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Appetizing Pulutan

126311383_f39774f5e3_bPulutan is a Filipino term use to accompany with an alcohol drink. Pulutan is actually a dry finger food like chips, nuts, meat, and fish prepared by raw, steamed or fried. Basically anything that is good to accompany with a beer is a good pulutan. Most pulutan are salty, fatty, and textured, making them good complements to the taste of alcohol. With the establishment of high-class drinking places and the opening of bars and restaurants, the pulutan has been elevated somewhat to an appetizer status in menus.


The art of eating “pulutan” during drinking session may be attributed to the Spanish culture of tapas-tapas. Pulutan is any cooked dish (meat, chicken, pork, seafood) taken with wine, beer, liquor during a drinking session. However, the tapas in the Spanish cultural scheme of things became a non-drinking food somewhat similar to an American beef jerky, and the emergence of pulutan as a distinct cuisine centered on alcohol became the norm in the Philippines. Pulutan is an enigma as it is distinct from regular meals and merienda. As a matter of fact, some of the pulutan cuisine became regular meals themselves (i.e. sisig and barbecue) or pulutan itself became the centerpiece of an occasion (i.e. fiestas and birthdays).

The art of cooking pulutan has evolved and controversial partly because of the use archaic methods as well as exotic animals. Poor people, particularly in the rural agricultural areas tend to develop unique dishes mythified for their potency and hidden “aphrodisiac” powers. “Camaro,” which are field crickets cooked in soy sauce, salt, and vinegar, became popular in Pampanga; “papaitan,” which is goat or beef innards stew flavored with bile that gives it a bitter taste; Soup No. 5, which is a soup made out of testicles that can be found in restaurants in Binondo, Manila; “asocena” or dog meat popular in the Cordilleras; and “pinikpikan” chicken where the chicken has been beaten to death to tenderize the meat and to infuse it with blood. It is then burned in fire to remove its feathers then boiled with salt and pork.

Pulutan Best For


Gin or Tequila


List of Pulutan

  • Sisig
    sisig is composed of chopped pigs face (snout included) and ears with a generous amounts of chicken liver. Hundreds of sisig variations are available today ranging from the original pigs face (maskara) ingredient to a more healthy seafood concoction such as squid, tuna, milk fish (bangus), and mussels.
  • IUD/Isaw
    Grilled Isaw or Inihaw na Bituka ng Baboy is pig’s large intestine boiled until tender then grilled. This is probably the most sought and most popular street food in the Philippines.
  • Inihaw na Liempo
    Inihaw na Liempo or Grilled Pork Belly needs no introduction at all. The name of the dish already defines itself. This is one good food for its simple preparation and magnificent taste.
  • Tokwa’t Baboy
    Tokwa’t baboy is a dish composed of boiled pork (either or both pig’s ears and pork belly usually) and fried tofu. The sauce made of vinegar and soy sauce gives life to this dish. Generally, this is considered as an appetizer and a side dish. Most people like to have their Tokwa’t Baboy with beer or wine by the side while others love to have it with rice porridge such as Arroz Caldo, Goto, or a simple lugaw.
  • Adidas (Chicken Feet)
    As a typical Filipino food, Chicken feet can be seen in the streets of Manila and are mostly sold as a street food. This part of the chicken has little meat (with majority of the edible meat consist of the skin and tendons) but is still consumed mostly as “pulutan” (appetizer).
  • Chicharon Bulaklak
    Chicharon bulaklak is deep fried pig or cow intestine prepared similar to that of Chicharones or Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds). This dish is usually served as an appetizer or “pulutan” and is best when accompanied with beer.
  • Kilawin
    The basic ingredient of kilawin is usually pork or tuna. With several spices such as ginger, garlic and the local sili, it is then “cooked” with vinegar and/or the Philippine lemon called kalamansi. Vinegar and/or kalamansi cook the basic ingredient. The best type of kilawin is made with fresh tuna.
  • Papaitan
    Papaitan or pinapaitan is a sampalok and bile flavored stew of tripe and innards. It is either an ox or goat. (baka or kambing). This dish is popular with those who love drinking liquor.
  • Chicharon
    Chicharon is a dish made of fried pork rinds. It is sometimes made from chicken, mutton, or beef.
  • Cheese Stick
    Cheese Stick is made of cheddar cheese wrap in lumpia wrapper and deep fry.
  • Calamares
    Calamares (Squid Rings) or fried breaded squid is a simple squid. It is compose of squid slice into rings and put to batter then deep fry.
  • Crispy Pata
    Crispy pata means deep fried pata with a crunchy rind and soft and moist meat inside. Pata is the front or hind leg of the pig. In the Philippines, that means the leg and the trotters (knuckles).
  • Inihaw na Isda
    Inihaw na isda is fish stuffed with onion chives or lemon grass and tomatoes with salt and grilled. Any kind of fish is perfect Inihaw but the best fish are Tuna and Bangus (milk fish).
  • Pork Barbecue
    Pork barbecue is made of pork belly marinated, slice to bite size, put to bamboo skewers and grilled.
  • Inihaw na Balunbalunan
    Inihaw na  balunbalunan(grilled chicken gizzard) is made of chicken gizzard, marinated, put to bamboo skewers and grilled.
  • Bicol Express
    is a popular Filipino dish which was popularized in the district of Malate, Manila but made in traditional Bicolano style. It is a stew made from long chilies (siling mahaba in Tagalog), coconut milk, shrimp paste or stockfish, onion, pork, and garlic. It is said to have evolved from gulay na may lada, another Bicolano dish which is nowadays also presented as one of the many variants of Bicol Express.
  • Inihaw na Pusit
    Inhaw na pusit is a grilled squid marinated to soy sauce, vinegar, calamansi and sugar.
  • Inihaw na Manok
    Inihaw na manok is chicken stuffed with lemon grass or onion chives, tomatoes, seasoning and grilled over charcoal.
  • Camaro
    Camaro is field crickets cooked in soy sauce, salt, and vinegar.
  • Soup No. 5
    Soup no. 5 which is a soup made out of cows’ testicles.
  • Pinikpikan
    pinikpikan is a chicken beaten to death to tenderize the meat and to infuse it with blood. It is then burned in fire to remove its feathers then boiled with salt and pork.
  • Peanut
    Fried peanuts on garlic
  • Chips
    Chips that are which Filipino can buy to its nearest sari-sari store.
  • Fries
    Fries is made of potatoes chop into sticks, marinated over night to water with salt and deep fry.
  • Green Mangoes
    Green Mangoes (hilaw na manga) are unripe mango, slice and serve with bagoong (shrimp paste). The best variety of green mango is the carabao mango.



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