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Know some of the exotic dishes in the Philippines

When it comes to exotic Filipino food, the first thing that comes to the minds of everyone is always the well-known balut.

But the thing is, exotic food in the Philippines is not just about balut.

There are still a lot more in store for those who can stomach strange and unusual looking dishes.

Listed below are just some of the exotic dishes in the Philippines that are suited for those with an extensive palate.

Kamaru (Mole Crickets)

Photo courtesy: Quitoarnel

They are considered pests at the rice field because they feed on rice, grains, and leaves. In order to counter them, farmers harvest these insects and have found ingenious ways on how to eat them. Kamaru can be cooked fried or can be made into an adobo. Locals claim that these critters are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and is similar to the taste of a shrimp.


Photo courtesy: Aklan Kamera Org via Panay Directory

Usually found in the mangroves around the shores of Palawan, Tamilok is a wood worm mollusk that is one of the popular exotic Filipino dishes. No preparations are needed when you want to try Tamilok because it is best eaten when raw. Locals say that you’ll find the soft and slimy texture of the wood worm strangely satisfying.

Uok (Beetle Larvae)

Photo courtesy: David Chan via Tourist Secrets

From the fact that it is an insect may not sound very appetizing at first, but according to the locals of the Rizal province, you have to taste to believe it. Uok lives in the dead coconut logs. Natives would collect and eat them and they shared that it has an interesting texture and taste that most people would enjoy. It is also a good source of protein.

Tuslob Buwa

Photo courtesy: PepperPH

Filipinos are known to create dishes that utilize everything found in between of the snout until at the tip of the tail and Tuslob buwa is exactly just that. “Tuslob” means “dip,” and “buwa” means bubbles in Cebuano. It is a local delicacy of Cebu and is made from pig’s brain, liver, and intestines. It is considered as a Cebuano’s favorite because it actually has a delectable taste.


Photo courtesy: Mike Rivera via Window Seat PH

Abuos are actually red ant eggs. Before this dish might put you off, there are other countries and cultures as well that eat red ant eggs. People from Ilocos mentioned that this is eaten best when sautéed with garlic and tomatoes. It is known for its rich and tangy taste and is considered as a rare delicacy.


June Bug as an exotic dish is said to be the favorite of the people from Nueva Ecija.  It has the same texture and taste like Kamaru. Crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. This dish is best eaten when served with hard liquor or beer.

Salawaki (Sea Urchin)

Salawaki has a taste and texture similar to oysters. It is popular around the island of Bohol because of its tremendous availability. They are best eaten raw and is believed to be a popular aphrodisiac.

Which of these dishes are you willing to try?

TAGS: Abuos, Exotic Dishes in the Philippines, Exotic food, Filipino dishes, Kamaru, Philippines, Salagubang, Salawaki, Tamilok, tuslob-buwa cebu, Uok
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