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Bacolod Inasal – What to Order, How to Eat

paa insal rice green plate

No tourist should leave Bacolod without having a taste of our famous chicken inasal. If you’re travelling to our city, the home of Masskara Festival, you should make it a top priority. Whether you head to Manokan Country or drop by “classier” chicken inasal restaurants like Chicken House, Chicken Deli, and Masskara Chicken,  you should never miss it.

But you should prepare yourself first. Unless you can understand Hiligaynon, our dialect in Bacolod, the chicken inasal menu could be tricky.

Here’s a guide to help you out.

What to Order

Paa: Red meat lovers this is the part for you. Paa refers to a whole chicken leg, thigh and drumstick still adjoined. It’s also my personal choice. I find it tastier and juicer compared to…

Pecho: Chicken breast. When it comes to flavor, red meat trumps white.

Pecho-pak: Chicken breast + wing. “Pak” is short for pak-pak, the dialect term for “chicken wings”. This is great choice if you want a both red and white mean in one.

Li-og: Neck. Although this is a bony part and you’ll only get a small amount of meat, you’ll get lots of juicy, flavorful chicken skin.

Isol: This is lovely. It’s none other than chicken butt. Triangular in shape, fatty and super tasty. Don’t worry. It’s clean as it’s delicious.

Atay: Liver. Marinated and grilled like chicken inasal. I’ve never been a fan of liver — grilled, fried, steamed, boiled, adobo, and even foie gras. I won’t have this unless my life is on the line. But that’s just me. I know a lot of people like “atay” and if you’re one of them, you’ll probably love this. Marinated and grilled, chicken liver inasal is probably bursting with flavor too.

Batikulon: Can you guess what this is? It’s gizzard. Unlike liver, I like this one.  It’s a little tough and chewy but that’s the way it is.

Dugo: These look like small craggy brownies on a stick. Dugo is coagulated blood and it’s cooked the same way as chicken inasal.

Tina-e: One look and you’ll know what it is. It’s intestines. I’m picky about entrails. Unless it’s charred and 100% cooked, I don’t want anything to do with it.

How to Eat

This is the fun part. How to eat chicken inasal! There’s no right or wrong way but there are factors that brings the experience up another notch.

Before your chicken inasal arrives, go ahead and prepare you “sawsawan.” Calamansi and chilies (katumbal in Hiligaynon) together with saucers are usually delivered to your table prior to the food. Bottles of sinamak (spiced vinegar made locally) and soy sauce are often provided on every table. Personally, I’m not a fan of too much spice so I skip the chilies. A mix of sinamak, soy sauce and calamansi makes the perfect sawsawan for me.

Garlic rice + more garlic if possible. Some inasal restaurants give fried garlic bits for free. All you have to do is ask for it. I love garlic and it makes chicken inasal more scrumptious. But if you’re a vampire, you can go for plain rice generously drizzled with…

Chicken oil. Pour it on your rice and mix it in until every grain is glowing orange. Sprinkle it with a small amount of salt or soy sauce to bring the flavor up another level.

Once your inasal arrives, dig in with nothing but your hands. Don’t hold back!

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