinasmuna.com)

6. Bulca Chong

Can you really eat Carabao meat? Definitely yes! Bulca Chong is a Davao specialty dish made from carabao (water buffalo) meat. A popular dish in Davao City, each bowl of Bulca Chong comes with several pieces of carabao meat drenched in a steaming hot bowl of orangey-looking soup. One serving costs 90 pesos which could be shared by 2 persons. The meat is so tender that you'll never have a hard time chewing it. The soup somehow tastes bulalo with a rich flavor of ginger. So, when in Davao, ask the locals where to find a restaurant serving this yummy delicacy called Bulca Chong.

SEE ALSO: Where to Eat in Davao City?

Camaru Pampanga Philippines
Camaru from Pampanga

7. Camaru

Another popular local dish in Pampanga, this is made from rice field crickets sautéed in tomatoes and onions. It's crispy, spicy and tastes good! A must-try for adventurous foodies!

SEE ALSO: Where to Eat in Pampanga

Ginataang Kuhol from 19 Copung-copung Restaurant, Pampanga

8. Ginataang Kuhol

A Filipino freshwater mollusk (kuhol) delicacy cooked in coconut milk, ginger, garlic, onion, and other condiments. For a time, these kuhol were considered as pests, but the Filipino ingenuity made it a popular exotic food and became a blockbuster Pinoy delicacy.

SEE ALSO: Restaurants in Pampanga

sea urchin from camiguin
Sea Urchin from Camiguin

9. Sea Urchin

A well-known Japanese delicacy called "uni," it is considered an exotic food in Southeast Asia. As a country surrounded by water, sea urchins abound in the Philippines. Locally called "Tuyom," "Tiyok" or "swaki" in the Visayas, or "kuden-kuden" in Bolinao, Pangasinan and "maritangtang" in the Ilocos Region, this extremely jelly-like creature and tastes very fishy is best eaten raw or kinilaw. And guess what, sea urchins are believed to have aphrodisiac properties! Try it when visiting the Philippines!

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Things to Do in Camiguin

I guess, you cannot say you've been around the Philippines unless you've tried at least one of these exotic dishes served around the country. How many of these have you tried?

Must Try Exotic delicacies in the PhilippinesMust Try Exotic delicacies in the Philippines

This is just a short list of must-try exotic or unusual dishes in the Philippines. Want to add more? Kindly leave a comment at the comments section below.

More Pinoy exotic dishes to be added soon!


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Pinoy Adventurista is one of the Top Travel Blogs in the Philippines and the World. In 2013, he visited all the 81 provinces in the Philippines.