Food | Tummy Treats in Jolo, Sulu, Philippines

The Philippines is an archipelago wherein different island groups may have a surprise especially on food. Sulu archipelago, for one, has an interesting gastronomic treat. Here, I will present you some of the Tausug prepared food. It will not be a surprise if their food is compared or similar with some Malay dish as the archipelago is near Malaysia. Of course, we should not forget too that we, Filipinos, come from the Malay race. Also, the archipelago has an open trade with the nearby countries of Malaysia and Indonesia. I hope this will also catch your appetite as it did with me. ;-)

Disclaimer: I am not a food geek. I just eat. Please bear with me. :-p

Mee Goreng
First, the mee goreng. It is a Malay noodle dish that has some spices mixed with some vegetables. This is commonly known as the fried noodles. They say it is not spicy but for me, it is; or I have eaten a chili in it. hahaha However, it is oh so good.

Beef Kulma
Second, the beef kulma. The soft beef meat is cooked with spices and sauce similar with curry. This is a winner for me! I just love the spice in it that is not too strong and the softness of the beef - not gummy.

Third, the pianggang, another Tausug food. It is a grilled chicken cooked in a coconut milk. There is this subtleness on the dish. I have not thought of it cooked in coconut milk but the meat is creamy. Perhaps the milk is neutralized by the after grill effect of the meat but remains an ingredient to make the meat creamy. I hope I got it right. :-p

Tiyula Itum or Black Soup
Fourth, tiyula itum or known as the black soup. This is another Tausug dish that is either with beef or goat meat. It is a soup with some spices too. When you mix the soup, some black residue from burnt coconut will appear. They say it is spicy but not really. It tastes good!

Togue and Fish
Fifth and sixth, togue and fish. You can eat these anywhere in the country. :-p

Seventh, the satti! It is a perfect dish for breakfast! The meat is grilled, then after grilling it will be dipped on this red spicy hot thick sauce - I don't know the components of it but I am sure it is not catsup! It has rice in it which I think is cooked through coconut leaves or known as the pusò. Many associate this dish in Zamboanga, but this is a perfect satti in Jolo, Sulu. It is just really perfect!

Then, there are some snack items to choose from.

First, the apam. It is known as the Tausug pancake. It is thick and good to eat when hot.

Sticky Rice Purple Cake
Second, the purple part of sapin-sapin or the sticky rice cake.

Third, the pitis, one of my favorites! It has a sweetened desiccated coconut inside covered by a purple sticky rice.

Panganan or Unknown
Fourth, the panganan or unknown. It is not a joke, but it is for you to name the dish. It is a red bean (red mongo) cake which I think is fried because of its crispy texture. I also love this.

Punjung and Wajit
Lastly, the punjung and wajit. Do you see that conical dish at the top center? That is punjung. A snack item which is made of rice flour which is a bit sweetened cooked through steam. Unfortunately, the wajit is not opened in this photo. The big one at the center which is wrapped by a banana leaf. I also love this one; it is like the biko or the common rice cake in the Philippines yet mixed in brown and purple.

These food are really awesome! The spices... The coconut component of the dishes... The grilled food... The snack items... Everything is worthy to try and taste!

That's plenty to serve, isn't it? That's not yet all that can be tasted in Jolo, Sulu. Halal prepared food is plenty in Sulu archipelago. A lot of food that are traditionally prepared and constant to our Malay heritage.

Thanks to the sponsor of these great dishes - Kath! The work with food trip is so fun! :-)

I hope you share your story, too, here in my avenue,


  1. Dishes would be more interesting if you mentioned the prices. Salamat sa info master.

  2. Dishes would be more interesting if you mentioned the prices. Salamat sa info master.

    1. Master... got your point but it is a bit awkward to ask the prices when it is just offered to your table to eat. :-p