Filipino Street Food – Barbecue Heaven!

by Amanda McInerney on 07/07/2014

To say that I ate well while in the Philippines for the KitchenAid Gourmet Summit earlier this year would be a gross understatement. Every time I turned around there was another fabulous dining experience waiting for me – and I’m talking gourmet dining three times a day -  so I didn’t really have the stomach space to try their local street food, but I was glad to have the chance to check it out.

There’s no shortage of cafes, bars and fast food joints in Manila, but the real flavour of the local food can be found at the little street corner food stalls and the food markets. We (very briefly, because of time constraints) checked out two of the latter. The first was a covered street food market place which is very popular in the evenings with the locals – the fact that it has several bars, a DJ and is air-conditioned obviously makes this a no-brainer for locals looking for fun and a cheap feed.  The other was a recently-started night food market on a roof top in the centre of Makati, right next to the very gorgeous Makati Shangri La where we were staying.

You’ll also find street food at bus terminals, around churches (the Filipinos are deeply religious, with more than 80% of the population being practicing Catholics), parks and carparks.  I’m reliably informed that the locals have quite a sweet tooth so among their favourite snacks are bananas deep-fried and coated in caramelised sugar and sweet potato prepared in the same way, both of which looked divine. They are also very keen on barbecued foods and if they can thread it onto a skewer they will  cook it. I’ll admit it all looked very tempting – it is freshly cooked and remarkably affordable, but some of it can be just a little challenging.

As I mentioned, both of my street food excursions where directly after large meals so I didn’t indulge, although the seafood was tempting, as were some of their delicious cakes. Also, I can’t deny that I’m something of a chicken when it comes to some street food, especially if I’m close to having to fly out. The thought of a long-haul flight with a dodgy belly horrifies me beyond words.

I have a friend who is a demon for street food and appears to have a cast iron gut, but what about you dear reader? Would you be game enough to take on barbecued chicken blood or chicken intestines?

While in Manila for the KitchenAid Gourmet Summit, Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of KitchenAid Australia.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef July 7, 2014 at 7:54 am

Nix on the chicken blood or intestines, no Anthony Bourdain am I. I’m happy to be called a culinary wuss but some street food is out of this world good.

InTolerant Chef July 7, 2014 at 8:45 am

Your photos are fantastic! What a shame you didn’t get to try much street food during your stay though. I don’t think the blood or intestines would tempt me either, but that pork and seafood look amazing! Xox

Barb | Creative Culinary July 7, 2014 at 12:04 pm

To answer your question…no. I just have no interest in proving I can stomach something that sounds so unappetizing! Give me some of those bananas or sweet potatoes though and I’m game. :)

Hotly Spiced July 8, 2014 at 7:31 am

I’ve heard the street food is fantastic and a lot of people can eat it and get no issues at all but I seem to have a really sensitive stomach and like you, I can’t imagine anything worse than doing a long-haul flight with a dodgy stomach issue. My husband has a cast iron stomach – I don’t think he’s ever vomited in his life. Probably because he grew up in South America xx

Olivia @ mademoiselleinsydney July 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Wow…some of the food does look quite challenging indeed! I can have sweet potatoes and deep fried banana, but hum… wouldn’t appreciate chicken blood or intestines!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Sure! I love street food. There are some countries where it is safer than others (Thailand vs India) but I have a fairly cast iron stomach it seems. Poor hubby has quite a sensitive one at times (he developed it after getting food poisoning).

Gerlinde @ sunnycovechef July 9, 2014 at 4:12 am

Very nice pictures and the food looks very interesting , I would try some of it.

Helen | Grab Your Fork July 10, 2014 at 9:21 am

You know what my answer would be. Gimee gimmee! Love the Phils and the bounty of lechon, chicharon and sisig!

Cathy Sweeney July 10, 2014 at 2:14 pm

I’m afraid that I’m not quite ready for chicken intestines and many of the other items in the photos. I’m sure that some are really delicious, but I just tried my first oysters ever, so that will tell you that I’m slow at trying anything exotic. I really do enjoy learning about different food and cultures, however, so this is interesting. I am so ready for cake!

Jamie July 10, 2014 at 11:23 pm

My son spent 6 weeks in Vietnam eating street food almost exclusively (including snake, mice, dog….) and his photos alone made me want to visit. As do yours for the Philippines. No, I wouldn’t eat the questionable stuff but the seafood, meat… well everything else. Be adventurous. And those cakes in your last photo???? Wow!

Shirley August 15, 2014 at 7:54 am

Totally would. I eat *anything*. There’s a new eatery up here that serves cartilage, hearts, livers or chook bums, all on sticks (yakitori). So good.

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