Filipino Street Food & Snacks

The Philippines also boast a wide array of Filipino street food. Many of these are skewered on wooden sticks and grilled or fried. An example of fried skewered foods are banana-cue (plantain or whole banana skewered on a thinly cut bamboo stick, coated with caramelized brown sugar then deep-fried), kamote-cue (sweet potato, sliced for about 1cm thick, coated with sugar and deep-fried). Popular hit to most street food peddlers are fish balls, squid rolls, and kikiam (mixture of vegetables and ground pork wrapped in a bean curd sheet). These street food specialities are perfect when dipped in sweet sauce, sweet and spicy dipping or spicy vinegar. Vendors served it with paper plates and sticks or you can skewer it directly from the frying pan.

Turon, is a variety of fried lumpia that is wrapped in filo dough and stuffed with jackfruit and vertical slices of plantain, covered in caramelized sugar and then deep-fried.

During the day, the Philippine streets also feature foods primarily made of eggs. Kwek-kwek is one of the most saleable.  Kwek-kwek are hard-boiled duck or chicken eggs that are dipped in an orange batter, deep-fried and served with vinegar and slices of cucumber. Filipinos referred to it as tokneneng when vendors use quail eggs instead of chicken. However, balut is sold during the night. Balut is basically a fertilized poultry egg, pre-hatch about 16-18 days old, cooked through boiling. The even younger variant of balut is penoy. A penoy is an unfertilized, hard-boiled duck egg.

Aside from frying, you can also find grilled street food treats such as adidas (chicken feet), isaw baboy (pig intestines), isaw (chicken intestines), barbeque or BBQ, betamax (coagulated blood of pork or chicken, sliced like that of Betamax), hotdogs, and ulo ng manok (chicken head) to mention a few.

Apart from tasty desserts and pastries, Filipinos have other heartier snacks most Pinoy loves to eat for merienda or can also be served as an appetizer for a meal. Shaomai, from the Chinese, have a local variation called Siomai. Lumpia, also of Chinese origin are spring rolls to which can be fried or served fresh. The fresh version (lumpiang sariwa or fresh lumpia) is usually served during special occasions as the preparation itself can be tedious and laborious. On the other hand, fried lumpia, commonly referred to as lumpiang shanghai, is typically stuffed with ground meat combined with various vegetables and dipped with sweet and/or sour dipping sauce. Both lumpias are produced commercially and can be bought on food stalls and restaurants.