22 Jan2006

Yesterday I nearly died and went to Pinoy breakfast heaven… alam1Why haven’t I tried LAMAYO before? Why? My post several days ago on my beloved dried danggit resulted in several readers, including Marga, asking if I had tasted lamayo yet. I assumed it was fresh danggit but it isn’t…and boy have I, and you all (that haven’t tried it), been missing something really delicious. It just so happened that a couple of days after my dried danggit post I was speaking with the owners of The Blue Kitchen (post up soon) and lo and behold, they carried some frozen lamayo in their stores that they packed up and sent me home with to try at my leisure…

I waited all of one night before defrosting the fish and frying it up till a light golden brown. alam2It was stunningly good. But I am getting ahead of myself. Lamayo refers to a style of fish preparation, in this case using danggit. Done primarily in Palawan, the fresh fish are sliced open and de-boned, in some cases filleted, then treated to a chilli or plain vinegar wash or soak with some crushed garlic and perhaps ground black pepper. This is then only partially dried and packed up in vacuum sealed bags that are then frozen. They will keep in your freezer for several months but I doubt they would last more than a week in our home!

The fried fish are crisp, chewy, meaty and tasty without being alam3overly salty and just downright memorable. Lamayo has zoomed up into my top 10 Filipino breakfast foods with just one encounter – yes, it was that good. If you like fried daing na bangus, tinapa, tuyo, danggit, etc. you will love lamayo. And it just so happened I had purchased the local tomatoes in the previous post just minutes before so I made a sawsawan of chopped tomatoes, my own chilli vinegar and kosher salt and together with the lamayo it was a pair made in heaven! Yum. My wife and I finished one small package all by ourselves…If you live abroad, don’t forget to add this to your list of foods you must try the next time you are in Manila!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Elna Smith says:

    I’ve had them before MM! So yummy! One of the food I miss in the Phils. As always your post makes me homesick . . . *-*

    Jan 22, 2006 | 6:08 am

     
  2. stef says:

    okay marketman, you’ve got me thinking. my daughter will be there for a couple of weeks with my parents. what foods should i ask her to bring home, that will safely make it through customs without being too much of a hassle on her or her grandparents? do you happen to have a list of things by vendor/store that are “must-buys” for the traveler/visitor? i’d do a search through your archives for appropriate items but i thought i’d ask first in case you already have something like this put together. thanks!

    Jan 22, 2006 | 6:18 am

     
  3. Marketman says:

    stef, gosh, the list would be long but so few would make it past U.S. customs. Blue Kitchen also sells bottled garlic tuyo that is BFAD accredited and okay for export. I am not sure if dried fish that is vacuum packed would be allowed. All the sweets such as pastillas de leche and yemas should be okay. Axe all the fresh fruit. Jams and preserves such as ube, mango, guava should be fine… All the salty crispy snacks that are deep fried such as chicharon should also make it I think…

    Jan 22, 2006 | 6:22 am

     
  4. Malou says:

    Hello! Market Man, I love Lamayo, Tuyo and the like. You can try a side of minced green mangoes,tomatoes,purple onions and lots of corriander w/ patis. Fried garlic red rice from Baguio and Buenguet Coffee should hit the spot! Namit Gid!

    Jan 22, 2006 | 12:35 pm

     
  5. Ellen says:

    thanks for the recommendation MM! I will definitely try this when I’m back in manila in two weeks time. it sounds yummy. i love dried frish but i’m only familiar with tuyo and danggit. i might even try and sneak a packet of lamayo through australian customs! hahaha. wish me luck!

    Jan 22, 2006 | 1:34 pm

     
  6. rina says:

    mm, that’s what you get for not paying attention to my sept 28 post – you might have discovered lamayo earlier! :)

    jesting aside….i am just drooling here at the thought of a danggit breakfast! no amount of nitrate saturated meat can compare….sigh…

    Jan 22, 2006 | 2:12 pm

     
  7. Marketman says:

    rina, I bow humbly in homage to your brilliant culinary acuity in pinpointing superb eats. Heeheehee. I should have listened but I had no idea where to find it… what can I say, I am now enlightened and a true lamayo convert. Ellen, when you get here, head straight to Blue Kitchen in the basement of Rockwell because you can find several delicacies all in one place. Of course do the Saturday Salcedo market if you want all the freshly made stuff… malou, your sawsawan/dip sounds great too!!!

    Jan 22, 2006 | 3:15 pm

     
  8. millet says:

    good for you, marketman! am so inggit, i haven’t had lamayo in a looong time. in the palengke in puerto princesa, the cendors have the lamayo packs in ice chests, together with lump crabmeat…mmmm, i need to have a reason to go to puerto princesa one of these days….

    Jan 22, 2006 | 8:15 pm

     
  9. HD says:

    to stef: ewan ko lang kung iba iba per state or per airport, pero sa LAX ok naman mag pasok ng dried fish, basta lang naka declare sa customs. my aunt does that everytime. basta indicate nyo daw talaga na dried fish. Kasi yung iba nilalagay na personal items daw tapos mas mukhang suspicious.

    Jan 22, 2006 | 10:02 pm

     
  10. maddie says:

    I grew up with having dried fish as a staple. I think most people from the southern part of the country do. We call it “uga” where I come from. And everytime I didn’t like the food on the table, there would always be “uga” or “pinakas” with fried egg. My dad would even have us wait till midnight for a special midnight meal of pinakas, chorizo el rey, and fried egg. The ULTIMATE COMFORT meal for me. When salt had to be decreased drastically from my diet, I pigged out on LAMAYO which my mom would send regularly. So thanks for sharing that it is readily available at Blue Kitchen. Now I don’t have to wait for someone to bring them in.

    Jan 23, 2006 | 12:48 am

     
  11. fried-neurons says:

    Rule of thumb when trying to bring in food from the Philippines to the US: ALWAYS declare that you have food. Dried foods (fish, veggies, meats, fruits) is ok as long as it’s commercially dried. Ayaw nila ng home-dried food. Fresh ANYTHING will most likely not make it through. Sweets like yema, pastillas, etc are okay, too.

    Anyway… I’ve never heard of lamayo before. Will definitely try some next time I am in Manila (kung kelan man).

    Jan 23, 2006 | 3:07 am

     
  12. schatzli says:

    So this is the dried fish friends been telling me about from Palawan…never had it.. yet
    i might make it this summer to Phils

    Jan 23, 2006 | 5:54 am

     
  13. lee says:

    lamayo is easy to make…we usually have lamayo bangros (bangus) at home. Fish is washed in a simple marinade of garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and calamansi and air dried (just like laundry) for half a day, preferably the meanest, sunniest day. Nothing beats a ried crisp lamayo bangus belly and rice.

    Jan 23, 2006 | 9:57 am

     
  14. Gel says:

    Guys, you should also try “Daing na Kalaso”, I’m pretty sure it will also zoom-up in your top ten filipino breakfast list Marketman, I believe “daing na kalaso” is also prepared same as lamayo. We usually eat kalaso together with “inihaw na talong” and sukang paombong.

    Jan 23, 2006 | 2:57 pm

     
  15. Marketman says:

    Now lee, what keeps us from dying from semi-fermented and spoiling fish? Is it is the vinegar wash? The salt? How interesting, I wonder if I am brave enough to try making this at home one day… Gel, where does one find Daing na Kalaso?

    Jan 23, 2006 | 5:51 pm

     
  16. mita says:

    Marketman,
    You never cease to amaze me. There’s so many Filipino foods I’ve never heard of that I read about only in your blog – like lamayo or kalaso. They both sound like something that could be a regular item on the breakfast menu. My mother used to make something similar with “biya” marinated and sun-dried on the “kulahan” and fried the next day for breakfast or lunch.
    Can’t wait to move back home this year and try all the food products you’ve been featuring. Gee, I miss home so much!

    Jan 24, 2006 | 1:46 am

     
  17. lee says:

    i dunno the exact science but i guess the elements of vinegar, salt and sun keep the fish from spoiling.

    Jan 24, 2006 | 1:28 pm

     
  18. Gel says:

    Marketman,

    I usually buy “kalaso” in “Tangos talipapa” in Navotas, i wonder if its also available in “Malabon central/Navotas Market”, I asked my dad to buy me some yesterday, unfortunately, its not available. If I get some today or tomorrow, I can send you some (just e-mail me where I can send it)

    According to my dad, Kalaso used to be the fish that they use in fish chitcharon/kropek

    Jan 25, 2006 | 11:19 am

     
  19. joey says:

    I love tuyo, daing, danggit, etc, etc…so I am definitely trying this! I have been known to almost faint in ecstasy from crunching on tuyo heads. Thanks for the heads up! I am going to Blue Kitchen Rockwell TOMORROW :) Yippeee!

    Jan 26, 2006 | 12:34 am

     
  20. thea says:

    hi, just recently discovered your website and really enjoyed reading your posts. very interesting..

    about the lamayo, i’ve tried the ones from palawan. they are really superb! i ate it everyday for about 2 weeks! no kidding. perfect with tomatoes!

    Feb 2, 2006 | 7:59 pm

     
  21. jay-thon says:

    hi!market man,,u want it?,I start my business “LAMAYO” this fixed season,the one of delicy herein Palawan. maybe some day you will go here in my home town.tnx

    Sep 9, 2008 | 2:11 pm

     
  22. Erika Mendoza says:

    Swear I love lamayoss. Err! Hahaha. So where can I like buy ’em? Do you know any stores or whatev?

    Feb 5, 2009 | 8:26 pm

     
 

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