Philippine Exotic Foods For The Gutsy
There's always a first time for everything for everyone. With over 7,107 islands waiting to be a part of your big Philippine adventure, don't let your taste buds gets left behind. Challenge your sense of taste with these odd, strange, bizarre foods no matter what you prefer calling it. They may taste odd with the strangest appearance but who knows, you might find something that your taste buds will crave for.
Intrigued what exotic foods Philippines has to offer? Here's 10 weird Filipino foods that will challenge your guts.
1. The Popular Balut
The exotic, popular boiled duck egg which dares both locals and tourists. Balut is made from boiled duck egg with a 90 days old embryo. Sold by balut vendors often in baskets. A perfect way to awaken your senses and warm yourself up on rainy days, holidays or whenever you crave for it. Your choice of either spiced-vinegar or salt., Balut is sold,hot and is best eaten that way by cracking open one end of the egg, making a small hole to suck the juice before continuously peeling the shell and consuming the rest.
2. Delicious Dinuguan
Known as chocolate meat, dinuguan may be something you'll consider if you can't take the 90 days old duck embryo and don't have the guts for the rest here on the list, specially number 10. Dinuguan is made from meat and innards of pork,and cooked in blood, having the consistency and color of a chocolate. Thus acquiring the name blood stew or chocolate meat. Some also add pork snouts to make this dish. Chocolate meat is lightly sour as it is cooked in vinegar, green pepper and whole peppercorns.
3. That Yummy Frog
Not all that ribbits can be eaten. These are rice field frogs (palakang bukid). Skinned and either fried or cooked as adobo, it sure is something odd that is worth a try. If either one isn't your kind of a frog dish, stuff the bellies with ground meat of your choice if you don't prefer pork and deep fry it, a dish called batute. Batute is one of Philippine's deliciously strange dishes from Pampanga.
4. Chicken Blood Anyone?
One of the favorites amongst Philippine street foods. Betamax is made from coagulated chicken blood. Seasoned with salt and ground pepper, grilled using skewers, betamax is a street food that is making a hit. Betamax got its name from resembling the betamax tape. Eat it as it is or dip it in spiced-vinegar if you prefer it to be spicy.
5. Snails For A Treat
Another odd but delicious treat awaits but you need to suck them out of their shells - suso. Known as "agurong" by the Ilocanos and suso in Filipino, these river snails are left in a basin with water for three days after being caught, letting the snails cleanse themselves getting rid of what they consumed in the river. The water are changed as it clouds up with the snails dirt. The pointer end of the snail is then cut off before cooking. It is usually cooked in coconut milk with green pepper or bird's eye chili (labuyo) for a spicy dish.
6. Want To Have A Lizardy Bite?
Another bizarre food to add on your list of foods to try is monitor lizard (bayawak). Impress the locals and challenge your taste buds if offered by locals to try. Monitor lizard is cooked in few different ways - cooked as adobo, sautéed or cooked in coconut milk. It's not that bad and some will say it tastes like chicken. Talk something over with a can of beer with bayawak as pulutan. It is a favorite finger food and considered a treat in provinces during drinking session.
Yes, you read it right, crickets. Kamaru (mole crickets) is another delicacy, specially in the province of Pampanga. Kamaru is deep fried, hmnn..... crunchy. If you like trying out exotic foods, kamaru is one of Pampanga's popular dish. And not only mole crickets, other insects such as beetles and grasshoppers are eaten as well.
8. A Treat From The Sea
Balatan, as it is called in the Philippines are no other than the sea cucumbers. The stomach are cut open to take out the innards, boiled and soaked in salt. The process of boiling is usually done repeatedly before drying the balatan or sea cucumbers. The sea cucumbers are exported in other Asian countries such as in Korea and Singapore and is worth up to P17,000 per kilo. It is fried and braised. Kalabaw-kalabawan is another kind of sea cucumber found in Camarines Sur cooked as adobo (vinegar and soy sauce.)
9. Farm Rats
Yes, rats. But not every kind of rats are eaten. We're talking about the farmer's enemy - rats. Farm rats or rats from the rice field known as dagang bukid in Filipino makes it on the list of our 10 bizarre Filipino foods. Considered as viands in provinces, these farm rats are skinned, head cut off, innards taken out and is grilled. Also cooked in coconut milk, as adobo (dish cooked in vinegar and soy sauce, with bay leaf and peppercorns.) And it can also be fried, your choice.
10. Be Gutsy
What is tamilok you asked? Tamilok is probably one of Philippines exotic foods that will test your guts. That is because tamilok is no other than, woodworms. Yes, woodworms, and it is eaten alive. Palawan's local delicacy, tamilok can be found in decaying mangroves, or other soaked wooden materials on seawater. Some eat it straight from the driftwoods, and some, garnish these woodworms with onions, garlic, pepper and either vinegar or Philippine lime calamansi.
Also known as "termites of the sea," woodworms, or shipworms are in fact saltwater clams, have small shells that they use to burrow into wooded structures that are soaked in saltwater, destroying them, the same way termites does.
Which one is your most exotic food?
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