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20 Popular Must Try Filipino Street Foods

Updated on March 1, 2018
Which of these do you think you have the guts to try?
Which of these do you think you have the guts to try? | Source

As you roam around the streets of Philippines, the tempting scent of barbecue on skewers, hotdogs along with favorite fish balls, isaw and more street foods will make your tummy growl. Walking specially on the streets of the country's capital, Manila, one would see a number of vendors, with their deliciously enticing, cheap street foods.

Some may not look appealing but people finds these street eats tempting. The mouth watering halo-halo and the echo of the taho vendor's call means delicious street food fit in your budget that is hard not to indulge one's self into.

So what are the Filipino popular street foods one can try when visiting the Philippines?

Adidas

Adidas are made from chicken feet. Fried and simmered until tender from mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar, this Philippine street food is tasty and is one favorite pulutan (finger food) along with beer or other alcoholic beverage. For those who wants it spicy, chili can be added. Adidas makes a delightful street food experience. It is also good with rice and some prefers it that way.

Adidas (chicken feet.)
Adidas (chicken feet.) | Source

Halo-halo

The colors -- it looks delicious, and it is. Derived from the word halo (to mix,) the name pertains to its various ingredients. Halo-halo is a favorite and popular dessert and street food in the country to wrestle the hot summer days of the land. This goodie, made from shaved ice is layered with mouth watering ingredients such as sweet palm, jackfruit, silky coconut, coconut gelatin, caramel flan, mung beans, rice crisp, purple yam, sweet corn, evaporated milk and topped with your favorite choice of ice cream.

Mix well and enjoy!

Halo-halo.
Halo-halo. | Source

Taho

Made of soft tofu with sago pearls added and sweetened with vanilla and brown sugar syrup, taho is sold throughout the day, starting early in the morning when it is still warm. Taho vendor shouts "Taho!" as he makes his route through the streets of Manila or in the provinces in a leisurely pace letting the neighborhood know that he is around the area for anyone ready to start their morning with the delicious taho.

The taho vendor carries two buckets at both ends of a yoke, one bucket for the silken or soft tofu and the other bucket is for the sago pearls and syrup called arnibal.

For those who enjoys this treat, waiting at the front gate with money ready in hand when the vendor is about to arrive is better than running after the taho vendor when he already passed by. Also calling back "tahoooooo" is not uncommon to get the vendor's attention of interested customers.

Source

The taho vendor carries two buckets at both ends of a yoke, one bucket for the silken or soft tofu and the other bucket is for the sago pearls and syrup called arnibal.

For those who enjoys this treat, waiting at the front gate with money ready in hand when the vendor is about to arrive is better than running after the taho vendor when he already passed by. Also calling back "tahoooooo" is not uncommon to get the vendor's attention of interested customers.

Source

Isaw

This Filipino street food is made from chicken intestines. After the intestines are thoroughly cleaned inside out and cleaned using vinegar, they are boiled and skewered into bamboo sticks then grilled over charcoal.

Isaw is basted with a mixture of catsup, chopped garlic, ground pepper and soy sauce while grilling. With the sauce, it is often eaten with spiced vinegar along with ground black pepper, hot chili, salt and chopped garlic while some just want catsup.

Isaw.
Isaw. | Source

Kwek-kwek

This somehow orange-like fruit is made of quail eggs, rolled in cornstarch, a mixture of flour and annatto giving it the reddish color and fried. Dipped in a spiced-vinegar sauce, it is an enjoyable popular street eat.

Hard-boiled eggs is also used but when hard-boiled eggs are used instead of quail eggs, the delicacy is no longer called kwek-kwek, but is called tokneneng.

Kwek-kwek.
Kwek-kwek. | Source

Green Mango on skewers

Another street food favored by Filipinos are skewered green mangoes. There's nothing special about it, really, just a green mango fruit, skewered and with bagoong which is either fermented shrimp sauce or fish sauce. This inexpensive skewered fruit is a delight to satisfy the craving for a green mango.

skewered green mango.
skewered green mango. | Source

Chicharon

Pig's skin cracklings, chicharon comes in a plastic bag or wrapped in a styrofoam sealed with plastic. This crunchy treat is also a favorite finger food or pulutan with alcoholic beverages. Some chicharon comes with spiced-vinegar, usually hot chili and chopped garlic and best enjoyed with it.

Vendors who mount buses while on a traffic jam carries chicharon with the spiced-vinegar along with other street foods.

chicharon with spiced-vinegar.
chicharon with spiced-vinegar. | Source

Betamax

Named as resemblance of a Betamax tape, betamax are grilled chicken blood which then roasted and skewered. Without any spices added to it, the coagulated chicken blood is tasteless once grilled. But by dipping it in a spiced-vinegar before a bite, that would give it some taste.


Betamax.
Betamax. | Source

Fish balls/ Squid balls

Made from either shredded fish or squid, this goodies are fried, skewered in bamboo sticks and accompanied with a vinegar-spiced sauce, or either hot and sweet sauce. Yum. If not on bamboo skewers, fish balls or squid balls are serve on paper plates with a barbeque stick to use and one's choice of sauce.

Fish balls
Fish balls | Source

Balut

A delicacy featured on Andrew Zimmern's "Bizarre Food," balut is a fertilized, boiled duck egg with an embryo inside. Best and enjoyed warm, vinegar or salt is optional but is preferred by most. Just crack the shell on either tip, making a small hole and sip the liquid before completely cracking the shell up and eating the egg.

Balut is sold throughout the day either stored in a styrofoam box, or in a basket hand carried by the balut vendor while shouting "baluuuttt" as he wanders the street. Balut is also often sold along with penoy, a boiled duck egg without the embryo.

Balut
Balut | Source

Ukoy

Ukoy is made of small shrimps and sprouted mung beans, dipped in a batter made of flour, corn starch, egg and spices. This is another deep-fried street eat serve with vinegar, spiced with chopped garlic, ground black pepper and chili. Ukoy is enjoyed as mid afternoon snack or merienda but is also good with rice.

Ukoy with vinegar
Ukoy with vinegar | Source

Calamares

The country's version of the Mediterranean calamari. Squids, sliced into rings are dredged into flour, dipped in beaten eggs and rolled over breadcrumbs are deep-fried. For the sauce? The vinegar, spiced with chopped garlic, ground pepper and some likes it with chili.

Calamares is another favorite Filipino finger food, a good match with beer.

Calamares
Calamares | Source

Kikiam

Kikiam is one of the Chinese dishes that has been adopted into the Filipino cuisine. Kikiam, called que-kiam by the Chinese is made of ground pork, shrimps, diced vegetables such as carrots, chopped chives, water chestnuts along with spices and a beaten egg is mixed together and wrapped into a bean curd sheets and deep fried.

Kikiam is enjoyed with sweet and sour sauce.

Kikiam
Kikiam | Source

Skewered barbeque

Sliced pork or chicken, marinated in a mixture of catsup, soy sauce, and sugar are skewered in a bamboo stick and grilled. The same mixture is also used to baste each barbeque while grilling. The result is a flavorful, mouth watering skewered barbeque. Also some prefer using the ready to use bottled barbeque marinade. Skewered barbeque is often enjoyed with spiced-vinegar.

Skewered barbeque/barbecue.
Skewered barbeque/barbecue. | Source

Boiled/Fried Peanut

Another hard to resist street eat are the boiled or deep-fried peanuts sold on stands in the side walks, on bus stations and even on piers.


Peanuts.
Peanuts. | Source

Ice candy

With the country's hot Summer days, ice candy is a popular refreshment. This Filipino ice popsicle is made of either fruit or chocolate. And the commonly used flavors are mangoes, avocado, melon and coconut where the last two is often filled with the shredded fruit.

Ice candy is specially enticing to students as they take their recess or the walk to and from school.

Ice candies.
Ice candies. | Source

Turon

Sweet and crunchy, turon is deep-fried ripe saba banana wrapped in spring rolls. These are naturally sweet and that can lessen the amount of sugar used if wanted. Rolled in brown sugar, cut in halves saba bananas are wrapped and fried.

Turon can often be seen sold along with banana cue and camote cue.

Turon
Turon | Source

Banana Cue/ Bananaque

Banana cue is a favorite merienda or mid afternoon snack. Made from fried Asian plantains called saba, banana cue is deep-fried coated with brown sugar while frying and skewered in bamboo skewer sticks.

The same process goes with camote cue. Both is not only seen on street vendors but is also sold on school canteens.


Bananacue/bananaque.
Bananacue/bananaque. | Source

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Mais (Corn)

Boiled and grilled sweet corn is another usual street eat. Often seen sold along with other street foods such as boiled and fried peanuts as well as boiled eggs and balut. A good choice for healthy snacking specially on cold rainy days while waiting for that next bus ride.

Sorbetes

Philippine ice cream peddled on carts and sold on cones or buns. It is made of coconut milk, carabao's milk and cassava flour. It also comes in many different flavors. Coconut, mango, avocado, strawberry and chocolate are just few of the favorites.

Sorbetero's are the vendors that sell the sorbetes or ice cream in a lively colorful carts. Too hot and thinking of having an ice cream? A handheld bell will let you know an ice cream seller or sorbetero is around.

Sweet corns
Sweet corns | Source
Sorbetes.
Sorbetes. | Source

Philippines Street Foods

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    • precy anza profile image
      Author

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      @ Neil Sperling

      Lol Neil. :) Just pick your choice in any of these street foods :)

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Now I am very hungry

    • precy anza profile image
      Author

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      Aww.. There are times I crave for taho too. Taho are best in the morning, I believe. But they are also sold throughout the day. The only thing is the vendor would probably have passed by your place the time you wakes up. Maybe a younger sibling could buy it for you :)

    • profile image

      tattuwurn 4 years ago

      I'm not a morning person usually... so I miss taho so much. :((

    • precy anza profile image
      Author

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      @ Rajan:

      And thanks Rajan for stopping by and sharing :) Now you got me interested if there's some street foods here that is closely similar to any in your homeland? :)

      @ Rumanasaiyed:

      Hi Rumana :) Welcome to Hubpages and thank you for taking the time to visit. :)

      @ Marcy:

      Indeed. They are a favorite and popular. Some listed her also has similarities to some other Asian countries street foods. Thanks for the visit :)

      @ Pooja2109

      Hi there Pooja. Thanks and welcome to HP ^-^'

    • pooja2109 profile image

      Pooja S 4 years ago from Toronto

      nice collection of street food...

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      You can really get a feel for the culture of a place from sampling street foods. They're always popular, and usually unique to the area. Nice hub!

    • rumanasaiyed profile image

      Rumana 4 years ago from Sharjah, UAE

      Nice hub on interesting topic.

      Voted up beautiful!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Awesome street foods, precy. You reminded me of the street foods we have here. I think vendors plying these street foods and shouting aloud is a common factor.

      Voted up and shared.

    • precy anza profile image
      Author

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      Maybe I will, been thinking to try that but I'm more into writing legends. Now I think I'm out of legends to write. Lol. ^-^'

    • Delight100 profile image

      Delight100 5 years ago

      @ precy anza

      You're welcome , please write more recipes :)

    • precy anza profile image
      Author

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      Glad to know you had tasted some and liked it Drbj :) I like both, but if there's something I haven't tried yet that wanted to, that would be the kikiam. Thanks for stopping by!

    • precy anza profile image
      Author

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      Hi Delight :) Me too. That's why I try to make some, whatever I'm craving for when I have needed ingredients available. Thanks for stopping by! ^.^

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      I've tasted a number of foods in Sri Lanka and Thailand that were similar to some of the Philippine street foods you mention, precy. Love the skewered barbecue and the calamare. But the others ... not so much. :)

    • Delight100 profile image

      Delight100 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing ,I miss those street foods in the Philippines. Nakakagotom tingnan hehe

    • precy anza profile image
      Author

      precy anza 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks Avian! ^-^' I like calamari, or I should say calamares instead :) The first time I had it was on a birthday party.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great material, precy anza. Calamari is very popular around heere. I never got to have it until this past year. I have not been able to try anything else, as I didn't know about it.

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