Isaw Afternoon Escapade

isawIsaw is one of the popular street foods here in the Philippines. It’s basically the intestine of the pig or chicken which is thoroughly cleaned inside out several times before it is cooked over an open charcoal flame and slathered with sauce that is primarily made out of ketchup, soy sauce, and seasoning. In some instances, the intestines are first boiled to make sure that they are really clean before they are grilled.

Four of my friends—Komi, Jessie, Blue, and Jay—and I decided to head over to this isaw kiosk located in front of the church inside Pilar Village for an afternoon snack. Jay, who led the hungry pack, told us that this is the best place to have isaw. It didn’t take long for us to make our way from Alabang to Pilar. As soon as we got out of the car, the smell of the isaw cooking on the grill which was ordered by the other customers caused my stomach to make some funny noises. Without much of even a second thought, Jay reached his hand into the Tupperware container where the isaw was hiding and pulled out literally a handful of isaw and placed it on the grill.

man cooking isaw on the barbecue grill

Jay's order (right side) and our orders (left side) on the grill

“Is that for all of us?” I just had to ask him.

“No, that’s just for me,” he told me.

I tried my best not to show my shock when he answered. I knew that he loved isaw, but I never knew he could eat so much! The picture on the right will give you pretty much an idea of just how much isaw he got.

For a place to have isaw, this was pretty fancy. The closest that would come close to this is the one that I frequent right across the market in BF Homes. Usually, isaw and a bunch of other grilled street foods are sold in a makeshift stall that is composed of nothing more than just the grill and a table where the different delicious stuff are stored in plastic containers. In this case, we had seats, tables, and they even serve rice, much to the delight of the two boys with us.

barbecue skewers

The Aftermath

Our orders came within just a few minutes. Isaw is often eaten with a dipping sauce made out of vinegar, onions, and seasoned with salt and pepper. But in this stall, it’s different. The sauce that was served to us was the same sauce that good ol’ Manong used when he was grilling them.

All of us took our first bite and it was as if we died and gone to heaven. It was really good! Well, in truth, it’s really the basting sauce that makes all of the difference. But at that time, it didn’t matter.

We devoured our orders in record time. All that was left were the clean barbecue sticks, empty plates and five very satisfied people. Much as we would like to do this every day, it is just not really that advisable since isaw is known to be high in cholesterol. In fact, on our way back, Jay had to buy two cans of Pineapple Juice to keep his cholesterol levels in check. Still, I’m really looking forward to our next trip back there. My mouth’s watering again just thinking about it.

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