07 Jun2006


There are days when I think “hmmm…I feel like having some fried galunggong, vinegar with siling labuyo and some rice”. I like fried galunggong a lot. Growing up, my parents were of a generation that thought galunggong gal2was for the crew, and we got some fried alumahan, bangus or lapu-lapu instead — wicked archaic views, I know. But I used to sneak some of the crew’s galunggong when the parents weren’t around. Now, our own crew gets to eat almost anything I cook (and that’s usually a spread), and I get to eat as much fried galunggong as I want! The oily, flavorful meat of fried galunggong is a perfect match with vinegar, salt and siling labuyo. I especially like it with the native cane vinegars…

I was at the Nasugbu market last week and spied VERY FRESH looking small to medium sized galunggong. At PHP60 a kilo, I was surprised by the relatively low price which can reach PHP80-90 in Manila. I bargained with the vendor and ended up buying everything she had, about 6 kilos… gal3Galunggong or Mackerel Scad (Decapterus russelli) inhabit the coastal waters of the Philippine archipelago in droves, traveling in large schools and getting caught in fishermen’s nets nearly every minute of every day. They are the “fish of the masses”, or so Presidents since time immemorial are wont to say. They were what most Filipinos consumed to obtain their protein requirements. I suspect today most Filipinos get by with instant noodles, not fried galunggong. These fish are also plentiful in Malaysia and probably Northern Indonesia. Typically prepared fried, the oily fish are substantial and flavorful. It is a “dark meat” fish and most folks who prefer white flaky fish meat would probably not be thrilled with this. But I like the crunchy skin and the tasty meat when it is fried. Oh, throw in some chopped tomatoes with salt and I am in fried fish heaven! I understand folks cook this escabeche style as well and sometimes in soups or just grilled. They are also smoked into tinapa, but I like them best when deep fried!



  1. edee says:

    mmmmmmm…….make mine with kamatis and bagoong!…..i just ate lunch, but i’m drooling now ……..

    Jun 7, 2006 | 8:54 pm


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  3. ntgerald says:

    I love fried galunggung; when well done the liver is also crisp, and that is so delicious dipped in maanghang vinegar.

    Jun 7, 2006 | 9:28 pm

  4. renee says:

    i think they should change the “fish for the masses” to tilapia – isn’t this cheaper now than galunggong?

    Jun 7, 2006 | 10:30 pm

  5. relly says:

    Hello Mr. MM,
    Galunggong and salaysay is my favorite fried fish. I always ask my moher to serve me Fried “Gigi” as we called it, whenever i am on vacation to Pinas.

    Jun 7, 2006 | 10:53 pm

  6. Rampau says:

    Yes, our family didnt eat this fish until it became almost as expensive as bangus. Call us fish snobs. I grew up in Malabon so there were many others. When we decided to include this in our menu, I liked it! It’s still not in our rotation but once in while is great! I think the problem is trying to get GG fresh. THe pictures above are just gorgeous!

    Jun 8, 2006 | 1:14 am

  7. acmr says:

    I like my galunggong “pinaksiw” first and then fried. I don’t know how we got into this habit at home but my lola would buy lots of really fresh galunggong and have the whole lot cooked “paksiw” style. Then everything would go in the fridge in a big tupperware. Then when we want to eat some, we just fry it in oil before serving. This process gives you the crunchy skin but the soft meat. Sarap!!!

    Jun 8, 2006 | 2:06 am

  8. RST says:

    Re: I suspect today most Filipinos get by with instant noodles, not fried galunggong.

    The price of galunggong is still a powerful economic index. Didn’t Gloria (or was it Cory) face a specially rocky period bec the price of galunggong had gotten way out of hand?


    Jun 8, 2006 | 8:10 am

  9. Marketman says:

    It is the local “index.” If the global index is a Big Mac for some, it’s galunggong for others here in the Philippines. But I think someone really has to tear apart what the average Filipino consumes so that the inflation index is really indicative of what is purchased… at the moment, the government keeps saying inflation is low but my personal experience is that my expenses are rising by at least double the reported inflation rate… For someone earning minimum wage of say PHP300, the rise in jeepney fare by PHP2 is a massive hit to their buying power… Frankly, I have serious doubts about the reported government statistics as one does not “feel it” on the ground…

    Jun 8, 2006 | 8:28 am

  10. shirley says:

    It is also my favourite fish…how i miss eating fried or daing na galunggong. I also use it to make lumpiang shanghai and it taste so good, why don’t you try it sometime Mr.MM.

    Enjoy your market day…God bless you and your family!!!

    Jun 8, 2006 | 8:48 am

  11. gonzo says:

    um, that’s spelled ‘mackerel scad’ not ‘mackarel’. i agree with renee, maybe the fish of the masses should be tilapia. i like gg and tilapia both, but i like small tilapia deep-fried to super crunchy, with the requisite pinoy sawsawan w sili and green mango-tomato-onion salad and mounds of steaming white rice. You can eat the whole fish, head and all, except for the spine.

    Jun 8, 2006 | 9:19 am

  12. Marketman says:

    gonzo, good catch…you should have seen my score on the spelling test my daughter asked me to take…heehee…that on top of the Visayan accent. Spelling corrected… shirley, never tried it in lumpiang shanghai though I have made lumpiang shanghai with some tinapa.

    Jun 8, 2006 | 9:52 am

  13. lee says:

    i love smaller sized galunggong that is fried crisp after paksiwfication.

    Jun 8, 2006 | 11:12 am

  14. Marketman says:

    PAKSIWFICATION – I should start a marketmanila dictionary…I couldn’t stop laughing!

    Jun 8, 2006 | 11:17 am

  15. erleen says:

    we also make fish lumpia with galunggong. we look for the bigger ones. steamed first then flaked. mix with the requisite shanghai ingredients and fried.

    i think they call the process wherein the fish is pinaksiw before frying is Sinaing. this is common in laguna and quezon. i think they usually use tulingan. really delicious!

    my husband can eat crispy fried galunggong every day. with kamatis and itlog na maalat.

    ayan, gutom nako.

    Jun 8, 2006 | 11:23 am

  16. gonzo says:

    ‘paksiwification’ is brilliant. yes, MM, start your market manila glossary of pinoy culinary terms.

    Jun 9, 2006 | 6:57 am

  17. molly says:

    my family loooves GG and i’ve heard about that “paksiwification” process 1st before frying but i haven’t tried it. do we use the usual garlic,salt, suka,sili,luya,etc? do you add water? how about sinaing how is that done again? thanks so much… :-)

    Jun 9, 2006 | 9:18 am

  18. Jacob's Mom says:

    For those of you who live in temperate countries, how do you cook fish in the winter? I boil orange peel and cinnamon sticks in water while cooking — it works okay but would love to get other tips on how to moderate the smell when you can’t exactly throw windows wide open. Thanks!

    Jun 10, 2006 | 12:43 am

  19. relly says:

    Hello jacobs mom, someone advise me,when cooking bagoong or frying tuyo, to caramelized sugar and let burn slowly…this will absorb the nasty odor…

    Jun 10, 2006 | 3:46 am

  20. Marketman says:

    Heat some coffee grounds or ground coffee in a pan…the aroma is said to mask the other stuff…

    Jun 10, 2006 | 7:19 am

  21. eat matters says:

    yummy. crispy galunggong is perfect anytime. but if you want a little variation, try sauteeing some chopped garlic, onions, tomatoes on the oil where you fried the g. then quickly beat an egg or two and add into the mixture.season with salt and pepper. stir unitl you get the moist consistency of scrambled egg.add a little liquid if you wish,then drizzle over your G.– its called cardillo.greasilicious!!!

    Jun 10, 2006 | 12:05 pm

  22. ems says:

    fried galunggong with ginisang munggo and a bowl of steamed rice makes great pinoy comfort food especially on a cold rainy day :)

    Jun 13, 2006 | 1:13 am

  23. andie says:

    gosh, i never thought so many people shared my liking for crisp gg. i like it sooo much and my parents find it very puzzling. i tried it in all the ways people here mentioned. even what eat matters’ cardillo. but in our house it’s called sarciado. my all time favorite is eating it with lots of tomatoes. glad to have found people who love gg the same way i do!

    Mar 30, 2007 | 10:37 am

  24. brenda says:

    I also love GG. just like lee, i like it crispy fried after the paksiwification with the usual sawsawan of vinegar with siling labuyo.


    my “paksiwification” is the usual vinegar, garlic, salt and black pepper with a little water. Cook it in low heat until it dries up and there is just a little bit of water left. I dont put sili anymore because the vinegar that I use is already spicy (my own version of sinamak).

    I’ve also tried lumpiang shanghai using GG but I dont really like it coz its like “malansa”. Dalagang-bukid is better for fish lumpia because its more fleshy and no malansa taste.

    Aug 8, 2007 | 5:23 am

  25. Capt. Rod says:

    We hand catch fresh Galuggong daily for preorder customers that seek top quality fish. Our fish are not crushed by large nets but are caught carefully in cast nets in order to produce the best looking and eating product possible. We produce around 300 to 1000 pounds per 1 0 days but could increase production if need be.

    We are seeking markets for are fish and looking forward to any preorders.

    Thank You
    Capt Rod
    Fish Runners

    May 19, 2009 | 12:34 am


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