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20 Philippines Street Food You Need To Try

As you roam the streets of the Philippines, the inviting scent of the 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, and with the smell of a skewered barbeque, the taho vendor’s call, and the mouth watering halo-halo, it is hard not to indulge one’s self over this delicious foods.

So what are the street foods one can find when visiting the Philippines? Here’s the most seen goodies that is sold on the streets, my not so complete list of Filipino street foods.

Adidas (chicken feet.)
Adidas (chicken feet.)

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.

Halo-halo.
Halo-halo.

Halo-halo

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!

Taho
Taho
Taho vendor
Taho vendor

Taho

Made of soft tofu, added with sago pearls 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 knows 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 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 had already passed by. Also calling back “tahoooooo” is not uncommon to get the vendor’s attention of interested customers.

Isaw.
Isaw.

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, a spiced vinegar, with ground black pepper, hot chili, salt, and chopped garlic thou some prefers just catsup.

 

Kwek-kwek.
Kwek-kwek.

Kwek-kwek

This somehow orange-fruit like delight is made of quail eggs, fried after rolled first in corn starch, and in a mixture of flour, and annatto for coloring and skewered in bamboo sticks. Dipped in a spiced-vinegar sauce, it is an enjoyable, popular street eat.
Hard-boiled eggs is also used, but when hard-boiled are used instead of quail eggs, the delicacy wasn’t no longer kwek-kwek, is is called tokneneng.

 

skewered green mango.
skewered green mango.

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 (either fermented shrimp sauce, or fish sauce,) this inexpensive, skewered fruit is a delight to satisfy the craving for a green mango.

 

chicharon with spiced-vinegar.
chicharon with spiced-vinegar.

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 (pulutan) with alcoholic beverages. Some chicharon comes with spiced-vinegar, usually hot chili and chopped garlic and best enjoyed with it.

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

 

Betamax.
Betamax.

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.

 

Balut
Balut

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.

 

Fish balls
Fish balls

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.

 

Ukoy with vinegar
Ukoy with vinegar

Ukoy

Ukoy is made of small shrimp 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 (merienda,) and is also good with rice and some Filipinos enjoys this delight that way.

 

Calamares
Calamares

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.

 

Kikiam
Kikiam

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.

 

Skewered barbeque/barbecue.
Skewered barbeque/barbecue.

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, 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.

 

Peanuts.
Peanuts.

Boiled/Fried Peanut

Another common eat on the streets are the boiled or deep-fried peanuts sold on stands in the side walks, on bus stations, and piers.

 

 

 

Ice candies.
Ice candies.

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.

Bananacue/bananaque.
Bananacue/bananaque.

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.

 

Turon
Turon

Turon

Sweet and crunchy, turon is deep-fried saba banana, wrapped in spring rolls. Ripe saba bananas can also be used, and some prefers using it, naturally sweet and they can lessen the amount of brown sugar used. 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.

 

Sorbetes.
Sorbetes.

Sorbetes

Philippines 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 different flavors such as coconut, mango, avocado, strawberry and chocolate.

Sorbetero’s are the vendors that sells the sorbetes in a colorfully designed carts. One knows a sorbetero is around when they heard the peddlers handheld bells.

 

Sweet corns
Sweet corns

Mais (Corn)

Boiled sweet corn and grilled sweet corn is another usual street eat

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