Isaw ng Manok (Grilled Chicken Intestine)


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, pepper corn, 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?


  1. …. well … maybe not the feathers :-)

  2. ” 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 ..” All the Chicken is used like everything of the porc is used in Spain,France,Belgium .. and the Phillipienes , it has nothing to do with good or bad parts .There is no bad part of the animal .. only a bad cook.
    In France they sing : “du museau √† la queue, tout du porc est bien” ( from nose to tail, everything is delicious from a pig)

  3. gemmarie recto says:

    wow this is what i want for merienda.

  4. sheila says:

    do you have the quantities of the ingredients for the basting sauce for the isaw ng manok?

  5. Mariel Jones says:

    OMG!!! Thank you thank you for this…I MISSSSSSSS this ISAW back home…..this is my favorite street food back in Manila and I soooooo miss eating this on the street. Thank you so much for doing this at least I can try this at home here in US. All the best on this site…You’re great

  6. do oyu have a specific butcher or poultry man that you get your ingredients from? when i first moved to Philly, we found an “old meat market” . In making friends with the butcher and poultry guys, we were able to get items that they normally would not have even considered selling, but if they could get it, it was considered a special order. They found it weird, but in time and after much coaxing, and my mothers lengua estofado, it wasnt hard to get them to make a few calls. Most butchers that sell in the old meat markets get their stuff from the farmers themselves, well most of them. Try and find a wholesaler or the nearest slaughter house in your area. A special trip here and there wont hurt. Hope this helps.

  7. ummm yummy…..where can i find isaw sa dubai? i tried na sa lahat ng filipino supermarket i cant find eh.

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