What’s great about Filipino culture is the abundance of street food. In Cebu City, most street vendors can be spotted near the churches, schools, recreational parks, and jeepney and bus terminals. It’s the way of life of most people, an easy business and a source of income. A majority of Filipinos prefers street food because it’s affordable, easily accessible and absolutely delicious. Here are some of the favorites.
Barbecue is one of the most common street foods of Cebu City that you’ll find in every corner of the city. It’s a preparation of marinated chicken and pork that is grilled on charcoal. It is best served with hanging rice known as “puso” and ice cold soft drinks. Chicken dishes may include feet, liver, intestines and gizzards. The smell of smoke barbecue will make your stomach grumble, even if you have already eaten. A full meal may cost 80 pesos per person.
Siomai, a traditional Chinese dish, has made its way into Cebu City streets and has become one of the most accessible and most affordable foods you can find almost anywhere and anytime. This mouthwatering dish is often ground pork, beef, or shrimp wrapped in wonton wrappers. You can eat this as a snack on your way home from the office, or as a full meal if accompanied with rice. It is best served with calamansi and chili pepper.
Fish/Squid Balls & Tempura
Fish/squid ball and tempura mobile carts are mostly seen near churches and schools in Cebu. It’s cooked over low heat and stirred continuously until golden brown. Fish balls and tempura originated in China and Japan respectively, and was introduced in the Philippines during the contemporary times and trade. You’ll surely enjoy these tasty and affordable street foods in hot or curry sauces.
At night, balot vendors roam around the streets of Cebu shouting Baluuut! This famous and exotic midnight snack looks like an ordinary white egg, but the moment you open the shell you will see veins, skin and an underdeveloped duck embryo. It is best dipped with salt or chili, garlic and vinegar and is believed to be an aphrodisiac. A balot costs 16 pesos each.
Street vendors throughout Cebu City sells all types of peanuts that are either boiled, raw, skinless and spicy. It’s beneficial to our health as it is packed with proteins and vitamins and lowers the risk of heart disease and weight gain. A small pack may cost 5 pesos while the bigger pack costs 10 pesos.
Banana cue is a popular snack food sold anywhere on the streets of Cebu. These are deep fried Saba bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar. According to a research by The New England Journal of Medicine, bananas contain lots of vitamins and minerals and can also boost your brain power. It is good for the heart and helps fight fatigue and anemia as well. Affordable and nutritious this is highly recommended for all.
The crispy chicharon is always available on the public streets and bus stations all over Cebu. Chicharon street foods are made up from pork rind, chicken skin, chicken/pork intestines and pork omentum. My advice is not to eat too much of this so-called addictive food for some people, as it can raise the bad cholesterol levels in the blood increasing the chance of high blood pressure and stroke. Chicharon originated in Spain and was introduced in our country by the Spaniards.
Taho is my favorite street food made up of fresh soft/silken tofu, brown sugar syrup and pearl sago. Taho vendors roam around the streets of Cebu in the early morning and shout “taho” for everyone to hear. Its main ingredient is soybeans, which is a good source of quality protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. According to a study by the University of California Agriculture, eating soybeans may help protect against heart disease, heart failure and stroke. For sure, you’ll enjoy this healthy snack.
Have you tried any of these Cebu City street foods? Share you experience in the comments below.