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Philippine's Street Food

Updated on August 28, 2018
Arleen Roja profile image

I work from home as a Lead CSR and I love my job. I love sharing stories hoping it will help or motivate other people.

A country with over 7 thousand islands has so much to offer when it comes to food. We can offer you one Filipino dish then you'll find out that there are lots of version of it which depends on the province. So don't be surprised if you find a post on social media about a certain Filipino food but Filipinos are commenting and fighting over how it is done and how it should be.

On this blog, I'll talk about the street foods in the Philippines. When traveling, what you should always do is to try the local street foods. Let's start of with the very famous "Balut"

Balut

Left Image by Kaycel Corral | Right Image via Google
Left Image by Kaycel Corral | Right Image via Google | Source

Balut is known as one of those challenging street foods to eat. Those who have tried it admitted that it actually tastes good. One egg will only cost 15.00 pesos or 30 cents (USD).

Balut is a duck's egg. It's a developing bird embryo that is boiled and commonly sold in every street corner in the Philippines (usually during night time). You can call it Balot or Balut, doesn't matter. You can eat it any way you want but I would like to suggest a way that works for me. When I was younger, I would only eat the yolk until I learned the right way of eating it without feeling guilty about eating the little duck. I know, it is disgusting but it is a must try.

Source

Here's how I eat Balut:

  • First I'll have to find the round part of the egg. I would use the back of the spoon to crack it a little or I could simply hit the top round part of it on a hard surface.
  • I'll then carefully remove the shell on top. Basically, we're just making a small hole on top so we I could slurp the juice out of it prior opening the egg.
  • Once it's out of juice or broth, I'll start removing the shell. I would usually peel it halfway only. Looking at my sample picture on top, I would prefer the left photo the duck is not fully visible while the right image will make it harder for you.
  • Remove the rock or the white part. It is rubbery and hard to chew.
  • It is hard not to look when it is peeled so once I peeled half of the shell, what I do is I'll put the whole Balut (without the shell) in my mouth so I won't have a problem of seeing the inside of the duck as I eat it. It is really hard not to look at the Balut when you are peeling the shell off but the best way is to shake the image out of your head, try not to look as you bite on it and let your taste bud work, not your imagination.

Tip: For you not to get traumatized by eating Balut. If you tend to get the one that has a fully developed bird, you can always scoop it out of it and just eat the yolk. At least, you'll still get to enjoy the taste of Balut.

Fishballs and Kikiams

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Fishballs and Kikiams vendors are usually on the go. They have a cart that rove around every street especially in front of churches and schools. These are a very affordable delicious snack. 2 pieces of Fishball costs 1 peso only or .019 cents in USD. 1 piece of Kikiam costs 1 peso.

Vendors sell these while deep frying them and that is the fun part. You'll grab a stick which is always provided by the vendor then pierce the stick thru the Fishball or the Kikiam.

On the image, you may notice that there's a piece of a twisted coil on the side of the pan. That is what we use to push a piece up of the stick so you could add some more. Once you have your preferred number of balls, you can choose from 3 sauces which are home cooked: sweet sauce, spicy sauce, and vinegar.

By the way, those bigger balls on the image are Squid Balls. They taste good too! A piece costs 2 pesos only.

Tokneneng

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This is one of my favourites. Inside is a hard-boiled quail egg quoted with an orange batter and then deep fried. Don't worry, there's no artificial food colouring on this beauty. We use annatto seeds to give it an orange colour. If you'll cook it at home, you can skip the annatto part and make a simple batter but the orange colour is what it is known for.

This dish is best to be dipped in vinegar with sliced cucumber. The vinegar adds a zing flavour which I bet you'll love. We Filipinos will always pair this with a beer. Tagay! (Cheers!)

You may see a bigger one too which is called "Kwek-Kwek". The bigger one could have a hard-boiled chicken egg inside or duck egg (Penoy).

Deep Fried Tofu

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We just love deep fried finger foods. Along with Toknenengs and Fish balls, you might see fried tofu on the vendor's cart. This one is not stinky and it is best to go with either a vinegar or soy sauce with lime as its dipping.

Isaw

My home cooked fried Isaw
My home cooked fried Isaw | Source

Isaw is chicken's intestine. It's either deep fried (like my home cooked dish above) or grilled on a stick. The common Isaw street food is on a stick grilled then you'll get to choose which dipping you like: vinegar, sweet or spicy sauce.
This won't be hard for you to try since they're small, so I guess less scary but you won't regret it. This tastes really good. Weird but delicious.

Buchi

My home cooked fried Buchi
My home cooked fried Buchi | Source

Buchi is being sold in the street. This is a sweet delicacy. Its dough is made of glutinous flour and filled with sweet mung bean paste inside which then deep fried.
A vendor (usually a woman) would usually walk around our neighbourhood with a basket shouting "Buchi" in a funny tone. That is for her to catch attention and get people to come outside to buy this delicacy. Annatto seeds or powder again is what it makes it orange.

Tupig

My home made Tupig
My home made Tupig | Source

Tupig is made of glutinous flour mixed with shredded young coconut. Wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled. I love the smell of grilled Tupig. This is a sweet delicacy popular in the province of Pangasinan, Philippines. Since I live in Cavite which is a province very far from Pangasinan, I don't get to see this being sold in our area. However, I got to make my own Tupig at home and it tasted just like the same.

Pinoy foods will not fail to surprise you. I would suggest to get yourself a local to help you with your food adventures here in the Philippines. Home cooked is always the best way to experience the best foods here. It won't be hard to find a friend since Filipinos are known as hospitable and friendly.

I just thought of writing an article about street foods here in the Philippines after seeing my friend's great pictures she took while grabbing street foods. I hope you liked this article and feel free to drop a comment below. Regards!

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