If you ever get a chance to travel to Cebu, one popular dish that you shouldn’t miss out on is ngohiong (pronounced as “ngo-yong”). Derived from the Hokkien ngo hiang (五香), a sausage-shaped fried meat roll wrapped around with a crisp bean curd skin, ngohiong is a regional variant created by immigrants who had come from Fujian. Those unfamiliar with it would liken it to the more widely recognized spring roll or lumpia.
Known to be a favorite among the local Chinese and Filipino communities, ngohiong is a golden brown crunchy delight: a savory mixture of julienned ubod (heart of palm), singkamas (jicama), ground pork, minced onion and garlic, and five-spice powder all wrapped together by battered rice paper. The fried rolls are typically dipped in a spicy chili-soy sauce combination and served alongside puso, another Cebuano delicacy also otherwise known as “hanging rice.”
Cheap and delicious, ngohiong can be found in street stalls and eateries spread out all across Cebu. Here are five places to get your ngohiong fix!
1) Doming’s Ngohiong
Address: #25 Fairlane Village Road, Guadalupe, Cebu City (Original)
Cebuanos agree that Doming’s is definitely one of the best places to get some great crispy ngohiong! Established in the 1960s, this home-based business tends to run out of stock by 1 p.m. Doming’s version of the dish has proven itself to be a time-tested favorite among locals.
Doming’s also now serves customers at Door #1 G/F Pacific Tourist Inn, M. Gotianuy bldg. V. Gullas corner, Balintawak St. 6000 Cebu City, Philippines.
Source: Doming’s Ngohiong Food Corporation Facebook page
2) Ngohiong Express
Addresses: V Rama Ave, Cebu City; J. Luna Avenue, Cebu City
Ngohiong Express is a Cebu-grown fast-food franchise serving not only ngohiong but also other local favorites such as siomai, tempura, and all-day breakfast silog. Open for 24/7, Ngohiong Express is sure to always be there to satisfy your Cebuano street food cravings.
Source: Ngohiong Express Facebook page
3) TJRB’s Ngohiong
Address: Gen. Maxilom Ave, Cebu City (Across the old Sacred Heart School for Boys campus)
Known for their mostly greaseless ngohiong, TJRB’s special recipe has established a large and loyal following among the Cebu crowd, making the small eatery often jam-packed with lunchtime crowds. This is because the unique but delicious taste of TJRB’s often makes for a satisfying meal, even without the use of the sauce!
Source: Off-Duty Mama
4) Ho Ngohiong
Addresses: QS Plaza, Gov. M. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City; 466 Katipunan St, Cebu City
Ho Ngohiong, named with the Hokkien word ho for “good,” is another chain of eateries that provides a delicious and non-greasy recipe. Owned by the Bernardo Siblings, Ho Ngohiong not only serves the dish it was named for but also a variety of other well-loved snacks, including cheese tofu, lobster balls, and barbecue among others.
Source: Ho Ngohiong Facebook page
5) Golden Cowrie/Hukad sa Golden Cowrie
Addresses: 42 Salinas Drive, Cebu City (Original); Level 2, The Terraces | Ayala Center, Philippines
Compared to the other places on this list, Golden Cowrie is a casual Filipino restaurant chain that offers a more comfortable albeit pricier ngohiong experience among other items on its large menu. While ngohiong is not often served in restaurants due to its street food status, Golden Cowrie competes with other ngohiong eateries with a dish that lacks neither flavor nor authenticity.
Source: Hukad – Golden Cowrie Facebook page