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Lenten Special: What foods to eat during Holy Week

Leanne Josephine C. Austria

March 13, 2023

  • It’s almost April and this only means that the Lenten season is here. As a Catholic country, the Philippines has this practice of abstinence during Lent in commemoration of Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice to save humanity. With that being said, most Roman Catholics abstain from eating meat every Friday during lent, and the entire holy week. Especially to adults. They give up snacking and generally eat only one main meal and two smaller meals during the day. Eating pork, chicken, beef, and other types of meat are not recommended during this time of the year.

    Fish like Bangus, Galunggong, and Tilapia are typical alternatives for meat during fasting and abstinence. And aside from this, there are a lot of recipes on how you can cook veggies all perfect for the Lenten season.

    To help you lessen your worries this Holy Week, we list a couple of Filipino dishes you can cook this Lenten season:


    This is a type of dish with a clear broth soured with vegetables. The fish paksiw has all the combined flavors of the sourness of the vinegar, the umami of the fish, the savoriness of the garlic, and the earthy flavor of ginger that’ll make you feel that you’re eating a well-balanced healthy meal.

    Feel free to check Yummy.ph’s recipe! 


    Vegetables of many kinds are used in Bulanglang, making it a nutritious meal. It is best to boil hard vegetables first, such as calabaza squash, also known as kalabasa in tagalog, and green papaya, before adding the softer ones, such as malunggay, to the pot. Make sure to eat it while the soup is still hot! Try MommyLiberty’s sure-win recipe!

    Ginataang Tilapia

    This fish stew is made from fish and leafy vegetables in coconut milk with garlic, ginger, onion, patis or bagoong alamang, and salt and pepper. Ginataang Tilapia with spinach or pechay cooked in coconut milk is delish! Try NamNam’s recipe, We’re sure you’ll love it!

    Monggo Guisado

    They say we usually eat Monggo only every Friday. But nope, some of us can eat this almost every day! This mung bean dish is always paired with pork bits and pork rinds, so of course, we’ll have to skip those during Lent. It has a subtle, savory taste, and a satisfyingly tender texture. The mix of softened munggo or Mung beans with spinach, tomatoes, onions, definitely makes a fulfilling lunch meal.

    Check out PanlasangPinoy’s recipe!

    Fishtek (Filipino fish steak)

    There are a lot of Lent food dishes you can make out of milkfish, and fish steak is one of those. We can safely assume that fishtek is the meatless version of Bistek (Beef steak stew) because of the identical way it is prepared.

    With a milkfish fishstek, you’ll get savory and meaty flavors without breaking the rules of Lent. With just 2 main recipe ingredients, soy sauce and calamansi, you’ll never get tired of eating this! Best served over steamed rice. Check out Ate Malou’s Fishstek recipe!

    We know, these recipes are supposed to be a form of penance, but it doesn’t mean you have to actually suffer. It’s wonderful to realize that our country has such a rich and diverse culture which allows us to enjoy great selection of foods for the Lenten season without pork, chicken, or beef.



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