19 Apr2010


All of these photos were taken at the Coron town market on our recent trip to Palawan. The selection of edible shells was amazing, with more variety than I have ever seen on offer in a local market. Everything was reef fresh and incredibly photogenic.



  1. atbnorge says:

    The only thing I can say about those fish—-PINANGAT!!!!

    Apr 19, 2010 | 6:51 am


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  3. denise says:

    waaah…I miss fresh seafood!

    MM, what a wonderful shell collection you must have acquired after that lunch! (if the shells weren’t cracked open to get the seafood inside)

    Apr 19, 2010 | 7:05 am

  4. junb says:

    Hi MM, Have u seen one of Daniel Boulud where he put a live shrimp on a bed of rock salt and fresh rosemary herb then cover it with a 500 F rock salt mix with 2 tbsp of smoke salt for 5 mins to cook. looks interesting!

    Apr 19, 2010 | 7:17 am

  5. junb says:

    All this done in front of your guest on a dining table. Good for entertaining

    Apr 19, 2010 | 7:34 am

  6. Ejit says:

    anyone familiar with the common names of the shells and fishes that MM featured? On the 12th photo what’s the name of the fish with yellow stripes near the big fish?

    Apr 19, 2010 | 7:49 am

  7. Mari says:

    This is what I really miss…fresh fish at the wet market. I know, I know… there should be a place here in NY where fish is as fresh looking as what I remember seeing in Manila…but living in the suburbs and really do no have much time to look for a fish monger close by and cheap…is very hard to come by. So, this is what I truly miss having seafood at any time of the day. Thanks MM for posting this…

    Apr 19, 2010 | 8:13 am

  8. Lizzy says:

    I haven’t seen fish that fresh in a long time. I never got to try eating those shells when I was growing up in the Philippines, but they all look familiar as shells we collected on the sea shores.

    I really, really miss the P.I. right about now…

    Apr 19, 2010 | 8:27 am

  9. millet says:

    have often wondered how to eat those shellfish in the first picture. the cone-shaped ones in the yellow plastic bag are delicious steamed or made into soup with a little salt, ginger ang kamunggay, but it takes some skill pulling them out of the shells.

    Apr 19, 2010 | 8:52 am

  10. Footloose says:

    They are marine snails called conchs in the Caribbean where it is used as the principal ingredient of several regional specialties, notably fritters and chowder. I have not really coaxed a live conch out of its shell but I have easily picked the meat out of cooked ones, found it a lot chewier than scallops. Abandoned shells are usually washed up beaches where the sun bleaches them white turning them into free bric-a-brac for naval or marine settings.

    What is the name of the fish in the second picture?

    Apr 19, 2010 | 10:03 am

  11. Toping says:

    @Footloose: I think those are skipjack tuna (tulingan). I’m more interested in the caraballas though (the fourth pic), if that’s what they are. They’re great fried!

    Apr 19, 2010 | 11:36 am

  12. Lee says:

    aloy, dalino-an, bay-ad, lawayan, talaba… nahidlaw na ko sang mga isda kag pakinhason.

    The fish they serve us here are always some unknown breaded and white fillets. I want my fish with bones, tails, heads, and an opaque eyeball staring back at me. I want my shellfish with the shell.

    Apr 19, 2010 | 1:12 pm

  13. Karina says:

    This entry made me smile :)

    Apr 19, 2010 | 1:17 pm

  14. Lee says:

    @ toping: we call those caraballas “dalino-an” and it is really good fish for frying. They have this white fatty sac-liver-something in their bellies that taste like ocean butter. Ocean butter??? gawa gawa ko lang yan.

    Apr 19, 2010 | 1:54 pm

  15. junb says:

    @Lee, Where are you now? I always thought you are somewhere in the southern part of pinas.

    Apr 19, 2010 | 2:12 pm

  16. Brian Asis says:

    Hahahaha! Wonderful photo-post MM :D It made me laugh!

    Apr 19, 2010 | 2:14 pm

  17. Lee says:

    @ junb i’m in a desert most of the time

    Apr 19, 2010 | 2:27 pm

  18. aly says:

    the 9th picture looks like a kamote,hehehe.

    Apr 19, 2010 | 3:26 pm

  19. frenchadobo says:

    @atbnorge i agree ! my mom used to cook pinangat often as fresh fish is also cheap and abundant in zambales . now i’m craving for pinangat na sapsap. by the way atbnorge, i have bought smoked salmon from norway recently and it was so good. a little pricey though.

    Apr 19, 2010 | 4:49 pm

  20. terrey says:

    interesting post!

    Apr 19, 2010 | 5:02 pm

  21. tess mercado says:

    Yes, pinangat sa kamatis at yung sapsap (6th picture) with calamansi!

    Apr 19, 2010 | 5:16 pm

  22. Jack Hammer says:

    I have only one word for you MM…..

    WOW !!!!!!!

    You are a gift, to cherish.

    Apr 19, 2010 | 6:07 pm

  23. joyce says:

    the color gradations on the shell look so pretty almost like a painting

    Apr 19, 2010 | 6:46 pm

  24. atbnorge says:

    I still couldn’t get my eyes off those fish…I’ll eat them anytime!!! Even as midnight snack!

    Apr 19, 2010 | 7:30 pm

  25. Marion Echenique says:

    love those seashells! i wish i can eat them right now..

    Apr 19, 2010 | 9:18 pm

  26. Vicky Go says:

    @frenchadobo – I think “pinangat” is as simple as one can get with fresh fish! Love pinangat especially, as you say, sapsap! Next to it would be plain paksiw – w just a souring ingredient added! Miss the fish in RP – even the homely biya. Daing na biya used to be very readily available here. But for some reason, not anymore! Overfishing?
    @ Lee – same here, I want my fish whole, head & tails intact. Once, at a restaurant, the waiter brought out the whole grilled trout that I ordered. Then he proceeded to cut off the head & the tail & lift off the filet from the bones. He was just leaving me w the cleaned filets. He must have been surprised when I asked that he leave everything behind! I love fish heads, especially the eyes. And I like picking at the head bones; sucking what little brain there is!

    There must be “whelk” somewhere in these shots. (I see “snails” or periwinkles or ‘winkles’ for short) In Manhattan Chinatown, they do a delicious dish of whelk in black bean sauce; the Chinese character they use for the dish translates literally as “belt” – as in “leather belt” perhaps. Probably because of chewy nature, like abalone.

    Apr 19, 2010 | 10:41 pm

  27. THELMA says:

    you have the best blog ever! there are
    sooo many blogs out there but nothing
    compared to yours. keep them coming…

    Apr 19, 2010 | 11:25 pm

  28. meh says:

    @Ejit, I think the yellow fish in photo #12 is probably a species of sweetlips (genus Plectorhinchus), tagalog common name is labian…

    MM, really like your marine-related posts but it also makes me sad because so many of these animals are overfished ….

    Apr 20, 2010 | 12:19 am

  29. Angie says:

    Wow! I miss sea shells (from the seashore :-)…especially cooked with coconut milk and pako (fern). yummy!

    Apr 20, 2010 | 1:04 am

  30. natie says:

    i thought of buying fish today from a local Korean grocer–after seeing this, maybe i’ll settle for a good steak—only in the philippines can you find fresh selections like these….sigh…

    Apr 20, 2010 | 3:45 am

  31. frenchadobo says:

    @ vicky go, i imagine how amused the waiter was when you demanded him leave everything behind. i get the same look from my inlaws or even my husband when i asked the same. here in france, they are also used to eat fish filet style and honestly for me, fish filet is very convenient to eat but it lacks the flavor. i especially like the head of the fish when my mom cooks pinangat or paksiw. i especially miss eating bangus as it is not available here. my mom cooks pinangat na sapsap with tomato, and with paksiw na bangus she addds okra and ampalaya. real comfort food especially during the cold rainy season.

    Apr 20, 2010 | 3:51 pm

  32. Carlo R. says:

    My mom and ex office mates eat the shellfish like candy. Just give them a toothpick and the rest is history.
    They say it just tastes like a typical shellfish like mussels, bamboo shells, oysters, etc.

    Here in the philippines, sometimes they value the head more than the whole body of meat. I like the “panga” or jaw of tuna and basically we just grill them here and serves as our viand. Dipped in soysauce squeezed with calamansi (local lemon) and a bit of chili, fresh garlic and onions. Never fails on a sunday afternoon with steamed rice and Ice Cold Coke.

    Apr 23, 2010 | 2:40 pm

  33. Pierre says:

    Wow! kanamit…! i miss bay-ad and talaba. I can eat a whole “sako” neto non-stop… then may hawak hawak kang ice cold beer… wohooo!

    Jul 28, 2010 | 11:01 am


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