29 Mar2009


I have waxed poetic about lamayo na danggit from Palawan many moons ago, a marinated and semi-dried delicacy that is fried and yields a crispy daing-like consistency on the outer edges, but a softer, moister meat on other parts of the fish. It also tends to have more flavor than just the plain dried danggit. I didn’t realize the practice of marinating in vinegar and spices and semi-drying was also used down South, and now that I think about it, it’s probably more likely it started off in the South and was exported to Palawan with folks who migrated there from the Visayas… Part of our luggage from Bacolod included coolers filled with more goodies, like this freshly caught “sili” or eel (a huge one) cut into slices and marinated in vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and other spices…


After a couple of days, the fish, which was starting to break down due to the acid, was semi-dried in the hot sun then deep fried. We only dried the fish (covered in screen to ward off flies) for an hour or so because we were impatient and hungry, but I think it needed a few hours more.


Once fried, the fish had a slightly unusual texture, softer than just plain fried fish, and the flavor was excellent.


Of course, how could we eat this without dipping it in sinamak, that wonderful concoction of cane vinegar with chilis, ginger and garlic? These two bottles were given to us by Tita VM, and they are terrific! Thank you Tita VM!



  1. Feedr says:

    I remember having some awesome semi-dried fish in Bantayan. I think it’s called labtingaw here in the south.

    Mar 29, 2009 | 2:52 am


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  3. Maria Clara says:

    I can see it is a gigantic eel and stayed longer in the water to reach its maturity and max out its flavor. Later on another flavor of vinegar marinate ensuring to come up tasty. Then another dipping pool of sinamak vinegar finishing touch for heavenly taste. Vinegar and fish is another good match.

    Mar 29, 2009 | 2:53 am

  4. maddie says:

    How did you bring the sinamak? Via plane, too? Do they allow that already?

    Mar 29, 2009 | 3:06 am

  5. Nomadic Pinoy says:

    I’m drooling just by looking at the sinamak photo. Must really be good with fried fish.

    Mar 29, 2009 | 9:24 am

  6. siopao says:

    They also do that to “lukon” or prawns. wonderful for breakfast with “calo calo” or garlic rice. I used to have that when visiting family in Iloilo

    Mar 29, 2009 | 9:43 am

  7. choy says:

    are you sure they call eel “sili” and not “kasili” as they do in leyte and cebu? just curious.

    Mar 29, 2009 | 9:58 am

  8. toping says:

    Feedr: “Buwad” is the generic term for dried fish in Cebu. “Labtingaw,” on the other hand, refers to buwad that is lightly salted/minimally dried. It doesn’t keep as long as the regular buwad but it’s excellent. Enjoy!

    Mar 29, 2009 | 11:12 am

  9. marissewalangkaparis says:

    The sinamak looks so good. Yes,how did you bring them on the plane pls? handcarried? Packed ?

    Mar 29, 2009 | 12:30 pm

  10. Jun b says:

    I bought about 10 bottles of diff brand organic vinegar and put it in my check in luggage fr manila to singapore. Not sure though on flight to US.

    Mar 29, 2009 | 1:08 pm

  11. Marketman says:

    maddie et al. I too, was surprised that they allowed the vinegar. I have had folks in Cebu and Bicol tell me it wasn’t allowed. But in Bacolod, they were packed into styrofoam coolers and checked into baggage, so maybe that is sufficient to get the okay of airport officials… so yes, we did check the sinamak into the hold of the plane…

    Mar 29, 2009 | 7:47 pm

  12. Homebuddy says:

    Lamayo is similar to the Cebuano “Labtingaw”, marinated in vinegar, garlic and salt or calamansi, toyo and garlic, etc…. then semi dried. Keep in the freezer so it won’t spoil. Any fish will do for labtingaw, but for me the best is hasa-hasa, big galungong and tamarong. Good for grilling and frying.
    Its so easy to make sinamak, just use the local “tuba” vinegar garlic, ginger, bird’s eye sili and some chopped up tangad then ferment, it will be ready in 1 mo. or so. I make several batches so supply does not run out and it gets better with age.

    Mar 29, 2009 | 8:08 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    choy, yes, it’s called kasili in Western Cebu. I am not sure if the folks we were with in Bacolod were just abbreviating that or if they only use “sili”.

    Mar 29, 2009 | 8:12 pm

  14. Sheryl says:

    Hmm, I always thought Sinamak is made from coconut vinegar. People in the provinces (Panay & Negros) make their own vinegar due to the absence of mass marketed cane vinegar (datu puti et al) in the old days. It’s usually made from “tuba”( aged coconut juice) mixed with luya, sili (lots of it!), ajos, and sibuyas then put away for a period of time to ferment some more. And yep, it’s perfect for Uga (dried fish) and kalokalo (fried rice) in the morning. Yum!

    Mar 30, 2009 | 12:23 am

  15. Sheryl says:

    Here’s a link I found online: http://letrasyfiguras.blogspot.com/2006/06/josef-george-kamel-sj-drawing-of_12.html This is the kind of Sinamak that I grow up with. Maybe Negros folks really use cane vinegar for their Sinamak for obvious reasons :-)

    Mar 30, 2009 | 12:29 am

  16. betty q. says:

    This is also good using HERRING…..frsh herring sold dirt cheap by the bucketfuls at the dock. It is just a PAIN filleting and gutting them but I don’t mind…then marinated like daing na bangus…then semi-dried too like MM’s fish and fried to a crisp! Two bucketfuls of herring is enough for everybody’s ration…I don’t know why I ALWAYS end up doing the HARD WORK!!!!

    Mar 30, 2009 | 12:41 am

  17. natie says:

    just how taty used to do it…

    betty q, if it were the other way around, would it even be edible? did any one of your progenies get your gift?

    Mar 30, 2009 | 5:27 am

  18. betty q. says:

    That is why, Natie, I am stuck with making the product a gustatory delight….it is a CREATIVE EFFORT!!!…Neighbours have the patience to wake up in the early morning hours to go to the dock and line up and make sure it (the bucket) doesn’t TIP OVER in their car!!!….hahahaha….then they buy a couple of buckets of herring for me (for siblings and close friends of siblings and close friends of siblings’s close friends….and of course, the neighbour who bought the herrring for me!!! If yoou like this herring like daing and semi-dried and partially smoked and fried to a crisp AND if you are my kapitbahay, you will have a share too!!!

    ! But I partially smoke my share which I don’t dare tell them it makes it even better or I WILL BE STUCK with smoking the herring as well for them. But my instincts tell me that they know since they can smell the smoke every time I use the fish smoker!

    Mar 30, 2009 | 6:24 am

  19. Angela says:

    Betty, you’re too funny! Let me know when your neighbor puts their house on the market. I’ll buy it; then I’ll be you’re kapitbahay ;)

    Do you know where the tofu store in Chinatown moved to (I don’t remember the name, but they made the BEST tofu)? My mom went to Vancouver the other day because she was craving taho. She got there and found the place boarded up.

    Mar 30, 2009 | 7:11 am

  20. Marketman says:

    Sheryl, goodness, I didn’t ask. I assumed it was cane because of the color and clarity and abundance of cane sugar… But I guess it could have been coconut vinegar as well, though that tends to be murkier and milkier in some cases…

    Mar 30, 2009 | 9:19 am

  21. paolo says:

    hi MarketMan!
    next time you get a hold of “sili” , get the ones with thicker cuts so that you will get more of the flavor and texture of the fish!
    just a suggestion.

    Mar 30, 2009 | 9:47 am

  22. maddie says:

    From what I recall, “tuba” is coconut vinegar.

    Mar 30, 2009 | 11:08 pm

  23. paolo says:

    to maddie : you are partly correct that tuba is coconut vinegar.
    tuba is the stage of the vinegar where people drink it and it is either orange or murky white in color. after a longer period , the tuba turns into clear vinegar ( usually with a light orange color )

    Mar 31, 2009 | 9:08 am

  24. Sheryl says:

    “Tuba” is actually the drinkable state of the liquid. It’s a healthier alternative for the menfolk in the barrios to drink and gather around at twilight. When it’s fermented, it turns into vinegar which has quite a different taste from cane vinegar.

    “Tuba” or palm toddy is made from the nectar of coconut flowers that the “manugtuba”gathers every afternoon. MM even have a post on this: http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/tuba-a-marketman-mini-adventure

    Mar 31, 2009 | 9:40 am

  25. Connie C says:

    BettyQ, I don’t know if you even have time to sleep ,with everything you are doing, but I am jealous with all your energy. You are worse than Martha Stewart!

    Mar 31, 2009 | 3:10 pm

  26. lee says:

    betty q… “smoking the herring” sounds a bit psychedelic bordering on the slightly illegal. hehehe..

    Apr 2, 2009 | 9:06 pm


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