Recipe #15: SINABAWANG TAHONG (Mussel Soup)

When I was working in the provinces, I was surprised that not a lot of people in the Visayas and Mindanao eat tahong or mussels. Although there are fishing villages where they cultivate tahong for commercial comsumptions, some people think that tahong is dirty because they thrive in murky, muddy waters.

Another reason is probably because of the abundance of other seafoods in the provinces that’s why the humble tahong is not getting its due respect. For instance, most people would prefer talaba (oyster) over tahong.

But oysters in Manila is very expensive especially if you order it out from a fancy restaurant. I remember ordering talaba in Iloilo — a small basin full of oysters only cost 35 pesos. Super cheap, di ba?

Anyway, here’s a popular tahong dish that my family always prepares when we crave for seafood. Some call it Tinolang Tahong or Sabaw ng Tahong. There’s a term my Lola used to call this dish before, but I coudn’t remember it.

There are two version of this: one is ginisa (sauted in garlic and onion) and the other one is nilaga (stew). What I have below is ginisa because it’s more flavorful. I’ll just call this dish Sinabawang Tahong for the mean time until I remember the name. Enjoy!

Sinabawang Tahong Recipe

You will need:

  • 1 tspn cooking oil
  • 1 tspn butter (optional)
  • 1 tspn garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 kilo tahong (mussels), shells cleansed
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tspn fish sauce (patis)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vinegar

To prepare:

  1. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, saute garlic, onion, and ginger in oil and butter. When the onion becomes transluscent, add the tahong. Stir occasionally for about two minutes.
  2. Add water, patis, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Simmer until the tahong shells are open. Discard the shells that did not open. Pro tip: do not overcook the tahong! The flesh will shrink if cooked for too long.
  3. Taste the soup. Add salt, if needed.
  4. Serve with steamed rice. Eat with your hands! Preferred condiment is a mixture of white vinegar and patis.

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Back in Manila

I am surprised how many people are actually reading this blog. I really appreciate. But I guess I would appreciate it more if everyone would try a recipe or two. Then send me your comments. I love reading them!

I am still in the middle of job hunt since I got back from Iloilo, haven’t had any luck yet. Sorry, I still haven’t posted anything in a while. Anyway, my family and I are sharing recipes lately. I can’t wait to post some of them here.

But first things first. I need a job so I can buy a new computer. Right now, I’m in an Internet cafe while posting this. My old PC crashed since I left it when I went to Iloilo for work. So if you can help me get a job, I would really appreciate it. Seriously.

Again, thanks everyone. I promise I’ll update this blog really soon. Godspeed. 😉

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Recipe #14: PAKSIW NA PATA (Pork Stew in Vinegar)

This is another favorite of mine. I remember when I was younger, I always requested my lola to prepare Paksiw na Pata or Pork Stew in Vinegar every Sunday morning for lunch. Like its cousin Adobo, its base ingredient is vinegar. It is very easy to prepare. Just dump everything in and it will do its own magic.

Pork pata (leg) may take some time to cook. Turning the gas up will not make it cook faster! Simmering the pata, or any kind of meat for that matter, over low heat will make it more tender. In addition, just like what my lola‘s advice, adding a metal spoon and fork in the broth while it’s simmering may also help in making the meat tender. But trust me, it pays to be patient!

Also, some people like it sweet, some like it sour. Personally, I like it sour just like my lola‘s Paksiw na Pata. If you like it sour, remove the sugar from the list of ingredients; if you like it sweet, then don’t. In short, it’s all up to you.

Anyway, here’s the recipe for Paksiw na Pata:

Paksiw na Pata

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