Yesterday I nearly died and went to Pinoy breakfast heavenâ€¦ Why havenâ€™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 isnâ€™tâ€¦and boy have I, and you all (that havenâ€™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 leisureâ€¦
I waited all of one night before defrosting the fish and frying it up till a light golden brown. It 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 overly 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 ourselvesâ€¦If you live abroad, donâ€™t forget to add this to your list of foods you must try the next time you are in Manila!