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Favorite Filipino Dishes and Desserts for Mother’s Day and All Occasions

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It is because of my late mom, Lulu Reyes Besa that I can share these favorite Filipino dishes and desserts with you today. I learned how to cook and bake from Mom as soon as I was tall enough to reach the kitchen counter.

I grew up in the Philippines but when I moved to America over twenty years ago, I packed along with my personal belongings all the life lessons I learned from my parents. In the suitcases were cookbooks, food clippings and notebooks of recipes – all from my mom. And what I didn’t have written down, I held tight in my heart and memory. Armed with all these, I knew I could raise my family in America well.

I have put together a brief collection of favorite recipes for main dishes and desserts. They are favorites of my readers and are searched for everyday on this blog. The recipes range from easy-to-do up to medium-effort entrees. You can make these for mom, for friends who are moms, for family or just about anyone who is a fan of Filipino or Asian cooking.

Mother’s Day should not be just one day. Showing your love and affection to those you love goes beyond holidays. Your support is needed in the everyday life, the moments when the drudgery, the routine, the hectic schedules set in. Often your compassion and understanding will be soothing during the harsh, hard times. And no matter what happens in a day, we all still must eat.

You know what I love as a mother? When my grown sons come home and cook for me. They shoo me out of the kitchen and tell me to sit on the couch. They shop, chop, strain, mix, whip, roast, fry, bake and then they call me to the table. So, take the cue from my sons. Do one or two of these dishes or desserts for mom. Not just on Mother’s Day or the holidays. Do it often and do it always. After all, a mother’s love encompasses all the holidays and days of the week. It is forever.

Here are the dessert recipes. Click on the recipe titles for the links:

Mango Refrigerator Cake– a nearly no-bake dessert with layers of butter cake, heavy cream and sweet, ripe mangoes.

Ube- Purple Yam Pound Cake– a rich, dense pound cake made of sweet ube or purple yam with a delightful ube glaze.

Leche Flan– a luscious caramel custard dessert whose origins date back centuries ago.

Food for the Gods– easy-to-bake, decadent dessert bars with dates, raisins, nuts and lots of butter.


For lunch or dinner, here are some popular choices. Click recipe titles for links:

Pancit Sotanghon with Snap Peas – stir-fry of cellophane noodles and snap peas.

Pork Barbecue Filipino-style – no Pinoy party is complete without these sweet and savory char-grilled pork cubes in skewers.

Lumpia Shanghai – crisp, tiny pan-fried egg rolls filled with ground pork and a side of sweet-sour sauce.

Sinigang na Salmon – salmon fillet simmered in a tart, sour tamarind stew with vegetables.

If you want more classic entrees from breakfast to dinner. Click recipe titles for links :

Loco Moco – easy bowl of eggs, vegetables, Spam slices on sweet coconut rice.

Beef Sinigang – tender, beef short ribs in tart tamarind stew with vegetables.

Korean Beef Stew – sweet and savory beef cubes simmered low and slow till tender.

Pinakbet – assorted Asian vegetables of eggplants, ampalaya, long green beans and squash cooked in shrimp paste.


Did you like this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-QuirinoBuy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

  • Hello, Friends! All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos and  recipe content I wrote, on your website, films or videos  without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe or content on another website, video or news article, please ASK my permission, re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]

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