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Chinese New Year Celebration with Chinese-Filipino Dishes

As the Chinese New Year approaches, Filipino kitchens come alive with the vibrant flavors and rich cultural heritage of Chinese-inspired Filipino cuisine. This unique fusion of Chinese and Filipino culinary traditions has given rise to a mouthwatering array of dishes that symbolize prosperity, good fortune, and unity. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of Chinese-inspired Filipino food and provide you with some delightful recipes to elevate your celebration.


A Historical Tapestry

The intertwining of Chinese and Filipino culinary influences has deep historical roots, dating back to the arrival of Chinese immigrants in the Philippines centuries ago. These early settlers brought with them not only their skills in trade but also a treasure trove of culinary techniques, spices, and ingredients that left an indelible mark on Filipino cuisine.

Adobo: A Chinese Fusion Classic

One of the most iconic Chinese-inspired Filipino dishes is the beloved Adobo. This flavorful dish combines Chinese soy sauce with indigenous Filipino ingredients such as vinegar, garlic, and bay leaves. The result is a tantalizing fusion of savory and tangy flavors that make Adobo a perennial favorite in Filipino households, especially during festive occasions like this.

Recipe: Chinese-Inspired Adobo


  • 1 kg chicken or pork, cut into serving pieces
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a bowl, marinate the meat in soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, and vinegar for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and sauté garlic until golden brown.
  3. Add the marinated meat and cook until browned.
  4. Pour in the marinade, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, and sugar. Simmer until the meat is tender.
  5. Serve hot and enjoy the delightful fusion of flavors!

Pancit: Noodles of Prosperity

Another staple during the celebrations is Pancit, symbolizing long life and prosperity. Filipino Pancit draws inspiration from Chinese stir-fried noodles, incorporating an array of colorful vegetables, meat, and sometimes seafood. This dish showcases the seamless blend of both countries’ culinary aesthetics.

Recipe: Chinese-Inspired Pancit


  • 250g Pancit Canton noodles
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced pork or chicken
  • 1 cup shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup sliced Chinese sausage (chorizo)
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced cabbage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Green onions for garnish


  1. Cook Pancit Canton noodles according to package instructions. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix soy sauce, oyster sauce, and Chinese rice wine.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or large pan. Sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.
  4. Add pork or chicken, shrimp, and Chinese sausage. Cook until meat is browned.
  5. Stir in carrots and cabbage. Cook until vegetables are tender-crisp.
  6. Add the cooked noodles and sauce mixture. Toss to combine.
  7. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with green onions.
  8. Serve hot and savor the prosperity-filled flavors of Chinese-inspired Pancit.

Tikoy: Sweet Prosperity

No Chinese celebration is complete without Tikoy, a sweet and sticky rice cake believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Tikoy, or Nian Gao in Chinese, is made from glutinous rice flour and sweetened with brown sugar, creating a delectable treat that symbolizes the promise of a sweet and prosperous year ahead.

Recipe: Chinese-Inspired Tikoy


  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Cooking oil for greasing


  1. In a bowl, dissolve brown sugar in water.
  2. Gradually add glutinous rice flour, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
  3. Strain the mixture to achieve a smooth batter.
  4. Grease a round mold with cooking oil and pour in the batter.
  5. Steam the mixture for 30-40 minutes or until set.
  6. Allow Tikoy to cool before slicing into desired shapes.
  7. Pan-fry the Tikoy slices until golden brown on both sides.
  8. Serve and enjoy the sweetness of prosperity!

Bibingka: A Filipino-Chinese Fusion Dessert

To cap off the celebration, indulge in the delightful flavors of Bibingka. This Filipino rice cake, with its Chinese-inspired origins, is traditionally cooked in clay pots lined with banana leaves. The result is a fragrant and moist cake that beautifully marries the culinary traditions of both cultures.

Recipe: Chinese-Inspired Bibingka


  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • Butter for greasing
  • Grated coconut for topping
  • Salted duck egg (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a baking pan with butter.
  2. In a bowl, combine rice flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk and eggs. Add to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix until well combined and pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Top with grated coconut and salted duck egg slices (if using).
  7. Serve warm and savor the delightful fusion of flavors.

As the festivity approaches, let the rich tapestry of Filipino cuisine inspired by China become the centerpiece of your celebration. Through dishes like Adobo, Pancit, Tikoy, and Bibingka, we not only indulge in the flavors of two distinct cultures but also honor the historical ties that have shaped the Filipino culinary landscape. So, gather your loved ones, embark on a culinary adventure, and usher in the Chinese New Year with a feast that symbolizes unity, prosperity, and the joy of shared traditions. Enjoy the holidays!

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