Is it your first time to go to the Philippines?
Or planning to do Filipino street food crawling?
Here are some of the Filipino street foods that you can try:
1. Grilled innards
Isaw or chicken/pork intestine is one of the famous grilled street food. But you can also be adventurous by trying out other innards like pig ear, chicken head (“helmet”), chicken/pork blood (“betamax”), chicken feet (“adidas”), pork skin, pork mesentery. For me it’s best eaten with sweet or sweet and spicy sauce or vinegar.
2. More grilled food
If you’re a vegetarian or pescatarian, you can do grilled sweet corn or dried squid. This is not too common in a lot of places so if you find one go grab one! I found the grilled dried seafood in Cebu and Bacolod.
They say it’s called as egg waffle in English but I couldn’t justify. LOL. Basically, this is hard boiled egg coated in orange batter and fried. Best paired with spicy vinegar or sauce or combination of both.
4. Fish balls, kikiam, squid balls and chicken balls
So from the name itself except kikiam, these streetfood are made of fish, squid and chicken while kikiam is made of pork meat mixed with flour and seasoning and shaped into balls and fried. Don’t forget to eat it with the sweet sauce.
Don’t be scared of that tiny chick inside the egg. Balut is a fertilized developing duck egg embryo. Usually sold at night along the streets or mobile vendors. Can be eaten with vinegar and salt. Sip the savory soup of the egg first before opening the egg.
6. Fried intestine, proven(proventiculus), gizzard
If you didn’t like the grilled innards, you may opt to try it in fried form. Of course with good sauce and vinegar!
I just saw this in a night market in Davao. There are places with their own street food so this one was new when I tried it but it’s worth a try! This is fried rice cake with variety of fillings to choose from. In this photo, they also sell fried shrimp roll, bread rolls and chicken dragon balls that I don’t know because I didn’t try.
8. Fried peanuts
This is a common street food. No need to explain but what’s different from the packed peanuts I think is that this is freshly cooked. Usually, they also sell fried anchovies, caramel-coated peanut, kidney beans, cornick, and sweet beans alongside that you should try as well.
9. Fried dumplings and chili egg roll (dynamite)
Fried dumplings is usually made of ground pork with seasoning stuffed in eggroll wrapper and then fried. While the chili egg roll aka “dynamite”, is made of long green chili stuffed with ground pork mix then wrapped and fried. Best dipped with sauce and/or vinegar.
10. Pansit (stir fried noodle)
Pansit habhab or lomi are sometimes sold in the streets in some places. Pansit habhab is more common in Quezon province and instead of calamansi, you can put vinegar. Lomi on the other hand is being sold usually in Batangas province or nearby places.
11. Egg cake
This street food has a distinct smell because it is made of old egg or eggs with broken yolk. They put seasoning and tomatoes and baked or fried. Best with spicy vinegar.
12. Ilocos empanada
If you’re in Ilocos region, this is a must try. Although there are places that serve this as street food but not as common as in Ilocos. I love the Vigan sausage, egg and veggies mixture inside this orange wrap.
13. Veggie balls + lato(seaweed)
Made of ground veggies, flour, egg and seasoning. Deep fried. Try it out with seaweed if you see one.
14. Grilled bananas
Saba banana in a perfect unripe-ripe stage grilled coated with margarine and sugar. You can also try banana cue – this is the same banana but coated with sugar.
Soybean milk curd with sweet caramel syrup and tapioca. In some places, like in Baguio City, they have strawberry and ube taho.
Steam grated corn. It’s a bit sweet and the cool part is that it is steamed using the husk. Usually sold in Cagayan de Oro-Bukidnon area.
17. Dirty ice cream
And we are down to the last one that I purposefully put here as your choice of dessert. Aside from the usual chocolate and cookies and cream flavor, they sometimes have cheddar cheese and purple yam(ube) combo flavor. In some places like Bicol province, they have chili ice cream and other interesting flavor. In Davao City, I had a charcoal ice cream variant they also have Durian ice cream. In Baguio City, they have ube and strawberry ice cream.
And if you get thirsty, we gotchu! Get some buko (young coconut) juice.
Take advantage of the health benefits of young coconut in a place where young coconut is considered as street food. Pair it with any of your selected street food!
It’s amazing how Filipinos are very creative in terms of street food. There are a lot more but I hope this list helps you decide the first ones to try.