Filipino Street Food Tour - BALUT and KWEK KWEK at Q...Mark Wiens
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The area around Quiapo Church, is home to a huge market, where you’ll find an abundance of especially clothing and street food - and ranging from fresh ingredients to cooked food ready to eat. If you love to eat, when you’re in Manila, Quiapo Market is one of the best places to start and get a feel for the city and eat some amazing Filipino street food.
We started right at Quiapo Church and it happened to be a Sunday afternoon - Anton mentioned that it’s usually the busiest on Sunday afternoon, catering to everyone that attends the hourly church service. We walked down one alley and ate two noodle dishes palabok (20 PHP, $0.40) and sotanghon (30 PHP, $0.60). Both dishes were good, and served fresh. I especially enjoyed the sotanghon, a cellophane noodles dish, that was cooked in flavorful oil and it was a perfect slurping dish.
Right in front of Quiapo Church in Manila, we at first though they were fish balls or squid balls, but they turned out to be chicken balls (2 PHP, $0.04 per ball). In order to eat Filipino chicken balls, you grab a stick, poke some on your stick, and dip in vinegar. They weren’t the best quality, but they weren’t expensive either. Next to the chicken balls, I saw the dried squid (10 PHP, $0.20 per stick) and had to try it as well. It was amazing, dried chewy squid, roasted over charcoal and dunked in chili vinegar.
We then walked across the main road at Quiapo and found a Filipino street food stall serving all types of kwek kwek (3 for 12 PHP, $0.24). Kwek kwek is a popular street food of quail eggs, coated in a thick batter and deep fried. We also tried 1 day old fried chickens (10 PHP, $0.20), which is another popular Filipino street food in that area of Manila. As with other Filipino snacks, you garnish with chilies, shallots, and lots of vinegar before eating.
Probably one of the most famous of all Philippines street food is balut (15 PHP, $.030), a duck egg embryo - like a half developed egg. You’ll find balut all over the Philippines and it’s especially popular to eat in the evening. The first thing you do is crack the top of the egg shell and drink the chicken soup. You then peel the rest of the egg, and eat both chick and the yolk on the inside. I also seasoned with a little salt and chili vinegar. I’ve eaten balut quite a few times during many trips to the Philippines, and I quite enjoy eating balut!
Quiapo Market is a wonderful place in Manila to explore all the street food snacks available, and it’s just an amazingly vibrant and colorful part of Manila, and it was great to hang out with Anton!
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