11 Best Recipes With Luya: Filipino Ginger

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Luya is a root vegetable that is often used in Filipino cuisine. It has a slightly bitter and sharp taste and is usually cooked with other vegetables or meat.

If you’re looking for something different to add to your dinner rotation, why not try cooking with luya? This unique vegetable can be used in a variety of dishes, so you’ll never get bored.

Best recipes with luya

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Best 11 recipes with luya

Filipino Sweet and Sour pork

Filipino Sweet and Sour pork
The Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe uses fresh Pineapples so you better scout for the sweetest Sweet and Sour Sauce. This should blend well with the Vinegar to create an appetizing taste that everyone will remember long after they have tried it.
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Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe

It’s a dish that’s well-loved by the whole family and is one of the regular dishes you will see on the dining table on special occasions.

The ginger (luya in the Philippines), gives it a nice kick.

The blending of the sweetness and sour taste of the dish makes it very delectable.

But although it’s always been associated with the Chinese people, Sweet and Sour Pork Recipe has also been one of the preferred Filipino Foods.

Filipinos have adopted this as their very own dish and you can see this in almost any household gatherings.

Paksiw na bangus

Paksiw na bangus recipe (vinegar fish stew)
Paksiw na bangus is cooked with vegetables, such as eggplant and bitter gourd (or ampalaya). To avoid the bitterness of the ampalaya mixing in with the paksiw na bangus sauce, don't stir it until the end.
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Paksiw na Bangus Recipe

No doubt, paksiw na bangus is an amazingly simple and delicious dish for seafood lovers. However, some can’t get the recipe perfect. It’s a subtle balance of ginger (luya), vinegar, garlic, and patis (fish sauce).

By following the below tips, there’s nothing to stop you from making the recipe to perfection!

Escabeche sweet & sour fish

Escabeche sweet & sour fish recipe
Escabeche is also known as sweet and sour fish. This escabeche recipe has a Spanish origin, but there's another Iberian version of this escabeche recipe. The cooked fish is left to be marinated overnight in a sauce made from wine or vinegar.
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Escabeche Recipe ( Lapu-Lapu)

The aroma of ginger in escabeche is so appetizing. The ginger strips serve 2 purposes: to give an aromatic flavor and to lessen the fishy odor of the fish.

There are also red and green bell peppers to add some slight capsicum flavor. The carrots are sliced thinly, and some are carved into small flowers for plating and garnishing.

Pesang isda

Pesang isda recipe (Pinoy original)
Pesang isda is an adapted Chinese-influenced dish of fish, rice wash, and ginger. It's a simple fish stew dish you'll love.
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Pesang Isda Recipe (Pinoy Original)

This recipe is simple and easy to follow, as this is mainly a ginger stew with a strong fishy flavor!

The fish commonly used for this recipe is dalag (murrel) or hito (catfish); however, you can actually use any type of fish for this recipe. One perfect substitute is tilapia.

Aside from fish, the recipe also includes heaps of sliced ginger to counter the strong fishy smell of the fish and also to act as the main driver of the taste in this dish.

Also included are peppercorns (very important since this will give another layer of pungency to the dish), sayote (squash), napa cabbage or cabbage, and pechay.

Pesang manok

Pesang manok recipe
This is a chicken broth-based recipe, it cannot be helped that this is yet another one-pot meal which makes it a favorite for busy people and for those people who are just beginning to cook.
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Pesang Manok Recipe

Pesang manok recipe is similar to chicken broth-based dishes such as Tinola (which uses sayote or papaya and chili leaves in its recipe) and Nilagang Baka (which has cabbages and saging na saba) and it is possible that you could interchange the three dishes.

However, what distinguishes pesang manok from the others is the recipe’s extensive use of ginger, bok choy, napa cabbage, and potatoes.

These, if we talk about the vegetables thrown into the mix, make this dish a heavy and healthy meal.

Pinaputok na tilapia

Pinaputok na tilapia recipe
Unlike the Relyenong Bangus, there is no need to sew up the tilapia mainly because it will already be covered with banana leaf and aluminum foil.
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Pinaputok na Tilapia Recipe

As the recipe lends itself to naming its main ingredient in the name itself, pinaputok na tilapia recipe is made of tilapia stuffed with different ingredients such as sliced onion, ginger (luya), tomato, spring onion , and soy sauce.

To make the fish tastier, one can marinate it using freshly squeezed calamansi juice. You can spread the juice generously before putting in the ingredients to be stuffed.

You can also garnish the top of the fish with the stuffing. The tilapia is then covered with banana leaf and aluminum.

Sinanglay na tilapia

Sinanglay na tilapia recipe
As the only difficult part of this Sinanglay na Tilapia recipe is stuffing and covering the tilapia, everything else is simple as one would only need to drop the Tilapia in the pot and pour in the coconut milk. 
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Sinanglay na Tilapia Recipe

What distinguishes Sinanglay na Tilapia from other recipes is that before stewing the tilapia into a pot full of coconut milk (or reverse), you need to first cut and gut the tilapia and stuff it with the other ingredients such as sliced ginger (luya), onions , and tomatoes much like how you would stuff the Tilapia in Pinaputok na Tilapia.

However, once you’re done with stuffing the Tilapia, unlike in other recipes where you can leave it unsewn or uncovered, in sinanglay recipe, you will have to cover up the Tilapia with Gabi or Pechay leaves and tie it up with lemongrass stalks so that the filling will not burst out once you start simmering it in the pot.

Ginataang tilapia

Ginataang tilapia recipe
Ginataang tilapia is a tasty variation of the Filipino dish called ginataan, which can be made with all sorts of ingredients that are cooked in coconut milk, locally known by Filipinos as "ginata".
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Ginataang Tilapia Recipe

Here’s the first step of preparation—cooking the tilapia fish:

  • Put cooking oil in a pan and heat it to a high temperature to prevent the tilapia from sticking to the pan.
  • Flip each side to give the tilapia an even cook.
  • When adding more than one tilapia, wait for at least 10 seconds before adding another. This helps keep the heat in the pan.
  • The next step is, while you’re cooking the tilapia, sauté the garlic and ginger with the tilapia until it turns a golden brown color. But make sure that while sautéing the garlic, you don’t burn the tilapia.
  • Afterward, once the garlic has been sautéed, add chopped onions and sauté them with the garlic and the frying tilapia.
  • Once the garlic and onions have been sautéed, and the tilapia is cooked, add the coconut milk (ginataan). Simmer the ingredients for the ginataang tilapia until the coconut milk becomes thick. Once it’s thick, you can serve it on a plate, eat it with rice, and enjoy a great meal!

Ginataang Salmon Filipino style

Ginataang Salmon Filipino style
Ginataang Salmon recipe is a very simple dish which is cooked with coconut milk, ginger, and onion. It is not a very complex dish which proves its accessibility to people who are very good in cooking and for the beginners as well.
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Ginataang Salmon Recipe

Leave the coconut milk aside and start sautéing the ingredients. First, the garlic and the onions, the long green chilies, and the salmon itself.

Finally, you add the coconut milk and the eggplant. Add salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer until it is cooked.

There are different versions of this dish depending on where in the Philippines the dish is cooked.

Bicolanos will prefer it with red chilis to make it extra hot, and some would ditch the eggplants. To adjust the consistency, you can also add water to make it brothy.

Filipino Laing with taro leaves

Laing recipe: Filipino dish with taro leaves in coconut milk
The laing recipe has taro leaves cooked in coconut milk and chilis. It's a spicy vegetable dish that's widely cooked in the Bicol region of the Philippines.
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Laing Recipe

The sauce is prepared first. This is done so that all the flavors of the ginger, (luya) shrimp paste (bagoong), and garlic are well blended and incorporated. The shrimp paste and coconut milk give an aromatic and savory laing sauce.

The secret to achieving a thick sauce is to avoid stirring the coconut milk. Mixing the gata or coconut milk will only make it watery.

This laing recipe can be made in advance and kept frozen for a week. Thaw and reheat before serving.

Paksiw na galunggong

Paksiw na galunggong recipe
For me, this Paksiw na Galunggong Recipe is easy to cook you just need vinegar, water, salt and pepper, ginger then combined it together and wait until it boils.
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Paksiw na Galunggong Recipe

Galunggong is a widely eaten fish in the Philippines. In English, the Galunggong has been known as the Blue Mackerel Scad, Round Scad or Shortfin Scad, but these names have been applied to other fish of the Decapterus family as well.

In the Philippines, the fish is also referred to in shorthand as GG (pronounced in English as “gee-gee”). The Mackerel Scad, Decapterus Macarellus, is a species of fish of the family, Carangidae.

Best recipes with filipino luya

11 Best Recipes With Luya

Joost Nusselder
Luya (ginger) is great to work with and in most cases, you cut it up into small minced ginger, just like you would with garlic.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 5 people


  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 1 thumb luya chopped


Create a luya marinade

  • In a bowl, combine garlic, onion, tomatoes, and luya then mix.
  • Stuff a fish with the garlic, onion, and luya mixture or rub it on meat and let it sit for a while.

Let it simmer with luya

  • Pour your ingredients for the sauce like soy sauce into your saucepan, then toss the spring onion, luya and garlic as well.
  • This time add your pork or other protein into the saucepan along with the other ingredients and simmer it until much of the liquid has evaporated leaving only a sticky sauce that makes it look glossy.
Keyword luya
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What does luya taste like?

Luya has a slightly spicy, sharp, and tangy flavor. It is often used to add flavor to dishes, and can be used fresh, dried, or powdered.

What are some of the most common uses for luya?

Luya is used in many different cuisines, including Chinese, Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese, but the name is Filipino for ginger.

It is often used to add flavor to curries, stews, and stir-fries. Luya can also be used to make tea, or added to baked goods such as gingerbread.

How to cook luya

Luya can be used fresh, dried, or powdered. When using fresh luya, it is important to cut off the skin before using.

Best luya to buy

You can always buy fresh luya and cut it up, that’s the best way to cook with it. But if you don’t have it or are pressed for time when cooking, I like this minced ginger from the Organic Ginger People:

Organic ginger people minced ginger

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It has all the benefits of cooking with fresh luya, but you can store it in the container for much longer.

How to store luya

Luya can be stored in the fridge, wrapped in a paper towel, for up to three weeks. Alternatively, it can be peeled and grated, then stored in a sealed container in the freezer for up to six months.

How long does uncut luya keep?

Uncut luya root can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to three weeks. If it starts to sprout, it can still be used, but the flavor will be more mild. Once the luya is cut or peeled, it should be used within a few days.


There are many dishes you can make with luya so it’s a great addition to have in your pantry. Hope you’ll try one of these top recipes.

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Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.