5 UNUSUAL PHILIPPINE FOOD AND WHERE TO TRY THEM

5 Unusual Philippine Food and Where to Try Them


Test your taste buds with these exotic dishes from all over the Philippines.

By Mathew S. Chan
November 12, 2014


Balut, Metro Manila 

Are you a foodie with a thirst for adventure? The Philippines is home to many dishes using different ingredients, and some of them are truly unusual. It can be both fun and scary to taste new food, especially the exotic kind, but if you’re game to try new things, go on a bizarre food trip around the Philippines with your friends. We’ve got five delicious dishes to get you started.


Balut

Balut can be found almost anywhere in the Philippines. A classic favorite sold by street vendors, it is actually a fermented duck embryo, that is, a half-developed duckling still inside the egg. It is often featured on reality shows as a food challenge contestants have to overcome, and while it’s usually given to foreign guests, a lot of Filipinos also haven’t tried eating balut.  

Try this in Metro Manila!
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Soup No. 5
They say that some exotic foods make great aphrodisiacs, and that’s exactly what the story behind Soup No. 5 is about. Basically, it is soup made from a bull’s testicles. The testicles are sometimes referred to as this animal’s 5th leg, which is where the soup’s name is believed to have come from. If you’d like to try something more than a basic beef dish, this dish is for you.  Who knows? You might get a little kick after you eat some.

Try this in Metro Manila!
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Tamilok

If you’re not against trying something raw and slimy, try some tamilok in Palawan. Tamilok is a type of worm that lives in mangroves. It is considered a pest, but it’s tasty at the same time. After being pulled out of a tree or wooden structure, the tamilok is quickly marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, chili, and onions then eaten raw.

Try this in Palawan!
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Tuslob-Buwa

Filipinos never like wasting things and try to use every part of the animal for a dish. Much like how sisig is made from the face of the pig, tuslob-buwa is made from pig’s brains. The pork brain is thoroughly cooked with a lot of spices before being left to boil until the sauce starts to thicken and bubble. It is best eaten with rice cooked inside banana leaves.

Try this in Cebu!
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Abuos
Are you a fan of caviar (fish eggs)? If you are, you should try abuos. Found in Ilocos, abuos are giant ant eggs that resemble beans or legumes. It is a tasty dish that is usually sautéed in a lot of garlic or served adobo style. Another way of eating it is by just eating it raw. You can buy abuos in public markets around the Ilocos region.

Try this in Ilocos Sur!
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For a handy infographic about these dishes, click here.

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    Cebu
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    Ilocos Sur
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    Manila
  • Go to list of Palawan resorts and hotels
    Palawan