Welcome to Davao, home of the Durian fruit, balut, and banana cue. Mindanao is considered the agricultural basin of the Philippines. As such, crops, fruits, fish, and chicken are plentiful. This has given Dabawenyos plenty of opportunities to get creative with the cuisine.
As a result, many of the dishes that make up the exotic filipino food originated from Davao. Here are 7 Davao Dishes you absolutely must try.
“Sutokil” is actually a combination of three words; Sugba (grilled), Tola (boiled), and Kilaw (marinaded). It does not have a particular base dish or a specific set of ingredients. Sutokil is actually a mix of small meals cooked the way you want it; hence the name.
Sutokil restaurants usually grill, boil, and marinade certain dishes before hand, so you choose what you eat depending on the style of cooking you want. Others cook the food at your request.
Kinilaw na Tuna
This is a recipe that is popular where fresh seafood is abundant. Kinilaw na Tuna basically means Raw Tuna Salad, and is similar to Tuna Ceviche. Raw tuna is cut into cubes, and then marinaded in vinegar and various spices. A lot of cooks recommend using the freshest seafood possible, as raw fish meat alone is dangerous enough to eat.
Ginanggang is basically grilled skewered banana. Once it’s taken off the grill, it is brushed with margarine and sprinkled with sugar. It’s a popular snack food very similar to banana cue. The difference lies in the preparation.
For banana cue, the banana is covered in margarine and sugar before it’s grilled. This results in the fruit being covered in caramelized sugar. It is then skewered for ease of eating and sold as street food.
Sinuglaw is another combination of two words; kinilaw (marinade) and Sugba (grill). This dish combines Kinilaw na Tuna (raw fish salad, similar to Tuna Ceviche) and Inihaw na Liempo (grilled pork belly).
Sinuglaw is a dish that combines both marinaded raw tuna cubes and slices of grilled pork belly. The result, despite the questionable concept, is surpprisingly delicious.
Durian is plentiful in Davao city, and hence, the base of many local desserts. Durian shake, Durian Ice Cream, Durian Pie, and even Durian Candy, just to name a few. Many people buy Durian Pie or Durian Candy as pasalubong (souvineers) for their relatives in other provinces because it’s cheap, delicious, and easy to transport.
Piniritong Ikog sa Bariles
Piniritong Ikog sa Bariles roughly translates into deep-fried Tuna Fish tail. The tail is covered in batter and deep fried until crispy. This dish is usually served with soy sauce mixed with kalamansi, or vinegar with chili.
Another version of this dish is Sinugbang Ikog sa Bariles; grilled Tuna Fish tail. The tail is marinaded for two hours and then grilled until half done. It is then wrapped in banana leaves to avoid burning, and baked for another 15-20 minutes.
If you don’t feel like having Tuna tail, why not go for the jaw? Sinugbang Panga (grilled Tuna jaw) is another dish that is surprisingly delicious. The meat around the jaw area is very soft and very tender. Once grilled with different sauces and spices, the unique flavor is brought out.
Try any of these delicious Filipino food recipes and discover a whole new cuisine that is uniquely Davao.