A quick guide to street food of the Philippines

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Certain dishes can attract people from all parts of the world to the country of their origin and Philippines, too, has many such delicacies to offer. Philippines, especially the capital Manila, is popular among travellers. Noted sights in Manila include Old Manila City, Fort Santiago, San Augustine Church, Intramuros, National Museum of Philippines and the Waterway. In fact, Philippines comprises around 7,000 islands.

Another reason for Philippines' popularity is the low flight fares. The top restaurants and hotels in Philippines are cheaper than similar facilities in India. In addition, drinks also are available in plenty. Moreover, petrol is cheaper in Philippines than in India.

One of the main advantages of travelling is that one can taste the special dishes unique to the destination. These preparations, in fact, attract tourists again and again to the place. Philippines, too, has food items that lure travellers. However, many of these dishes may not be available in restaurants, but visitors would have to seek out street-side eateries to taste them. The following are some among these special preparations.

Adobo

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Adobo is a signature dish of Philippines. It is prepared with pork, beef, fish, chicken and vegetables. The dish is prepared using oil after applying vinegar, garlic and soya to these items. A lip-smacking dish, the best adobo is available on the street. But food courts and stalls in the market also offer the dish. The price is Rs 70-140, which is 40-60 pesos, the local currency. Adobo is a dish served with rice.

Balut

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You need a strong heart to taste this preparation. A traditional delicacy of Philippines, balut is a snack as well as a starter. The main ingredient of balut is the egg of duck. The tastiest balut is also available on the street.

At first sight, the dish resembles a boiled duck egg. However, it is an embryo that is 18 days old. Inside the boiled egg, a tiny duckling can be seen. People who have relished the dish attest that it tastes like chicken.

Bangus

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This is milkfish (called 'poomeen' in Kerala) grilled in Philippine style. Bangus is a dish served along with meals. To prepare the dish, milkfish is marinated with garlic, soya sauce and vinegar and grilled in the traditional method. It is one of the tastiest offerings of the country and is available everywhere. The price is approximately Rs 150, which is 60-80 pesos.

Halo-Halo

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The meaning of the word 'halo-halo' is 'mixed'. Various sweet items, including ice-cream and fruits, are combined to make this dessert. It is visually very attractive and is a favourite among those with a sweet tooth.

Pancit

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Available at only one place, Lumpia, it is a mouth-watering dish. It is prepared by mixing chicken, pork and vegetables to noodles. It is served for breakfast as well as an evening snack. Pancit costs 25 pesos, which is Rs 35 only!

Sisig

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This dish tastes best when served and eaten hot. The preparation is with the head of pig. The head is boiled and barbecued or grilled. The next step is to chop the meat into small pieces. Onion, garlic and masalas are added to the meat and the preparation is fried. Some restaurants replace pork with chicken, squid or tuna fish to give a different taste to the dish. Depending on the orders from customers, mayonnaise and egg are also served along with sisig.

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