Philippine street food is very popular and consists of unique cuisine that is offered by street vendors and kiosks all over the region. Although this may not be the healthiest fare, it’s certainly convenient and there are a variety of street foods to choose from. Some foods are made on the spot, while others are already prepared. Some people think that these street foods are “dirty”, but that is more of a problem with vendors who are not licensed.
A favorite food of the Philippines that can be found all over the region is deep-fried chicken skin. The skin is breaded with flour and dipped in vinegar. This has become a popular entrée and can now be found at certain city street food vendors in the US. The Philippines is famous for this tasty snack that is referred to as the “new bacon.”
Another chicken dish that can be found at Philippine street food vendors is Betamax. It is dried chicken blood that is shaped into cubes and cooked on the grill. The blood is extracted from the chicken and set aside to cool. This leaves a gelatinous substance that is scalded to form a more solid state. It is then cut into rectangles, placed on a stick and it resembles the shape of a Betamax tape, hence its name. This treat may not be for everyone, but it is a popular offering of Philippine street food.
Other unusual offerings include Balut, which are fertilized duck eggs that have been boiled. These eggs have a fetus inside and they are between seventeen to twenty one days in gestation. Philippine folklore says that eating these eggs wards off evil spirits and they are as popular in the Philippines as hot dogs are in the US. Care needs to be taken when eating this tasty treat though because there may be feathers or bones in the eggs.
Kikiam is another popular Philippine street food and it is made with ground pork and vegetables. This mixture is placed in bean curd sheets and fried over high heat until golden brown. It’s usually served with sweet and sour sauce on the side for dipping and can be found all over the region at many different street vendors. It makes for the perfect finger food and it has a great meaty taste.
If you are looking for something sweet, Philippine street food has a lot to offer. There is banana cue, which is skewered Saba bananas that are sprinkled with sugar and deep-fried for a sweet and tasty treat. Ice candy is another street food offering, which consists of frozen juices or chocolate drinks and flavors include chocolate, avocado, melon and orange. Philippinos also enjoy fresh fruit and a variety of sorbets. Taho is another unusual treat, which is made from soybean custard with caramel syrup and tapioca pearls.
Philippine street food is a delight for weary travelers and there are a variety of offerings to choose from. It is said that Philippine food is a window into their culture and much can be learned about their traditions from their cuisine. Philippine street food is the best example of this and it is a great way to get familiar with the regions offerings and customs.