Common Philippine Spices and Herbs

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.
A basket of spices on a palm leaf.
Image Credit: Joao Canziani/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Filipino cuisine features a vibrant assortment of herbs and spices from all over the world. Many of the most popular dishes in the Philippines blend the nation's own tropical ingredients with flavors from Spain, Mexico, China and the Middle East. As a result, you can shop at Asian and Mexican markets to help stock your spice rack for Filipino recipes.


Filipino Spices

Annatto seed is a Mexican spice that tints many Filipino dishes a vivid reddish-orange color, without adding much flavor. Spanish paprika often plays a similar role, but adds a smoky essence. Spicy chilies, especially Thai bird's eye chilies, add a spicier kick to many dishes.


Video of the Day

Filipino Herbs

Banana leaves often serve as wrappers for steamed Filipino dishes. These giant leaves are not meant to be eaten, but they impart a mild herbaceous flavor to anything that cooks in them. Bay leaves, which are also too tough to chew, add a woodsy flavor to braised dishes. Chicken adobo, perhaps the most famous Filipino dish, includes bay leaves.


references & resources

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...