Must-Try Traditional Pinoy Food to Challenge Your Palate
If you are a foreigner trying to embark on an adventure in the Philippines, get your palate ready, here are street foods for you that you should try before you go back to your home country.
See videos at the end
Pinoy Street Foods You Should Plan to Eat Next
Ayy, no, Papi, Mami is not your “bae.” Mami is soup with noodles, chicken, beef, pork, wonton dumplings, intestines, and boiled egg. It’s delicious and perfect for rainy days.
Price: ₱30–40 ($1)
Our version of chicken soup for the soul, arroz caldo is a traditional Filipino soup with rice and chicken stalk. Best served with chicken bits and hard-boiled egg, and it’s best consumed while steaming hot.
Price: ₱20 ($0.5)
Empanadas make a good snack. This Spanish/Portuguese stuffed pastry is commonly sold in the streets of Ilocos. If you’re wondering what this European treat is doing on our shores, here’s a history trivia: the Philippines was “discovered” by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during his expedition under Spain to the East Indies in the sixteenth century. The Spanish then proceeded on colonizing the islands for 333 years. Spanish influences are still heavily embedded in the Filipino culture—most noticeably, in the food we eat.
Prices: ₱20–₱40 ($0.5–$1)
The barbecue sold on the streets in the Philippines are usually grilled pork bits or chicken parts (most commonly chicken intestine, which is particularly called isaw). The Pinoy barbecue is one of the best street foods you can consume with some bottles of beer.
Price: ₱5–₱25 ($0.1–$0.5)
Definitely one of the most popular ones, kwek-kwek is also known as the orange eggs. Kwek-kwek are hard-boiled eggs, either that of a quail or chicken, coated with an orange-colored batter, then deep-fried.
Price: ₱10 ($0.2), that’s three eggs on a stick
Balut is boiled duck embryo and best eaten at 16 or 17 days old. Crack the top of the egg, but don’t open it all the way yet! Its best part is the soup inside the egg! And don’t worry about the duck feathers, you can get over it, promise.
Price: ₱10 ($0.20)
Aside from being one of the inexpensive street foods out there, buko juice is a really healthy drink. While some prefer scraping the meat off the coconut fruit and emptying its juice into a separate container, the street food–type buko juice involves simply opening a fresh coconut fruit, making a hole at the center for the straw, and the customer drinking straight from the fruit.
Price: ₱10–₱15 ($0.2–$0.3)
Sweet purple yam is a traditional Filipino favorite flavor, don’t mock the bright purple color, it tastes divine.
Price: ₱30–₱50 ($0.5–$1)
Know more Pinoy street foods you must should get a taste of in the second part of this article series.