STREET FOOD. Every country has its own set of street food, and the Philippines is no exception. We Filipinos love street food because it’s both delicious and affordable. Add to that the fact that it’s freshly cooked and served hot (except for dishes and concoctions that are traditionally served hot). It’s a way of life. It’s what people look for and oftentimes even crave for. So you can find it in almost every street corner frequented where there’s heavy foot traffic.
Fish balls, squid balls, barbecues, day-old chicks, even goto (congee with ox tripes), tapsilog (tapa-sinangag-itlog) breakfasts, banana cue and camote cue (sweet potato), pancit (stir-fried noodles) and ice cream on cones… Today, Filipino street food has evolved from being simply barbecues of different types but also home-cooked meals served like street food.
To showcase the vast possibilities and options that people now have when it comes to street food, SM Hypermarket recently staged its annual Streetfood Festival in its different branches. Launched at SM Hypermarket Fairview, the Streetfood Festival was held in partnership with Unilever, Nestle, San Miguel, Alaska, Del Monte, P&G, CDO, Frabelle, Farm Fresh and Bounty Fresh. It focused on the rich food culture of everyday Filipino food and highlighted the talents of the people who make them, if not those who actually invented them.
The Streetfood Festival made a run of four roadshows in SM Hypermarket Fairview, Valenzuela, Bicutan and Molino, where it featured all types of street food—from finger food and skewered items to cooked meals, including stir-fried noodles and noodle soups.
Some of the street food featured included…
Takoyaki. This street food reminds me of my college days at De La Salle University, where my Communication Arts thesis mate Charlotte and I loved to cross over to SM Harrison Plaza and enjoy takoyaki balls together. A Japanese delicacy, it’s octopus-filled balls cooked on the spot and served with a thick sauce ladled over the balls, drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and sprinkled with bonito flakes.
Cebu Lechon. Yes, Cebu lechon is getting more and more popular these days. With crispy skin and tender and juicy meat, it is sold by weight and also offered in meals for those who want to enjoy it on the spot. It goes best with pusô, which is rice wrapped and cooked in a heart-shaped pouch made of woven buri leaves.
Cebu Lechon Belly. While lechon is traditionally cut up and eaten with liver sauce as a viand for rice, there are now stylized versions such as Cebu Lechon Belly Roll. It’s a big strip of lechon with skin intact, deboned and rolled tightly around a vegetable and meat filling, cut into thick slices and enjoyed with rice.
Balut. The classic street food that’s sold warm in a basket when night falls! It’s also the best known ‘fear factor’ food in the Philippines. The duck embryo is traditionally eaten by cracking the top of the egg, peeling to open up a small hole, sprinkling a little salt in it and then slurping the ‘soup’ inside before removing the shell altogether and either biting into the ‘meat’ or putting the entire thing inside one’s mouth.
Chicharon Bulaklak. It’s pork crackling made from the floral-shaped part of a pig’s intestines. The intestines are cleaned thoroughly, cut into bite sizes, and fried in hot oil to a golden crisp. More than chicharon bituka, which is made from the tube-like part of a pig’s intestines and is all crispy, people like chicharon bulaklak because it’s part crispy and part tender. Dip it in spiced vinegar, and it bursts with flavor in the mouth. Those with cholesterol problems have to go easy on it, though.
Pancit. A one-dish meal and a favorite merienda fare and celebration dish because noodles connote long life, pancit as a street food comes in different forms—bihon, miki-bihon, lomi, sotanghon, mami. It can be eaten as is, just like pasta or stir-fried noodles, or it can serve as a filling in burger buns or soft rolls.
Turon. For Pinoys who like sweet or fruity merienda, turon is the go-to choice. Sliced saba bananas and strips of jackfruit coated with sugar, rolled in lumpia wrapper and deep-fried in hot oil… Who can resist?
Banana Cue and Camote Cue. When there’s turon around, can banana cue and camote cue be far behind? Fresh saba bananas and sweet potato slices coated with brown sugar, fried to a golden crisp and skewered in barbecue sticks, they’re a great power booster.
SM Hypermarket’s Streetfood Festival draws to a close with a Grand Finale at SM Mall of Asia on Thursday (October 20, 2016), at 11:00 a.m., where it will treat festival goers with tons of discounts and freebies from event sponsors Nestle, Unilever, Purefoods, CDO, Del Monte, Alaska, Farm Fresh, Frabelle, P&G, Bounty Fresh, RFM Selecta, Delimondo, Tulip, Mama Sita’s, Kopiko and Minute Maid. The name of the lucky winner of a Php100,000 shopping spree at SM Hypermarket will also be drawn on this occasion.
And since it is the Streetfood Festival, delicious street food from SM Eats, Cebu Lechon Belly, Southern Dairy and Baga Manila will be flooding the event with grilled Pinoy delights, American burgers, Japanese sushi and tempura, Vietnamese spring rolls, Korean bibimbap, Mexican nachos and tacos, Mediterranean steaks, Middle Eastern shawarma, U.S. pancakes and desserts.
Celebrity chefs will also be there to conduct cooking demos.
Speaking of celebrities, there will definitely be personal appearances by such celebrities as Marian Rivera, Ian Veneracion, Love Añover, Marlo Mortel, Chef Boy Logro, Chef Rob Pengson, and Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players James Yap, PJ Simon, Mark Barroca, Mark Pingris, Tony Dela Cruz, Vic Manuel, Sonny Thoss and Chris Banchero.
So, save the date and be there on Thursday.