Exotic food items are culinary items considered to be unusual, innovative or even taboo based on the perspective of one’s native culture. Cebu has its share of exotic food and one that stands out the most is “tuslob buwa.”
Tuslob buwa is a Cebuano term for an exotic street food sold in the barangay Pasil and Ermita. The literal meaning of tuslob buwa is “to dip into bubbles.” This dish is uniquely Cebuano and has become a good source of income for some enterprising individuals some of whom have already been in the business for at least fifteen years.
The ingredients of the dish are quite simple and it is easy to prepare. Its ingredients are pig brain, pork liver or pork intestines. It also requires soy sauce, oil, onions and other seasoning. The first thing to do is to boil the pig brain or liver before mixing it with the other ingredients. The mixture is then stir fried until it is cooked before being transferred into a bowl.
Some vendors have a heated work ready for use when they go out into the streets. Once customers start to gather, they simply put in oil and some of the mixture into the heated wok and wait for bubbles or the “buwa” to form. While some vendors serve the heated mixture on a plate for their customers, some customers opt to dip their puso or hanging rang straight into the wok with the mixture. The “buwa” in the wok is typically served for free and customers only have to pay for the puso, which costs P 3 each. But if it is served on a plate, it typically costs P10.
Tuslob buwa has gradually increased in popularity up to a point that some business-minded individuals have set up their own tuslob buwa businesses. One notable tuslob buwa outlet is Azul along Gorordo Avenue. Azul is owned by Ian Sekong, an entrepreneur and musician. The tuslob buwa at Azul is based on the personal taste of Sekong, who applied some innovations into the recipe.
Whether it is sold along the streets of Pasil and Ermita or at outlets like Azul, tuslob buwa has definitely piqued the interest of the discriminating Cebuano.
Lola Pureza's Peanut Browas, a taste of old Cebu.
Available in leading supermarkets and pasalubong shops.