Do You Have These 7 Essential Filipino Cookbooks?

November 11, 2019

Cookbooks have become so much more than simple meal-makers. They become heirlooms, gifted from one generation to another; they become personal narratives of families and cultures as told through recipes, and are even made a part of history in its careful documentation of food and where they come from. In tracing the evolution of Filipino cooking, one just has to look at the cookbooks used in the last few decades. Take a peek at the family bookshelf or at the odd book in the kitchen, there’s a high chance of finding one of these titles there.

1. Recipes of the Philippines by Enriqueta David Perez

Recipes of the philippines1

“If you can read, you can cook,” is the mantra behind this classic Filipino cookbook. Perez loved to cook, and was said to be busy with a dish in her kitchen if she wasn’t working on her buy-and-sell business or writing for different magazines. The cookbook was originally a commission for the 1953 International Exposition, but it has and continues to be a staple in Pinoy kitchens everywhere.

Recipes of the philippines2

2. Filipino Cooking Here and Abroad by Eleanor Laquian and Irene Sobrevinas

Filipino Cooking Here & Abroad1

Decades ago, Filipinos with work abroad left their homes with their bags, a picture of their loved ones, and this cookbook. It could even be said that this cookbook sowed the first few seeds for Filipino food’s in the international scene, as it lists ingredient alternatives in the United States.

Filipino Cooking Here & Abroad2

3. The Coconut Cookbook by Conrado A. Escudero

The coconut cookbook1

The book claims to be the very first to gather the best coconut recipes from around the world, and it just might be true. While the author is best known for owning and managing the tourist landmark, Villa Escudero, this is more than a compilation of family recipes. It is a celebration of his hometown San Pablo’s heritage as a coconut county.

The coconut cookbook2

4. Cookbook Diary by Don Bosco Press

Cookbook Diary1

You won’t find just Filipino recipes here, but even recipes from countries such as Italy and France. True to the name, it’s a diary with a recipe and helpful tips on herbs, nutrition, and cooking utensils on each page. Because of the bible verses found within its pages, it is often referred to as a Filipino kitchen bible.

Cookbook Diary2

5. Maya Kitchen Series

Mix & Match1

Maya Kitchen has always found a way to be part of Filipino meals, whether it’s through their flour and cake mixes or their cookbooks. Their “Mix and Match Series” has helped manage the busiest of homemaker kitchens, with menu guides, valuable tips on putting meals together and utilizing leftovers, food presentation, and of course, recipes.

Mix and Match2

6. Let’s Cook With Nora Daza by Nora Daza

Let's Cook with Nora1

This is the book that made Nora Daza a part of every Filipino household and set the standard of taste for the home cooking we have today. It’s a treasure that’s passed on from generation to generation, loved and used until its pages crumble.

Let's Cook with Nora2

7. Kulinarya by Glenda Barretto, Conrad Calalang, Margarita Fores, Myrna Segismundo, Jessie Sincioco, and Claude Tayag


“A must-have”, declares the blurb, “for the experienced new cook, a lover of Filipino food, or someone who has never tried it before”. This book is a labor of love that took three years to come to fruition, penned by six different chefs to profile Filipino food while sharing their secrets to culinary success.


What cookbooks do you have in your kitchen? Which title would you pass on to the next generation? Join in the discussion by leaving us a comment below.

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Mia Marci Mia Marci

Mia Marci likes sampling street food, even if she doesn't know what's in it. She's gotten sick to her stomach on occasion because of this hazardous curiosity, but even the strictest of doctors couldn't stop her. Mia also writes about video games, travel, and girly issues for other publications. She also teaches English and Creative Writing. In the little spare time she has left, she catches up on film and TV shows, while cuddling up to her dog and cat.

11 comments in this post SHOW

11 responses to “Do You Have These 7 Essential Filipino Cookbooks?”

  1. hehehe says:

    My folks has got three out of the seven books mentioned. Not bad. Hmmm.

  2. ermitarojo says:

    aling charing?

  3. Jay Yuki says:

    im planning on #7…

  4. cholo laaurel says:

    The Hidalgo potluck cookbook! ?

  5. wanderingtribe says:

    wow, brings back memories. my dad’s got 5/7! when he died, these were the ones i kept for myself.

  6. llyann says:

    wow!!! im pretty sure we still have three of those…

  7. Hope says:

    Ack so cool! We have The Coconut Cookbook :)) My grandma was an avid cook and housewife, she’d wow everyone with her recipes. Awesome post

  8. chudez says:

    Our family has a venerable copy Recipes of the Philippines; cover-less, dog-earned, binding split, crayola smeared (my bad, but in fairness, I was only 5), but still alive and still oft referred to; I believe our copy is older than I am, and I’m a martial law baby.

  9. pow says:

    Wow. I have in my hands book #6 from my Mom. And it is as battered as the one in photos.

  10. Anne says:

    Hi!i can remember having one of those.I am looking for a cookbook that has a pineapple cover and in red and yellow i think.When our house was submerged from flood all of those were ruined and I am looking for that particular cookbook since it waa the first book i’ve ever read.and do you know where Can I find a bookstore of oldest book in the Philippines?thank you

  11. Patricia Baes says:

    OMG I KNOW THIS ONE. I can’t put my finger on the title though!! Will get back to this once I get hold of it

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