Discover the Secrets of Mindanao’s Cuisine: 12 Dishes That Will Make You Fall in Love

Mindanao, the southernmost and second-largest island in the Philippines, has rich culture and diverse traditions. One of the most meaningful ways to experience this region is through its culinary treasures. From savory stews to sweet treats, Mindanao offers a symphony of flavors that delight the taste buds. Are you ready to explore the amazing flavors of Mindanao? In this article, we’ll show you 12 dishes that will make your taste buds sing. If you crave flavors from spicy to sweet to sour, this island has it all. Plus, you’ll get to know the stories and traditions behind each dish. Are you ready to explore the delicious and diverse flavors of Mindanao?

1. Mindanao’s Best – Satti

Mindanao's Amazing Flavors: Satti  Chicken or beef is normally seasoned with tomato-based and/or peanut-based sauces.

image by: Langyaw Media

Starting off our gastronomical expedition is the energetic city of Zamboanga where we have Satti which has an explosion of flavours.Typically, chicken or beef gets a flavorful treatment with tomato-based and/or peanut-based sauces. Satti reflects Mindanao’s preference for slightly salty and mildly bitter flavors.

2. Mindanao’s Best – Tuna Kinilaw

Mindanao's Amazing Flavors: tuna kinilaw- Tuna is marinated in calamansi, vinegar, and some spices (raw).

Image by: Gabriel Prats

Tuna kinilaw is a delightful dish that celebrates the abundant and fresh seafood of Mindanao. Tuna undergoes marination in calamansi, vinegar, and a blend of spices in its raw state. This dish is a zesty and refreshing celebration of Mindanao’s unique and delicious cuisine.

3. Mindanao’s Best – Pianggang

Mindanao's Amazing Flavors:  Pianggan-  made up of meat cooked in coconut milk enhanced with turmeric and a mix of piquant spices.

Image by: Steven Raichlen’s( Barbecue Bible)

Those people with the tolerance for hot food should include into it a traditional delicacy from Tausugs – the pianggang.It comprises meat cooked in coconut milk, enriched with turmeric and an array of fiery spices. The result? Spicy, fragrant, and absolutely delicious meal that will make all of your senses tingle.

4. Mindanao’s Best – Pastil

Pastil is a delicious snack from Cotabato, Philippines. It’s rice with meat or fish, wrapped in a banana leaf. The rice is creamy and fragrant, and the leaf keeps it warm. Pastil is cheap and easy to eat. It’s a great way to taste the local culture and cuisine.

5. Mindanao’s Best – Sinuglaw

Now to the taste trip with Sinuglaw. The combination of Sinugbang Baboy (grilled pork) and Kinilaw (ceviche) gives birth to this delicious delight of grilled pork mixed with fresh fish marinated in calamansi and vinegar along with other spices. The result? Just an unusual combination of smokey sweetness with a little zing that you will never forget.

6. Tiula Itum

Mindanao's Amazing Flavors:  Tiula Itum -an aromatic soup made with beef or chicken, cook with burnt coconut and mix of spice.

Image by: Raymund

“Soup Black” – that’s the name by which Tausug people’s delicacy known as Tiula Itum is popularly referred. This is an aromatic soup made with beef or chicken, cook with burnt coconut and mix of spice. It produces a dense, meaty-tasting, and dark black broth which delivers a sensational taste and aroma with every sip.

7. Mindanao’s Best – Law-Uy

The vegetarians in our midst will find a soothing dish called Law-Uy in Mindanao. Enjoy this tasty and healthy vegetable soup, made with fresh and flavorful regional vegetables. It’s a delicious and nutritious treat for any occasion.

8. Linutik

In a nutshell, a linutik is a fused combination of sweet potato or cassava and coconut milk which gives it its exquisite flavour. This dessert is a sweet sensation that will make you fall in love with Mindanao. A local fruit cooked to a creamy delight with natural sweetness. Try this delicious dessert that will wow you.Don’t miss this opportunity to indulge in this heavenly dessert from Mindanao.

9. Piaya

Piaya is an alluring sweet that comes from Iligan City and gets into your tummy with pleasure. These flatbreads are exceptionally thin and crisp, and they’re filled with sweet delights like muscovado sugar, along with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, making them a perfect accompaniment to a hot drink.

10. Mindanao’s Best – Durian Ice Cream

There would be no tourism if one visited Mindanao without eating durian ice cream. As an ice cream, it becomes a whole different experience. It is delightful, sweet, and creamy, with a subtle hint of its original flavor. This is a rare and wonderful treat that you should not pass up. Indulge yourself and see why it is called ‘The King of Fruits’.This is a unique and delicious treat that you don’t want to miss. Give it a chance and discover why it is called ‘The King of Fruits’.

11. Palapa

It’s crafted from grated coconut, pepper, salt, and a medley of ingredients skillfully combined to infuse it with a truly unique and delightful flavor. A must for those who like bold and exploding food tastes.

12. Inubaran

To top it all is Inubaran, which happens to be a unique chicken recipe from Davao. The coconut meat is incredibly tender and youthful, blended with shrimp paste and an assortment of spices. This results in a truly comforting and fulfilling stew that wonderfully encapsulates the diverse palette of Mindanao’s flavors.


The culinary heritage in mindanao reflects mindanaos diversity and vitality. These twelve dishes offer just a taste of the rich, mouthwatering culinary experiences that await you on the diverse landscape of Mindanao IslandAs you journey through this captivating corner of the Philippines, ensure that you indulge in these indispensable dishes and savor the one-of-a-kind flavors that define Mindanaoan cuisine. This culinary journey will leave an everlasting impression on your taste buds.

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