Craving: Street Food

Isaw. Fishball. Siomai. Halo-Halo. Biko. Puto. Suman. Green mangoes with sauteed shrimp paste and because Christmas is just around the corner, the purple rice cake with coconut shavings, sugar and cheese cooked in a tiny cylindrical container over fire…puto bumbong, so tempted to have it… but not here in Australia.


One thing I missed the most is the Filipino Street food.

Living in a country where thousands of vendors flock every corner of the street, it is far cry from the highly organised roads in Oz. Philippines, a group of island or an archipelago has a lot of influence from a couple of countries that invaded it hundreds of years ago. Spaniards, Chinese, Japanese and Americans contributed to this wide array of food we prepare, from the way it’s cooked to the ingredients we put in; but Filipinos are creative and resourceful. Pinoys found the most bizarre parts of chicken and pigs useful. The head, intestines, ears, and even feet of a chicken can be thrown in the grill and sold at the streets. And yes, I enjoyed eating these stuff. Who wouldn’t like to eat the grilled crunchy pig’s ears? And the mouth watering taste of ┬áduck’s fertilised egg…yummy!!

Spending my 28 years in the Philippines, street food has been a part of my DNA. I enjoy eating isaw with my friends and had grown up with afternoon snack which I buy at my grandmother’s store out in the streets. There’s boiled sweet corn, rice cakes and halo-halo during summer. Meryenda or afternoon tea/snacks is part of a Pinoy meal. Children from school come home with meryenda or just buy some as they walk pass the street vendors on their way home. Easy food – cheap and yummy.

With that culture I grew up with, I still cook meryenda / street food here in Australia, though it’difficult to buy chicken feet at the grocery. And there’s no market or palengke here. They have occasional weekend market that sells all veggies and asian veggies, but hardly or not the things we see in our palengke. Australia has strict rules in food preparation and consumption, and street food is not in their culture either.

I guess, I’m just craving puto bumbong at the moment.