10 Oct2011

The Pacific Northwest is reknown for its seafood, so shellfish and fish are all good bets to have while on a culinary holiday… I took a few photos of these dungeness crabs (metacarcinus magister) at the Granville market. The crabs are often featured on restaurant menus, and are, I gather, a big deal locally. The creatures thrive along the Pacific Northwest coast and this was the first time I had seen them alive and moving around. They were camera shy, and kept showing me their rear ends, so you only have photos of their backsides. :)

They have a large body and short appendages and a shell that looks thinner than our own alimango or mud crabs. We would go on to taste them on as part of several meals throughout our stay in the area, but I have to say I think I prefer our pinoy crabs more. The dungeness crabs were good, but I found lacked flavor and sweetness… but maybe that’s just me.

Next up were some “Manila Clams” or venerupis philippinarum that I LOVE to eat, but rarely do so in Manila. They are the darling of chefs across North America these days, appearing on menus and sounding so exotic “Manila clams with chorizo and chili”. Few people in North America would probably know the story behind these clams, which I presume were first named in the Philippines, though they thrive from our archipelago up through the coast of China and reaching Japan. These small clams were apparently “stowed away” on exported Asian oysters that were sent to the Pacific Northwest to be farmed. The clams were so happy to have migrated to the land of PX goods and they thrived, breeding offspring like there was no tomorrow, obviously happy as clams. :) Their meats turned particularly sweet and delicious and in the past 70-80 years, they have become a major industry in the waters off of Vancouver. Like Manila envelopes, Manila Hemp, etc. Manila clams are now global, not local. :(

Next up, wild sockeye salmon. Phenomenal amounts of salmon. I really like salmon (mostly smoked) but a great fresh wild salmon sets my heart palpitating… and I wish we had access to a kitchen. They were a bit pricey, I thought, at say the equivalent of PHP1,200 a kilo, but I am sure they were worth it…

Finally, some live mussels and oysters on ice. A very nice selection of seafood at Granville… Now onto the rest of Vancouver.



  1. betty q. says:

    What you took a picture of is Chinook salmon, MM….isn’t sockeye! Even when bought directly from commercial fishermen, a whole sockeye is only about $15. But if you prefer smoked like I do, I say that Chinook salmon is the best one to use for smoked salmon and even for grilling or barbecuing. What I gave you to snack on your way to Seattle is Candied Chinook Salmon. Anyway, the white springs are plentiful now. It is time to turn on the smoker again!

    Oct 10, 2011 | 6:43 am


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  3. friedneurons says:

    Dungeness is my favorite crab. Whenever crab season opens in Northern California I get excited. Alaskan King may have more meat, but dungies taste sweeter.

    Oct 10, 2011 | 7:15 am

  4. ami says:

    Looks like Manila clams are like pinoys themselves. They can also easily adapt and thrive in other countries.

    Coincidentally, that was also my dinner yesterday. Manila clams cooked in butter and garlic. Yum yum.

    Oct 10, 2011 | 9:23 am

  5. Mylene Espina says:

    You are not the only one MM – I still prefer our alimasag and alimango to the Dungeness. It may be fleshier and the shells easier to crack open but not as sweet and tasty (or malinamnam) as our local crabs.

    Oct 10, 2011 | 12:06 pm

  6. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Tonight..my hubby and I feasted on Lobster Buffet Night at Emerald Queen Casino here in Tacoma , lot’s of manila clams,Dungeness crabs,snow, king crabs, but i do agree with you..our local crabs (PHIL.) is much sweeter, we do a lot of Dungeness crabbing around the puget sound here, i still prefer and miss our own mud crabs :(:(:( or Alimango?

    Oct 10, 2011 | 12:12 pm

  7. S says:

    I agree! Philippine crabs are tastier, but the dungeness crab meat is a joy to eat because they can be easily pried out of their shells. And there is no strong crab smell. But as for taste, Philippine crabs win hands down, specifically, Surigao crabs. Yum.

    Oct 10, 2011 | 12:41 pm

  8. Faust says:

    get verlix ready for crab allergies.. yay!

    Oct 10, 2011 | 1:48 pm

  9. Joseph (Vancouver) says:

    What I miss most with the Philippine alimango is their aligue. The dungeness crab here are all male crabs and have little aligue. It is illegal to catch or keep female dungeness crabs in Canada or in the US. This is to keep the crab specie sustainable.

    Oct 10, 2011 | 3:19 pm

  10. Betchay says:

    I agree…hands down—-nothing can beat the sweet tastiness of our Filipino crabs! And the Manila clams?….sad that we let go what could have been a big industry for us. :( Ironic that our country is abundantly bless with natural resources but we’re not doing much to let it prosper. Not many Filipinos want to get their hands dirty.

    Oct 10, 2011 | 7:50 pm

  11. Debbie says:

    Philippine mud crabs are still tops in taste for me. Here in Toronto, they call them “Jonah crabs” at $13.99 a lb at a Chinese supermarket, compared to dungeness crabs which are way cheaper at $5.99/lb.

    Oct 11, 2011 | 11:41 am


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