On the streets of Cebu City, strangers share bubbling woks of pork brain gravy.
Tuslob buwa is a popular Filipino street food found in the Pasil neighborhood of Cebu City. Its chief ingredients are pork liver and brain, which get sautéed with garlic, onions, shrimp paste, and chilis. Cooks fry everything up with oil or lard, which gives the dish a greasier consistency, and sometimes soy sauce for extra flavor. The mixture starts out as a watery stock, but changes into a thick, bubbly stew the longer it stays over the fire.
The name roughly translates to “dip in bubbles,” a reference to its consistency and a hint on how to enjoy it. Diners dip pusô, or hanging rice (cooked rice wrapped around coconut or pandan leaves), into the thick and bubbly froth and pop the salty, greasy pieces into their mouths. Sodas, such as Coke, Sprite, and Mountain Dew, are common refreshing chasers.
Tuslob buwa is cheap: You will pay only for the hanging rice, which is around 5.00 Philippine pesos per piece. Served from a street cart in a large, bubbling wok, it is meant to be shared among friends and strangers. If you’d rather have a serving all to yourself, you’ll have to go to a restaurant.
Where to Try It
Pasil Fish MarketBrgy. San Nicolas (Spolarium Street), Cebu City, 6000, Philippines
Check the streets surrounding the wet market for tuslob buwa vendors.