What makes your travels exciting? Is it meeting new people from a different culture? How about discovering breathtaking sites and sceneries? Perhaps, learning a new language? Or, is it the opportunity to try out cuisine that is both unfamiliar and exotic?

For the adventurous tourists, the Philippine is home to some of the most exotic and bizarre food items in Southeast Asia, or perhaps, the world. Here’s a list of weird but wild grub, if you’re looking for some strange food to sample, then it is the street food that you ought to try!

1. Balut



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A boiled duck embryo might seem like a Fear Factor meal to foreigners, but in the Philippines, it’s an everyday snack sold on the streets. While the site of a 17-day old duck fetus’ cartilage, guts and feathers is nothing short of horrifying, it tastes a lot like your typical hardboiled egg. Balut can be eaten on its own, or with a dip made of salt and vinegar.

Expert’s advice: Eat this in pitch-black!

2. Adidas



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Like the balut, chicken feet or Adidas are also common street fare. Chicken feet are thoroughly cleaned, coated in a thick batter of flour, eggs and breading, and then deep fried to perfection. In some Filipino-Chinese fusion restaurants, they are steamed and served as part of a dish.

Expert’s advice: Use your senses to decide which parts are, errrr, edible 🙂

3. Isaw



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These are basically barbecued intestines of pig or chicken, served with vinegar, onion bits and ground pepper. Like the adidas, these grilled entrails are a testament to how resourceful Filipinos are when it comes to food, and how common it is in Filipino cuisine to incorporate unconventional but edible animal body parts into a meal instead of simply discarding them.

Expert’s advice: Choose chicken! And, make sure it is well-cooked.

4. Kwek-Kwek



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This crispy-looking orange ball is made of quail eggs dipped in annatto powder. Then, it will be deep-fried for a few minutes. Put some spicy vinegar as a sauce to add flavor and balanced the oiliness.

Expert’s advice:  Eat it while it is still hot and crispy!

5. Taho



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If you are an early bird, then you might be up for a treat! Head to the streets with your biggest mug when you hear the distinguishing “Tahoooo, tahoooo” call. Taho is fresh soy milk with caramelized brown sugar. It would not be complete of there are no “sago” or the tapioca balls. Sago is optional though, you can ask the Taho guy not to include it if you are not a big fan of the taste.

Expert’s advice: Always buy taho in the morning to ensure its freshness.

6. Betamax



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The nickname “Betamax” got stuck since it reminisces those old video cassette tapes used until the early 90’s. Betamax is chicken or pork blood turned into blocks with gelatin-like texture. How does it taste? We dare you to try!

Expert’s advice: Do not be deceived by its looks, it can be quite tasty.

7. Fishballs / Squid balls



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These are fish or squid paste which are deep fried in a wok for a few minutes. For the sauce, you may choose either the sweet or the sweet plus spicy.

Expert’s advice: Make sure its crispy brown.

If exploring the Philippines through its food is not really your thing, check out our tours in various regions and we will take care of it for you.

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Boris Chevreau

Marketing Director at ChillOut Travel & Tours
Boris is the Marketing Director of ChillOut Travel. Certified Tech-savvy, Serial Globetrotter, and a true lover of the Philippines, he is here to make our beloved country look as beautiful here on our website as it is in our eyes, and hearts.

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