9 of the Best and Weirdest Exotic Food in the Philippines

9 of the Best and Weirdest Exotic Food in the Philippines
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There is a long list of exotic food in the Philippines. Some are popular worldwide that even big reality shows, such as the “Survivor”, use these in their ultimate challenges. But there are less popular dishes that many locals and tourists love as well. 

Yes, these exotic foods are weird and strange. Some Filipinos and tourists even say that these are gut-wrenching dishes. But for those who want to enjoy a different culinary adventure, these foods are certainly gratifying.

Know why by discovering the best exotic foods that the Philippines has to offer. 

1. Balut

Image by vannari

This is probably the most popular exotic food in the country and its popularity has certainly reached the global scale. Balut is boiled fertilized duck eggs that are commonly sold on the streets at night.

They are often marked with numbers that indicate the incubation age of the egg according to days. This means choosing a higher number gives you a more developed duck embryo inside the egg.

2. Tamilok

Image by tarayap.ph

Simply put, tamilok is a woodworm that lives in branches or trunks of mangrove trees as well as in driftwoods. However, truth be told, this worm isn’t really a worm but a mollusk that lives in wood.

Locals of Palawan and Agusan love eating this squirmy dish in a very strange way. Yes, tamilok is popular as fried or grilled variations in restaurants. But traditionally, locals simply pull them out from the wood, dip them in spicy vinegar, and are eaten without cooking. You surely need a very strong will for that!

3. Abuos


Another exotic food in the Philippines belongs to the caviar class. But Abuos of the Ilocanos isn’t the typical one from fishes. This dish circles on ant eggs that are cooked with garlic in a pan. And as you expect, it brings a rich crunchy and chewy texture in the mouth.

4. Dinuguan

lutong bahay dinuguan 3

This is a popular Filipino stew which is black in color and is often served in occasions such as fiestas. Dinuguan is made from pork blood mixed with pork or beef meat and offal, which is great since many Filipino dishes use pork. This keeps pig innards and blood from simply going to waste especially when cooking lechon.

5. Uok and Salagubang

Image by Neil Vujielob Calucag

Salagubang means beetle in Filipino and uok is the beetle larvae that is usually found in rotten coconut wood. Locals in Rizal and Nueva Ecija provinces love cooking them through adobo style or by grilling. And these are often served with alcoholic drinks too.

6. Ginataang Kuhol

lutong bahay recipe - ginataang kuhol

Ginataang Kuhol is a dish served in many farm fields in the Philippines. “Ginataan” refers to the cooking process that uses “gata” or coconut milk, and “Kuhol” literally means small snail.

Usually, farmers consider snails as pests to their crops. That is why they intentionally collect them for better harvest. But instead of throwing the snails away, they cook it in coconut milk. Then, the real fun starts when eating the Kuhol because it is so challenging to get the meat out of the shell. You need to hit the rear part of the shell, then suck the meat out of it to enjoy.

7. Bat Stew

Image by staffvirtual

Some caves of Batangas and Davao house a few species of bats or paniki in the Philippines. And yes, bat stew is an actual exotic food in the Philippines regardless of how some people associate bats to vampires and other folktales.

Locals treat them as chickens in the cave because of its taste. You can eat almost all parts of a bat as well; similar to a chicken. You only need to remove its skin and glands to get rid of the foul odor, then put some spices for a great stew.

8. Soup Number 5


Soup Number 5 can’t be missing in any list of exotic Filipino food. Simply put, it is the penis and testicles of a bull in a hot soup. Some variations include the throat of the bull too.

And as one would expect with the interesting Southeast Asian culture, Filipinos see Soup Number 5 as a great aphrodisiacs meal.

9. Tuslob-Buwa

Image by wanderfulltwogether

Surely, this is one of the most challenging dishes in the Filipino cuisine. It is not because of the cooking method or the eating inconvenience. But it is with your willingness to actually eat pig’s brain.

Tuslob-buwa directly translates to “dip in bubbles” since the dish looks like a bubbly soup. It is cooking pork brain and liver together, along with soy sauce and other spices. It is commonly served with “puso” or Filipino rice balls too. Yes, this exotic food in the Philippines may look gross, but it is actually a very flavorful dish and the brain simply feels like scrambled eggs.

Unique Culinary Experience with the Best Exotic Food in the Philippines

These dishes may sound weird and strange, but these are some of the best Filipino food that you must try. Pick one of the best exotic foods in the Philippines, and accept the challenge to enjoy a great experience today!


Looking for other Lutong Bahay Recipes to try on? Feel free to check out our ulam recipes, desserts recipes and snacks recipes.

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About Lutong Bahay Recipe 739 Articles
Lutong Bahay Recipe is a website dedicated in introducing different dishes in the Filipino Cuisine to the world. We feature various recipes like meals and snacks, which you can cook right at your own home. In fact, the term “lutong-bahay or lutong bahay” translates to “Home cooked”, and the site aims to help you with that. Filipino, Asian or not, you’re welcome to browse through the site for the best and popular Filipino dishes. Get the recipes you want, so you and your companions could have a great time on the table.

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