Local Treats in Zamboanga - Philippines

Primarily known for its beaches and flowers, Zamboanga is also home to some of the tastiest meals in the country. The following are the top 5 local treats in the city, so be sure to try them out next time you are in the vicinity.


The Curacha refers to a certain type of crustacean that is only found in the waters of Zamboanga. It is reddish, with tinges of pink and in appearance somewhat of a cross between the spiny lobster and a sea crab.

There are several ways this treat is served but the most preferred one is to eat it in its natural state. Usually it is boiled (or steamed) up to the point you desire. Once that point has been reached, you can eat it. If you like you can add some lemongrass and a couple of cups of coconut milk. Other toppings that may be added include pepper, salt, red chili, rice or vegetables.

Ensalada de Latu

The Ensalada de Latu is a type of seaweed salad that is very popular among the local residents of the city. It is composed of a kilo of Latu (seaweed), onions, tomatoes and calamansi. To add flavoring some salt, black pepper, vinegar and olive oil. When you are served this dish in a restaurant, you may add some chili and coconut meat.

Zamboanga Squid

A dish that goes well with ice cold beer, this squid delicacy is usually consumed with coconut milk and bits of tomatoes, garlic, and other spices and seasonings. If you feel like cooking this yourself, the process is easy enough.

You simply slice the squid into smaller, edible chunks and place them in a kettle. Boil it for half an hour or so. After that time elapses, let it cool down and prepare a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. To add some flavor you can include a stick of cinnamon. Add some garlic and onions for garnish and place in the squid. Prepare some cold beverage, wait a few minutes to let it cook, and youre good to go.

Moresqueta Frito

This treat will delight sausage and meat lovers. Served with steamed rice, the chorizo sausages are sliced into thin pieces, and glazed with coconut meat and mixed nuts. To balance the flavor there are also small bits of carrots, peas, eggs and sugar cane vinegar.

The Moresqueta Frito is tasty enough, but it is also versatile and can be flavored in many other ways. You may add some soy sauce, lemon and ginger. On the other hand, if you want the dish spicy, you can include red hot chili peppers and some hot sauce.

Number 4 in Top 5 Local Treats in Zamboanga: Kilawin

Kilawin can refer to a number of local fish recipes, but one of the most popular is the one made with yellow fin tuna fish. This has a very distinct flavor, thanks to the assorted seasonings, including calamansi, ginger, vinegar, garlic and several pieces of onion. The spicier version of this dish includes several chili peppers. Usually it is served with fried rice, or you can have it with some biscuits and crackers.


Almost every province in the Philippines has their own version of this popular desert, and Zamboanga is no exception. There are two versions here: the first is made by mixing eggs (at least six: the more the eggs the tastier it will be), milk, flour and a couple of tablespoons of vanilla. The other type uses the same ingredients except it utilizes only three eggs but adds lemon and sugar.

These are the top 5 local treats in Zamboanga, Philippines, and fortunately are available in almost all the popular restaurants and hotels in the city. Once you have gotten a taste of these treats, you will want to keep coming back for more.