Popular Filipino Snacks
Sep 8, 2023
When it comes to Southeast Asian food, it’s hard to put a finger on which country is home to the best cuisine. The Philippines, however, offers a plethora of hearty and culture-rich snacks. Thanks to its varied heritage from China, Spain, and America, Filipino dishes involve various techniques and flavors to create their distinct uniqueness. It also helps that most ingredients used in the food are high quality. Their islands make a large landscape for locals to source fresh seafood, root crops, vegetables, and tropical fruits.
Let’s discover some of Filipino’s most popular and mouth-watering snacks you must try!
Lumpias typically come in numerous variations but the average lumpia is filled with a savory filling made from ground pork, carrots, and cabbage. The rolls will then be fried to a crispy, golden perfection and served with a special dipping sauce. Light and crispy, this crowd-favorite snack is usually served as an appetizer. Other tasty variations of lumpia include fillings made with bean sprouts, the heart of coconut palm, or plantains.
You can’t go wrong with a sweet, refreshing dessert. Taho is a delicious dessert that consists of silky tofu in a sweet melted brown sugar syrup called arnibal. Plump and chewy sago pearls are also used, making this simple dessert a whole experience. Taho is sold by street vendors usually to those who like to start their mornings a little sweeter.
#3 Kwek Kwek
Similar to another popular street snack called tokneneng–whole chicken eggs deep fries in a crispy red batter–kwek kwek is a variation that uses quail eggs. They are distinguished by their bright orange-red batter, traditionally made from flour, cornstarch, water, and the unique annatto. These crispy balls of happiness are typically served with a spicy and sour sauce.
Filipinos would never let any part of a chicken go to waste. Proben or proven is a crispy and satisfying snack made from an unusual chicken organ called proventriculus—similar to a chicken gizzard. They are much smaller in size, which makes them perfect to be deep-fried in a thin, crispy batter. They are cheap, fast, and nutritious snacks sold in plastic bags or skewers on the country’s streets.
Warm, filling, and made with love—is what we would describe this Filipino rice porridge. Consumed as ‘sick people food’ or for breakfast, they make a perfect flavorful base to add protein. The typical flavorings include ingredients like scallions, garlic chips, fish sauce, calamansi, lemon, and ginger.
Filipino snacks are no doubt popular for a handful of reasons—the unconventional concept, the fresh tropical ingredients, and most prominently the love locals put into their making.