16 Apr2012

They are commonly called dulong. But that’s a misnomer; read more about why in this old post. So I need a better name — and the title of this post is just too long. So maybe Fried Fish Fry would work. :) At any rate, when you see lots of tiny anchovy fry for sale in coastal markets, and they look and smell fresh, BUY THEM! Then fry them up into simple but incredibly satisfying little fish cakes, here.

This is comfort food for me. But surprisingly, I wasn’t fond of it as a child. :) Often had to eat it with a LOT of ketchup. And I hated the times it seemed to be unpalatably bitter. But if the fish is fresh, and you fry it up as soon as you get home for a hearty breakfast or nice lunch, you will have a very economical, easy, delicious and probably nutritious meal.

I like this with a vinegar and calamansi dip but it would go with any number of sawsawan (saucy dips) options. Pass the rice, please. :)



  1. ami says:

    I didn’t know that dulong are anchovies. I usually eat it with pasta, olive oil, garlic. Yours is like ukoy but with dulong.

    Apr 16, 2012 | 11:56 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    ami, there are real “dulong” and “dulong” that aren’t “dulong”… did that confuse you more? :)

    Apr 16, 2012 | 11:59 am

  4. wil-b says:

    MM . . . have you encountered “ipon”? It’s a similar looking fish like dulong but I think it’s different it only comes out in Ilocos during new moon. . . i’m not even sure about that. . .

    Apr 16, 2012 | 12:12 pm

  5. wil-b says:

    Apr 16, 2012 | 12:14 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    wil-b, yes, I think ipon is different, more freshwater as well if I understand from some sources…

    Apr 16, 2012 | 12:48 pm

  7. lookie says:

    We eat it raw in Batangas with sibuyas tagalog,tomatoes, salt and pepper.

    Apr 16, 2012 | 12:55 pm

  8. carmina says:

    MM, you will also love adobong dulong — another way of cooking it in Mindoro.

    Apr 16, 2012 | 1:07 pm

  9. Cheryl says:

    wow! i sooo miss this. in my province, this is freely given by God during summer. murag snow among mga dalan kay puno ug binulad nga bulinaw! lami jud ni sa suka ba. hurot ang bahaw!

    Apr 16, 2012 | 1:23 pm

  10. ami says:

    MM, I quickly realized my mistake but was unable to edit my post because I encountered an error. Will call them baby fishies next time.

    Apr 16, 2012 | 1:34 pm

  11. Betchay says:

    My lola used to cook it this way too with chopped wansuy added. I eat it with banana ketchup!

    Apr 16, 2012 | 1:51 pm

  12. Kim says:

    Commenting on the previous article: “First of all, “real” dulong is that smallest fish on the planet (if you were in grade school when I was) that some say only come from Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur.” I thought the fish from Lake Buhi are called sinarapan? Not very certain, though. It’s been a while since grade school :)

    Apr 16, 2012 | 2:21 pm

  13. millet says:

    oh this is one of our household favorites, always served with catsup. i add a little cornstarch to the batter to make it more crisp. when the kids were small, they would take turns guessing how many fish were in one patty. my hubby’s answer always was, “just count the eyes and divide them by two!”

    Apr 16, 2012 | 2:41 pm

  14. millet says:

    these are called “nylon” here in davao, or “hipon”. the “real” dulong tend to have rounder bodies and are almost translucent when raw, but turn very white when cooked (“ikaw daw ilunod sa mantika, di ba ka manluspad”!)

    wait, i took another look at the pictures and am now convinced those are dulong. well, whatever! i give them a brief soak in ice water and then rinse very well and drain because some vendors salt them automatically.

    Apr 16, 2012 | 2:43 pm

  15. Nel says:

    Did you have to add any flour/cornstarch to make them stick together? Was the bitterness due to their innards still in there?

    Apr 16, 2012 | 2:58 pm

  16. Pinksalmonlady says:

    here in Australia they call these babies (dulong) white bait. Just like you MM, I deep fry it too. My husband loves it especially when I make the vinegar sauce with chilis. You cant resist simple food like this!

    Apr 16, 2012 | 3:02 pm

  17. Lojet says:

    We called these bolinao in Cebu, my favorite for this is kinilaw with vinegar, green onions, ginger and tomatoes and next is the ukoy style like the above, then the pinahubsan seasoned with salt,tomatoes and lard.

    Apr 16, 2012 | 3:05 pm

  18. Mimi says:

    They are called white bait here. They are nice ‘individually’ fried to a crisp like dilis. My husband likes to make them, but I am paso-prone in frying fish, so I am not too keen to cook them myself.

    Apr 16, 2012 | 3:10 pm

  19. nina says:

    we call them bolinao at home and this is one of the ways i like to eat them with suka, sili, onions and garlic. Kinilaw is another, with or without gata. And these would be lovely made into guinamus.

    Apr 16, 2012 | 3:37 pm

  20. Marketman says:

    Kim, you could be absolutely correct, sinarapan for fresh water, dulong for salt water… in which case these might be dulong after all… suffice it to say, I AM CONFUSED. :)

    Apr 16, 2012 | 4:13 pm

  21. millet says:

    there’s a freshwater specie (could be related to the “sinarapan” ) found in Lake Mainit in Surigao. small handfuls of the fish are sun-dried on fine screens, and they are like flat disks (flat patties) when fully dry. the patties fry up very, very crisp and delicious.

    Apr 16, 2012 | 4:26 pm

  22. EJ says:

    The Bureau of Fisheries considers sinarapan, dilis and dulong as individual species in this Fisheries Administrative Order: “It shall be unlawful for any person, association, or corporation to fish in any fishing area of the Philippines with the use of fine-meshed nets and/or sinamay cloth at the bunt or bag of any fishing gear except when catching ipon, padas, bangus fry, glass eels and elvers, banak fry and such species which by their very nature are small but already mature such as alamang, tabios, sinarapan, dilis, dulong, hipon Tagunton, and snails.” (http://www.bfar.da.gov.ph/pages/legislation/FAO/fao40-4.html )

    Apr 16, 2012 | 4:42 pm

  23. Connie C says:

    bettyQ, Help.

    Would that be the same fish called “bunggan” in southern Tagalog provinces…Batangas and Mindoro? My mom would cook bunggan wrapped in banana leaves as pinais or pinangat in a clay pot. Squeezed calamansi juice on serving …..saraaaap!!

    Apr 17, 2012 | 2:16 am

  24. Lou says:

    In Ilocos, we call this dulong and it comes during the months that ends with -er but not everyday. The fishermen somehow knows when it is coming. If it is still white like this, it is coming from the sea but once it reaches the river, the color changes to grayish, doubled in size and it has a little bitter taste. It is great for kilawin when it is very fresh, sinigang, kinirog (stir-fried) with garlic and a bit of tomatoes and shallots, tamales (wrapped in banana leaves), or sun-dried which is the favored way of sending it to expat relatives. To preserve it longer, it is great as bagoong which comes out very white.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 4:36 am

  25. betty q. says:

    I don’t know what bunggan is Ms. Connie C. What I do know is my Ate and my niece to this day still make sinaing na dulong wrapped in banana leaves with kamias! Yup. how I miss those days….we would squirt calamansi on it and eat it with rice using kamay and the leg or tuhod nakataas pa sa bangko!

    Apr 17, 2012 | 4:53 am

  26. Lou says:

    Correction: In Ilocos we call it ipon, in Mindoro where we have residence too, it is called dulong or sometimes bunggan.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 6:08 am

  27. Footloose says:

    @ConnieC, what’s the difference between pinais and pinangat? I am familiar with pinangat and have only heard pinais in conversation.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 7:34 am

  28. PITS, MANILA says:

    We call them “dulong”. Prepared just like what is posted. Dipping sauce is vinegar with crushed garlic, or just banana ketchup.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 7:55 am

  29. Akeeno says:

    We cook dulong (the very small ones) as substitute for ginisang bagoong alamang (shrimp paste). Saute them with olive oil or butter, garlic, onions, salt, soy sauce, sugar, calamansi juice or lemon juice and annato powder (achuete) for coloring. Optional: 1 pc of star anise for added flavor.

    For the fried dulong, you can try to add some shredded squash (dry it well before shredding), chopped onion, bell pepper, flour, 1 egg, salt and ground pepper. Optional: for added flavor, you can try to add one of the following: a pinch of five spice powder, chili powder, or oregano powder. Note: Make sure to drain the fish well after washing.

    For the dipping sauce: vinegar, soy sauce, calamansi juice or lemon juice, finely chopped garlic, sugar, a little salt, and siling labuyo (optional).

    Apr 17, 2012 | 8:24 am

  30. Libay says:

    We call it “marugbas” and sometimes “lobo-lobo” in our part of Panay. These are traditionally caught using fine mesh net. A friend did a study on these and found out that this is composed of larval and post-larval stage of anchovy and sardines. Don’t want to sound so scientific and “rightist” here, but continous harvesting of this specie will result to growth overfishing, that is, fish are caught at the early stage of their life before they have the chance to mature and reproduce. While there are already initiatives on regulating the harvesting of this specie, it still very difficult to enforce. It has been part of the traditional source of income of a lot of fishers. And it has been part of our traditional dishes too.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 10:07 am

  31. Connie C says:

    Footloose: I remember my mom ( whose roots are from Batangas and Marinduque) use the term pinais or pinangat to refer to the same mode of cooking fish in slow fire either just seasoned with salt or with a souring agent such as kamias, usually dried or tamarind. My vague recollection for pinais is when the fish is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked the same way. I should ask my sister.

    Akeeno: Your dulong recipes are quite unusual and interesting, at least from my neck of the woods. Is that regional cooking or something you just cooked up?

    Apr 17, 2012 | 10:07 am

  32. Akeeno says:

    Connie C, the sauted dulong was an idea of my sister, I just tried to modify her version. While the fried dulong was my own, I had this idea from fried okoy/ukoy where only a few pieces of shrimp is being added to improve the taste. But for my recipe, the ratio of shredded squash and dulong is 50/50 for a milder fishy flavor.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 11:53 am

  33. jaime says:

    I like dulong prepared like the Spanish angulas (which run close to 60 euros for a small sardine-sized tin). That is, with EVOO, garlic, and silo. Angulas are baby eel. Since real angulas are quite pricey, even “authentic” Spanish restaurants serve that disgusting pollock-based surimi as mock angulas. Dulong does a much better job.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 1:08 pm

  34. satomi says:

    yeah, dulong deep fried and crsipy..yumm my favorite and spanish angulas in olive oil, garlic and peppers. a splash of lemon and fresh crusty bread haayy. me drools

    Apr 17, 2012 | 10:27 pm

  35. Rose says:

    I think its called “maragbas” in Iloilo and we call it “nylon” here in Davao.

    Apr 17, 2012 | 10:56 pm

  36. kcmc says:

    my favorite breakfast ulam..used to have them once a week when i was still a child in the province..a piece beaten piece of egg, a teaspoon of cornstarch, salt and pepper..deep fried and served with ketchup..hmmm..when can i taste these again?

    Apr 19, 2012 | 6:10 am

  37. Christine g says:

    Ms connie c,

    If it isnt too much trouble, can you describe in detail how to make pinangat fish? Sounds interesting! Would like to try it. What other fishes are good for this type of cooking?

    Thank you :)

    Apr 19, 2012 | 6:56 am

  38. gerjan says:

    gusto kong makakita ng study na magprove na maraming species ang bumubuo sa tinatawag na “maragbas and/or lobo-lobo” o kung talagang mga fry lng ang mga yan.,. my nameet kmi dati na ngpprocess ng lobo-lobo.,.ayon sa kanilang “obserbasyon” (for 4months, i think), ang lobo-lobo na yan ay di na lumalaki pa .,.,sayang naman pag mamamatay lng sa dagat,.,kakainin rin naman ng bigger fish/predators…i want proof na these “maragbas/lobo-lobo” need not be exploited,.,para maimanage ng wasto ang ganitong mga resources.,.,hmmm.,.,.if some of them were bangus fry, i want to kn ow how to capture bangus in the sea.,.asan kaya nagtatago ang mga sabalo na yan? i want to see them being caught by our fishermen.,.hehehe

    Dec 13, 2012 | 11:52 am


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