Living in Echaves Street, Cebu City, I always pass by Azul Cebu when going home or going to work. They used to be a convenience store with a little space outside where people can sit and bond as they drink beer from the store. But a few months ago, they began selling tuslob buwa—a local delicacy here in Cebu City—and with that, the place suddenly became too crowded with people craving for and wanting to try tuslob buwa, and this happens regardless what time of the day it is.
What Is Tuslob Buwa?
The name tuslob buwa is derived from two Bisaya words: tuslob, which means “to dip,” and buwa, a mutated form of the word bula, which means “bubbles.” The name roughly translates “to dip in bubbles,” in English. But why is this? Certainly because of how it looks and how the food is eaten.
The ingredients for a traditional tuslob buwa includes spices, pork liver, other aromatic flavorings, and pig’s brain. It is prepared quite in different ways, but the best known one is sautéing the liver, adding the spices and the aromatic flavorings, and adding the pig’s brain to make a broth, and bringing it to boil till it bubbles—which means it is ready! After that, you dip pusó (it’s another Cebuano staple; you’ll also know what it is later on)into it. That’s pretty much it. It is more enjoyable than it sounds.
Azul’s Tuslob Buwa
In Azul, however, they have quite a different tuslob buwa. Their set includes a broth with pig’s brain in it (or so we are told), a saucer of ground pork liver, a saucer of shrimp, and a saucer of minced white onions; along with these is a set of twelve pusós. This costs ninety-nine pesos (99.00 PHP).
They will provide a butane-powered stove and a deep frying pan where you will cook your own tuslob buwa. Basically, you sauté the white onions and add in the other ingredients, making sure the pig’s brain broth comes in last, add soy sauce to taste and bring the mixture to boil till bubbles appear, and your tuslob buwa is set. You can now dip your pusó into it and enjoy.
What’s the Difference?
I was told that the traditional tuslob buwa isn’t supposed to have shrimp, so I guess it tasted differently. If you want to try traditional tuslob buwa when you come here to Cebu City, then, Pasil and Carbon are the places you should visit. I, myself, have not tried that as there are some sanitary issues with those areas. So if I were to choose between traditional flavor and sanitation, I’d choose the latter.
However, Azul’s tuslob buwa is not that bad. I actually enjoyed it, and I am sure to be going back there with friends. It is actually a good experience that you should try too if you haven’t already.
Things to Remember
- Azul is a very crowded place, because of this sudden hype in their tuslob buwa so make sure that you do not leave your things unattended.
- Take a bottle of alcohol, sanitary gel, and/or (wet) tissue with you when you go there as things can be pretty messy, and they do not have a decent wash area for customers.
- As mentioned, it is a pretty crowded place, so you may have to line up before you can get your set of ingredients, and sometimes, there are no stove available due to the number of patrons. With this in mind, it is best to be there a little bit earlier.
- You also do not have to dress up for this since the place is just along the street. We went there totally in our “home clothes.” Unless you want all the attention from all the people there, then, by all means dress up like you are going to a party!