Saturday, March 10, 2007

Street food in the Philippines

Just as I was bloghopping, I found this post of Sidney Snoeck on street food which was timely since I had been planning to blog about the street food we ate the past few days. As he puts it, "food is a window into culture." So here is a sampling of some of the tried and tested street food outlets.

When a friend from China arrived, I took him straight to UP Diliman. The best thing to do of course was eat since the UP campus in Diliman is a haven for street food.

We dropped by Mang Larry's isawan in front of the Kalayaan Residence Hall. Since I was a resident there for a year when I was a freshman, I saw that stand everyday. And that's how I became a fan of isaw. Aside from pork barbeque, the selections of grilled chicken and pork innards, collectively referred to as isaw, include isaw baboy (pork intestine), isaw manok (chicken intestine), tenga ng baboy (pig's ears), goto, botsi, atay (chicken liver), balun-balunan (chicken gizzard), and betamax (pig's blood) among others.

There is another isawan that used to be in front of Ilang-ilang Residence Hall but moved to vacant lot beside the UP Law Center. The main difference is in the sauce since Mang Larry has a sweet brown sauce and spicy vinegar while the other is mostly vinegar-based.

Other selections in UP include the sorbetes, taho, lumpia, banana cue, camote cue, cheese sticks, fish balls, squid balls and kikiam among others. Good thing there was a sorbetes vendor nearby and we got some avocado ice cream. For dinner, we had sisig and rice, and a serving of halo-halo at a street food center in Park 9 along Katipunan.

I've been trying to find hawker centers here in the Philippines just like those in Singapore and Malaysia. And the closest thing we've got is Market! Market! in Fort Bonifacio Global City, just along C5. So after our visit to the Manila American Cemetery, we went straight there.

First thing which caught my eye was the Ilocos empanda stand. We had one each but not too much since we were going to Ilocos anyway to savor the real thing in Batac. Then we had tokneneng (battered, deep-fried quail eggs). The stand also sold day-old chicks and quek quek (battered, deep-fried chicken eggs). I think there was also balut and penoy (hard-boiled duck eggs with and without fetus respectively).

Another stand sold street drinks such as sago't gulaman and buko juice. Shawarma may not be Filipino but it has become a popular local snack that has been Filipinized by adding cheese and sometimes, french fries in it. Then there's the puto bumbong ang bibingka, and turon among many more sweet snacks. The selections there are endless which makes it our local version of a hawker center.

Anyway, there's more food as we go up north.

Dictionary of Philippine street food
I could not find a dictionary of Philippine street food online so I'm starting one here. Please add to the list by commenting below. Help me with the descriptions too. Please take note that this list is for food commonly sold in the streets; or else, we'll have endless possibilities.

  • Abnoy - unhatched incubated duck egg or bugok which is mixed with flour and water and cooked like pancakes
  • Adidas - chicken feet, marinated and grilled or cooked adobo style
  • Arroz caldo - rice porridge or congee cooked with chicken and kasubha; see also Lugaw
  • Atay - grilled chicken liver
  • Baga - pig's or cow's lungs grilled or deep-fried and served with barbeque condiments
  • Balat ng manok - see Chicken skin and Chicharon manok
  • Balun-balunan - grilled chicken gizzard
  • Balut - hard-boiled duck egg with fetus
  • Banana cue - deep-fried saba (banana) covered with caramelized brown sugar
  • Barbeque - marinated pork or chicken pieces grilled on skewers
  • Batchoy - miki noodle soup garnished with pork innards (liver, kidney and heart), chicharon (pork skin cracklings), chicken breast, vegetables and topped with a raw egg; origin traced to La Paz, Iloilo
  • Betamax - curdled chicken or pork blood, cubed and grilled
  • Bibingka - glutinous rice flour pancakes grilled with charcoal above and below in a special clay pot
  • Biko (also Bico) - glutinous rice cake with grated coconut topping
  • Binatog - boiled white corn kernels, sugar, grated coconut and milk
  • Bopis - minced pig's heart and lungs sauteed with garlic and onion and seasoned with laurel, oregano, bell pepper and vinegar
  • Botsi - chicken esophagus, deep-fried or grilled
  • Calamares - deep-fried squid in batter
  • Calamay (also Kalamay) - glutinous rice cakes; varieties all over the country
  • Camote cue - deep-fried camote (sweet potato) covered with caramelized brown sugar
  • Carioca (also Karyoka, Karioka) - deep-fried glutinous rice flour cakes served on skewers
  • Cheese sticks - deep-fried cheese wrapped in lumpia (spring roll) wrapper
  • Chicharon baboy - pork skin cracklings, made from pork rind boiled and seasoned, sun-dried and deep-fried
  • Chicharon bituka - pork or chicken intestine boiled, seasoned and deep-fried
  • Chicharon bulaklak - pork omentum boiled, seasoned and deep-fried
  • Chicharon manok - chicken skin cracklings
  • Chicken balls - balls made with chicken meat, deep fried and served in skewers with a sweet, sour or spicy sauce
  • Chicken skin - chicken skin battered and deep fried
  • Cutchinta - see Kutsinta
  • Day-old chicks - literally day-old chicks deep-fried to a crisp, served with sauce or vinegar
  • Empanada (Batac) - pork longganisa, egg and grated green papaya in a rice flour shell, deep-fried and served with vinegar
  • Fishballs - balls made with fish meat, most often from pollock, deep fried and served in skewers with a sweet, sour or spicy sauce
  • Goto - rice porridge or congee cooked with beef tripe
  • Halo-halo - translated as "a mix of many things" or "an assortment," it is a dessert topped with shaved ice that may contain sweetened saba (banana), camote, macapuno (young coconut), kaong, nata de coco, pinipig (rice crispies), gulaman (agar), sago (tapioca balls), brown and white beans, garbanzos, ube (purple yam), and leche flan (creme brulee), with milk and sugar; Pampanga has three popular versions in Guagua, Arayat and Angeles which may include pastillas, crushed white beans and corn
  • Helmet - grilled chicken head
  • Hepalog (also Toknonong) - hard-boiled duck eggs dipped in orange batter and deep-fried
  • Isaw - collective term for different types of grilled chicken and pork innards; varieties include isaw manok, isaw baboy, atay, goto, botsi, balun-balunan, and tenga ng baboy
  • Isaw baboy - grilled or deep-fried pork intestines on a skewer, served with sweet, sour or spicy sauce
  • Isaw manok (aslo IUD) - grilled or deep-fried chicken intestines on a skewer, served with sweet, sour or spicy sauce; also referred to as IUD because it resembles an intra-uterine device
  • Iskrambol (also Scrambol) - frostees; shaved ice, diced gulaman, sago and condensed milk
  • IUD - see Isaw manok
  • Kakanin - collective term for snacks made with kanin (rice), particularly malagkit (glutinous) rice; varieties include puto, kutsinta, calamay, sapin-sapin, suman, palitaw, biko or sinukmani, and espasol among many others
  • Kalamay - see Calamay
  • Kamote cue - see Camote cue
  • Kikiam - the special ones are made of ground pork and vegetables wrapped in bean curd sheets, deep-fried and served with sweet, sour or spicy sauce; those in the street are seafood-based, usually made of fish meat and cuttlefish
  • Kudil - deep-fried pork skin
  • Kutsinta - steamed bahaw (boiled rice) with lye and brown sugar; has a gelatinous consistency
  • Kwek kwek - see Quek quek
  • Lomi - noodle soup made with thick fresh egg noodles or lomi
  • Longganisa - pork sausage grilled or fried on a skewer
  • Lugaw - rice porridge or congee; varieties include arroz caldo (with chicken and kasubha) and goto (with beef tripe)
  • Lumpia - spring rolls; varieties include lumpiang basa; lumpiang hubad - fresh spring rolls wothout the wrapper; lumpiang prito; lumpiang sariwa - fresh srping rolls; lumpiang shanghai; lumpiang ubod; and turon
  • Mais - boiled sweet corn seasoned with salt, butter or margarine
  • Mais con yelo - sweet corn, milk and sugar topped with shaved ice
  • Mami - noodle soup
  • Manggang hilaw - green mango served with bagoong (shrimp paste)
  • Mani - peanuts either boiled, roasted or deep-fried and seasoned with garlic and salt
  • Maruya - banana fritters
  • Nilupak - mashed kamoteng kahoy (cassava) or kamote (sweet potato) with brown sugar and served with butter or margarine
  • Palitaw - glutinous rice flour pancakes topped with grated young coconut, sugar and roasted sesame seeds
  • Panara - deep-fried crab and grated green papaya empanda sold in Pampanga during Christmas season
  • Pancit - noodles; varieties are batchoy (Iloilo) - see Batchoy; batil patung (Tuguegarao) - local noodles topped with hot dogs, chicharon, ground meat, fried egg, and vegetables; pancit bihon; pancit canton - a kind of pancit guisado flavored with ginger and soy sauce; pancit guisado, pancit habhab (Lucban) - sautéed miki noodles served on and eaten straight from banana leaf sans utensils; pancit lomi - see Lomi; pansit luglog (Pampanga and Tagalog Region) - it has a distinct orange shrimp-achuete sauce and is topped with chicharon, tinapa, wansoy and shrimp; pancit malabon (Malabon) - made with thick rice noodles tossed in shrimp-achuete oil topped with shelled oysters, squid rings, suaje or hipong puti and wansoy; pancit molo (Iloilo) - clear chicken broth with wonton, garlic and crushed chorizo; pancit palabok; pancit puti (Manila); and pancit sotanghon among many others
  • Pandesal (also Pan de sal) - breakfast roll; rounded bread
  • Pares - translated as "pair," means the pairing of rice with beef; beef pares is characterized by very tender meat, usually with a lot of litid (ligaments)
  • Penoy - hard-boiled duck egg without fetus
  • Proven - hard portion of chicken entrails that is either marinated and grilled, battered and fried or cooked adobo style
  • Pusit - squid grilled on skewer
  • Puto - steamed rice cake
  • Puto bumbong - purple glutinous rice snack cooked in a special steamer
  • Quikiam - see Kikiam
  • Quek quek (also Toknanay) - hard boiled chicken eggs dipped in orange batter and deep-fried; also used for quail eggs but some say the correct term for the quail egg version is tokneneng; the balut version is sometimes referred to as hepalog
  • Sapin-sapin - layered glutinous rice and coconut milk cake usually topped with grated coconut and latik (residue from coconut oil extraction); different flavor per layer such as ube (purple yam), macapuno (young coconut), kutsinta and langka (jackfruit)
  • Scrambol - see Iskrambol
  • Sinukmani - see Biko
  • Siomai - steamed pork dumplings
  • Siopao - steamed pork buns
  • Sisig - roasted pig's head, chicken liver, onions and chili, chopped and flavored with calamansi served on a hot metal plate
  • Sorbetes (also Dirty ice cream) - street ice cream made with local fruits and ingredients; common flavors include ube (purple yam), mango, avocado, queso (cheese), chocolate, langka (jackfruit), buko or macapuno (coconut); strawberry is common in Baguio City
  • Squid balls - balls made with squid or cuttlefish meat, deep fried and served in skewers with a sweet, sour or spicy sauce
  • Suman - glutinous rice snack steamed in banana or coconut leaves; varieties include binagol (Leyte) made with glutinous rice, gabi (taro), coconut milk and chocolate; budbod sa kabog (Tanjay, Negros Oriental) which uses millet instead of glutinous rice; 
  • Taho - bean curd snack topped with arnibal (liquefied raw sugar similar to molasses) and sago (tapioca balls)
  • Tenga ng baboy (also Walkman) - marinated pig's ears grilled on skewers; see also Kudil
  • Toknanay - see Quek quek
  • Tokneneng - hard boiled quail eggs dipped in orange batter and deep-fried; also called kwek kwek by others
  • Toknonong - see Hepalog
  • Tupig (also Itemtem) - glutinous rice, grated mature coconut, coconut milk and molasses rolled in banana leaves and grilled; varieties in Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte (Batac) and Isabela
  • Turon - saba (banana) with with sugar and sometimes langka (jackfruit) wrapped in lumpia (spring roll) wrapper and deep-fried
  • Walkman - see Tenga ng Baboy
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