Street food is ready-to-eat food sold by vendors or hawkers on the streets of many major cities around the world. These types of food are typically served in mobile food booths.
People may be familiar with the hawker stalls in Singapore, street side food in Hong Kong, and the night markets in Taiwan. Cebu City also has its version of street food sold in nearly all major streets around the city. The following are some of the more popular street food sold in the Queen City of the South.
Fish ball and Tempura
Fish ball and tempura balls are one of the most popular street food in the city. Carts or stalls selling these types of street food are found outside schools and establishments in the city. Cheap and somewhat filling, they are typically served with sweet and sour sauce and vinegar filled with just about any spice you can think of. These are normally cooked in hot oil and served on a small stick.
The sudden popularity of the Siomai sa Tisa may have fueled the increase in the number of siomai vendors in the city. This delectable Chinese-inspired dish is eaten with chili-garlic sauce and paired with puso. The Siomai sa Tisa started when Julie and Elmer Parba sold their products through the halo-halo stall of Jeffrey Quillosa. Within six months, it gained a huge following among Cebuanos around the city. In fact, this dish became so popular that vendors claim they are selling the same siomai made by the Parbas. Today, “D’ Original Siomai sa Tisa” is sold in stalls around the city.
Balut is a fertilized duck’s egg that is boiled and eaten straight from the shell. While it is popular in a number of Asian countries, it is not quite as enticing among Westerners. In fact, there was once an episode of Fear Factor where participants were given three minutes to eat two baluts. The balut is typically sold at night and comes in different varieties depending on how developed the chick is.
“No man in the world has more courage than the man who can stop after eating one peanut. “ - Channing Pollock
What Channing Pollock said sums it all. To paraphrase the original slogan of a popular snack chip, “Once you crack you can’t stop.” The number of peanut vendors is only rivaled by the number of fish ball vendors in the city. Peanuts are either boiled in water or cooked in hot oil. These cheap ready-to-eat treats can be eaten at any time of the day.
Bananas are good sources of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for brain development. In fact, it is a good source of potassium, which helps athletes avoid getting muscle cramps in competitions. The banana sold as street food in Cebu are deep fried and coated with brown sugar. The cooked bananas are sold as either banana cue or pinaypay. People looking for a quick snack are the typical patrons of this cheap and delicious treat.
The most common street food in the city of Cebu is the barbecue. It can be found in nearly all corners in the city and more stalls are sprouting every month. This street food knows no boundaries as it is popular among all walks of life. It is eaten together with puso or rice, depending on where it is sold. The most famous barbecue place in the Queen City of the South is Larsian. The place is home to numerous stalls offering basically the same products. It has also become a tourist attraction where local and foreign visitors normally drop by when they visit Cebu City.
Cebu can be considered a haven for food lovers. All you have to do is try to get out of your comfort zone and explore the different food items sold in the streets of the Queen City of the South. What is your favorite street food in Cebu? Tell us about it on the comments section below.
Lola Pureza's Peanut Browas, a taste of old Cebu.
Available in leading supermarkets and pasalubong shops.