The joy of dirty street food

March 6, 2010 at 2:14 pm Leave a comment

Manila heat has escalated to almost 35 degrees and people, left and right, are flinching with an atrocious migraine. Hunger also soars with the uncomfortable humidity thus my uncontrollable consumption of calorie-heavy food. I may have to finally succumb to the truth that even with nightly 60 minute 3.0 mph brisk walking, my goal to shed off the unwanted pounds is going down the drain—fast.

I have taken up brisk walking because jogs only cause me to throw myself on any flat surface, panting and at near pass-out state after a mere 3 minute moderate workout. My heart has remarkably weakened because of my 8 year struggle with anemia. Brisk walking is the less-pressure inducing alternative.

Dieting with much emphasis on calorie intake has been another royal pain in the ass to deal with. A fitness enthusiast of a friend advised me to eat more plant-based consumables and to completely ban starch from the meal table thus my everyday struggle to not look at a bowl of rice. And I’m miserable as fuck.

The same friend advised me that eggs won’t cause me to gain pounds and I can chow them minus the worry of ballooning to a cow. So last night, I stopped at a street stall to consume ginormous amounts of kwek-kwek.

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Kwek-kwek is quail egg/ duck egg covered in orange batter then deep friend to a crisp. A popular street food staple, it is even more drool-worthy with spiced vinegar and fresh cucumbers.

I had the “dirty” kind, the ones peddled in a greasy wooden cart manned by a sweaty stall keeper. But the vinegar sauce is pure heaven and I had to remind myself at every ungodly, sinful bite that if I don’t stop by the time I get to the 8th kwek-kwek, the cholesterol in my body will skyrocket and I am doomed.

Afterward, I decided to do my brisk walking workout at the mall and chanced upon the cleaner version of the street-based kwek-kweks. I have tried these 8-pesos more expensive kwek-kweks and I ended up screaming bloody murder with disappointment. The vinegar sauce has no personality and the dough wrapped around the egg is peppered and seasoned. There is beauty in the simplicity of the bland dough of the dirty version which works perfectly with the spiced vinegar.

Street foods should not attempt the gourmet path because it ruins its character. I still prefer the “dirty” kwek-kwek even with the possible presence of various microbes threatening a diarrhea episode. Street food is an adventure in itself and with adventure, you must welcome danger and rotten luck.

I should write a second installment of this entry. Street foods are my superheroes.

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Entry filed under: food, journals.

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