After completing my thesis on Filipino cuisine I wanted to look at the availablity to make the dishes. Here’s a short snippet of what I found in Lee Lee International Supermarket in Chandler. Some of the links lead to my posts for prior references or Jun-blog and Burnt Lumpia blogs for recipes.
I didn’t get to document Philippine aisle at all but my Mekong Supermarket post will make up for it. At Lee Lee I noticed the aisle is heavily dominated with rice stick noodles (for pancit), vinegar and banana sauce.
The most distinct Filipino sausage redolent of black pepper, vinegar, and garlic: Longganisa.
Tocino is Filipino sweet cured pork. Think ham, bacon, or char-siu. Tocino is pork, usually butt and shoulder, thinly sliced, sweetened and cured for a couple of days, and then pan-fried or grilled.
Bistek—which is just beef marinated in soy and kalamansi and then cooked with onions. Quite odd seeing it in frozen food form.
Dinuguan is blood stew. Meat and innards are simmered in vinegar and fresh blood. Yes, you heard right, fresh blood. Frozen Dinuguan does not sound appealing at all.
Lumpia are pastries of Chinese origin similar to fresh popiah or fried spring rolls popular in Southeast Asia. The recipe, both fried and fresh versions, was brought by the Chinese immigrants from the Fujian province of China to Southeast Asia and became popular where they settled in Indonesia and the Philippines. (source)
Spain and Mexico both have had quite the influence on Filipino cuisine via colonialism and the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade, and empanadas happen to be a tasty result of that Spanish/Mexican influence.
Chopped hot dogs are an ingredient in in Philippine-style spaghetti (Bolognese). They are also used in various other dishes (e.g. as a filling in an embutido, as sliced pieces of meat in tomato-based savories such as caldereta or menudo, etc. (source) Notice the extra red dye on the packaged dogs.
Filipino Tapa is thinly sliced beef that is cured and dried with salt, sugar, and other spices and then cooked in oil. In other words, Tapa is fried beef jerky. And, as seen in the picture above, Tapa is usually served for breakfast along with garlic fried rice and a fried egg or two. This breakfast trinity of fried foods is known as Tapsilog: TAP is from Tapa, SI is from sinangag (fried rice), and LOG is from itlog (egg).
The milkfish is an important seafood in Southeast Asia and some Pacific Islands. Because milkfish is notorious for being much bonier than other food fish, deboned milkfish, called “boneless bangus” (bangus is the local name) in the Philippines, has become popular in stores and markets.