25 Jan2012

Deep-fried galunggong (bodboron, marot, budloy, tamudjos or whatever they call it in your neck of the woods) served with a relish of tomatoes and bagoong alamang and some chili vinegar. The question is, how much rice would I need to eat this entire plate of fish and tomatoes… :) Fried mackerel scad is comfort food of sorts for me, a taste acquired when very young. While I have evolved to eating most of my fish just cooked, barely “opaque” as many chefs like to insist upon, there is a special place in my heart for deep fried almost dryish fish that pairs wonderfully with vinegar. These particular galunggong were extremely rotund and fat for their size. One whole fish would have made a sufficient meal, so one and half of them borders on overdoing it…

The tomato relish, made with “native tomatoes” with paper thin skins and fully ripened, chopped up and mixed with bagoong alamang (fermented shrimp paste) is the accompaniment that really ups the ante… I have written about galunggong before, here and here, and though I don’t seek it out as often as I used to… it tastes just as good as I remember it from childhood. :)



  1. Bubut says:

    wow, nakakagutom…lunch time pa naman. thanks for the wonderful photos of galunggong..

    Jan 25, 2012 | 12:03 pm


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  3. natie says:

    Goes well with plenty of steamed rice!! I love the crispy, deep fried ones too!

    Jan 25, 2012 | 12:09 pm

  4. Ed B. says:

    Add a bit of talbos ng kamote to that relish and you can do without the rice. My favorite way of cooking galunggong is paksiw and then frying it the next day. You get the texture of fried galunggong with a hint of sourness infused into the fish. Yum! :D

    Jan 25, 2012 | 12:13 pm

  5. Amy says:

    Hi MM, I’m a big fan. I’d been lurking at your blogs for quite a while, and I find your topics both educational and interesting. I thought now is a good time to come out and thank you for the work you do, you are very much appreciated, thank you! About the galunggong paired with kamatis with bagoong, truly brings back memories of my childhood too. Sometimes I like adding chopped cilantro to the mix and use spicy bagoong to give it some kick as I like my food hot and spicy. Your blog is very entertaining, congratulations!

    Jan 25, 2012 | 12:23 pm

  6. Betchay says:

    Not to sound snobbish, I had my first taste of GG in college as it was usually served to us for breakfast or lunch at the dormitory where I used to stay. Masarap naman pala siya when really deep fried like in the photo above. But I will only eat it served this way and not any other. He!he!he!`My mom kasi dont like fish na malansa so we grew up eating fish with white meat only at home so before college my fish knowledge was very limited. :)

    Jan 25, 2012 | 12:38 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    Amy, welcome on board… funny you should mention the cilantro, I was about to put some in the relish, but the crew don’t care for it, so I didn’t. And yes, the bagoong we used for this one was spicy… :) Ed B. I have to try it with talbos ng kamote next time…

    Jan 25, 2012 | 12:43 pm

  8. GT says:

    That should go well with some oyster “sisi”!

    Jan 25, 2012 | 12:58 pm

  9. myra_p says:

    My childhood comfort fish was deep-fried hasa hasa with patis and kalamansi, steaming white rice and ginisang sitaw. I remember summer days playing with the garden hose then sitting down to this kind of lunch on a table in the garden. Dripping and tired, my sister and I tucked into this lunch with our wet hands. Then, back to playing all afternoon :)

    Jan 25, 2012 | 1:14 pm

  10. Dragon (Melbourne) says:

    My go-to sawsawan would be toyo, sili, calamansi…mmmmmm

    Jan 25, 2012 | 1:26 pm

  11. bakerwannabe says:

    This needs a lot of rice. My son (born in the USA) will eat fried fish only with bagoong. It is funny wathcing him eat. BTW this will be good with adobong sitaw. Hmmm… gutom na ako despite it being 9:45PM here.

    Jan 25, 2012 | 1:42 pm

  12. Footloose says:

    This was typhoon season food down our way when fishermen could not put out to sea and galunggong was brought in in large tubs from cold storage somewhere. The assertion we never outgrow the food we were imprinted with in childhood is definitely true specially in this combination with tomatoes, camote tops and bagoong, never mind the relentless serving of it from day to day in different guises when I was attending university in the city almost scarred me for life. Natie’s right, seems prodigal too if you did not eat it with extra-generous serving of rice.

    Jan 25, 2012 | 2:10 pm

  13. Gej says:

    Very much Pinoy home-cooking. Certainly brings back memories. I also like my galunggong with patis (fish sauce) mixed with kalamansi, or mixing the alamang with kalamansi. Nowadays most people want their own small platito (very small plate) with their own sawsawan (sauce) , but back then it was just fine for us to share sawsawan with Papa, Mama or siblings and cousins.

    Jan 25, 2012 | 4:13 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    Gej, you are so right, the communal sawsawan, while alive and well in many homes, has disappeared from others, a victim of the “cootie” police… shared saliva and all. Along with the communal cups of wine at mass from which you could take a sip… now the host is dipped in it instead.

    Footloose, oddly, much galunggong these days is imported frozen in boxes from Taiwan, where large commercial trawlers probably catch some of them in our own seas… flash freeze them and sell them back to us.

    myrap, for some reason, in our household too, hasa-hasa was fine for us, but galunggong off limits and for the crew… but I always snuck the latter whenever I could. :)

    GT, do you mix your sisi with kalamansi and suka?

    Jan 25, 2012 | 4:26 pm

  15. becky says:

    this reminds me of one tito, vic and joey movie wherein they ate rice and sniffed on hanging tuyo at the center of their cirlce. haha i could probably do the same with these pics! i love the small galunggong deep fried so i don’t even have to pick out the bones, just the spine. even the the head is crunchy enough to munch on!

    Jan 25, 2012 | 4:30 pm

  16. Papa Ethan says:

    Please pardon my ignorance, but what is “sisi”?

    Jan 25, 2012 | 5:57 pm

  17. stinkee says:

    Hi MM..Is it just me or that post on Christmas Eve 2011 got deleted? I know I was sure to have read it an hour ago and now it’s gone:-(

    Jan 25, 2012 | 5:58 pm

  18. Junb says:

    Hi MM, have you tried paksiw na galunggong with gata? It’s another variation that I do miss on galunggong.

    Jan 25, 2012 | 6:36 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    stinkee, you aren’t seeing double, the post was released by mistake, supposed to be tomorrow, after the post on the Christmas Eve setting… sorry for the confusion… it will be out tomorrow… Thanks! :) Papa Ethan, see this post, here, I think.

    Jan 25, 2012 | 6:41 pm

  20. Gej says:

    Ha ha becky! That reminded me of another Tito Vic and Joey joke, probably from the same scene (sorry this might be sick for some of you) : one of the trio gives Joey notice: “May tinga ka sa ngipin (you have some food caught between your teeth). Upon hearing this Joey immediately and excitedly calls out to the waitress : “Extra rice please!”

    Jan 25, 2012 | 6:46 pm

  21. Footloose says:

    Sisi is dwarf or baby oysters or possibly some sort of limpet, freed of its shell and preserved in salt, in lots of salt. I also have a fond recollection of it but tasting it recently found it just too salty for my developed taste and my own good. It cries out for some acid in the form of citrus juice or vinegar to lessen the almost bitter taste of concentrated salt.

    Jan 25, 2012 | 9:38 pm

  22. marilen says:

    Love the joke, Gej. First time I heard it but you will be sure it will make the round with my friends!! This galunggong/tomato/ginamos combo hits the spot. Ma-kinamot gid kita!

    Jan 25, 2012 | 9:41 pm

  23. MP says:

    Our cook used to ‘paksiw’ the galunggong before frying it. There’s nothing like it! I miss eating fried GG (or anything fried for that matter) as our building does not have good ventilation and the smell of fried fish takes forever to get rid of. I once tried frying fish at the balcony and our expat neighbor complained!

    Jan 25, 2012 | 11:22 pm

  24. Gezel says:

    For the super effect I could eat this using my bare hands. I deep fried sardines and dipped it in tomatoes with dark soy. In Bacolod we dipped sisi in sinamak.
    Funny that my husband just attended a church meeting being one of the lay minister, he was telling me that, his fellow ministers ( all english) are complaining that Asians are dipping their host in the cup, they do not want that they want everybody to take the wine from the cup, i do not take the wine anyway i find it unhygienic.

    Jan 26, 2012 | 12:10 am

  25. RjAllcanseeya says:

    MM, Perhaps you can infuse the Cilantro in a Cocktail that would fair well with this dish.. Rimmed chili powder on a glass. 1oz Gin, sprigs of Cilantro,1 thin Sliced Cocumber, Fresh squeeze Calamansi and Mint Infused Simple Syrup, Top it off with 7 up or Ginger Ale. Indulge!!

    Jan 26, 2012 | 1:06 am

  26. alMer says:

    Hi, MM. I’ve been reading your blog for almost 4 years now. thanks you for sharing your recipes & knowledge in cooking.

    Deep fried GALUNGGONG(only the small/medium size) is my favorite, together with kamatis, salted egg, fried rice and suka with garlic. Then eating it kamayan style is the best.

    I’m planning to bring my family to cebu in December for 2 days just to eat in your restaurant. thanks again MM.

    Jan 26, 2012 | 5:19 am

  27. Enna says:

    Ginamos is best for this. Mix with tomatoes, onion and sukang pinakurat.

    Jan 26, 2012 | 6:07 am

  28. GT says:

    Marketman I do mix sisi with calamansi and suka plus I add a little sugar.

    Jan 26, 2012 | 9:16 am

  29. dianne orpilla says:

    kakagutom! suddenly remembered when we escaped highschool class with my friend and went to their house where we ate fried galunggong! my favorite combo is fried GG (as we refer it) with sawsawan of diced tomatoes, with onions, ginger and patis. yummy!

    Jan 26, 2012 | 9:43 am

  30. lurker_no_more says:

    wow, nakakagutom naman. I love my fried gg with tomatoes and hilaw na mangga with bagoong alamang, if only we have gg here….

    Jan 26, 2012 | 11:06 am

  31. PITS, MANILA says:

    sometimes we’re lucky enough to get “baby galunggong” from the market. fried to a crisp, sawsawan (patis, kalamansi and siling labuyo … or tomatoes with salted eggs and siling labuyo … or burong hipon …), with garlic-fried rice and sunny side up … any time of the day!

    Jan 26, 2012 | 5:06 pm

  32. Kasseopeia says:

    This was (and still is) a staple meal in my household of two. Whenever I can, I cook it for my siblings and my mom, especially when Dad is in the country. As a child, we ate this with heirloom tomatoes that we squished (not sliced) then mixed with spicy bagoong and a hit of kalamansi from the garden. We preferred the smaller galunggong, which were about the size of my middle finger, so we can eat them bones and all.

    A variation I tried in HS with my Boholana dorm mates was fried fish (GG, tilapia, hasa-hasa) and eaten with sliced tomatoes squished together with a kind of guinamos made of what i believe is fermented barnacled/baby oyster/tulya. It was spectacular. I have never found that guinamos in Manila but I am sure I will find it in Cebu.

    Food = memories. =)

    Jan 26, 2012 | 7:29 pm

  33. Mary Lee says:

    Now, THIS made my mouth water. Wonder if you recall the reason we had galunggong as a childhood comfort food? It used to be the fresh “bait of choice” and when the planned fishing trip was cancelled due to weather, bad temper, or otherwise, we got the galunggong to eat instead. I always preferred the galunggong to the lapu-lapu catch anyway. Once, when we had more than usual, Mom got the bright idea to use it as fertilizer in the garden, and the dogs promptly dug it up so we had semi-rotten fish all over the front lawn. So much for going organic… Might be TMI for your readers.

    Jan 27, 2012 | 12:12 am

  34. Marketman says:

    ML, you are so right. I think I was too young to remember the excess bait, but now it all makes sense. I can actually smell it cooking then. And yes, I remember it as feast or famine on the GG. :)

    Jan 27, 2012 | 12:45 pm

  35. jack says:

    I never should read your blog again when i’m hungry… this made me hungry even more. I’ll go and find something to eat and will be back after :)

    I can do with fried fish with tomatoes and salt but with bagoong and to think that i’m seeing mangoes on my way to work, I suppose I’ll be longing for this dish until i cook some one time at home.

    Jan 28, 2012 | 4:26 pm

  36. jacq says:

    Wow! So yummy, but I am not a fan of alamang because I am allergic to it. I have been eating a lot of Pinoy foods using Krill Sauce (made by my Mum) instead of bagoong alamang. Weird that it’s made from same ingredient but my skin develops rashes from alamang but stays clear if i enjoy krill sauce and heko. By the way, MM do you also eat/enjoy/use heko and krill sauce? I would love to send you some, my Mum makes it and it’s sooooo good…lami kaayo!

    Jan 28, 2012 | 5:51 pm

  37. Mari says:

    MM, here’s a different twist to the sawsawan…besides the kamatis and bagoong, or patis and kalamansi, we sometimes do mayo, soy sauce and kalamansi. Tastes so good.

    Jan 29, 2012 | 9:51 am

  38. RV Escat says:

    yum! galunggong brings back memories of childhood. ansarap niyan pag isinawsaw sa tuyo at suka na may kasamang siling labuyo at century egg! naks naman. nakakagutom bigla. these days, i eat it with a few drops of olive oil! :D

    Jan 30, 2012 | 12:27 am

  39. little mary says:

    I like my fish fried very crispy just like the picture of your galunggong above but as much as possible, when i buy fish, i cook it as sinigang, paksiw or pangat just to avoid the cooking oil.

    Jan 30, 2012 | 3:08 pm

  40. Ellen says:

    Hi MM. I have been “stalking” your site for quite a while now. This has been my “go to” site when I need ideas on what to prep for dinner for my hubby and 2 very picky kids. I love the way you plate the “modest” galunggong. This tops my list on comfort foods. There’s nothing like a deep-fried crispy fish and a plateful of rice (or two). Back home, I pair this with chopped tomatoes, fish sauce, calamansi and cilantro. This brings back good memories. Cheers to good food and even better presentation.

    Feb 23, 2012 | 4:49 am


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