Saturday, September 12, 2009


Chicken Isaw

Are you game for another exotic food? Better get ready for this delicacy to grace your guts! (No pun intended!)

Isaw is an exotic street food that you will most likely see being sold on sidewalks or street corners here in the Philippines. It is made from grilled pig or chicken intestines. Yes, intestines! Guts! Isaw is prepared by cleaning the intestines by turning them inside out repeatedly until they are free from dirt (umm, do I need to elaborate on what you can find inside intestines?). The intestines are then boiled and grilled or immediately grilled usually on bamboo skewers. Once cooked, isaw is then dipped in spicy vinegar or other variants of spicy sauce.

For some of you who are not fans of exotic food (and don’t have the guts to try them out), isaw may seem like an icky kind of food to try out. Well I believe it is indeed not good to eat IF it is not prepared well. Isaw if not cleaned and cooked properly may cause harmful diseases. Harmful bacteria may live inside the intestines and you might be able to ingest them if the isaw is not clean.

How would you know if isaw is safe to eat? I don’t really know but I think it is best when you can see or touch the isaw before it is set on the grill. I think isaw is on the “safe” side if it had been boiled before being skewered and grilled. The insides of raw isaw that is immediately grilled will not be cooked well even if the outer surface is already burnt.

I had the privilege to eat “safe” isaw way back when we used to have a neighbor who grilled barbecue and isaw at dusk. He boiled the isaw before putting them on sticks! I preferred to have my isaw grilled to a crisp and somehow charred but then I didn’t have them burnt because burnt food has carcinogens!

Anyway, since there had been warnings of the health risks of exotic food, my advice is that if you are really game to try them out, you should just be prepared of the worst that could happen. If you have the opportunity to check out how the food is prepared, the better.

One more thing with exotic food; no guts, no glory!

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1 comment:

Mom said...

I'm not generally shy about trying new things. However, I draw the line at intestines. I don't think I could stomach it.

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