05 Jan2010

Sinigang Still Life

by Marketman


The makings of a Sinigang na Talakitok sa Miso… A fish broth with unripe tamarind and soybean paste and a cornucopia of vegetables. Everything purchased fresh at the Nasugbu market a few hours before lunch. Sometimes the photo says it all. The soup was so distractingly good that I forgot to take a photo of the finished product! Enjoy! :)




  1. denise says:

    hmmm…maybe that’s what i miss…uber fresh fish (with sand to boot and still slightly moving) and farm fresh veggies — i’ve been asked a dozen times what Filipino dish I miss the most (nothing really since we can get most of it in Dubai)…maybe I should have said I miss the freshness!

    Jan 5, 2010 | 8:55 pm


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  3. atbnorge says:

    @Denise, I only don’t miss the freshness—I miss everything!

    If I insist on eating just Filipino fare here in our household, I’ll be the only one eating it and it will really punch a big hole on our food budget. So, once in a while, I try to rustle up something that I really love—like sinigang na talakitok. Just today, I made pansit guisado with pork lomo—my comfort food. I grew up near Antipolo’s public market, my father used to scour the back of the market at dawn (like MM) to buy food ingredients from small farmers—the smallest of farmers—who laid their wares on sacks on the ground or bilao on kaing. The food habit at home was coffee and pan de sal early in the morning, and a heavy pre-lunch meal at 9 a.m… Then a heavier fare during lunch complete with himagas…Oh, I counld go on… This feature of MM is a typical pre-lunch meal during my grandparents’ time. It’s so cosy and homey-ish, huh! MM, you are so salbahe, bakit feature ka nang feature ng talakitok? ;)

    Jan 5, 2010 | 9:28 pm

  4. Mila says:

    Wouldn’t it be cool to see gorgeous paintings of Filipino food still lifes/lives, just like those 17th to 18th century Dutch/Spanish/French paintings made by the masters? Or really lovingly styled black and white photos… MM, you could use them for your cookbook!

    Jan 5, 2010 | 9:36 pm

  5. arlene says:

    I can thoroughly relate, MM. I bought a 3-4kg freshly-caught talakitok from fishermen while vacationing at a beach in Nasugbu after Christmas. The head became Sinigang, the other half was Grilled… Next meal was fresh lobster, pan-grilled with butter and a bit of dill & garlic… Followed by a walk along the long, powdery beach under the full moon … A taste of heaven I must say. (The weather’s been hot lately, though. I miss the cool, windy weather before Christmas.)

    Jan 5, 2010 | 10:36 pm

  6. mardie c",) says:

    we were just in a global market yesterday and sadly there were no fresh fishes around (as expected) except for the live tilapias in a tank. it would have been nice to have a hot bowl of sinigang na talakitok (or any fish basta fresh) esp on this cold weather in the desert. quite disappointed not to see the finish product of this sinigang but then my imagination could make up for it.

    Jan 5, 2010 | 10:46 pm

  7. denise says:

    atbnorge…wow taga-UA…ako from LA :D malapit kami sa Masinag Market pero sa Marikina Market kami namimili kasi mas maraming choices doon na mas fresh

    Jan 5, 2010 | 11:00 pm

  8. charlie says:

    I just discovered MM blog over the holidays…Sinigang with fresh fish what a great comfort food.

    Jan 5, 2010 | 11:12 pm

  9. Vicky Go says:

    I miss fresh fish sinigang, too! I usually get dibs on the head! At the Fulton Fish market, they used to practically give away the heads (OK 19 kopang-kopang as BettyQ might say; same time butchers did same thing w soup bones) & mostly the Filipino customers were the ones who grabbed them! Now, I need to get to the Filipino resto early if I want to get a bangus head in the sinigang! The only place around here where you can buy fish heads is at the East-West grocery/fish store! Otherwise, in regular supermarkets, they’re all headless!

    BTW – I was so surprised (happily) when I found pea shoots last week at the East-West grocery! I grabbed a bagfull! Spring in winter? Darn right!

    @MM – what’s the difference between “sinigang” & “bulanglang”? I think I asked this Q before & didn’t get an answer.

    Jan 5, 2010 | 11:19 pm

  10. Nina says:

    Vicky, WOW, small world, we used to live in Glen Ridge w/c is 10 minutes from East West. Now, the nearest store to us is Kah Man which is actually better, bigger and has fresher seafoods and vegetables. Kah Man is about 25 minutes from East West. Let’s talk; my e-mail address is nnyc67@yahoo.com. Sorry for the detour, MM.

    Jan 5, 2010 | 11:48 pm

  11. Nina says:

    Vicky, if you love pea shots, Kah Man also carries them + lots of other oriental veggies I don’t recognize.

    Jan 5, 2010 | 11:50 pm

  12. millet says:

    very nice.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 12:00 am

  13. lorraine says:

    to vicky go –> in pampanga (mabalacat to be exact), bulanglang is sinigang sa bayabas while sinigang is sinigang sa sampalok or kamias or anything sour. i remember before our kasambahay will use santol as pampaasim if sampalok or kamias are not available. yummmm!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 12:06 am

  14. betty q. says:

    …and in Batangas, bulanglang is simply a melange of vegetables in a simple broth.I think that is what my mom and aunt called it from what I remember.

    Vicky Go…my apologies…was away and came back only few days ago….will mail package today!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 12:57 am

  15. thelma says:

    sinigang…definitely a comfort food!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:02 am

  16. jr says:


    I love the still life picture. I wish I could hang one in our family room or kitchen wall. Happy New Year and belated Merry Xmas.


    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:10 am

  17. atbnorge says:

    @Hei Denise…wow…Kababayang taga LA! Yes, pamilyar ako sa Masinag kasi ay may property kami noon sa may Sumulong Highway malapit sa Kingsville. We used to go hiking down there from the town proper when we were kids. So nice to meet a kababayan here in MarketManila…Kami naman sa UA, we usually went eastward to Tanay dahil mas fresh doon ang ayungin, hipon tagunton, at saka bangus and tilapia, kanduli, you name it…Waaah, naalala ko na naman ang lutong Palos na kanduli ni Inang…. Ingat ka d’yan.

    Thanks MM for being the gracious host here. More power to you.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 4:20 am

  18. atbnorge says:

    @Denise…psst pahabol…kung malapit kayo sa Masinag market at ako naman ay sa palengke sa bayan…pareho pala tayong palengkera :D

    Jan 6, 2010 | 4:28 am

  19. Bong says:

    Agree! The picture says it all! Yum!!!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 4:43 am

  20. sonia ner says:

    a beautiful still life! everything looks so fresh – the sinigang could nt have been anything but delicious!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 5:37 am

  21. Betchay says:

    MM you really have a nice way of arranging things! The colors evoke the freshness!I want to grab them now and cook in my kitchen.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 7:40 am

  22. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Oh No!…the fish is looking at me…I can’t eat it…….hehehehe

    Jan 6, 2010 | 9:32 am

  23. diday says:

    I can relate MM getting distracted and forgot to take photos of the appetizing soup– slurp!!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 11:08 am

  24. sonny sj says:

    @ atbnorge/Denise – another antipolo guy here. i am staying in Brgy. San Luis. funny thing is, malapit din ako sa palengke, sa Cogeo Market.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 12:07 pm

  25. denise says:

    ay pwede nang mag-East side EB :D (kaso up to january30 lang ako dito)!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:11 pm

  26. Cecilia says:

    Aaah! This is making me hungry! And unfortuantely, we’re having pasta for dinner … Gotta make this soon again!

    Jan 6, 2010 | 1:49 pm

  27. bagito says:

    Haha, love the 3 fish heads–parang may iba-ibang expression pa. Was that done on purpose, MM? ;-)

    Jan 6, 2010 | 2:02 pm

  28. emil says:

    temptingly delicious. kindly feature “maliputo” from taal lake, or “ayungin” from laguna de bay.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 3:24 pm

  29. emsy says:

    @vicky bulanglang is usually not sour or is only a tiny bit sour (only because tomatoes are used in the dish). Also the veggies used in bulanglang are usually those found in pinakbet (ampalaya, squash, sitaw). First, the fish is fried, then set aside. Then the veggies are cooked like pinakbet (some even add bagoong) with a lot of broth, then the fish is added again. So bulanglang is really like fried fish with pinakbet in a lot of broth.

    Jan 6, 2010 | 3:44 pm

  30. i love sta.rosa says:

    mm,ask kolang yung po bang mga isada na nabibili sa sm mall ay masasabi pa rin bang fresh? ano po ang macomment nyo sa pagbili ng mga isda sa mga supermarkets?

    Jan 6, 2010 | 4:17 pm

  31. iya says:

    with garlic! yum!

    Jan 7, 2010 | 1:13 pm

  32. denise says:

    Vicky…to add to emsy’s answer (since that’s how my mom and grandma makes bulanglang) sometimes we add malunggay

    i love sta.rosa…well mag-aapply pa din dun yung kung mapula ang hasang at iba pang ways para makita kung fresh (ask kung kakadeliver lang ba or kung what time usually ang dating ng mga seafood)…minsan pag tinatamad mama ko sa supermarket na lang din bumibili kasabay ng pag-grocery..pero yung mga hardy varieties lang, gaya ng tilapia.though sa ibang supermarket may mga tanks na para sa shrimp (which of course costs more) at sa dalag

    Jan 7, 2010 | 2:27 pm

  33. rene ocampo says:

    I have been a fish aficionado since the start of my high blood pressure problems when I was living in the States. Among my favorites are halibut, salmon, dorado or mahi mahi as they say in Hawaii, whitefish (saltwater fish similar to bangus), trout, cod, swordfish, Chilean sea bass, pompano and red snapper. I retired to the comfort of home in the year 2001 and since that time, I acquired a bass boat and have been fishing for bass at Lake Caliraya but was not too keen on eating it. Among my favorite local fish is the maliputo, a a fresh water fish and a relative of the talakitok. Another local fish I had chanced upon is found only in the river of the Cagayan Valley. It is a salt water fish like the salmon but moves to the river to lay eggs. I had eaten it steamed but they say you can fry and eat the kaliskis too! I love eating the eggs as you open the belly and the taste is similar to the yellow part of the balut! Do you happen to know the name of that particular fish? Is it Dugong, Dulong, Gudong…and where can I find them here in Manila?

    Jan 7, 2010 | 5:03 pm

  34. christina foss says:

    MM, if there’s one thing I would happily move back to the Philippines for, it’s the fresh fish! Here in Victoria, there’s a dearth of fresh inexpensive seafood which I just can’t understand, considering it’s a port town, although small, I’ll grant. But when I get cravings for Philippine food, I don’t care- hang the expense! And no sharing, haha.

    Jan 8, 2010 | 1:54 pm

  35. atbnorge says:

    @sonny_sj—Uy, isa pang palengkero from Antipolo!

    Jan 9, 2010 | 6:34 am

  36. Connie C says:

    Vicky, our bulanglang in the southern Tagalog region is, like bettyQ said a melange of fresh vegetables: green papaya, string beans, eggplant, camote tops, squash, squash blossoms, etc. in light broth simmered with some tomatoes and ginger flavored with bagoong. (no bitter melon as I remember tho it would be okay , I guess). It generally does not have meat altho you can throw in left over fried or smoked fish towards the end of the cooking. It is the Tagalog equivalent of dinengdeng in Ilocandia. My aunt likes to add balanoy which gives it an added zing, real comfort barrio food.

    Betty Q, would balanoy be mint or basil?

    Sinigang on the other hand is more sour using tamarind or camias or miso with lots of tomatoes and will have meat or fish as main ingredients. Generally, the vegetables we use for sinigang are not quite the same as in bulanglang but of course we all have our regional variations such as guava, or green banana among the ingredients used in the sinigang in some regions. Certain vegetables go with fish or shrimps and some others for meat sinigang. My father used to say kangkong for fish, camote tops for meat sinigang.

    In both instances the broth is more flavorful when using rice washings.

    Gosh, after the meaty, rich, holiday eating , I am longing for these comfort foods already.

    Jan 9, 2010 | 11:55 am

  37. Mom-Friday says:

    this is a great alternative to my usual Maya-maya sinigang sa miso! though it is not always available in the supermarket, aside from mayamaya and Talikitok, would you suggest any other fish variety that may go well with this sinigang sa miso?

    Jan 10, 2010 | 12:42 am

  38. Connie C says:

    Mom-Friday: Try mullet or salmon if available and quick fry the fish in some oil before adding to the broth for a more flavorful sinigang.

    Jan 10, 2010 | 8:16 pm

  39. acousticpot says:

    MM, i try this dish with my wife and she voted 75% for this fish. she said it’s so sharp (the tinik) pomfret will do just fine. sinigang with less sabaw.

    Jan 11, 2010 | 12:39 pm

  40. chiqui says:

    luv this picture. you always make me hungry

    Jan 11, 2010 | 5:01 pm

  41. Mom-Friday says:

    @Connie: thank you, will try salmon next time :)

    Jan 12, 2010 | 11:58 pm


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