First off, happy New Year! What better way to start off 2016 than to learn something new? If whipping up Filipino recipes is something you'd like to master this year, look no further than the following resources — in paperback, hardback and digital formats.
Books (Paperback, Hardcover and Digital Editions)
The Filipino Cookbook: 85 Homestyle Recipes to Delight Your Family and Friends (Kindle, Hardcover)
For those of you who originally came from outside the Philippines, this book is a good starting point. Packing 85 Filipino recipes in a neatly organized format, author Miki Garcia also expounds on details that may interest Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike — such as why Filipino food is the way it is, possible substitutes for ingredients, occasions when a certain recipe is usually served, etc.
It's worth noting that many of the recipes have a Kapampangan sensibility, since Ms. Garcia's husband is a Kapampangan. If you've always loved dishes from that Philippine region, you can't go wrong with this book.
The Filipino Cookbook (Hardcover)
The Maya Kitchen cookbooks are some of the most comprehensive resources on Filipino recipes. Here, you'll find dishes for all occasions, as well as little snippets on each dish. You'll even find tips on how to store food, tips on nutrition, custom menus for the day/week/month, etc. There are English and Filipino versions of each book in the series, so it's a good opportunity to brush up on your language skills!
Cooking for Health (Paperback)
Admittedly, Filipino food isn't always the healthiest. If a dish is meat-based, chances are it'll lean on the "greasy" side. If it has sugar, expect that it will have LOTS of that sweet ingredient.
Luckily, you have books like Anvil Publishing's three-book "Cooking for Health" series. Penned by food experts Cris C. Abiva, Luz Felicidad S. Callanta and Atel E. Jazmines, each book contains the basics of menu planning, a recipe grid, a guide on the nutrient content of each dish, and even tips on how to make an already-healthy recipe even healthier!
99 Ways to Cook Healthy Food (Paperback)
If you're looking for a no-frills cookbook on Filipino dishes, look no further than PSICOM's "99 Ways to Cook (Blank) Food" series. For example, health buffs may like the abovementioned book in particular — which contains (1) a collection of dishes arranged by name; (2) the ingredients needed for each dish; and (3) basic instructions for the preparation of the dishes.
A Culinary Life: Personal Recipe Collection (Paperback)
Nora Daza is one of the big names in the Filipino culinary industry, and this book never lets you forget it. Part-memoir and part-recipe book, "A Culinary Life" gives a glimpse into how Filipino cuisine is tightly intertwined with the culture of a nation. Make sure to read the snippets alongside each recipe, as well as the recipes themselves, because they contain hints on how to cook your dish to perfection.
This is one of the first websites that pop up when you Google any Filipino recipe. A relatively comprehensive collection of Pinoy dishes, Panlasang Pinoy also contains articles on cooking schools, cooking classes, general health and diets. And if you prefer to watch, rather than read, about cooking, the website also has a YouTube channel for your convenience.
A few caveats on this website, though: The author likes his dishes salty, so you may want to lower the amount of salt suggested in the recipes. Also, he talks in a mixture of Filipino and English (locally known as "Taglish") in his videos, so non-Filipino speakers beware.
Compared to Panlasang Pinoy, this website is geared more towards non-Filipinos. Packed with recipes arranged by type, Filipino ingredients explained and the occasional giveaway or two, blogger Lalaine makes Filipino dishes accessible to non-Filipinos. You can also follow her on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
Last, but certainly not the least, is Yummy.ph — the online arm of Filipino cooking magazine Yummy (published by Summit Media). Similar to websites like Food.com, AllRecipes.com and FoodNetwork.com, Yummy offers a no-frills resource to every dish you can imagine — Filipino or otherwise. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
You may have noticed that we didn't include "Makati's Sulô: Where Taste Was Style" by Erlinda Enriquez Panlilio, which we reviewed before. As the book is more "memoir" than "cookbook," we feel that it won't be an appropriate addition to a list of "best resources for Filipino recipes." Still, we suggest you check out our review and see whether "Sulô" is something you'd like to add to your collection.
Of course, there are plenty of resources on Filipino dishes other than the ones included here. If there's anything you feel should be added to this list, feel free to talk about them in the comments section — because, hey, that's what comments sections are for!