5 Exotic Filipino Food You Must Try (From Best to the Most Shocking!)

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Have you seen Netflix’s Street Food? News flash: Balut isn’t the only exotic street food in the Philippines. 

Well, it’s popular, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the most exotic one. The Philippines is known for its unique cuisine inspired by the ancient culture and its colonizers. It is one of those cuisines that can stand out, whether it’s fusion or something new. But what makes the Filipino food scene even more interesting is its exotic Filipino street food. 

Prepare your guts as we’ve laid out some of the Philippines’ most exotic street food, from the least to the most shocking ones.

Chicken Proven

Chicken Proven becomes Cebu’s favorite new street food delicacy. A fried-digestive system of a chicken called “proventriculus” that is marinated with spices and dipped in a cornstarch before deep-frying it.

Proven Chicken all started among students looking for a lunch or meal they can find for a tight budget. They love to eat it with a spicy or sweet sauce, or vinegar and a puso or a hanging rice wrapped with coconut leaves

In many ways, this is similar to a chicken gizzard. The tiny piece of proben is coated in flour or cornstarch before it is deep-fried until the exterior becomes a crispy golden brown. It is often served to the guest in plastic bags or skewered in bamboo sticks. If you want to spice it up, pair it with sour vinegar sauce or sweet chili sauce. 

You can find this exotic street food in numerous streets and traditional markets prepared by street vendors. This exotic food is usually served in mobile food stands near schools.

Where you can find Chicken Proven: You can find chicken proven proven where vendors are confined in small sections such as Divisoria and Colon or any marketplaces around the country.

Tuslob Buwa

If you’ve seen Netflix’s “Street Food Asia,” you’ll probably come across this exotic street food from Cebu. Directly translated as “dip in bubbles,” Tuslob Buwa is made from pork liver and brain sauteed with garlic, onions, shrimp paste or bagoong, and chilis. This dish is filled with oil or lard that gives its greasier consistency. There are times when soy sauce is added to spice up the flavor. 

Diners dip a puso or hanging rice into this thick and bubbly froth before this greasy piece enters your mouth. Accompany this dish with any soda and beer; you are good to go! 

Where to find Tuslob Buwa: The first places you’ll think of when it comes to these dishes are Barangays Suba and Pasil, Cebu City. 

There are also restaurants serving Tuslob Buwa like Azul Cebu, the first place to serve street food in the mainstream resto-bar. You can also find it in Street Food at Ayala Center Cebu. 

Lansiao or Soup No. 5

This is another exotic food that may come as a surprise to most tourists. If you are ready to explore a food escapade, then this dish is for you. 

This surprising street food is consumed as an appetizer along with your beer or any alcoholic beverages you can think of. Or, it can be your favorite hangover cure! Lansiao or Soup No. 5 comprises a bull’s sex organs, the penis, and the testes, prepared as a soup with different spices and broth. The dish is best served piping hot! 

Its name was adapted from Chinese descendants who speak Hokkien dialects which means male genitals. And it is said to increase intimacy amongst couples. Hence it is called an aphrodisiac. 
Where can you find Lansiao or Soup No.5? In Cebu, they are commonly found in Cebuano carinderia (small cafeteria) and restaurants in Cebu. In Manila, you can find it in some restaurants in Binondo.

Adobong Kamaru 

If you find these three previous dishes exotic, wait till you see the next one. And yes, it involves mole crickets! Don’t fret! The insect is scientifically proven edible. 

These mole crickets are found in the rice field in Pampanga. Since these are considered pests, farmers counter them by harvesting them and eating them to cook them like how Filipinos cook adobo. These crickets – when cooked right – are crispy on the outside and moist in the middle. Eat it with rice, soy sauce, and beer. You can enjoy this exotic dish as Kampangpangan’s favorite appetizer. 

Fun fact! According to a 2007 study, five ounces of mole crickets has 28% of the daily protein and 74% of calories a person needs daily. So when Kampangpangans tell you that this dish is healthy, they aren’t lying. 

Where to find Adobong Kamaru? On the streets of Pampanga

Butete Tugak or Stuffed Frog

Pampanga is no stranger to the exotic scene. Aside from Adobong Kamaru, the province also features another surprisingly edible dish. 

The word butete is a wordplay on butete , which in local dialect means “tadpole.” The dish is the entire frog stuffed with minced pork which looks like a very fat frog when it’s served to you. 

The preparation involves removing the skin, head of the frog and cutting its belly to remove the intestines. The ground pork is stuffed in the belly and marinated in a mixture that usually has salt, vinegar, ground pepper, and brown sugar. These stuffed frogs are deep-fried until golden brown and served with fried rice or steamed plain rice. For flavor, you can dip it into vinegar with minced onions and garlic. 

Where can you eat Betute Tugak? San Fernando, Pampanga is famous for this shocking Filipino dish. The dish is celebrated every year with the Annual Piestang Tugak or Frog Festival to promote numerous frog traditions like this dish. 

Visit the Philippines for a new culinary experience.

Aside from the usual barbeque, kwek-kwek, and isaw, the Philippines has a lot to offer when it comes to street food. In fact, some tourists call it a street food hub. That is why you don’t need to go to a fancy restaurant when planning to travel to the country. To have a unique culinary experience, try some of the most exotic street food for a low price. 

Start your exotic culinary journey to the Philippines through our packages.