14 Mar2008

Fishy Fridays…

by Marketman


In this day and age, not eating meat on a Wednesday, Friday or any other day, theoretically to suffer, is actually a more extravagant practice than it was ever meant to be. With our reefs depleted, oceans overfished and merchants opportunistic as ever, the laws of supply and demand mean that some varieties of fish/seafood actually cost more per kilo than chicken, pork or beef. Besides, the church no longer requires folks to give up meat on any day of the year, it merely suggests some form of reduced intake of stuff you like to remind you of how lucky you are otherwise (or at least that is Marketman’s interpretation…). Besides, if I gave up 1,000 calories a day for the entire lenten period, I would lose some 15 pounds, and that is something I want badly, so will I have done something good for mankind or simply for my bulging mid-section? I say this as it is Friday and true to tradition, the crew has laid out only fish for the day… I started off with a breakfast of fried danggit I brought from Cebu (PHP490 a kilo at the Taboan market, PHP800-900 at the airport rip-off stalls), though only a few grams goes a long way. Then for lunch we had some tortang dulong. And for dinner, some grilled tanguigue steaks.


Even at the provincial markets, seafood prices are astronomical and while I love my pictures of a recent market foray in Nasugbu, I was thinking of a good fat steak for dinner last Friday… Up above, a vendor weighing some alumahan for us and the crew, PHP140 a kilo I think, normally about PHP100.


I also bought some sea shrimp for PHP480 a kilo, a relative bargain from a suki when compared to another vendor in the same market trying to sell them to me for PHP650. And at those prices, make sure they remove the water before weighing!


And finally, we purchased the tail end of a smallish tanguigue, the bigger slices would be grilled, while the smaller pieces would end up in a sinigang.



  1. nikka says:

    I’m impressed that you still follow the old tradition of meat-free Fridays. I’ve been teased by friends that I’m stuck in the middle ages becasue I follow that on top of a lenten sacrifice (this year it is no red meat for the full season). I don’t know, but I like being able to do these things.

    Mar 14, 2008 | 4:08 pm


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  3. kasseopeia says:

    When I was younger, I remember mom would place tangigue on parchment or aluminum foil with slices of tomato, onion, a sprig of celery (which I hate and still do) a pat of butter and a dash of salt and pepper then grill it in the turbo broiler.

    I still make “tangigue steak” this way. Only I use a stove-top grill and a lid. Improvisation is required if one wants to eat when one lives in a dump. *lol*

    I don’t do meat-less Fridays. I do a chicken- and seafood-less Fridays. That’s deprivation enough for me.

    Mar 14, 2008 | 5:13 pm

  4. michiku says:

    we (my boyfriend and i) are also following this tradition – the meat-free fridays.

    i hope i can do something like that next year. or maybe something that will benefit others,too. and that does not include sacrificing my ipod,etc. cause that would be the “ultimate” sacrifice! really. haha. jk. but seriously, maybe.. some of my time, effort, and the blessings i received from Him. how i wish i can do something BIG like what MM did. pero sa bagay, we can still change the world by doing little things, di ba? and for those lucky enough to do ‘big things’ for others, maraming salamat sa kanila. sana, someday, maging isa tayo sa kanila :) (parang na off-topic ata ako, hehe)

    Mar 14, 2008 | 5:31 pm

  5. Homebuddy says:

    Fish be with you!
    Let us not dismiss the nutritional value of abstaining from meat and taking only fish and vegetables. It is lower in fat, rich in proteins and contains Omega fatty acid that is good for the heart and low in calories.
    Meatless Friday is actually a good thing don’t you think?
    Besides, seafood is pure enjoyment and satisfaction in itself, unless of course, your are allergic to it.
    When I fail to follow meatless Fridays, I just deprive myself some other things I love most perhaps to compensate for the ommision and make the Lenten period more penitential and meaningful, rather than eat and enjoy some wonderful and very expensive seafood, especially during Holy Week! Maybe I’m just using this as an excuse, “mea culpa”!
    Come to think of it and some food for thought to everyone, don’t most people eat fish and vegetables 7 days a week?

    Mar 14, 2008 | 8:11 pm

  6. Em Dy says:

    Me too. At home and when dining out. Here are some finds.

    Mar 14, 2008 | 8:12 pm

  7. siopao says:

    FYI, the Roman Catholic Church requires the faithful to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent and to fast (eat only one full meal for the day) on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.


    Mar 14, 2008 | 8:16 pm

  8. elaine says:

    I don’t follow tradition as I’m (no longer) Catholic(more of New Age in layman’s terms). I believe more on service to others,doing one’s best all the time and I strongly adhere to the art of being grateful..sacrifice,or fasting don’t make me a better person nor does it improve my character but does good to my waistline..just my ‘radical’, personal opinion…anyway, I’m not a seafood person, my appreciation for seafoods is quite limited… But I’m open to trying out varieties the market has to offer, provided I know what to do with it(read: a good foodblog that shares recipes:)or a good seafood cookbook). But I do love dhanggit, espada and fresh tuna and I even stand to gain weight when I eat these faves!

    Mar 14, 2008 | 8:59 pm

  9. Apicio says:

    Credit the Spaniards for successfully introducing bacalao as the fish of choice for Lenten Fridays to a sea-faring people literally swimming in fish. Much tastier and at once close to taunting this interdict against “lamang kati” are our varied species of water-fowl. Pato, bibi and itik are probably cheaper if not more easily lending themselves to savoury impenitent preparations as say most mercury laden game fish.

    Mar 14, 2008 | 10:32 pm

  10. danney says:

    I don’t follow this meatless tradition anymore. It’s “What comes out of your mouth that make a person of a lesser value and not what comes in” That’s what I believe.

    I hear people following the old lenten tradition yet cursing, bad mouthing people and worst those expletives are painful for all walks of life. Imagine children hearing those words.

    Mar 14, 2008 | 11:16 pm

  11. Maria Clara says:

    The Vatican keeps amending these doctrines to keep abreast of the age of a new millennium and the evolutionary need of mankind! Like the saying goes “it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.” I for one still observe meatless meals on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during the Lent season and meat feasting on Easter Sunday.

    Mar 15, 2008 | 12:27 am

  12. C says:

    Homebuddy says:
    Come to think of it and some food for thought to everyone, don’t most people eat fish and vegetables 7 days a week?

    I wish I did. Unfortunately, I live in the Midwest where good, fresh fish is a rarity. But if you are a fan of meat and potatoes(or bacon, or ribs)this is the place to be.

    Mar 15, 2008 | 3:11 am

  13. chunky says:

    you nailed it danney!

    Mar 15, 2008 | 2:46 pm

  14. Beth says:

    Yeah, meatless fridays during the lenten season and we do cook Bacalao once a year –during Holy week!In the absence of real Bacalao(Spanish Codfish–too expensive)we use Daing na Tursillo(less fishy than labahita).This is our family’s version of the dish.On Holy Wednesday we soak a kilo of the tursillo in water overnight to soften it up for shredding and and to make it less salty.The following day,saute lots of onions, tomatoes and garlic in olive oil colored with atsuete.Add the shredded deboned fish,cubed potatoes and garbanzos.Cook until tender then add red bell peppers and cabbage(cut into 1 inch squares)and 2 bay leaves.Season with ground black pepper and patis to taste.Before serving, drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil!We eat this from Holy Thursday to the Black Sabbath.It gets better after each reheating and it’s so yummy with hot steamed rice.Since we cook this dish just once a year, we never get tired eating it for 3 days straight!On Easter Sunday we celebrate and feast on meats!

    Mar 15, 2008 | 2:55 pm

  15. Danny B says:

    We still observe meatless Fridays. You can choose not to but you have to substitute it with another form of sacrifice for the lenten period. We observe these church traditions because, as they change throughout the year, they remind us of different aspects of our Christian faith that are worth remembering and living. We are still Catholics in our family because the Catholic church is for sinners, for people who have defects.

    Mar 15, 2008 | 3:09 pm

  16. Homebuddy says:

    C, actually what I mean by most people eating fish and vegetables everyday are the less fortunate of our filipino brothers.

    Mar 15, 2008 | 3:31 pm

  17. Homebuddy says:

    Danny B, hahaha! What do you mean by the Catholic Church is for sinners, for people who have defects? Do you mean all catholics are sinners could you qualify and not generalize please……. some people might get offended!

    Mar 15, 2008 | 3:44 pm

  18. fried-neurons says:

    I’m so glad to read your post about fish. I just came back from Buenos Aires. I never thought it was possible, but I am currently sick of steak and pork, no matter how good. LOL. So your post was perfectly timed for me. :)

    Mar 16, 2008 | 6:07 am

  19. Guia says:

    My take on Danny B’s post is that we were all born with original sin, with a hint of sarcasm on the previous reference on Danney’s commement regarding those with foul mouth. The traditions and sacrifices imposed by the church makes us stronger in spirit, and hopefully, enlightened enough to live our life for the good of mankind.

    Mar 17, 2008 | 10:16 pm

  20. Guia says:

    Opps, corrected the typo.=

    My take on Danny B’s post is that we were all born with original sin, with a hint of sarcasm on the previous reference on Danney’s comment regarding those with foul mouth. The traditions and sacrifices imposed by the church makes us stronger in spirit, and hopefully, enlightened enough to live our life for the good of mankind.

    Mar 17, 2008 | 10:17 pm

  21. Homebuddy says:

    Amen, Guia.

    Mar 17, 2008 | 10:57 pm

  22. CecileJ says:

    Spot on, Guia!

    For me, being a meat eater, giving up meat on fridays and fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday is a sacrifice I willingly make in rememberance of Jesus’ supreme sacrifice for mankind. But, just cos I forego meat does not excuse me from using foul words. I try to live my life according to the tenets of my religion but do not impose my beliefs on others nor scoff at those who do Lenten sacrifices.

    Danny B, I get your drift…

    Mar 18, 2008 | 4:39 pm


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