19 May2009


Dayap is a REALLY big deal in the Marketman household. I LOVE dayap. It is perfect in Asian style dressings with patis and chilis. I love it in a dayap pie. As a flavoring for leche flan, as a dipping condiment… etc. And it is INCREDIBLY difficult to consistently find in local groceries or markets. Several months ago, chrisb, a long-time reader of marketmanila.com and the chef behind the fantastic food at the second Marketmanila eyeball several years ago, mentioned that they had a family farm up North in Cagayan and they sometimes had dayap coming out of their eyes at the right time of the year… he asked if I would be interested in some if they sent a “shipment” down to Manila. I was so excited and of course said I would love to have some fresh dayap. Then, the other day, I got an email from chrisb that the dayap were in Manila and I could pick some up. OMG, some 30+ pieces of dayap, fresh and firm and redolent with the scent of lime… SUPERB! Thank you chrisb!


Back at home, they immediately found a home in a silver bowl, ready for a photo session. I have written about dayap before, here, and made a really delicious dayap pie a la Marketman, here. I am sure I will find enough uses for this incredible bounty of dayap. And I will save the seeds so I can try and grow more plants…


…like this one that I bought about two years ago when it was less than a foot high. Planted in a large terra cota pot, I noticed a few weeks ago that it had miraculously born some fruit. At this point, there are 6-7 pieces of fruit that are about half the size of the dayaps that Chris gave me… And I am hopeful that in a month or so I will harvest my first home grown dayap!


If there are any commercial growers out there or large scale backyard farmers, please, please, please start growing dayap in commercial quantities. Or if you are an importer of food from other Asean nations, you should consider bringing in similar limes from our neighbors… I suspect these would sell like hotcakes… :)


Chrisb, thank you for the dayap bounty. I hope you enjoy the kalamansi marmalade I “traded” for the dayap. :) And everyone out there who is seeking a personal chef to host a totally out of this world private dinner, consider contacting chrisb who can work wonders…



  1. Cecilia says:

    Yaaay, I’m first to post! … I never saw dayap when I was growing up in Cebu. I’ve always told my husband, whenever the subject of citrus comes up, that we don’t have lime in the Philippines. But we actually do. Oh, well, very nice to know. Will keep chrisb in mind for a private dinner when we visit the Philippines!

    May 19, 2009 | 4:47 pm


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  3. dishesandplaces says:

    dayap! yes, love the flavor. my mom grates the rind and puts that in her cheesecake crust. sarap!

    May 19, 2009 | 5:30 pm

  4. mbv says:

    just got mine from the supermarket for my cocktails 2nyt..mm, good luck on your harvest soon…it’s so fun harvesting your own produce :)

    May 19, 2009 | 5:50 pm

  5. chrisb says:

    You’re welcome MM and thank you for the calamansi marmalade. The dayap sure looks at home in your silver bowl!

    Btw, to maximize the amount of juice you get from dayap, cut them lenghtwise off center so you get 3 “pisngi” slices and the core- much in the same way you cut a mango (as opposed to cutting it cross wise like a lemon).

    May 19, 2009 | 5:58 pm

  6. Apicio says:

    I honestly was taken by surprise by your claim in your earlier dayap posts that our native dayap and key limes are the same. A pound of key limes in cute green netting bags from Mexico have become available in Toronto these last couple of years and although I have not made any price comparison against Persian limes and lemons which are both more readily available here, key limes are now my default cooking and serving souring agent. No side by side test against our dayap either but that’s alright since they say our smell memory is precise and enduring. Exact same flavor I’d say although I find that key limes seem a lot smaller than the average dayap from memory and easier to squeeze the juice from. A simple slice along the equator is all that is needed whereas with our dayap, it took three tangential sections (Chrisb’s pisngi) to draw as much juice as there was from the tight and hard to squeeze fruit. Maybe it has genetically gone softer since its displacement from Southeast Asia to Europe and then across the Atlantic to the Florida keys.

    May 19, 2009 | 6:19 pm

  7. chrisb says:

    Apicio, tangential sections sounds really sophisticated! haha I shall use that when describing how I cut dayap in the future.

    May 19, 2009 | 6:35 pm

  8. denise says:

    MM…we’ve had this dayap plant that was planted by my grand-uncle for almost 21 years! It’s kinda hard to propagate,hates too much water and was almost on the verge of dying when my mom was in the US..I think it came from Isabela…and whenever we need it there’s no fruit but when we don’t need it, it produces dozens! hehe

    May 19, 2009 | 7:39 pm

  9. i-Sagada says:

    in sagada, we call this citrus “peres”. most people have this plant in their backyard and there is a season when these go for 10/20 pesos per kilo. it is mostly used as a calamansi-substitute.

    haven’t seen them really sold in manila stores though. manila is still calamansi-country.

    May 19, 2009 | 8:26 pm

  10. laine says:

    dayap reminds me of vacation months in our childhood days. there are several dayap trees around and my lola use the rind with leche flan. hmmm, makes my mouth water.

    May 19, 2009 | 9:10 pm

  11. corrine says:

    MM, I also covet dayap. I have the strongest memory as a flavoring for leche flan made by my mom. It’s incredibly delicious! My mom had a dayap tree that was 5 feet high but bore us fruits through many years. We made so many glasses of juice out of it, for patis, leche flan, etc. It served as well and I am very thankful to that tree. haaay!

    This is something that should be grown commercially.

    May 19, 2009 | 9:23 pm

  12. artisan chocolatier says:

    Yehey!! Will be on the look-out for them here in Cebu. Just can’t wait to make dayap pie

    May 19, 2009 | 10:06 pm

  13. Gener says:

    DAYAP are known to be wild in nueva vizcaya, they dont plant it there, its trully the same characteristic with that found abroad, only that fruits are little bit irregular in shape. if you visit the jungle, you will found them thriving everywhere and sometimes as high as 9 mtrs! they called it DALAYAP in ilocano. the best subtitute to calamansi…try making lemonade out of it, youll love it!!

    May 19, 2009 | 10:50 pm

  14. Mila says:

    The people who run People’s Palace once said they couldn’t find the same substitute for thai limes in the Philippines, makes it harder to create Thai cuisine when one of the essential flavors is missing. I wonder why dayap isn’t grown in commercial quantities? I know Lanao del Norte has tons of calamansi groves, perhaps dayap would suit the soil/terrain there too.

    May 19, 2009 | 11:05 pm

  15. susie says:

    not so sure…is dayap and lime the same?

    May 19, 2009 | 11:18 pm

  16. joanie says:

    mmmmm…key lime pie yum!

    May 19, 2009 | 11:47 pm

  17. Lou says:

    Sure brings back memories of growing up in Bulacan! Will have to alert my mother to send me a few fruits from Manila so I can try to grow them here in BC. May your dayap trees prosper :-)

    May 20, 2009 | 2:09 am

  18. Marketman says:

    susie,, dayap is a type of lime, but most of the green looking lemons in local groceries that people think are limes are really just green lemons.

    May 20, 2009 | 5:08 am

  19. Divine G says:

    i-Sagada in our province in Tarlac, we also call it “peres” pronounced “Per-res” In my lola’s yard they have a tree and they would just pick from the tree when needed. They would use it as a souring agent when they cook “saluyot” I don’t know the name in English. They would cook the “saluyot” with string beans the long string beans, labong , grilled fish usually bangus and put “buggoong” or bagoong monamon which I think is anchovy. I can still remember the taste and smell of the dayap , nangangasim na nga ako eh! Try this MM it is the way the Ilocanos cook there veggies almost like their pinakbet but no tomatoes or the seseron or the other seasonings.

    May 20, 2009 | 6:17 am

  20. alilay says:

    last month i was craving fo ina garten’s key lime pie, found mexican key limes, but very hard to squeeze the juice out, so i went to look for a lime squeezer at K-mart,( there is a Sur La Table at the Grove near K-Mart but remember it when i am already at La Brea) Target, Ross, Vons and Food for less and can’t find any went back to the Mexican grocery and finally found one at the back of the store.

    May 20, 2009 | 8:05 am

  21. jay p says:

    dayap juice.. yummmm..

    somewhat on tangent- anyone knows how to spell “makrut”(?) and where to get it locally?

    May 20, 2009 | 10:17 am

  22. sonny sj says:

    jay p

    if you are looking for makrut plants, there are some available at the manila seedling. saw it about a week ago. the stall that sells it is located at the back of the manila seedling office – the one that sells various other herbs and garden supplies. sana may maabutan ka pa.

    May 20, 2009 | 11:18 am

  23. Marketman says:

    jay p, makrut is also known as kaffir lime, I have a couple of posts on it in the archives.

    May 20, 2009 | 12:41 pm

  24. Marketfan says:

    Have you ever tried using dayap in one of your marmalades? Will it impart a distinct flavor when added to kalamansi marmalade? I’ve come across recipes where they use at least three different citrus fruits. Problem here is where to get enough dayap to make into jams.

    May 20, 2009 | 4:46 pm

  25. marissewalangkaparis says:

    I love limes and lemons….it does a lot to food and has a tang and freshness all its own….

    May 20, 2009 | 5:15 pm

  26. kit carpio says:

    if you make kilawin, any fish. you could also include the whole dayap, even the white flesh whereby the rinds are layered. slice them thinly and include them in the kilawin like lime disk. then carefully removing the pith. they dont taste bitter at all, or use them candied for garnishing, i tried a kilawin joint in cagayan de oro where they do this. its awesome.

    May 20, 2009 | 5:36 pm

  27. susie b says:

    MM, planted a few lime trees here in Cebu when we moved back from the States. They never did well until we fenced them in and put our chickens in with the citrus trees. Now, my makrut, the lime, the lemons and the calamansi grow incredibly well. They love chicken poop!

    May 20, 2009 | 6:38 pm

  28. Gener says:

    Dayap matched exactly with the taste of any kilawin! either meat or fish or vegetable salads, you can enjoy eating it with that 150% sour,,,maasim talaga and it sometimes locked my jaws and uncontrolable mouth watering…wow talaga sa asim…

    May 20, 2009 | 7:42 pm

  29. Margarette says:

    Hubby’s family grows dayap in their yard… they have 2 trees… their relatives in Bulacan grows 5 trees I think…

    What I find weird… Father-in-law only wants to pick the fruits in the afternoon… and it can’t be picked by a woman who’s havin’ her “red letter day” or the tree will die…

    May 20, 2009 | 8:42 pm

  30. Lou says:

    Just as an aside: yesterday I met another Pinay who owns one of the local nurseries and she is growing calamansi right here in BC. Maybe dayap can grow here too, if one had a hothouse….

    May 20, 2009 | 11:48 pm

  31. sister says:

    If that is a silver bowl don’t put anything sour or salty in it or it will tarnish deeply! If it’s just a plastic “Paul Revere” bowl no harm done. Even the oil from the zest affects silver.

    May 21, 2009 | 2:38 am

  32. sister says:

    Another no-no for silver is egg, the sulphur affects the silver.

    May 21, 2009 | 2:39 am

  33. Marketman says:

    sister, limes went straight into the fridge after the photos :)

    May 21, 2009 | 11:49 am

  34. Maria Clara says:

    Zest and keep them in one serving plastic bag and freeze them. After zesting them, juice and keep the juice in ice trays and when fully frozen keep them in plastic bags. The reason being keeping them in one serving plastic bag so you thaw only one bag at a time when the need arise.

    May 22, 2009 | 8:09 am

  35. Maria Clara says:

    Sorry for posting this earlier at your previoust post. Please accept my apology.

    May 22, 2009 | 8:10 am

  36. sonny sj says:


    My mom has same rule for our dayap tree. cardinal rule no. 1: pick fruits only early in the morning or late in the afternoon. cardinal rule no. 2: use a knife or scissors to cut the fruit from the stem. simply pulling the fruit off from the stem is a big no, no.

    May 22, 2009 | 1:48 pm

  37. Franco says:

    We used to grow dayap too but they seem to have a short plant life and can be very finicky to care for which is probably why we don’t seem them too often. They make good virgin mojitos too!

    May 25, 2009 | 4:22 pm

  38. el_jefe says:

    hello market man! i have fruiting dayap trees….it really is an indispensable souring ingridient…i even squeeze dayap in my sinigang na maliputo sa miso…to give it an extra citrusy kick…when mixed with gin or vodka and soda it makes an excellent cocktail drink…i seel my dayap fruits in a local thai restaurant here in los banos….
    dayap rind is also excellent in leche flan , tocino del cielo, maja blanca , macapuno or anything with cream…the sweet scent of dayap does the dick…you can also use it as marinade for fried chicken….iced tea….tom yum…oh dayap is really so versatile!!! love it!!!! dayap is an essential part of both tagalog and capampangan cuisine….though one can hardly find dayap in the market today as in the case of calamansi which you could find almost anywhere…dayap by the way is different from lemon, kabuyaw and biasong , the popular lime in the visayas….
    market man…can i ask you a favor…can you post something about the different limes of the philippines? have you heard about ” BILOLO”? iVE heard about it through my grandmother….i was told that this lime as huge as orange is an excellent souring ingridient and is south after in their place in tanauan…however bilolo is so rare now adays and i am hoping that it is not yet extinct….
    marketman…i am a fan of your articles and i hope you could feature the novel cuisine of the provinces south of manila….perhaps laguna, batangas, cavite , quezon delis…..hope to meet you in person too…hehhe…id like to share my dayaps with you too….

    Oct 26, 2009 | 10:38 pm

  39. Nuebo Ubing says:

    anyone know how to carve and preserve some, or does anyone know anyone else who does do that?

    Dec 10, 2009 | 4:30 pm

  40. joseph says:

    hi everybody…. where can we buy the dayap fruit and also the plant?? im starting my small garden with useful plants….. right now i have calamansi, lemon and basil, m looking for dayap, sili and other herbs or plants thanks in advance…

    Jan 6, 2010 | 4:11 am

  41. oslek espaldon says:

    I have over 25 dayap trees in my small farm in Pakil, Laguna. The heat/dry stress last summer probably caused the trees to fruit like crazy! The fruits literally touch ground. I will try South Supermarket in Los Banos if they are interested to have some in their shelves.

    Oct 1, 2010 | 2:55 pm


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