Pinoy Pork Barbecue is a dish composed of marinated pork slices that are skewered and grilled. The concept is somewhat similar to kebab, except that this only requires meat, there are no vegetables involved. I enjoy eating this several times a week when I was in the Philippines. There is a stall just outside our…
Philippine Street Foods
Ever had Ice candy before? To those who are clueless, Ice Candy is a type of frozen refreshment ideal to beat the heat of summer. The two common varieties of Ice Candy are fruits and Chocolate.
Almost any fruit can be used to make Ice Candy. Oranges, mango, and melon are among the most commonly used. However, there are creative individuals who went beyond the norm by creating the next level of fruit Ice Candies. Jack fruit and Durian Ice candies are just a few of them.
Kropek are fried prawn flavored crackers made from starch or tapioca flour, and other seasonings.This is considered as a street food in the Philippines. Kropeks are peddled by vendors in the middle of the road, usually during the rush hours when traffic is really terrible.
When I was in the Philippines, Kropek has been my best friend everytime I get stucked in traffic. There is a stretch south of coastal road which is a sort of a bottle neck. I literally park there for several minutes before the cars ahead of me starts to move. I usually buy a pack of kropek from the vendors so that I can have something to munch-on while waiting. Aside from kropek, these guys also sell bottled water and canned soda. What else can you ask for?
Kropek is made by combining prawn or shrimp flavoring with water, flour, seasonings, and spices. These ingredients are mixed and divided into equal parts. The mixture is dried under the sun or dehydrated to remove the liquid, and fried until it expands and becomes crispy. If you are familiar with raw Besuto Prawn crackers, that is pretty much how an uncooked kropek looks like.
Halo halo Dessert
Halo-halo is a famous dessert in the Philippines. It is composed of various ingredients that are all mixed together, along with shaved ice and evaporated milk.
Some of he common ingredient used to make Halo-halo are sugar palm (kaong), boiled kidney beans, flat rice crisps (pinipig), coconut gel (nata de coco), ripe jackfruit, colored gelatin, tapioca pearls, sweetened plantains, and macapuno.
The ingredients are placed in a tall glass with a few teaspoons of sugar. Shaved ice is added after all the components are in place. Special Halo-halo is topped with leche flan and ube halaya — sometimes ice cream is added. Evaporated milk is poured on top for the finale.
Bananacue is term used to call fried skewered plantains cooked with brown sugar. This is a staple in the Philippines, and is mostly consumed as a mid-afternoon snack.
Considered as one of the all-time best selling street food, Bananacue can easily be spotted around the streets of Manila and in other places within the Philippines, as well. This is usually sold along with turon (deep fried wrapped banana with sweet jack fruit), kamotecue (deep-fried skewed sweet potatoes with brown sugar), pilipit, and bicho-bicho.
I love having bananacue for my mid-afternoon snack or for dessert. I find it best to have a glass of cold soda by my side when eating it.
Carioca are sweet chewy ball-shaped treats that can be enjoyed as dessert or snack, these are made from sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour can also be used) and sweetened shredded coconuts.
These can be considered as a street food since carioca vendors are a common site in the major streets of Manila. Individual servings are usually skewed in bamboo skewers similar to the banana cue and kamote cue.
What I like most about this treat is its texture; it’s like eating buchi minus the sesame seeds and the filling. By the way, the sweet coating for the carioca is optional. Most of the carioca that I tried were not coated at all – but, I find it more enjoyable when the sweet coating is applied.
Try this Carioca recipe and let me know your thoughts.
Singkamas at Bagoong
Singkamas and bagoong is one of the Filipino street foods that are peddled along with Mangga at Bagoong, Fish Balls, Squid Balls, and Chicken Balls. You might not get the big picture since not all vendors sell all these items in their cart – but our trusted vendor has them all. He is like a rolling street food store wherein you can purchase almost all the street foods that you are craving for; he sure knows his Marketing 101.
This street food is usually placed in a gigantic jar skewered and soaked in water. Since singkamas (jicama) has a very mild flavor, all you will taste is the delicious flavor of the bagoong. Don’t get me wrong, singkamas plays an important role here; it neutralizes the salinity and provides a crunchy texture which makes eating more enjoyable.
Have you tried Singkamas and Bagoong before? What do you like most about this?
Let’s Make Tusok-tusok the Fish Balls
Fish Balls are probably the most popular Philippine street food enjoyed by people from all walks of life. These flat circular treat is no stranger to anyone; in fact, its vendors who pushes wooden carts (or pedal bicycles with sidecar) are regular sights in the streets of Metro Manila.
Do you enjoy eating fish balls? Most of us (regardless of age and social status) enjoy eating fish balls because it is affordable and it is simply likeable. There really isn’t anything special or extra ordinary about this food but everyone seems to indulge in it for some reason.
They say that one of the age defying secrets is eating Chicharon Bulaklak; of course, they’re all joking.
Chicharon Bulaklak are crispy pork intestines. These are deep fried in oil or pork lard and are eaten as appetizers or beer food (“pulutan”). Eating this food is not healthy at all. In fact, this has a lot of fat and cholesterol content which can trigger or cause hypertension and heart attack – it was the punch line of the joke.
Manggang Hilaw at Bagoong
“Saluhan nyo po ako dito sa Manggang Hilaw at Bagoong” (Come and eat green mangoes and shrimp paste with me).
Southeast Asian cuisine is known for sour dishes. This is one of the reasons why green mangoes (especially the real sour ones) are a hit in the Philippines and other nearby countries. Shrimp paste, on the other hand, can be considered as a common condiment that can be paired with fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood.
Cooking and tasting different kinds of food on a daily basis sometimes overwhelms my taste buds. No matter how good the food tasted, there is a certain point wherein my taste buds needs a rest. The Filipino terms “suya” and “umay” describes this condition; this is translated as Palate Fatigue.
Whenever my taste buds get tired, I try to eat sour and salty foods to keep my palate functioning again; green mangoes and shrimp paste always work for me.
If you are a Filipino, I’m sure that you will not disagree if I say that green mangoes and shrimp paste is a good combination (unless you are allergic to shrimps). In fact, it is a perfect marriage.
Binatog Recipe (Boiled white corn kernels with Shredded Coconut)
Binatog or boiled white corn kernels is a popular Filipino snack and street food. This is made by soaking mature white corn in water and salt until puffed. The soaked corns are then boiled until the skin almost peel off. Excess water is drained and the corn is placed in a bowl or plate then topped with either sugar or salt (sometimes both) and generous amounts of grated coconut.
Whenever I think of this simple yet satisfying Filipino street food, I remember the Binatog vendor that roamed around the streets of our subdivision every afternoon. He was riding a big bicycle with two covered pails secured at the back: the first pail holds all the boiled corn kernels while the other one contains the grated coconut, salt, sugar, and serving spoons. Back in those days, we need to provide our own bowl or container for the Binatog since the vendors do not carry disposable cups or bowls yet. Just like the Taho vendor, the “Magbibinatog” or Binatog vendor also advertises his product by shouting to the top of his lungs …“Binatooog!!!” I wonder if these guys still roam the streets as they do a couple of decades back.
This recipe can be considered as an easier version of making Binatog. Instead of using fresh white corn kernels, we will be using Hominy or Mexican style corn. These are canned puffed white corn kernels that are already pre-soaked in water; this will save us a lot of time.
Are you excited to make Binatog for your meryenda? Go grab the ingredients and follow my lead by watching the cooking video and reading the detailed cooking procedure.
Got questions or feedback? Please post your comments on the box below and I’ll try my best to get back to you as soon as possible. Happy cooking everyone!!!
Tokneneng Recipe – Deep Fried Orange Chicken Egg
Tokneneng are boiled chicken eggs that are dipped in a reddish batter and deep-fried until the batter becomes crispy. Generally, this is considered as a Filipino Street food and sold on the streets along with qwek-qwek, squidballs, fish balls, and kikiam. Speaking of qwek-qwek, tokneneng is simply the bigger version. The cooking method and majority of the ingredients are similar; the only difference is the kind of egg used.
The thing that I like about this street food is its ability to fill your stomach for just a few bucks. Don’t expect too much on the taste because it is basically boiled egg. What you need to do though is dip it in a rich sauce for additional flavor. I like this dipped in sinamak (vinegar with spices); this also tastes good with fish ball sauce.
What sauce do you prefer to dip your Tokneneng in?
Tahô is a Philippine street food sold by peddlers known as “magtataho”. It is a soft gelatin-like snack made from processed soybeans topped with caramel and tapioca pearls (locally called sago). The soft gelatin-like texture is achieved by undergoing a series of steps. Soybeans are soaked in water overnight then finely grinded and boiled. While boiling, extracts from the soy beans mixes with water forming soy milk. The remaining solid particles are placed in a cloth then squeezed tightly until all the soy milks are fully extracted. Coagulating agents such as gelatin or magnesium chloride are then added to thicken the texture. The caramel syrup is made by caramelizing brown sugar and mixing it with water.
Grilled Isaw (Intestine) Recipe
Grilled Isaw or Inihaw na Bituka ng Baboy is pig’s large intestine boiled until tender then grilled. This is probably the most sought and most popular street food in the Philippines.
This food goes well with beer or liquor and has earned the reputation of being the best affordable pulutan (appetizer).
Try this Grilled Isaw Recipe.
This isn’t your ordinary boiled egg. Balut is a fertilized duck egg with an embryo inside that is almost developed. Yes, you read it right; a little chick is forming inside this egg. If you are thinking that this is just one type of experiment then I suggest that you finish reading this article so that you can snatch the whole idea. It might look weird and possibly could gross you out but you ought to know that Balut is edible.
Betamax (Grilled Blood)
Photo Credit: Sidney Snoeck
You might think that this is your ordinary Betamax®, but it is not. It’s actually a street slang for grilled chicken blood.
Wait a minute, did I read it correctly? How can you grill something that is in liquid form? Most of you might be wondering how this happened, let me just give you a brief background on how this is done.
Isaw ng Manok (Grilled Chicken Intestine)
Also known as Barbecue isaw, grilled chicken intestine is a mainstay in the side-streets of Metro Manila. This food has been one of the famous street foods since time immemorial. According to some sources, Filipinos started to eat the innards of poultry (specifically chicken) way back during the Spanish colonial era. Spain colonized the Philippines…