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!
- Looks like a traditional Filipino Paksiw na Isda (fish) but overloaded with tomatoes and spices.
- Looks like a chicken barbeque only black in color just like the Tyula itum, only dry.
- Steamed cassava and best pair with any grilled fish or chicken (sinugba)
- 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)