The following are most of the many Filipino delicacies you can find in the streets of the Philippines, that is why they are called ‘street foods’.
Trust the Filipinos to come up with a fitting name which is funny and with a good recall.
Adidas are grilled chicken feet. After cutting off the claws and toe tips and the tough skin scraped off, the chicken feet are washed in hot water, marinated and grilled in bamboo sticks.
Helmets are grilled chicken heads. The chicken heads minus the beaks and the combs are, marinated, skewered and ready for grilling.
Grilled chicken necks are also popular but I wonder why they have not found a suitable name for the chicken necks. How about chokers?
IUD or Isaw are grilled chicken intestines. Cleaning the intestines involves a lot of work to remove any unsavory smell. Turn them inside out and rub with salt. Some would boil them before grilling while others grill them directly, that is, after they are marinated.
Betamax are dried chicken blood.They are cut into cubes resembling Betamax tapes, thus, the name (some of you may wonder what Betamax is... they existed before VHS, CD & DVD).
Let’s not forget the grilled chicken gizzards and grilled chicken livers. There are recipes that make good use of chicken gizzards and livers but they also find themselves in the streets grilled in barbecue sticks. They are mostly taken as pulutan (food taken while drinking beer and alcohol).
To marinate these chicken parts, we use a mixture of the same ingredients as marinating chicken breast or thigh for barbecue: soy sauce, calamansi or lemon, salt, black pepper, and ketchup.
Other Street Foods
Walkman are grilled pork ears. These tender pork ears are cleaned, seasoned and grilled in bamboo sticks. Great as pulutan for drinking beer.
One-day old chicks are male chicks rejected by poultry farmers. Only female chicks can go to the next round for egg production. So what to do with these males? Not even given a chance to live the second day. They are dipped in batter, fried and wind up as a street food.
Fish Balls and Squid Balls. Fish balls are formed from ground fish meat mixed with a variety of ingredients and deep-fried. It is served with sweet and sour or spicy sauce. Squid balls are almost the same as fish balls except that they have minced squid meat.
Fried Calamares. The body of the squid is cut into rings which are breaded and deep- fried. Even the tentacles are also breaded and fried. Dip them in vinegar and enjoy their taste.
Balut is a fertilized duck embryo (incubated up to 18 days), boiled and eaten from the shell. This “fear-factor” delicacy is said to give men vitality and increase their energy. This is usually taken in with beer. For the faint of heart, start with the “balut sa puti” (wrapped in white) because the embryo is not too visible as it is wrapped in egg white. Balut is eaten with salt, of course, and it goes well with vinegar, too.
Penoy or Balut Penoy. This is simply defined as unfertilized duck egg. The egg failed to develop so instead of having an embryo, you can find a white and yellow mass inside. Penoy can either have soupy substance when you crack open the shell or it could be dry like a regular hard-boiled egg.
Tokneneng is a hard-boiled chicken or duck egg dipped in orange batter and deep-fied until crispy. Usually eaten with spicy vinegar. It’s cheap and its filling, thus, its popularity among Filipinos.
Kwek-Kwek is the same as Tokneneng except that quail egg is used intead of the bigger chicken or duck egg.
The Banana Fare
Maruya is an all-time favorite snack. I believe everyone knows what a maruya is. It is a piece of saba banana carefully sliced and arranged in a fan-shape, coated in batter and deep-fried. Sprinkle sugar on it and best eaten hot.
You can shape your maruya however you want it but the procedure is the same: coat banana in batter and deep-fry. For the batter, you can use flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla, milk … it’s really up to you.
I actually like my maruya without the batter. I just want the banana fried and eaten hot with sugar.
Turon are bananas wrapped in lumpia wrapper. The bananas are sliced vertically and a piece of jackfruit is placed in the center with or without sugar, then wrap and deep-fry. One recipe I have found says to add sugar to the oil and wait for it to float before putting in the turon. That is going to burn the sugar before the turon is even cooked. I add the sugar when the turon is almost cooked. Be careful when eating turon hot because the jackfruit can burn your lips. Try it and you’ll know what I mean.
Banana cue are whole bananas fried in oil and sugar and sold in barbecue sticks. These could very well be maruya as it is a fried banana. Another version of the banana cue are the grilled bananas on barbecue sticks. They are brushed with margarine and sprinkled with sugar after grilling. I like mine without the margarine and sugar.