Malays during the pre-Hispanic era in the Philippines prepared food by boiling, steaming, or roasting. This ranged from the usual livestock such as carabao (water buffaloes), cows(?), chickens and pigs to seafood from different kinds of fish, shrimps, prawns, crustaceans and shellfish. There are a few places in the country where the broad range in their diet extended to monitor lizards, dogs and locusts. Malays have been cultivating rice, an Asian staple since 3200 B.C.. Pre-Hispanic trade with China, India, the Middle-East and the rest of Southeast Asia introduced a number of staples into Filipino cuisine most notably toyo (soy sauce) and patis (fish sauce), as well as the method of stir-frying and making savory soup bases.
The arrival of Spanish settlers brought with them chili peppers, tomato sauces, corn and method of sauteeing with garlic and onions called guisado finding their way into Philippine cuisine. They also braised food with vinegar and spices to preserve the food due to no refrigeration. They had a variety of sources in their diet. Local adaptations of Spanish dishes then became common such as paella into its Pilipino version of arroz valenciana, Chorizo into its local version of Longganisa, escabeche and adobo [this is connected to the Spanish dish adobado] remain popular to this day.
During the nineteenth century, Chinese food became a staple of the panciterias or noodle shops around the country, although they were marketed with Spanish names. "Comida China" (Chinese food) includes arroz caldo (rice and chicken gruel) and morisqueta tostada (an obsolete term for sinangag or fried rice).
Since 1900 when American colonial rule began, Philippine cuisine has been influenced by American, French, Italian, and Japanese cuisines and culinary procedures. Today, Philippine cuisine continues to evolve as new techniques and styles of cooking finds their way into one of the most active melting pots of Asia.