September 25, 2019 Batanes, Philippines

The Ivatan Cuisine: Must-Try Batanes Dishes

While the scenic views of Batanes continue to captivate my heart, Ivatan cuisine is also something worth going for.

When visiting a new place, my not so adventurous foodie self always make sure to try their local dishes as much as possible because what's traveling when you don't experience it like a local? So to help you feel more like a local when visiting Batanes, I've rounded up a list of must-try Ivatan dishes.


It's a traditional recipe of pork cooked with just rock salt. It is then stored in jars drowning in its own lard. This is the Ivatans' way of preserving pork. Luñis is quite similar to dried pork adobo. This is best served with supas (turmeric rice), another Ivatan specialty.

I also tried the unconventional sinigang na luñis and it's undeniably delicious!


This Batanes dish is usually prepared after butchering a cow. It is served to those who helped in preparing the cow. Mostly served with nisuhad a wakay or boiled sweet potato. 


It's the Ivatans' version of meatballs. Uved balls are made from banana corm and minced pork. If you really want to try Ivatan cuisine, this should be on your list.

Photo by Opal E. Bala


During the time I was in Batanes, I didn't see a live arayu, only the dried ones. But from searching on the internet, I was amazed at how beautiful it looks like. It's a mix of gold and hues of blue and green. In Batanes, harvesting this fish is a part of a sacred tradition called kapayvanuvanua. Up to this day, the Ivatans still practice it to gain the favors of the sea. They believe that it will protect them from the sea and will give them an abundant catch.


I already mentioned this on my previous post. Although Vunung is not really a dish, it's one thing that you must try when in Batanes. Vunung is the Ivatans' traditional way of serving food. They wrap the meal on Kabaya leaves. Usually, these are served on special occasions like weddings where people help hand in hand in the preparations without compensation.

To me, this is the best way to try and appreciate the Ivatan cuisine.

Have you tried any Ivatan dishes? What's your favorite? Let me know on the comments box below :)


  1. I love these * - *
    Amazing post!
    xoxo ♡

  2. Never had any of this but, it looks amazing!! :)

  3. The pictures are amazing! A great review indeed, thanks for sharing!

  4. This food looks delicious! It is very different to the food we eat in Vienna / Austria. I have never eaten vunung. But in India I ate food served on banana leaves and at the end of the meal we got a "breath freshener" made of various spices wrapped in leaves...
    XOX Traude
    PS: You asked me if I want to follow you - I' following you now. Would make me happy, if you follow, too.

  5. These all look like amazing dishes! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! XXX

  6. reading this blog flatters me as i am a native ivatan