LP3 Pinoy Street Food

Summer has just about gone, and the grill has been put away. I’m hoping we will have a couple of nice weekends in the coming months to fire it up just one more time, but the way the sky looks today, grey and dreary as it is, it is already looking to be a thing of the past. We did take great advantage of the summer months, grilling as much as we can. So I’ll try to post some of the things we threw on the barbie before their memories become too clouded in this old brain of mine.
BBQ on a Stick One of the things the girls like is anything barbequed on a stick; as did I. Growing up in the Philippines, barbeque on a stick was a common street fare food. I used to look forward to trips to the movies or the park as undoubtedly we would pass by the bbq vendors along the way. The theme for the next Lasang Pinoy event is Pinoy Street Food.Lasang Pinoy is a collective effort of Filipino Bloggers to promote or reminisce about the food that we grew up with.

Living and growing up in the U.S., my children have little or no exposure to street food compared to their cousins in the Philippines and Asia. The society we live in now has gotten so germ phobic and sue crazy that street food is an imposibility. People will not buy from a common hawker because they fear it’s cleanliness and people will not dare sell food off their porches for fear of being sued or fined for not having a permit. Kids can’t even sell lemonade anymore without being subjected to legalities. Sure there is a lot to be said about the cleanliness of food casually sold by unregulated vendors, but I don’t remember ever getting sick from street food either.

I grew up before McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Jollibee and the likes littered our mountain city of Baguio. Fast foods can only be had from street vendors. On our Sunday outings to Burnham Park, I can guarantee at least one treat of either peeled and sliced green mango with bagoong, kamote que (fried sweet potato on a stick covered with carameled sugar), corniks, garlic roasted peanuts, or barbeque on a stick. If we are have been good girls and extra lucky, we may even have a scoop of ice cream!

One of my more adventurous quests for food though, was to eat at the ultimate of street food, the portable restaurants. Their proper name escapes me (so if any pinoy readers can refresh my memory, please let me know), but they are mini restaurants/cafeteria, usually set up in tents or shanties either on the outskirts of the park or the wet market. They serve home made dishes at very inexpensive prices. One of the things I used to do surrepticiously, since this was absolutely forbidden (I was only 8 or 9 yrs old), is to sneak off solo into the market place and find one of these stalls that serve arroz caldo or chicken soup with rice.
Arroz Caldo
For a mere 15 cents, you can get a hot delicious bowl of rice soup, but for an additional 10 cents, you can get a piece of chicken with your soup. Either way, with or without that piece of chicken, this was the best soup ever. A lot of the enjoyment, I’m sure, came from the “grown up” feeling I always got from sitting in a restaurant (if you can call it that), ordering on your own and paying for it yourself. After eating, I would always walk back guiltily to our house, but with that fullness in my belly that only street food can provide.

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21 comments on “LP3 Pinoy Street Food
  1. Maricel says:

    In Bulacan, another term for these informal eating places is “pondahan.”

  2. joey says:

    Hi Jmom! That arroz caldo must really hit the spot in Baguio…well, I’ll love it anywhere, hehe 🙂

    BTW, this is not the name of those little places selling the homemade food, but just a bit of trivia to make you laugh. Here in Manila, we now have these “modernized” versions, whipping out homemade “ulam”, and they are called “Jolly Jeeps”…heehee! Don’t know how the name started (Karen, help me out here!) but they are all uniform in size and shape (like a big steel box with windows)…

    Love food on sticks! If I had made it to this Lasang Pinoy Isaw would have been my entry…my favorite food on a stick 🙂

  3. grace says:

    My favorite comfort food.. can be stuffed with anything..
    BTW, link kita sa blog ko ha..

  4. thess says:

    Hi Jmom! *wave wave* sa wakas nakapag iwan din ng message, ‘been here a couple of times but the comment box was acting up…

    lugaw is one of my favorites, my lola made it simple with no meat in it..while her goto was with meat or tripe like what karen said- we call it ‘tualya’ –

    hope everything is okay with you and your family..tc! =)

  5. aleth says:

    hello madame! good morning po! i just passed by and only now read your blog on street foods… mam, 15 cents ba ika nyo one cup of arooz caldo?? teehee.. 🙂 when was that? my nanay used to cook n sell arroz caldo cum bihon back in la union – arroz caldo n pancit bihon will always be my comfort food. yummy yummy. .

  6. stef says:

    jmom, i guess besides barbecue my kids’ fave streetfood is this! i never thought of it as streetfood but your post reminded me. another lesson to teach my little ones. thanks for joining us for LP3!

  7. Lani says:

    Goto is one of my favorites,too. I grew up in Malabon at dami kainan ng goto sa amin.

    I’ve been to Baguio once and I really love the inihaw na mais. Super lambot ng corn at sweet talaga. Nilalaga muna nila ang corn before i-grill. Ginagawa ko rin ito sa bahay at talagang native corn ang gamit ko.

  8. mike mina says:

    hi jmom, i’ve just been to kai’s blog and saw arroz caldo entry there as well. hmmm . . . must try and cook this one here some time . . . thanks for dropping by my site. and yes, do visit ulit pag naka-kain ka na . . . hahaha! ciao!

  9. JMom says:

    Karen! I should have known you would be the one to clarify the differences 😀 Thanks! Reading your enumeration made me hungry too, it’s that lugaw time around here again, you know 😉 brrr!

  10. Karen says:

    I had to run and get something to it before posting this comment, hahaha!

    Lugaw is the generic term for rice gruel, whether plain or with other ingredients. Arroz caldo is what is cooked with chicken. Goto is with tripe. Darn, this enumeration makes me hungrier.

    Wonderful Lasang Pinoy 3 entry, JMom!

  11. JMom says:

    Hi CeliaK! Para nga silang carinderia. But I thought I may have heard older folks call it by another name? Hay, I better give my lola a call 🙂

    Hi Stel! thanks, she had a good b-day, my little clone 🙂 It’s finally gotten cold down here too, today was the first day the girls and I actually wore jackets again 🙁 Perfect weather for lugaw though!

  12. drstel says:

    JMommy, happy bersdey to your youngest babylove. i’m so ambivalent about their growing up: it’s great that they’re getting independent and self-assured, but it’s so sad for me as their mamalove….
    i’ve been craving lugaw because of the cold, would you believe it’s already in the 40’s here? huhuhuhuhu….Baguio is also one of the places i still dream about. thanks for the memories!

  13. celia kusinera says:

    Ahh yes, the comfort food of arroz caldo – goto – pospas – lugaw! I love this with lots of fried garlic on top and tripe as the meat in it.
    Those tented eating places is I think the turo-turo or carinderia? Are those the names you’re looking for?

  14. JMom says:

    Hi Angelbabylove! I was thinking it may have had another name, but I guess turo-turo comes close. Yes, I do consider myself lucky to have spent some of my growing up years in Baguio. I still consider it home.

    Hi Iska! o diba, perfect pag malamig ang panahon? Here too, it’s starting to get cold and time for soups again 🙂

  15. JMom says:

    Hi Ting-aling! yes, me too. We always only referred to it as lugaw. It was much later also that I heard it referred to as goto. I think what makes it different are the different toppings added to it. I’ll look forward to your version 🙂

    Hi Kai! yes, it really is a great comfort food, especially when you need something to warm you up.

    Hi Atinna! Hi Atinna! syempre no, anything with garlic is the best! 😀
    Arroz con leche pala ang tawag dun, dito sa NC, tawag nila rice pudding. When I’m feeling lazy to cook a cake or anything for dessert, rice pudding is an quick satisfying dessert 🙂

  16. iska says:

    sarap! tamang tama yan kac malamig na dito. u just gave me an idea on what to cook this weekend…

  17. dexiejane says:

    i can almost feel that warm spot on my throat. brings back memories.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hi! The portable restaurants you refer to are called “turo-turo” because you “point” to the food you want from the array of dishes on the counter. I love Baguio! You’re very lucky to grow up there, I always wanted to live there =D

    – angelbabylove.deviantart.com

  19. atinna says:

    Hello Jmomma !

    Lugaw is one of my favorites too especially with lots of toasted garlic flakes. You should try making arroz con leche – this is eaten cold though, sort of like a runny rice pudding. just cook the lugaw with milk instead of water and then add vanilla and sugar, and then when you’re about to eat it add a little heavy cream or half and half and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon powder. parang pagkain ng baby hehehe…pero masarap!

  20. Kai says:

    Lugaw is very comforting in cold Baguio. It almost always tastes better eaten there. I never pass up a chance to eat arroz caldo by the wayside in the bus terminal. Hmmm, I wanna go up there again.

    Thanks for participating in LP 3!

  21. ting-aling says:

    As soon as you mentioned arroz caldo, I remembered Goto. Goto was something I’ve never heard of in Baguio when I was young, until I went to Manila for my board exams. I still do not know what goto is made of but I will find out how to make it really soon.

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