Also known as Barbecue isaw, grilled chicken intestine is a mainstay in the side-streets of Metro Manila. This food has been one of the famous street foods since time immemorial. According to some sources, Filipinos started to eat the innards of poultry (specifically chicken) way back during the Spanish colonial era. Spain colonized the Philippines for more than 300 years and during those days Filipinos are the lowest class in society. They are often made “alipin” or slaves and forced to work for the colonizers. When a household kills a chicken for dinner, all the good parts are consumed by the masters while the remaining parts such as innards and feet are partaken by the slaves.
Chicken intestine is grilled over charcoal and usually basted with a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, ketchup, and cooking oil. I must admit that this is a bizarre piece of stuff and people who have no idea about it would think that this is crazy. If you ask me I would say “Yes” it is crazy…definitely crazy in a good way. One would never appreciate the taste of food just by looking at it. It may look gross for some while enticing to others.
Have I mentioned that Chicken intestine is best served with vinegar mixed with chopped red onions, crushed garlic, peppercorn, soy sauce, and chili? I like mine well done so that I could feel the crunchiness while chewing. Sometimes I soak it in the vinegar mixture for about five minutes before eating to taste the wonderful flavor of the sauce. I’m really craving for Isaw ng Manok, anyone know where to get some raw chicken intestines in Chicagoland?