In Mindanao, the southern part of Palawan island, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, dishes are richly flavored with the spices common to Southeast Asia: turmeric, coriander, lemon grass, cumin, and chillies — ingredients not commonly used in the rest of Filipino cooking. Being free from Hispanicization, the cuisine of the indigenous Moro and Lumad peoples of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago has much in common with the rich and spicy Malay cuisines of Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Indonesian and Thai cuisines.
Well-known dishes from the region include Satti (satay) and ginataang manok (chicken cooked in spiced coconut milk). Certain parts of Mindanao is predominantly Muslim, where pork is rarely consumed.
Rendang, a ofspicy beef curry with its origins among the Minangkabau people of Sumatra; biryani and kiyoning (pilaf), dishes originally from the Middle East, are given a Mindanaoan touch and served at special occasions.
Pyanggang is a Tausug dish made from barbecued chicken marinaded in spices, and is served with coconut milk infused with toasted coconut meat.
Popular crops such as cassava root, sweet potatoes, and yams are grown.
Sambal, a spicy sauce made with belacan, tamarind, aromatic spices and chillies, is a popular base to many dishes in the region.
Another popular dish from this region is tiyula itum, a dark broth of beef or chicken lightly flavored with ginger, chili, turmeric, and toasted coconut flesh (which gives it its dark color).
Philippines Cuisine Characteristics
Vinegar is a common ingredient. Adobo is popular not solely for its simplicity and ease of preparation, but also for its ability to be stored for days without spoiling, and even improve in flavor with a day or two of storage.
Tinapa is a smoke-cured fish while tuyo, daing, and dangit are corned, sun-dried fish popular because they can last for weeks without spoiling, even without refrigeration.
More details at Philippines Cuisine Characteristics