by Earl D.C. Bracamonte
January 10, 2016
Whether for mealtime or merienda, Filipino streetfood has become comfort food especially for those perpetually on-the-go. You see these cityphiles gorging on food from kiosks, pushcarts, even from peddlers themselves.
Photo collage courtesy of msn/@sweetbrighton/@conniefflores/@teenacruz30/@daaanicotini
Hot or cold, fried, boiled, or steamed, skewered or in a bowl, Pinoys just can’t get enough of streetfood. From morning till late at night, you’ll find young and old alike enjoying any or all of these staples.
Which ones are yours?
Taho │ 菲律賓豆花
Taho peddlers can be seen everywhere from morning to early afternoon, even in commercial business districts
such as Makati where office workers have it for breakfast. This popular food item consists of fresh soft tofu,
sweetener (arnibal), and sago pearl.
PUTO │ 蒸米糕
Buttered or plain, with or without cheese on top, puto goes well with coffee, hot chocolate, or even tea.
There are many varieties across the different regions in the country. The unifying attribute is
that this rice cake uses glutinous rice and coconut milk. Many usually eat suman with sugar.
KAKANIN │ 米飯甜品
Biko and kalamay are just two of the many types of kakanin that are popular among Filipinos
that they are sure to be served at most family occasions besides being part of the daily offerings
of street hawkers.
ARROZ CALDO │ 菲律賓雞粥
Arroz caldo or lugaw is our version of the congee, except it has a thicker consistency. This popular
comfort food can be eaten any time of the day, but is best served during cold, rainy weather.
GOTO │ 牛肚粥
This hot dish, which is equally popular as arroz caldo and is often mistaken for the other, uses beef tripe.
BANANA CUE & TURON │ 焦糖炸香蕉和香蕉捲
If you are not the hot, rice-based type, maybe these are for you. Both snack favorites are made of the
saba banana. Banana cues or banana Qs are usually bought skewered on a bamboo stick. Turon
comes in a spring roll wrapper and may have a slice of jackfruit or other fillings inside.
CAMOTE CUE │ 焦糖炸番薯
Also called camote fritter, this deep-fried snack combines sweet potato and caramelized brown sugar.
BARBECUE │ 烤肉
This grilled dish can use pork or chicken and is good not just for snacks but for lunch and dinner as well.
HOTDOG-ON-A-STICK │ 串燒熱狗
Most street grilled food selections include skewered hotdogs, kids' all-time favorite.
ISAW │ 烤腸子 (雞或豬)
Another popular skewered street food is isaw. The barbecued
pig or chicken intestines are good with a vinegar dip.
BETAMAX │ 烤雞血
The dark brown rectangular snack favorites are actually grilled
chicken blood. They go well with a vinegar and chili mixture dip.
OKOY │ 香脆的油炸蝦
An appetizer, snack or meal, okoy is usually made of shrimp. But the popular fritter can also use anchovies,
dulong, potato, squash, or other veggies, and any variant is a surefire win when eaten with a vinegar dip.
SHAWARMA │ 沙威瑪
The Arab-derived food has become a favorite among meat-eaters.
BALUT │ 鴨仔蛋
Who hasn't heard of the exotic balut? Even foreigners are curious about it and
even try it. This duck egg is boiled and is eaten from the shell with a dash of salt.
KWEK-KWEK │ 鵪鶉蛋丸
This orange ball is made of quail egg and is best served with
vinegar. Its larger cousin, the toknenong, uses chicken egg.
ONE-DAY OLD │ 炸的出生一日小公雞
Your favorite one-day old is a deep-fried male chick rejected by
poultry farms, which favor pick female chicks that produce eggs.
MANGO WITH BAGOONG │ 青芒果配蝦醬
Yes, this pair is not just a meal-ender. It is also an all-time favorite street snack. Some
street vendors also offer slices of pineapple, watermelon, or other seasonal fruits.
PEANUTS │ 花生
Who hasn't tried the classic adobong mani? The boiled version is also
good to munch on while passing the time away, yes even during traffic jams.
SIOMAI │ 燒賣
This Chinese food item comes in pork, beef, and seafood versions.
Whatever the type, the best accompaniment is chili soy sauce.
SAGO'T GULAMAN │ 西米仙草茶
What better way to finish off all these yummy snacks
than with a cold and sweet sago't gulaman.
SCRAMBLE │ 刨冰
If you prefer a sweeter drink, go for scramble, the local shake. The latest
variants come with chocolate syrup, candy sprinkles, and other toppings.
HALO-HALO │ 什錦剉冰
Level it up some more with the halo-halo. The popular Filipino dessert will
not only melt the heat away but bring back fun, childhood memories as well.
DIRTY ICE CREAM (SORBETES) │ 骯髒冰淇淋 (冰淇淋)
And speaking of childhood memories, who would not remember having dirty
ice cream after school? You can have different flavors in one cone, too!
ICE CANDY │ 啊哥哥冰
A yummy, refreshing snack for as little as P1.
PUTO BUMBONG │ 紫糯米甜點
Now that it's Christmas time, puto bumbong is back. The glutinous rice delicacy isbest
served topped with butter or margarine, shredded coconut, and muscovado sugar.
BIBINGKA │ 發糕
For those who find the puto bumbong a little heavy, there's the bibingka.
And it's available year-round not just during Christmas.
I planned to add more Filipino street food that were not listed in the article above. But I found out that there were far too many.
Maybe over a hundred more! So I decided to drop the plan.
Fr. Visminlu Vicente L. Chua, S.J. / 蔡由世神父