isaw....fishballs....toknene or kwek kwek
Pantawid-gutom, delicacy, pasalubong, forbidden fruit, lunch–Pinoy street food is all these and more. It's what your mother tried to hide from you when you passed it on the street, and it's what probably ended up providing sustenance through hungry periods of empty wallets. Here are a few of your old-time favorites and some fresh-off-the street newbies from the entrails and innards of Quiapo, Taft Avenue and Diliman. 1. Isaw (P3 per stick) Despite horror stories of feces still stuck in these intestines, isaw remains close to the Pinoy's heart. Vendors with a conscience boil the pork and chicken intestines first before grilling them, better when slightly overcooked for that crunch and best with that perfect sawsawan made from seasoned vinegar. Can taste like chicken or pork if you close your eyes. An update to this classic is the breaded isaw, which is what it sounds like: isaw covered with breading. Not a good combination; the original is much better. 2. Fishballs (P10 for 16 to 20 pieces) Though they don't really taste like fish and they're not really balls, fishballs are still one of the best-selling kinds of street food. Made from pulverized fish meat, one could theorize that maybe all that pulverizing took out the fish taste? By itself, fishballs taste a bit bland like flour–but they come alive with the sauce. There are usually three kinds of sauce: sweet and sour, spicy sweet and sour, and seasoned vinegar–hopefully not a.k.a. Hepa A, Hepa B and Gastroenteritis. 3. Kwek kwek (P3 per piece) Kwek kwek or tokneneng are the devious little quail eggs that pack more cholesterol than the average chicken egg. They're hard to miss with that orange wrapping made from flour and orange food coloring. Douse with seasoned vinegar or the same sauces as the fishball and you've got a winner.