Food for Thought

April 7, 2018
Around The Philippines In 12 Plates

Region VII (Central Visayas – Cebu): Ngohiong


Image by George Parilla from / (CC BY 2.0)


Everyone knows about Cebu Lechon, and everyone loves having it on special occasions with big social gatherings. But Cebu has another highly addictive delicacy for smaller occasions, or those days you dine alone (because you don’t want to share) that shouldn’t, or cannot be forgotten: Ngohiong.

This unique food that looks like a fusion of kikiam and lumpiang shanghai is a quintessential Cebuano staple street food. The oversized spring roll is named after its key ingredient: Ngo Yong (Chinese five-spice powder); mixed into its filling along with singkamas (jicama), ubod, other aromatics, and the spicy sweet & sour sauce that always accompanies it.

The unusually inviting look comes from each piece being battered and deep fried. Add up those factors and pair it with the puso (hanging rice) of Visayas, and you’ve got every Cebuano’s guilty pleasure. This is cheap, satisfying, readily available food perfect for anyone dining on a budget that proves that you don’t need to spend excessively to taste great food. Try it for yourself and find why locals come home just for it.