Cebu is famous for its lechon. Celebrated chef Anthony Bourdain even declared it the “best pig, ever!” when he had a taste of lechon on his first Philippine visit. However, it is not the only dish that you can eat while looking for a condominium for sale in Cebu. There is an appetizing array of dishes to enjoy in this lovely province, such as the following:
Made by cooking the seeds of millet grass with sugar and coconut milk, budbud kabog is a close relative of suman and other sweet rice cake delicacies in the country. The mixture is cooked over low heat, wrapped in wilted banana leaves, after which it is steamed. The banana leaves impart a greenish tint, as well as a distinct flavor and aroma, to the rice cake. Budbud kabog is sweet, sticky, and delicious, and is best served at breakfast with sikwate (hot chocolate) and ripe mangoes.
In other areas of the country, pochero is a meat stew with tomatoes. Not so in Cebu. Pochero cooked Cebu-style is a flavorful clear soup of soft and tender beef shank simmered for hours, pechay, sweet corn on the cob, and bamboo shoots. This meal is perfect for cold, rainy days.
You can also enjoy a version of this dish, minus the soup and the vegetables, in a meal called sizzling pochero. For sizzling pochero, the beef shank is put on a sizzling plate and smothered with gravy. This style of pochero is a real treat.
Danggit is rabbitfish or spinefoot fish that is split open, cleaned, salted, and then spread out on a drying rack under the hot sun. Salty and crunchy, danggit is best eaten at breakfast with fried eggs, rice, and atsara or pickled, shredded veggies. Your trip to Cebu would not be complete without trying this local delicacy.
More popular than adobo, this braised pork dish consists of pork belly that has been slow-cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, black peppercorns, bay leaves, and fermented black beans or tausi for hours until very tender. Sweet, a little sour, and pleasantly salty, humba can also include banana blossoms and hardboiled eggs.
Also known as larang, linarang is one of the most well-known fish dishes in Cebu. This sour and spicy fish soup can be made from any kind of fish, from molmol (parrotfish) to bakasi (eel) and even tagotongan (pufferfish). It is filled with tomatoes, black beans, and, sometimes, green mangoes. This dish is best eaten with corn grits, known as mais, rather than rice.
A popular Cebu delicacy that originated in Mandaue, masareal is made out of finely ground peanuts, milk, and sugar. This delicious peanut bar is then cut into rectangular shapes and enjoyed by young and old alike. It is a popular pasalubong or take-home present.
Ngohiong is a variation of spring roll. It is made of a rice paper roll with singkamas (jicama), ubod (bamboo shoots or the hearts of coconut palms), ground pork, minced shrimp, onions, and garlic, seasoned with salt and pepper, as well as a Chinese five spice powder that gives it its distinct taste. This is all then battered and deep-fried to create a crunchy local treat. The special dipping sauce also includes the five-spice powder and is starchy, spicy, sweet, and sour, though the ngohiong can also be dipped in a soy and vinegar sauce.
Usually eaten as an appetizer or as pulutan (finger food), kinilaw is raw, cubed fish with a vinegar-based dressing. This vinegar-based dressing cooks the raw fish just enough so it is safe to eat. The raw fish is usually eaten with assorted garnish like garlic, ginger, chilies, and onions. This dish is fresh and delicious and will have you wanting more.
Tuslob Buwa and Puso
Also known as hanging rice, puso is rice cooked in a triangular casing made of woven coconut leaves. The coconut leaves impart a unique flavor to the rice, which is packed densely, making it easy to eat on the go. This is why puso has become a Cebuano street food icon.
One way to eat puso is with tuslob buwa, or “dipping in bubbles”. Tuslob buwa is a sauce made of pig’s brain or liver, onions, soy sauce, fish sauce, and other seasonings. What you do is take puso, and then dip it in the tuslob buwa sauce. This delicious meal is meant to be shared.
Also known as Soup No. 5, lansiao is a local delicacy that is not for the faint of heart or stomach. Made from bull testicles and genitals, lansiao is a warm, filling, hearty soup that is considered an aphrodisiac.
These ten dishes are only a small sampling of the meals that you can enjoy while in Cebu. When you get to this beautiful province, make sure to ready your taste buds for some of the most unique meals that you’ll ever eat.