Many tourists come to the Philippines to experience its breathtaking beaches, climb its spectacular ranges and volcanoes, or simply visit Philippine historical sites. Some visitors come to immerse themselves with the culture of the Philippine Islands, and one good way to do this is to have a taste of Philippine Street Foods. Come and discover the more adventurous side of yourself!
Philippine Street Food, also known as Pagkaing Kalye in Filipino, is a wide variety of inexpensive cuisine that you can buy from vendors or peddlers on the streets. It is essentially influenced by other neighboring countries' dishes like Chinese and Japanese, taken to the next level and given a Filipino twist.
Cooking Philippine Street Food mainly involves grilling, frying and steaming, while others simply require mixing of ingredients to prepare. Chicken and pork are the top choices for the ingredients in making Philippine Street Food.
Now that you have a basic idea about what the Philippine street food is, the next question is, "are you tough enough to eat it?" You might be thinking, "what is there to be scared of when you are just eating chicken and pork?" Well, you are not just eating the meat. You are eating the meat and everything else. When preparing Philippine street food, no part of the chicken and pork should go to waste. Imagine dressing a chicken, all the parts that you usually throw away, except for the feathers, of course, go onto the pan or grill, but not in the wastebin.
Are you ready to go on a food trip? Here are some street food varieties that are made of chicken meat and other chicken parts.
Ulo ng Manok or Chicken Head is literally a dressed chicken's head and neck, marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and garlic. Another marinade for this is made by mixing soy sauce, ketchup, and some cooking oil. The chicken head is skewered on a bamboo stick and grilled for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. You can dip it into a sauce which is a mixture of vinegar, chili pepper, and sugar. This sells for about 6.00 to 10.00 Philippine pesos or $0.14 to $0.23.
Leeg or Chicken's Neck is a dressed chicken's neck. You can enjoy it grilled or deep-fried. With grilled, you prepare it the same way with the chicken head. If you want it deep-fried, you dip it first into a bowl of battered egg and cover it with flour before frying. You let it fry until golden brown. You can have it with a vinegar sauce or gravy. Its price is around 6.00 to 10.00 Philippine pesos or $0.14 to $0.23.
Isaw is the chicken's small intestine, also skewered on a bamboo stick, resembling an accordion or a Victorian radiator. It is usually marinated in ketchup, soy sauce and cooking oil. The Isaw is also sometimes called “IUD” or “PLDT” because of its long and telephone cord-like shape. PLDT stands for Philippine Long Distance Telephone, which is the main provider of telecommunications in the country. The Isaw sells for 6.00 to 10.00 Philippine pesos or $0.14 to $0.23.
Betamax is dried chicken's blood cut into small rectangular shapes, similar to a Betamax tape. This is also placed on a small bamboo stick and grilled until it hardens. It is best eaten when dipped into the vinegar sauce. You can buy the Betamax for 4.00 to 5.00 Philippine pesos or $0.09 to $0.11.
Adidas, named after the famous sports shoe company, is chicken feet, soaked in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and garlic. It is also skewered and grilled. The claws are removed from the feet to make “Adidas” safer to eat. This sells for about 6.00 to 10.00 Philippine pesos or $0.14 to $0.23.
Tokong is chicken's gizzard covered in flour, and then deep fried. It goes best with the vinegar sauce and sells for 5.00 to 10.00 Philippine pesos or $0.11 to $0.23.
Atay ng Manok is Chicken Liver. This tastes best when grilled and dipped into the sweetened vinegar sauce. The chicken liver sells for 6.00 to 10.00 Philippine pesos or $0.14 to $0.23.
Balat ng Manok is one of the top favorites among the Philippine street foods. After all, who does not love chicken skin? It is chicken skin deep fried until golden brown. It is good when eaten as is or dipped into the sweet vinegar sauce. Its price is 5.00 to 10.00 Philippine pesos or $0.11 to $0.23.
Chicken barbecue is usually made of the chicken's breast and leg part. The marinade is a mixture of ketchup, soy sayce and cooking oil. This is even better when served with rice. This sells for 20.00 to 25.00 Philippine pesos or $0.45 to $0.57.
There are many other kinds of street foods you can find in the Philippines. There are grilled and deep-fried street food made of pork meat, pig's ears and innards. There are duck eggs called Balot and Penoy. There are quail eggs or Tukneneng, fishballs, squidballs, and kikiam. There are also sweets and desserts like taho, banana cue, camote cue, iskrambol, binatog, and sorbetes or dirty ice cream. Whichever street food you choose to try, do not forget that your health should be your main concern. Be sure that you are buying a street food that is clean and safe to eat. Be adventurous but at the same time be safe!