Quarantine food trends

Staying home the past few months, we’ve all found new hobbies that we never thought we would take on. Many have found comfort in their kitchens, navigating their way through kitchen experiments and online recipes for the first time ever.

Some of these include cooking trends that have been popping up since the beginning of the quarantine period. From taking on popular TikTok recipes, recreating foreign dishes from home, or putting Filipino twists on trending dishes, keep busy in the kitchen like other Pinoys by trying these Filipino quarantine food trends out at home too.

1. DIY samgyupsal – raw meats and side dishes

samgyupsal set up
Image credit:
Aira Molina

When we were still allowed to leave home without the worry of catching COVID-19, many of us found comfort in our favorite samgyupsal restaurants after a rough day. The unlimited slices of pork and beef and Korean side dishes were a popular way to treat yourself. 

The past few months at home have been pretty rough for many too, which is why some have taken to treating themselves to DIY samgyupsal from home. 

By purchasing slices of plain and marinated meats from local meat shops, and cooking up their own side dishes such as kimchi, they’ve successfully replicated the KBBQ experience without having to go out.

2. Dalgona – whipped coffee with Filipino twists

ube dalgonaImage credit: Bellabelike

Everyone’s probably heard of dalgona by now, the whipped coffee craze that took the world by storm through TikTok. Though the original recipe called for coffee, many Filipinos have put their own twist on the drink. 

tocino, egg, and fried rice in mason jar
Tocino dalgona

Image credit: Sheila Amor Silveo Recabar (in the What’s your ulam pare? group)

From swapping out the coffee for ingredients like ube and Milo, or swapping out the milk for ube milk or Chuckie, they’ve made local versions of the drink that kids and non-coffee lovers can enjoy.

Some Pinoys have also had fun with the concept of layering things on each other in a mug, making funny concoctions such as tocino dalgona or sardinas dalgona.

sardinas and rice in a cup
Sardinas dalgona
Image credit: Aily’s Love

3. Sushi bake – sushi sheets eaten with nori squares

sushi flattened out into sheets
Image credit:

The sushi bake creation makes for an unexpected visual for sushi, considering we all know the dish as individual rolls of several ingredients wrapped up in rice and seaweed. The deconstructed sushi recipe calls for the usual sushi ingredients – Japanese rice, crab sticks, salmon, and cream cheese for California Maki – layered the way you would a casserole.

After baking the tray of sushi in the oven, you can way for it to cool down and pick up handfuls using sheets of nori. It’s a different way of enjoying sushi, but this way’s definitely easier to make and to binge on. 

4. Mango sticky rice – sticky rice with mango/mango chutney

mango sticky rice
Image credit:
Leedon Hermosa Santos

Filipino cuisine is known for putting mangoes and rice in pretty much everything, so although the mango sticky rice delicacy is known to be a Thai dish, it’s also become a big hit in our country. 

People have been making this dish at home with glutinous rice, coconut cream and milk, and mangoes. It’s a quick and easy recipe, with easy-to-find and affordable ingredients, which makes it a popular quarantine meal choice.

5. Ube pandesal – bread with ube and cheese

ube pandesal with cheese
Image credit:
Grace Rondolo

Ube or sweet purple yam stars in many Filipino snacks and desserts, so it was only a matter of time that someone would combine it with the OG Filipino bread, pandesal, to make ube pandesal. It can’t get any more Filipino than that.

Many have started flavoring their pandesal dough with ube, adding ube halaya or jam in the middle for even more ube. Some also like to put cheese along with the jam, a salty and rich flavor that goes well with the sweet and soft taste of ube.

6. Ube and strawberry champorado – swapping out tablea for ube or strawberry

ube, strawberry, and chocolate champorado
Image credit:

Champorado or chocolate rice porridge has been gracing our breakfast tables since time immemorial, but recently quarantine breakfast home cooks have been playing around with the classic recipe.

Instead of using tablea or blocks of cacao, they’ve tried using other ingredients such as ube and strawberries. Not only do these mean more flavors for our favorite breakfast indulgence, it also means the usual brown champorado can now be swapped with sweet treats in other colors.

7. Pancit Canton recipes – creative ways to cook Pancit Canton

noodles with cheese and porkImage credit: Julie Meyer

Pancit Canton has been a household food item even before the quarantine period, but Filipinos’ creativity and boredom has led to discovering other ways to enjoy the dish aside from sandwiching it with pandesal, giving birth to new quarantine food trends. 

A couple of standout recipes involve adding kimchi to the noodles, making Korean noodles by adding BBQ seasoning and cheese, and even making omurice with noodles inside instead of rice, dubbed as omucanton.

8. Leche flan – créme caramel flan

leche flan
Image credit:

There’s nothing new about the classic Filipino dessert leche flan, but this time, instead of buying it from supermarkets or bakeries, people have been making the dessert themselves. Unfortunately, the simple exterior doesn’t make for an equally simple recipe. 

overcooked leche flan
Leche flan or scrambled egg?
Image credit: Mary-Anne Cortez

Being a delicate dessert, the recipe can be easily messed up with one wrong move such as overmixing or using a tray that’s too small. And while some have been blessed enough to get it right the first time, others have shared their funny failed leche flan attempts online.

Recipes to try at home

Though you can get food delivered any time you want, you might want to scour your kitchen for ingredients that can lead you to a genius recipe. Your kitchen might just be the birthplace of the next quarantine food trend.

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Cover image adapted from: Aira Molina and @mizzerybell


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