Filipinos are well-known for their unique cuisine which is a mixture of different influences from different countries. But what is distinctly unique among Filipinos is their street food. This is unarguably their own. No outside influence has clung to these masterpieces. Here are the top 10 tastiest and most popular street food you can find almost anywhere around this beautiful country.
You can find fishball carts all over the Philippines, especially outside school gates. It is a favorite afternoon snack made of fish, flour, and other secret ingredients. You dip it in a sauce that is both sweet and sour at the same time.
The sauce gives it a distinct flavor that makes it a big hit among the young and the old too.
2. Banana-cue, Camote-cue and turon
The banana-cue and camote-cue are popular snacks too. They are fried in oil with a lot of sugar. It takes a while to cook since you have to wait until the sugar caramelizes to coat the bananas or camotes. Once they are coated with the delicious caramel coating, they are skewered in bamboo sticks.
Turon is another favorite, it is made by wrapping bananas in lumpia wrapper and fried the same way as the banana-cue.
Taho is made from the bean curd of soft tofu. This can be enjoyed all throughout the day as long as there are vendors who pass by your house and shout, “taho!!”. It is topped with delicious sweet caramel syrup and some cooked sago. It is best eaten warm or cold.
Entrepreneurs are now trying to upgrade the humble taho. They are now mixing it with different flavors for a unique taste.
4. Ice scramble
This thirst-quenching street food is enjoyed by so many Filipinos, especially on a very hot day. It is composed of crushed ice, gulaman or jelly, condensed milk, chocolate syrup, and caramelized sugar. Food color is usually added to make it more appealing, especially for school kids.
You can find carts of vendors outside schools and bus terminals too to make it convenient for people if ever they need to cool down.
Mani or peanuts are a favorite as well. They are fried in oil with a lot of garlic for flavor and then sprinkled with some salt. There are other varieties too, like the cashews, the chili peanuts, and the sweet peanuts coated with some sugar.
You can buy them skinless, boiled, or raw.
6. Indian Mango
This variety of mango is quite different from the usual yellow mangoes. They are a bit hard, but crunchy and sour if it is too raw. Once it ripens, it can be as sweet as the yellow ones, but still with a hint of sourness.
It is usually paired with bagoong, soy sauce with sinamak, or just plain table salt to counteract the sourness.
7. Dirty ice cream
This is usually the cart most people look forward to during a very hot day. It is also called “sorbetes” and has plenty of flavors to choose from. The cart usually carries 3 flavors: mango, ube, and chocolate. You have the option to put it in a cone or in a cup.
Sometimes, people bring with them their own glasses and cups for a bigger serving of this delicious dessert.
8. Kwek-Kwek and tokneneng
Kwek-Kwek is made by putting quail eggs in an orange batter and fried in deep oil. The tokneneng, on the other hand, makes use of chicken eggs and then coated in the same Kwek-Kwek batter and fried in oil too.
You can dip it in a sweet chili sauce to give it more flavor.
Barbecue may refer to pork and chicken innards. The Filipinos will not allow anything to be put to waste. They marinate them in a very tasty mixture of salt, soy sauce, calamansi juice, and other secret ingredients which gives these internal organs a taste that you will keep coming back for. They grill on very hot charcoal to give it a smoky flavor.
They are then dipped in a soy sauce with vinegar or calamansi and chili fingers, paired with hot steaming rice.
The all-time favorite and world-renowned street food of the Filipinos. It is usually a 3-week old duck embryo and hardboiled. If it gets beyond that, you will start to visibly see the duck a little bit bigger.
It is rich in protein and is said to be an effective aphrodisiac. Balut is best eaten with rock salt and some vinegar.
When you visit the Philippines, be sure to try all the street food. You are going to enjoy it as much as the Filipinos have through all these years. You will find that Filipino vendors are also friendly and kind and may treat you to some free servings too.