Having traveled a large portion of South East Asia, I realized one thing. People eat some weird and funky stuff! Walking around food markets seem to be like scenes taken right out of fear factor. People buzzing all around you, faint wafts of food coming from everywhere, and the sight of unidentifiable skewers of meat littered in street carts. From deep friend insects like crickets, grasshoppers, super worms, to animal innards like chicken intestines, chicken butt, and coagulated pig’s blood. And I repeat, people eat some weird and funky stuff! Naturally, a large part of traveling is eating the food that locals do and trying out the street food-no matter how weird or funky they are. I will get right to the point as I know some of you are already drooling at the delicacies I have just described, here are my top 5 strangest Filipino Street Food, in no particular order.
1. Balut – Iconic Filipino Street Food!
People say you can’t say you’ve visited the Philippines if you haven’t tried this somewhat iconic filipino street food that we love having foreign guests try. Balut is a fertilized duck embryo that has been boiled and is usually eaten with either vinegar or salt. I swear to God that it tastes just like a regular egg, but the freakish sight of seeing (and eating!) an undeveloped bird, is enough to turn people away. If you’re lucky, you get one with feathers and a beak. YUM!
2. Betamax Street Food
Coagulated Chicken or Pork blood, shaped in squares and placed in skewers that is served hot off the grill. I mean, there is not much more to describe! Betamax has a liver like texture and is often enjoyed with a good dosing of bbq marinade and vinegar.
Because animal no part goes to waste, Filipinos also like grilling chicken heads and serving it as part of their regular street fare. The head has a lot of the fatty deposits, which some people thoroughly enjoy. They crack open the skulls and suck on the brain and other entrails. Oh, yea!
In case you haven’t noticed, a chicken goes a long way here in the Philippines as all of its parts are used and eaten. Respectively matched with the names above, you have chicken intestines, chicken feet, chicken liver, and chicken gizzard, all skewered and grilled to perfection. Oh, I forgot to mention, they also serve chicken ass on sticks. Don’t forget to ask for extra sauce!
Named after the iconic boom of walkmans and pop culture here in the Philippines, walkmans are pig’s ears that are chopped up into bite sized pieces, skewered and, just like you guessed, grilled. Although a bit chewy and tough, this is quite popular amongst street vendors.
Now, as gross and funky and most of them sound, trust me, they don’t taste as bad. If you are heading for the Philippines, I dare you to try some of these street fares and earn serious street credibility from the Filipino people, and more over, earn some well-deserved bragging rights. Being the adventurous I-will-eat-anything-once type of guy that my partner Tom is, I challenged him and a fellow blogger, Will Hatton of The Broke Backpacker to eat some Filipino street food from a night market. Together, they worked their way through most of the BBQ items on this list. Watch their hilarious reactions and enjoy!
Filipino Street Food Video
Unsure about traveling around the Philippines? Here are a few tips on where to stay:
- The Best Places to Stay in Manila | Hotels & Hostels
- The Best Places to Stay in Cebu | Hotels & Hostels
- The Best Places to Stay in Palawan | Hotels & Hostels
- The Best Places to Stay in Boracay | Hotels & Hostels
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