Happy New Year, everyone!

My sister-in-law prepared this Pinoy (Filipino) street fiesta for us over the holidays, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to share with all of you a little bit about Filipino street food.

Pinoy street fiesta!
Pinoy street fiesta!


Goto with tokwa't baboy (Gruel with deep-fried tofu and pork)
Goto with tokwa’t baboy (Gruel with deep-fried tofu and pork)

Goto is basically gruel cooked with lots of ginger and tripe. The proper way to eat it is to top it with fried tofu, raw onions and spring onions, with a dash of fish sauce, soy sauce and lemon. You get a contrast of tastes with the tartness of the sauce and the blandness of the tofu and gruel, and a contrast of textures with the crunch of the tofu and onions, and the consistency of the gruel.


Sago’t gulaman, with kikiam, fishballs, and tokneneng in the background

Tokneneng is a whole hard-boiled egg wrapped in a flour and water batter with food coloring and deep-fried. You dip it in vinegar.

Fishballs are fried fish cakes, while Kikiam is made from ground meat and vegetables, spices, flour and rice, and wrapped in egg wrapper. You eat them on a stick, and dip them in either vinegar or some mixture of soy sauce and ketchup. Usually it’s the communal dip jar on the street vendor’s cart, which is probably not the most sanitary thing to do. But it tastes so good, and nobody ever dies from it!

The red-colored liquid is sago’t gulaman, a sweet drink with tapioca pearls. Served ice-cold, it’s extremely refreshing and a perfect complement to all this rich food.

The party was supposed to be just for merienda or afternoon snack. But no one can eat all this food and not be full. But Filipinos love to eat, so it’s not a problem. You just delay dinner for a couple of hours!