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Tawi Tawi's Common Local and Exotic Foods





After a tiring trip around the island of Bongao, it was time to please my growling tummy and give in to my wondering sensitive taste buds for some local food and exotic delicacies from Tawi Tawi.

My lunch was hosted by the staff of Tawi Tawi’s Vice Governor.  I was served  with five types of unfamiliar and exotic dishes but enough to gratify my longing to have a taste of a local Halal prepared food.

Syagul (Php 30.00)

A very spicy and tasty meat of stingray cooked with coconut milk then added with burned coconut grated meat that gave the sauce its olive like color. Since I am a seafood fanatic, I almost finished the whole thing! This is a must try on your visit.

Guso (Php 15.00)

This particular seaweed or agar agar as others call  it, is very much common in the coastal waters of Visayas and Mindanao. The only difference is that, instead of serving it fresh garnished with onion, tomatoes and vinegar, the Tawi Tawinians blanch the seaweeds then added with little soy sauce and some spices like ginger, onions , giving it a yellowish color.

Syanglag (Php 5.00)

A simple roasted  grated cassava as alternative for rice as chief source of carbohydrates. Since the islands are not blessed with much land to till for rice cultivation, the mountains are planted with cassava and sweet potatoes and other root crops as main source of energy among the locals. A cup wasn't enough for me to keep me off from the table , so another half maybe. Yum! Yum!

Utak Utak (Php 10.00)

Beware!This is the only dish that put my mouth on fire , almost literally. This must have been the spiciest dish I have ever tried. It was a patty of fish with tons of spices, mixed with beaten eggs,  rolled in  flour, then deep fried.I must have hated this dish as I forgot to take a good picture.

Tyula Itum (Php 30.00)



Tyula itum is somehow the 'Bulalo' equivalent  of Tawi Tawi only it has a very spicy soup on it. It is beef with broth mixed with burned grated coconut meat giving it a blackish color. It may not look appetizing for some , but it taste way better than your regular meal in town. Suggestion,you have to consume it while it is still warm as unsaturated fats or grease starts to form when temperature drops. Did I say this is their pride specialty?



Where to Buy?

You can actually request for these dishes in your resort hotels but more expensive.These are much available in the common stores/carinderia particularly in Sukuran Street in Bongao with the prices given above.There are more to choose from but since I wasn't a big fan of very spicy food , I will forever stick with Syagul. Maybe soon or on my next visit after I have calibrated my taste bud , I will storm these stores and try everything on their menu. Chao!

Must Try!

Pyalam

  • Looks like a traditional Filipino Paksiw na Isda (fish) but overloaded with tomatoes and spices.


Chicken Pyanggang

  • Looks like a chicken barbeque only black in color just like the Tyula itum, only dry.


Pyuto

  • Steamed cassava and best pair with any grilled fish or chicken (sinugba)


Jintan

  • Is a native island made cookie rolled in a mixture of powdered milk and sugar.

For my adventure in Tawi-Tawi visit this link ---> (click here)




24 comments :

  1. those are indeed exotics foods! wanted to try that seaweeds too! and the stingray! xx

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  2. I actually see myself eating the Utak-Utak, as I love spicy food. Unless of course, I don't get an allergic reaction from that specific fish. Nonetheless, your food trip was so affordable!

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  3. Looks really exotic but it would be nice to try it out. I once ate a cooked black spider in Cambodia and it tasted like a hairy squid.

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  4. Rochkirstin SantosJanuary 26, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Ohh all those food look appetizing! Filipino cuisine has not been discovered by many foreigners. I'm sure many will be thrilled to try our dishes and I guess there will come a time when we find our cuisine to be the belle of the ball, the best kept secret of Asia. :D

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  5. Torn between I would either taste it or just look and just capture it .. What would you recommend to have the best taste, and really a must try among all the recipes above?

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  6. I love Mindanao and keep on writing everyday I appreciate the beauty of this place in our country that i still fear visiting besides Davao.

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  7. This blog makes me hungry. I'm so happy to learn that we have these kinds of foods in the Philippines. Thanks for the tasty pictures!

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  8. my mom knows those stuff.. I remember when she saw a photo of a stingray online and she said that it tastes awesome!

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  9. Its exotic yet affordable contradicting to my first impression that anything exotic is expensive. I'll ask my mom if she had tried them on her last visit.

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  10. I am very much amazed at the fact that though they can't till rice, they have a land that can produce crops that will supply their needs for carbohydrates. That's a living proof that in the Philippines, you will never go hungry if you are resourceful and industrious.

    I would love to have Syagul when I get there.

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  11. Exotic nga ang foods but yung guso, familiar dish din sa province ng lolo ko. I like to try yung Syagul, basta may gata oks sa akin kahit spicy pa.

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  12. the only thing I can say is... the prices of the food are great... that's what you call... presyong pang-masa... masa, hindi yung mga nakakotse ha... LOL

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  13. I hope they can be available in Manila stores soon. They look very appetizing! :)

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  14. All are delectable food. And the photos are great...nakakagutom tuloy. Super love the guso.

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  15. One thing I observed the price were really cheap how I wish ganyan din prices dito. I admire your being adventurous in trying unfamiliar dishes and its good you made good description of the dishes so now I know what to try or not when I have a chance to visit Tawi Tawi

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  16. I've never tried exotic food dishes talaga.. I don't think I can stand them. Pero maybe I can give it a try esp adter seeing the photos..

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  17. Syanglag sounds "sinangag". Chicken Pyanggang made me curious, a black chicken barbeque. I find this post very Filipino. Thanks Love Mindanao. =)

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  18. what a very cheap price.. I think this food is really perfect for inuman session.

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  19. I've had guso, but I think the stingray looks really exotic! I don't know if it's available in Manila, but I am sure it would be very expensive here.

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  20. Looks like an interesting group of foods. I want to try Syanglang

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  21. Hmmm... Im very familiar with agar-agar and i like it. We also have that as Ilokano. But the others, i may have to think several times muna before eating them. Haha!

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  22. Guso I'm very familiar with. The rest I don't know.


    http://www.mommyhopeful.info

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  23. I'm not familiar with these dishes, but I'd love to try this some time :) Hopefully I can visit Tawi-Tawi and immerse myself in their culture and cuisine.

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  24. Maranaos called the burned grated coconut meat with spices "palapa". I love eating this with anything grilled or fried. <3

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