Welcome to adobo-down-under!

Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Filo food translated

Our calamansi plant at home 

This is glossary of sorts.  Of food terms, ingredients and produce commonly used in Filipino dishe , translated in English. It's useful especially when looking at Filipino recipes.  I've taken bits and pieces from The Maya Kitchen Sarap Pinoy Cookbook.  I've also included some links to blogs and other sites courtesy of Google.  I'll add on new things as I learn about their equivalent in the English language.  Hope you enjoy learning about Filipino food.  I'm also learning as I go. Some of the ingredients here I've never used so its going to be fun learning together.  xx


Abitsuelas - Baguio beans or also called in Australia as beans

Alimasag - Blue swimmer crabs

Alimango - mud crabs

Alugbati - Malabar spinach

Ampalaya - bitter melon

Apahap - sea bass

Atis - sugar apple or also known as custard apple

Atsuete - annatto seeds, usually infused in oil (or powder), these are then used as natural colouring for dishes such as when making the traditional java rice, the famous Bacolod chicken inasal, palabok and usually in chicken sotanghon guisado.


Bagoong - shrimp paste

Bagoong isda - similar to shrimp paste but made of the smallest type of fish - silverfish

Bangus - milk fish

Bawang - garlic

Bias/biyas - bef shank

Bihon - rice noodles

Buko - young coconut


Kaimito - star apple

Kakang gata - coconut cream

Kalabasa - squash or also known as pumpkin

Kalamansi - Philippine lemon, also called calmondin.  These are very similar to the local cumquats. 

Kalamismis - winged bean used in stir fry dishes

Kamatis - tomato

Kambing - goat

Kamias - bilimbi, these are used to make sinigang (sour soup) dishes.  In some instances, these are also preserved with sugar like chutneys

Kamote - sweet potato

Kamoteng kahoy - cassava more commonly known as tapioca

Kang kong - swamp cabbage or river spinach.  These are always added to the Filipino sinigang dishes.  Or in some cases, these are coated with egg and flour and deep fried to make crispy kangkong or kangkong chips.

Kanton - round egg noodles

Kaong - sugar palm, commonly used in sweet dessert dishes such as Halo-Halo

Karot - carrot

Kasim - pork shoulder

Kintsay -  celery

Kuhol - snail

Kutsay - leeks or chives


Dahon ng sili - pepper leaves, chilli plant leaves

Dalag - mud fish

Dalanghita - native orange similar to the mandarin

Dayap - lime

Dilis - anchovy

Duhat - black plum


Gabi - taro root

Gata  - coconut milk

Gisantes - green peas

Goto - tripe

Gulaman - agar agar, or gelatin

Guyabano - soursup, usually eaten as is, but in some instances, these are also made into juice. There are commercially produced guyabano juice sold around country and exported around the globe.


Halaan - clams

Hibe - dried small shrimps

Hugas bigas - liquid from washing rice, can be used as a base stock for making fish or meat dishes


Ispanaka - spinach


Labanos - radish

Langka - jackfruit

Lapu lapu - spotted grouper

Laurel - bay leaf

Lengua / dila - ox tongue

Letsugas - lettuce

Liempo - pork belly

Lihiya - lye

Lugaw - rice gruel

Lumpia - spring roll

Luya - ginger

Luyang dilaw - turmeric


Macapuno - coconut sports fruit

Malagkit - glutinous rice

Malunggay - moringa leaves

Manggang hilaw - green or unripe mango

Mani - peanuts

Miso - soybean paste

Munggo - mung beans


Niyog - coconut


Okra - okra


Pamintang buo - peppercorns

Pandan - screwpine or more commonly called pandanus leaves.  The pandan leaves are used to infuse a sweet scent when cooking rice.  The essence (and leaves) are used to flavour sweet treats such as cakes, rice cakes, cold salads

Papaya - pawpaw

Papayang hilaw - green or unripe papaya or pawpaw

Pata - pork leg

Patatas - potato

Patis - fish sauce

Pato - duck

Patola - sponge gourd

Petsay - Chinese cabbage

Pigue - Ham

Pili nut - native almond, this is a local indigenous fruit sold as delicacies.  The nuts are caramelised in sugar and sold in jars at local supermarkets and souvenir shops

Pimiento - red bell pepper

Pusit - squid

Puso ng saging - banana heart.  These are added to stew dishes or by themselves cooked in coconut cream/milk


Queso de bola - edam cheese


Repolyo - cabbage


Saba - sugar bananas or lady finger bananas

Sago - sago palm starch or sago pearls

Sampaloc - tamarind.  Fresh tamarind is pounded and used to flavour sour soup dishes such as the sinigang

Sanque - star anise

Sayote - chokos or chayote

Sibuyas - onions

Sibuyas na mura - spring onions or green onions or shallots

Sibuyas Tagalog - native onion shallots

Siling labuyo - hot chilli peppers

Siling berde - green bell peppers

Singkamas - turnips

Sitsaro - sweet pea pods or snow peas

Sitsaron - (chicharon) pork crackling

Sotanghon - mung bean noodles or cellophane noodles

Suka - vinger


Tahong - mussles

Tahure - soy bean paste

Talaba - oysters

Talbos ng kamote - sweet potato leaves and tops

Talong - eggplant

Tanglad - lemon grass

Tanguigue - Spanish mackarel

Tengang daga - black woodear mushrooms

Tokwa - bean curd or tofu

Togue - bean sprouts

Tsiko (chiko) - sapodilla is a local indigenous fruit eaten fresh. In some cases, it emits the smell of someone who has a hangover, hence the expression "amoy chiko ka" (You smell like chiko).

Tubo - sugarcane


Ube - purple yam

Ubod - coconut heart

Utaw - soy beans


Wansuy - coriander leaves


  1. Kamusta Ate Anna! :) Thanks for the translation. I love your calamansi plant! (I miss our at home)
    We enjoy reading & learning from your blogs. Great pictures also! Maraming salamat po ulit :) Lord bless you and your family <3

    1. Thanks for the kind words Jeda! And bless your family as well.

    2. *ours

      Thank you very much, Ate Chef Anna :)

  2. The tsiko one is kinda funny ;D hehehe ^o^

    1. Haha! I'm glad you liked it. It's actually true. Siguro nag amoy chiko ka na rin! :D

    2. Haha! Malamang :D ;) amoy lambanog na nga, amoy chiko pa! haha :)) jk



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