With 86 percent of the population being Roman Catholic, Lenten season is devotedly observed in the Philippines. A good number of traditions and activities are followed by Filipinos in observance of the solemn season; heading the list is avoidance of meat. This simple act of sacrifice is one way of remembering the passion and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Additionally, fasting and contemplation are also practiced by most. Thus, Filipinos have several Lent-friendly dishes which usually consist of vegetables and seafood dishes during this pensive time.
Here are some of the favorites Lenten season dishes:
Topping the list is daing na isda paired with itlog na maalat.
A popular breakfast staple, daing na bangus is milkfish marinated in vinegar and then fried to a golden brown. Usually paired with fried rice, the itlog na maalat or salted egg is its predictable side dish.
Photo credits: @cookingnanay via IG
Ginataan is a Filipino way of cooking meat, vegetables or seafood using coconut milk or cream. A variety of fish stew, ginataang tilapia is typically cooked as a spicy dish loved by everyone who favors the creamy, flavorful taste of coconut milk.
Photo credits: @mydeliciousdiary via IG
Locale Tip: Have you tried spicy sardines, olives, tomatoes, onions and mozzarella combined into a delicious sardines pizza? Yes, your favorite pizza with lent-friendly toppings is sure to make your tummy happy. Get it fresh and hot at Ombu Kusina.
G/F Sequoia Hotel, Mother Ignacia Ave., QC.
This dish always makes it to Lenten’s Top 3 fares: Sinigang na Hipon.
Sinigang is a Filipino comfort dish that uses tamarind as its base flavor. A classic dish, the combination of sour soup and the shrimp’s rich flavor is always irresistible. Extra rice is needed.
Photo credits: @cravephilippines via IG
Locale Tip: Bayview Park Hotel Manila serves sizzling mixed seafood as part of their ‘Lenten Season Special Deals’. The other “No Meat, No Guilt” dish they have is the sizzling tofu. Give it a try this Holy Week break!
Bayview Park Hotel
1118 Roxas Boulevard cor U.N. Ave., Manila
Native vegetable salad.
More popularly called ensalandang gulay by Pinoys, this type of salad is commonly served as a side dish for grilled fish or seafood and traditionally composed of eggplant, tomato, onions and other green leafy vegetables. A simple dressing of vinaigrette or shrimp paste is all this salad needs and you’ll have a dish packed with nutrients.
Photo credits:@thecapricornianpig via IG
Lenten season equates to cutting down on expensive or lavish dishes and simply eating humbly. May these simple foods remind us that aside from nourishing our physical body, let’s make an effort to nurture our spirit, not just in this season of Lent but throughout our daily lives as Christians in the modern world.
Have a blessed Lenten celebration!
Photo cover credits: @jasmine.csolomon via IG