Filipinos are known around the world to be festive and friendly. They like to celebrate at any chance that they can get, this includes Birthdays, Christmas, New years, and let’s not forget Fiestas!
But Filipinos do not need a reason to celebrate, they only need friends, alcohol, and of course pulutan. If you’ve been to the Philippines, you’re probably aware that Pulutan is a staple in EVERY inuman, it’s like Romeo to Juliet, cannot be separated.
That being said, what exactly are these famous pulutan? And why are they a staple? What makes them a good companion to alcohol?
To help you narrow it down, here’s a list of frequent pulutan choices.
Sisig is the ultimate staple
Let’s start off with a classic called Sisig. It’s mostly made with an animal’s internal organs like bits of pig ears, head, and chicken liver. Sounds disgusting for some but don’t let the ingredients fool you! Seasoned with onions, zesty calamansi, and hot flaming cayenne pepper or more known as siling labuyo, it will definitely spice up your taste buds as you drink your beer. There’s always a big debate whether sisig is served better wet or dry, with mayonaisse and / or with egg. How do you prefer your sisig?
This dish will definitely wake up your senses too. It’s meat is curated in vinegar and several seasonings such as pepper, salt, and chili. It’s not entirely “cooked”, but it’s a guarantee that you will enjoy the whole inuman session with this bad boy.
They say that drinking is bad for your health, but paired with Tokwa’t baboy, you’re good to go. This dish is equipped with nutrients from Tokwa/Tofu and flavored by spices and chopped pork! Simple but packed for the whole evening or morning of your inuman session.
Mani/Nuts — especially with salt and garlic!
This is probably the simplest of them all. The nuts are boiled until cooked then sprinkled with salt to enhance the flavor. A perfect snack to pair with the strong spirit of alcohol! It’s also the cheapest option if you’re going to opt for that chill and laid back inuman to catch up with friends (especially this quarantine season!)
If you’re a carnivore and a drinker, this one’s for you! The whole leg of pork is seasoned and boiled to tenderness then deep fried to achieve that crunchy and moist experience. Dipped in sauce made in soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, onion, garlic, and pepper, you’ll surely be wanting more. Especially with your beer!
These aren’t always the top choices, there are a lot of variations for every location in the country. So when you’re traveling to another province, be sure to taste their own version of the food listed above!