If given a chance to visit the Philippines, what Filipino street food do you think is worth a try? If you know nothing about Filipino street foods, this post will introduce you to the Filipino delicacies and their ready-to-eat foods often sold from a portable food card, food truck or food booth.
Just like other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines offers a variety of street foods. From mouth-watering snacks to delectable dishes.
So if you want to visit this archipelagic country in Southeast Asia, here are the best Filipino street foods you must try.
MOST POPULAR FILIPINO STREET FOODS
Apart from being delicious, foods in the Philippines are way cheaper and budget friendly especially if they are being sold on the street. Given that part of the population is impacted by the economic crisis, it is empirical to choose affordable foods from the streets over expensive cuts of meat and other store bought ready to eat foods.
So here’s the popular Filipino street foods you might want to try:
DIRTY ICE CREAM (sorbetes)
Sorbetes, also known as dirty ice cream, is a traditional ice cream from the Philippines. Dirty ice cream is made from either coconut milk, evaporated milk, or carabao milk with mango, chocolate, ube, and pandan as common flavors. This homemade sweet is usually sold by Filipino peddlers on the streets in colorful wooden pushcarts. Ice cream is definitely a Filipino sweet treat every child loves.
BOILED WHITE CORN KERNELS (binatog)
One of the most grown crops in the Philippines is corn. Hence, it is also one of the most popular street foods especially in Metro Manila and the northern parts of the country.
Binatog, also known as kinulti or bualaw, is made from dried mature waxy corn kernels boiled until softened. This street food is usually topped with freshly grated coconut, salt, sugar and butter. Binatog is usually sold by street vendors called magbibinatog, and are placed in large tin cans.
BOILED CORN (nilagang mais)
Nilagang mais is made from fresh corn boiled and cooked until tender, added with a pinch of salt to taste.
This Filipino street food is usually served as a snack and is available in almost all places in the country. This healthy snack is usually sold by street vendors or peddlers along the highways or inside the buses.
It is best eaten hot with butter spread all over the cooked corn.
FERTILIZED DUCK EGG (balut/balot)
One of the most commonly sold street foods in the Philippines is balut. This boiled semi developed duck embryo is commonly sold during night time, and is best eaten with salt and spicy vinegar.
The incubation period of the egg before it is cooking ranges between 14 to 21 days.
GRILLED CHICKEN FEET ( adidas)
Adidas is not a brand of shoes but rather a marinated grilled chicken feet sold by street food vendors in the Philippines. Before being grilled, the chicken feet are marinated in a mixture of brown sugar, calamansi, and other spices.
Chicken feet are usually served as beer food, and are also consumed with rice.
GRILLED CHICKEN HEAD (helmet)
Helmet is a Filipino street food made from chicken heads. Though the helmet has a nasty appearance, it is one of the most consumed street foods in the Philippines. Similar to adidas, the helmet is marinated before being grilled.
This street food is commonly eaten with a sour barbecue sauce or sweet chili sauce. You can eat helmet as a beer food or with rice.
GRILLED CHICKEN (lechon manok)
Lechon manok is a popular street food in the Philippines. It made made from a whole chicken, marinated and stuffed with bay leaves and lemongrass. Then roasted until tender and juicy.
Most grilled chicken in the Philippines are cooked over hot coals to slowly roast the chicken and keep the juices inside while cooked thoroughly. Lechon manok is usually served during lunch and dinner with rice.
Pork barbecue is basically made from pork sliced into bite sized pieces on bamboo skewers. The pork meat is marinated and grilled until cooked. Usually eaten as pulutan or with rice, along with a soy sauce and vinegar-based dip.
Pork barbecue is one of the commonly sold street foods in the country.
GRILLED BLOOD (betamax)
Betamax is a Filipino street food made from thicken chicken blood, sliced into cubes, skewers, and grilled. This street food isn’t that tasty though, and it is only best eaten with a chili mixture and vinegar-based dip.
But despite being tasteless, betamax is still one of the most consumed street foods in the Philippines.
GRILLED INTESTINE (isaw)
Isaw is a Filipino street food usually made from chicken intestine. The term isaw is derived from the word “sawsawan“, which means the intestines dipping sauce.
Normally, isaw has a bitter taste especially when not cleaned properly. Even so, this street food is still popular in the Philippines mainly because of its very affordable price.
GRILLED PIG EARS/SKEWERED EARS (walkman/ tenga)
This famous street food is a delicious appetizer, snack, or pulutan (beer accompaniment). It is made from pork ears, marinated, skewered, and grilled to perfection. Grilled pork ears or walkman/tenga (in Filipino terms) has a sweet and savory flavor.
It is best consumed with sweet and sour sauce.
Some Filipinos also eat walkman with rice.
BANANA LUMPIA WITH CARAMEL (turon)
Turon is made from sliced bananas wrapped in a spring roll wrapper. The wrapped banana is deep fried until the wrapper turns brown. After deep frying, the turon is then coated with caramelized brown sugar.
Banana lumpia is a famous street food in the Philippines usually eaten as snacks along with sago pearls, halo-halo (shaved ice sundae), and other street snacks.
Banana Cue/ Banana Q
This easy-to-make Filipino street food is made from fried banana saba coated in caramelized brown sugar. This nutritious snack is deep-fried in a low-medium heat then skewered.
Though some bananas are naturally sweet, banana cues are still coated with caramelized sugar once its color turns to light yellow.
It has a soft and chewy texture. This affordable and delicious street food is usually sold in the street and near elementary schools.
CARAMELIZED SWEET POTATO (Camote Cue)
This Filipino street food is made from slices of camote, deep-fried and coated with caramelized brown sugar. Similar to banana cue, this popular snack food is skewered with a bamboo stick.
One Day Old – Fried Baby Chicken
As the name suggests, this Philippines street food is made from a one-day old chick. These chicks are specifically male which are rejected as they are not capable of laying eggs.
Hence, they are deep-fried and cooked to be sold on the sidewalks.
These little chicks taste like chicken. The only difference is that they are extra crunchy than the latter.
They are eaten in just a few bites, and are perfect to be consumed off a stick with a variety of dipping sauces like sweet chili sauce, vinegar, or chili sauce with diced cucumber and onions.
You can find this Filipino street food in Metro Manila and some location in the Philippines.
SHRIMP FRITTER (Ukoy/ Okoy)
Okoy are crispy deep-fried fritters made from unshelled small shrimps, mung bean sprouts, carrots, onions, and green papaya. These tasty Filipino snacks are good appetizers with vinegar.
They are usually sold during the afternoon by street hawkers.
DEEP-FRIED MEAT PASTRIES (empanada)
Empanada is a baked or fried pastry filled with different stuff such as vegetables, meat, cheese, or fruits,then wrapped and coated in bread. Empanadas are among the Filipino street foods that are served as snacks or appetizers.
DEEP-FRIED PORK INTESTINE (chicharon bulaklak)
Chicharon bulaklak is a Filipino street food made from pork intestines which have been deep-fried in oil or pork lard.
This food in the Philippines is usually served as beer food (pulutan) or appetizers. Though Chicharon bulaklak is very delectable, eating too much of this kind of food isn’t healthy at all as they are high in sodium, saturated fat, and calories.
This Filipino street food is a sausage-like dish with Chinese origin. It is made from fish meat which is ground to a paste, deep-fried, and skewered in wooden/bamboo sticks.
Kikiam is usually sold at the streets with different dipping sauces to choose from, ranging from sweet, spicy, to sweet and sour.
Another common Filipino food that is sold by street vendors is called squid balls. Squid balls are made from squid, flour, cornstarch, fish fillets, ginger, garlic, pepper, sesame oil, salt, and sugar, which are also ground to a paste.
Squid balls are considered safe food, but intake should be in moderation to avoid allergic reaction.
These rounded meat balls are made from fish paste. Fish balls are considered healthy snacks because they provide some nutritional benefits.
This Filipino street food is a good source of vitamins and minerals that are good for our optimal health.
In the Philippines, you’ll often hear the saying “Fish balls na lang ang hindi nagmamahal“. This is because fish balls are the cheapest street foods in this beautiful country.
Similar to squid balls and kikiam, fish balls are skewered with wooden or bamboo sticks after being cooked.
FRIED CHICKEN SKIN (Proben)
Proben is actually the proventricular of a chicken which is located in the chicken’s digestive system, near the liver and gizzard.
Proben is dipped in flour, seasoned, and deep-fried. Some though use chicken skin in making this recipe, but the process of cooking is still the same.
This Filipino street food is crunchy and firm. But eating this food should be in moderation.
ORANGE QUAIL EGGS (Kwek Kwek)
Kwek-kwek are boiled quail eggs coated with orange batter, then deep-fried to golden perfection. This Filipino street food is best served with a dipping sauce or spicy vinegar.
FILIPINO SPRING ROLLS (Lumpiang Shanghai)
Lumpiang Shanghai is a kind of Filipino egg roll. Unlike the Chinese version of lumpiang Shanghai, this Filipino street food is filled with ground pork, minced carrots, onions, and seasonings, then wrapped in thin crepes known as lumpia wrappers.
Lumpya can be served as snacks or a full satisfying meal along with a dipping sauce of your choice.
So what food in the Philippines would you like to try? And which of the above-mentioned foods you considered as the most popular street food in the Philippines? Well, it actually depends on your food preference.
But whatever street food you’ll pick, one thing is for sure, you’ll definitely enjoy these foods without spending too much.
I hope that this article has helped you one way or another. Please spread the news by sharing this post. Thank you for reading!