Filipino Family Shares Sweet and
Savory Recipes for Christmas

Story and photos by Babylene Bocayes, Philippines Field Content Specialist

Looking for an alternative to turkey or ham at Christmas dinner? Try these delicious Filipino dishes for taste of southeastern Asian cuisine or add them to your Christmas menu.

Mom Lovely shops for ingredients for their special dinner.

We asked the Blanco family from the Philippines what kind of food they prepare to celebrate Christmas. They shared two of their favorite recipes: pancit bihon and turon.

These two dishes are commonly prepared in Filipino households on nearly every special occasion like birthdays, fiesta (a religious festival), and of course, Christmas. Pancit bihon is particularly popular as there is a superstitious Filipino belief that eating or serving pancit will give you a long life.

Filipino families celebrate Christmas in a variety of ways. Some exchange gifts, some play fun games, and others enjoy doing karaoke. Regardless of the activities chosen, food is always a staple.

Whether it is as fancy as having a roasted pig on the table or just a simple meal like pancit bihon, what matters is that the families are together, sharing a meal, and remembering the true meaning of Christmas — the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, the giver of life.

Below are the recipes that the Blanco family shared with us.

Pancit Bihon (Stir-Fried Filipino Noodles)

Daughter Lalyn helped chop the garlic and onion.


1 kg (or 16 ounces) pancit bihon (rice noodles), cut in quarters

¼ kg (or ½ pound) of pork belly or pork shoulder (small and thinly sliced)

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, julienne cut

1 cabbage, chopped

½ cup soy sauce

Salt and pepper

A pinch of monosodium glutamate (MSG)

¼ cup of oil

½ cup of water


  1. In a large wok, heat the oil on medium high and sauté the garlic and onion.
  2. Dad Romel helps cook the meal.

    When the garlic and onion are brown, add the pork and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Then, add the carrots and cabbage. Add the water and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. When the vegetables are half-cooked, add the noodles.
  5. Then, add the soy sauce. Mix the noodles well with all the ingredients.
  6. Add the MSG, salt, and pepper to taste.
  7. Stir-fry until the noodles are cooked and all the liquid sauce is absorbed. Noodles will have a translucent look, which means they are done.
  8. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.

Turon (Banana in Spring Roll Wrapper)

Daughter Lory shows that these turons are ready to be deep fried.


6 plantain bananas

24 spring roll wrappers

¼ cup of water



First part

  1. Cut the bananas into quarters lengthwise. Put them aside.
  2. Usually, spring roll wrappers stick to each other. Separate them into individual pieces.
  3. Wrap a slice of banana in a spring roll wrapper.
  4. Brush a little bit of water to secure the end of the wrapper.

Second part

  1. In a pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Make sure there is enough oil for deep frying.
  2. When the oil is hot (not too hot as it will burn your turon), deep fry the wrapped pieces. Make sure not to crowd the pan so they will cook properly.
  3. Optional: You can add brown sugar while deep frying the turon to add caramel.
  4. Once they turn brown, they are cooked.
  5. Drain excess oil and serve.

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