Among the local foods most Filipinos in our company here in Sri Lanka really enjoy eating are their egg roll and fish bun. They are somehow similar to our empanada and chicken or adobo buns in the Philippines except that they have more vegetables and really spicy. Egg roll is fried like most empanada while fish bun (“malu pan” in their language) is baked like our adobo bun.
The filling of course has a lot of bird’s eye chili (its Sri Lankan) and composes mainly of vegetables (onion, garlic, potato, leeks, curry leaves, ginger, etc.), hard boiled egg and small amount of fish (tuna flakes) but has slight resemblance in taste to some of our empanadas. They usually use fish rather than meat in their filling; in fact the only meat they use as far as I know is chicken. I have yet to see pork or beef inside their rolls and buns.
Although there really are not many options, we take pleasure in having these very popular foods for our snack or “merienda” especially the egg roll.
The Sri Lankan way of eating them is by dipping it first in tomato sauce (Sri Lankan tomato sauce is a little sweet like Filipino banana catsup) before having each bite. We eat them by slathering the sauce on top before biting (like hamburger) and found it quite good and satisfying.
Eating these are even more heavenly if done while viewing these natural beauty as we do every Saturday.
For some of our Filipino colleagues who cannot handle the spiciness of these snacks (though locals say they are not spicy enough), they usually settle for sausage buns, cupcakes and chiffon cakes and sometimes donuts which are also deliciously prepared.
In the absence of burger house, pizza parlor, shawarma kiosk, “siopao” stand and the likes in the place where we reside, we have to content ourselves with egg roll, fish bun and other local baked goods. For all I know, once we leave this beautiful country, we will be missing them. :-)