Bihud / Fish Eggs/Roe


We came across “sacks” upon “sacks” of bihud or fish eggs at the Legazpi market last week. I love caviar, admittedly an acquired taste, but for some reason, I have NEVER had any cooked bihud in all of my food escapades around the country. These bihud were from large fish called “maya-maya” locally, but oddly, to me, they looked different from what are referred to as maya-maya or snapper in and around Manila. The actual fish are photographed below. On the one hand, I feel really bad that these eggs didn’t have a chance to turn into fish that we would eventually eat anyway, but as with other sea critters on offer, this is just part of a centuries old offering of food from the nearby seas… I am told that the bihud is good just sauteed with some vegetables, but again, I have not tried it yet.


For those of you who have cooked or eaten bihud, would you care to share any ideas how this might be best cooked and served? Thanks!


60 Responses

  1. i cook fish eggs paksiw or sometimes ginagawa kong tinola bisaya style with a lot of kangkong or malunggay

  2. sauteed in a bit of olive oil, lots of garlic, salt and pepper and a touch of lemon.. great spread on melba toast. tuna and mahi-mahi roe are common in the davao markets, and yes, i feel sorry for the never-to-be fish, given that several tuna canneries in GenSan have ceased operating recently due to the meager tuna catch… am not sure if we have laws against catching spawning fish.

  3. Wow, my favorite!!! Hubby n I enjoy bihud cooked this way: remove (squeeze out) the roe from the sac. In pan saute lots of chopped onions and tomatoes in oil (I use olive oil to make it extra sarap). Make sure the onions n tomatoes are almost mushy (The term is “linggis” in Tagalog, I think.) and turn reddish with the tomato juice. Put in the bihud, season with salt & fresh cracked pepper. Simmer until cooked but not dry. Keep adding oil as the roe soaks up the oil. heavenly with rice (sinangag or steamed) or on crackers.

    In Davao, they ihaw the entire bihud. Yummy din!

  4. my brother likes this deep fried, but most of the time, we put this with fish in “sinigang sa miso”.

  5. How big are those roe sacs?? As a child, I would eat the eggs inside my fried alumahan or hasa-hasa, but this seems a bit much.

  6. I agree with CecileJ… bihod cooked that way (and with lots of steamed rice) is one of my favorite comfort foods

  7. my dad cooks it with loads of garlic, sweet onions and tomatoes. he fries it with egg (foo yung style) so it has a scrambled egg type consistency mixed with everything else. it has a dry texture and served very hot with white steaming hot rice and a dash of dayap or lemon

  8. Oh, MM, you’re missing a lot! Bihod is delicious — salty, rich (cholesterol-rich, too!), really malinamnam. I’ve had it sauteeed and served with garlic rice like CecileJ describes, or mixed into rice (the same way one makes aligue rice). Kai’s suggestion of grilling it sounds good, too, though I haven’t tried it. And I’m sure it would make a great creamy pasta sauce — I can imagine it would taste a lot like bottarga pasta.

    I do wish bihod were more commonly found in restaurants. I don’t get to eat it half as often as I’d like…though, for my health’s sake, that’s probably a good thing! The only places I remember eating it are Dayrit’s, many years ago, where I first tried it sauteed/sizzling (wonder if the newly-reopened Dayrit’s serves it?); and Bacolod Chicken Inasal, where they used to have bihod rice, but have now discontinued it. I do love this delicacy, and am compelled to order it the few times I see it on the menu.

  9. I like it plain guisado. But my heart bleeds when I see it raw, thinking of the dwindling marine life.

  10. I knew I’d seen bihod recently…coincidentally, I just opened my cupboard now to get something, and saw that I had bought a jar of bihod from Blue Kitchen! I’d almost forgotten it was there. They call it “Caviar Pinoy in Olive Oil & Garlic,” and I plan to use it on pasta, or maybe as part of a salad. Why don’t you buy a jar and taste it first, so you may know if you like it before experimenting with your own raw fish roe?

  11. These are yummy just grilled then sliced, of course with the necessary sawsawan of toyo, kalamansi and sili. Paired with grilled tuna panga, I’m in heaven.YUM!

  12. that looks like an Imelda fish. market vendors sometimes pass it off as mayamaya to make it more expensive.

    I love the eggs. what i do is, slice it, turn it inside out, put some garlic in it, add a few drops of oyster sauce. then, i make gisa some garlic,onion and lots of tomatoes. gisa until mushy. add the eggs, add some pepper, season to taste. a very simple dish to make. you can add some ginger to get rid of the fishy smell.

    for a day that was SO rainy, there really was a great selection in the legazpi market. malalaki pang isda. i wonder where they got it… a lot of times, legazpi gets its fish from donsol

  13. Yes. The fish in the photo is indeed an “imelda” or Big head Carp. It’s a freshwater fish as opposed to red snappers or maya-maya which are caught at sea.

  14. I agree with honey, the fish in the picture looks like Imelda fish.

    Like CecileJ, ginigisa namin yun bihod in garlic, onions and tomatoes. We add a little vinegar and some cracked black pepper to remove the lansa; finish it off with sliced finger chilies for some kick.

    MM, after bihod, you should also try the innards (stomach, liver, etc) from big fishes (tuna, malasugi). Cook it abodo style. Sarap with lots of rice and its a good pair to ice cold beer!

  15. My children and I love bihod which I saute in lots of garlic, onions and tomatoes. Put a little vinegar, salt and msg.(optional), bottle and refrigerate it. My mother usually sautees it with “angkak” a reddish paste, but I don’t know how to get or if it is really the correct name for it. Anyway I just use achuete oil when sauteeing it, to obtain that reddish enhancing color. I will have to inquire about it. Mix it with boiled rice, pair it with fried or grilled fish and ok na!
    Sometimes when I get bihod from the market, I just salt it since that is the way bihod from Bantayan comes. It keeps indefinitely coz its like ginamos.
    The only problem with bihod is you get to eat lots and lots of rice which is a no no when on a diet. Hehehe!

  16. yes one look at the picture and i thought that is an imelda fish, i add ginger too on the sauteed bihod to take away some of the lansa. here in L.A > i get to cook it, our Filipino store sometimes have it .

  17. Oh, forgot to mention that not all bihud taste the same or have the same texture. I use tanigue bihud and haven’t tried “Imelda” bihud. Some like carp eggs but I find them too hard in texture.

  18. Hi there.

    I just started reading your blog and I must say I look forward to new entries.

    This particular one on bihod brought back a lot of nostalgic memories for me. Bihod was part of my childhood. At home, we would have it fried, with just a tiny hint of salt. It felt sinful to eat but it was oh so yummy.

  19. How we cook fish roe:
    1) Deep fried with just salt for seasoning, then dipped in sinamak and consumed with tons of rice

    2) Extracted from the fibrous sac and sauteed in a hot pan with minced garlic, onion and dried basil (when I have fresh basil, I add it in the end – prior to serving) in olive oil. Toss in cooked brown rice and a bit of chicken/beef stock. Kind of like a dry risotto.

    3) Rubbed with garlic and salt and grilled to perfection. Served with (what else) sinamak and steamed white rice.

    Yes, it can be smelly and gross when it’s not fresh. But when you get the chance to have it very fresh, try it!

  20. wash bihod.put salt, kikoman , black pepper. also put chop garlic. wrap in banana leaves then wrap in aluminum foil then grill. get from the wrappers then grill again. about 10 min.our family sunday mainstay food.

  21. forgot to mention that the usual ihaw-ihaw places here in davao always have a few pieces of bihod on the grill, just salted a bit. i don’t like this version, though, as it makes the bihod tough.

    ohh…if that’s imelda carp up top, that’s a real treat because i haven’t seen that lately hereabouts. we love it fried, grilled or sinigang, especially the very fatty belly.

  22. My parents used to prepare bihud squeezed out of its sac by sauteeing it in onions and tomatoes. They would serve it with steamed rice with patis and kalamansi on the side. I used love smooshing it into my hot rice.

    Does anybody in the US know where we can get something like this here? Would shad roe be an equivalent?

  23. Deep fried drenched in seasoned flour to keep them intact from bursting out while frying or paksiw.

  24. not a fan…sorry. i may be missing a lot, i know. i sure need friends to introduce me to delicacies like this.

  25. Hello Mimer, is Imelda the same as Mamale? In Laguna, we have this big carp called mamale and it is indeed very delicious. I love mamale cooked in mustasa and miso. I heard it is high in fat and cholesterol but wonder if it is true. I thought fat from fish is good for the body. Do you know?

  26. marketman, because of your website, i now know that i am not the only person who likes bihod, and that there are other ways to cook it, not just in fish tinola, and that i am not weird not nor gross.

    or maybe i am. but at least there are many of us.

  27. I like my fish eggs cooked ‘sinigang’ style and also fried with lots of garlic. My mom likes hers ‘paksiw’ with lots of vinegar and soy sauce. Either way, its yummy with lots of rice! I have to agree with some that the photo looks a bit gross..hehe.

  28. I buy fish roe whenever I can get it. Cooked in tomatoes,garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs, it also keeps (refrigerated)in a jar for weeks. Not that it ever lasts very long though. What I really love is Bottarga – sliced paper thin and drizzled with olive oil and herbs. I met an Italian cook at Farmers’ Market who promised to teach me how to make Bottarga but I’ve lost his name and the restaurant. It’s in Cubao, and if anyone can help me find it, I’d be much obliged.

  29. I love fish eggs. I saute it with a lot of tomatoes, onions, garlic and a little bit of ginger. A dash of pepper, salt and sugar. Once in awhile I find fish eggs in the port of LA which is San Pedro berth 57 between 3 AM to 6 AM on Saturday only. They sell fresh seafood out of the warehouse after the delivery trucks are loaded with the fresh produce for LA markets.

  30. i tried once…prito budburan mo ng basil. Namit gid.(pero wag masyadong matagal sa mantika tumitigas)

  31. Hello JR I’m onboard Monarch of the Seas, a cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. We are in San Pedro every Monday and Friday and yes I always go visit Ports of Call every now and then. Its nice to know that a fellow Market Manila blogger is near each other.

  32. Hello Danney if I am not mistaken Monarch of the Sea is the 3 day trip to Mexico (correct me if am wrong). We were on a cruise for my oldest son’s graduation celebration last June. My family had a blast. I used to live in the Torrance but moved in the Covina area. Nice knowing a lurker nearby.

  33. This is outrageously amusing… jr. and danney nearby in LA, bettyq and Maria Clara and others getting together on-line… who would have thought a food blog would have this effect??? Heehee. I mean that in a nice way, of course…

  34. Yes, MM your blog is multitaskers to me and source of inspiration, idea, never ending learning process, found new friends and an ambassador of goodwill to me especially your humanitarian program your school feeding program. I relate well to your blog, reconnect back to my roots and bring back lots of my fond childhood days. Never strike me that I would connect well through your blog. I owe to your blog and learn a lot from it through your various commenters. Betty q is a source of wealth through her invaluable experience, knowledge, skills, information and ideas from gardening through baking and I relate well with her. Sister, is my source of inspiration too and learn a lot from her especially her immeasurable silverware knowledge. Silly Lolo and Lee give me my pill of laughter. Ted, I owe him his polvoron and pork barbecue recipes. Catalina, I learn from her the addition of butter in mango jam to reduce the foaming. I know, I do no want to offend you or bring back the shadow of Aridelros which up to this time I truly miss his humorous, witty, articulated and direct to the point comments. I know he got too overboard and crossed the line. I wish and hope one day you will forgive him and give him the green light. Apicio is hilarious and intelligent. Your blog is part of my daily living and widens my learning horizon and I always look forward to clicking onto your site. Thank you thank you to you and your countless commenters.

  35. Reading your piece on bihod reminded me of the summers we spent in our place in Bicol. My mama would go to the market everyday and would come home with all sorts of good and wonderful things that one would only find in the provinces. One of them were these fish eggs that she would go ecstatic about whenever it’s available. I think they come from a fish they call dorado in our place. She would saute it with plenty of garlic, onion and tomatoes. And this, together with a salad of freshly picked pako (fiddle ferns)and something grilled would be lunch for the day. Yum!

  36. Marketman, i’ll bring you to Bantayan island where we cook (saute)our bihud (from danggit!)in the usual garlic, onion and tomatoes but add scrambled eggs and mix well, a few minutes before we take it out of the pan. Bihud sold here is usually preserved in brine, so we wash these first in water and pass them through a strainer before cooking. Really, really great dish! You’ll also discover a lot of unique dishes here so let me know if wou want to go on a great food trip in Bantayan Island (we’re not only famous for eating lechon on Good Friday- hahaha- but that’s another story!)

  37. adding ginger while sauteeing it in lots of garlic, onion and tomato is my favorite way of cooking this sinful(literally) delicacy. Not too watery and add a dash of patis and you’re all set.

  38. Bihod is REALLY GOOD if SINUGBA yum yum yum yum yum!!!

    And I don’t like Caviar, fishy taste hehehe. I will eat raw fish eggs as sushi though… hmm wierd!

  39. Hello JR I am the ship’s ambassador. I’m sure you’ve seen me onboard. I live between Torrance and Oceanside near Del Amo Mall. My phone number is 619-723-0292. You can text me or leave a message. I’m going on vacation to the Philippines on the 21st of March and will be back in LA on the 26th of May

  40. i grew up eating bihod in Mindanao…my mom used to just put it into any fish soup, and i remember it was always a contest among us kids of who could get the biggest pieces first. i’ve tried adobo style and also with teriyaki sauce in some seafood places and they simply taste wonderful!

  41. I’m an Ilocano and we call it boogi or bugi. We had merienda cena at Congressman Ablan’s place in Laoag city and his daughter Anette served us this boogi cooked teriyaki style. its delicious!
    As children, our grandma used to take off the boogi sac or just cut through and salt it, to preserve it. She saute s oil, garlic, onions (green onions look great) and tomatoes then adds the salted boogi (previously washed to take away the salt). When cooked through but not too long, add scrambled eggs to the sauted boogi. Serve with garlic rice.

  42. Dear SIR

    We offer DRIED FLYING FISH ROE from Indonesia.

    Process : Well-Dried – by Sunsine
    No Salt, No Foreign Materials
    Yeiled : 4 (+/-0,1)
    Origin : Indonesia
    Port : Makassar – Indonesia
    Payment Terms : L/C
    Minimum Order : 5000 Kilograms
    Supply Ability : Unlimited
    Packing : a. 5 Kgs net in poly bag x 4 bags in carton (20 kgs each).
    b. 2 Kgs net in poly bag x 12 bags in carton(24 kgs each)

    Today’s Price : US$19.50/kg, C&F.

    Today’s Stock Available : 16 Tons (2 Containers of 20 Feet)

    We hope to serve you.
    We’re waiting for your response.
    Thanks in advance.
    Best wishes,

    Marketing of CV. Hiraki Kojima, Makassar – Indonesia
    Email :
    Direct Call : +62.81524909777
    Fax : +62.411.328553
    Makassar – South Sulawesi

  43. I’ve been looking for a way to cook bihod all over the food blogosphere… I should have gone here first to check out if you’ve made a post about it already!!! Got some great ideas here… thanks thanks thanks!

  44. Although your picture is indeed fish roe and bihud, there’s a difference between it and the guinamos variety of the Visayas. The one you pictured is often derived from Tuna and can be cooked in slices or chunks. The guinamos variety has visibly distinct eggs.

  45. marasa o masarap kong may Bihud, Caviar, Roe, Alige,Burena ngan padesan hen Tuba nga Bahalina hahanapin ka mamaya nang asawa mo at ang anak mo ay Lalaki nanaman o sapinsaping ang anak mo,.
    polotan; genatan na Bihug-hogasan nang soka ang bihud at ang
    gata eneten mga 5 min at elagay sa bihud ang sarap he ha ham!
    2.Henerisan nang Kalamance- hogasan nang tobig na may asen ang bihud, patapos layan nang kalamanse bawang at sebuyas ang sarap pag may wani o tuba na bahalina,.
    3. tenola o senegang sa miso- kamates, talinom, seboyas,
    asen,batwan o libas o sampalok onahen sa pag pakolo sa tobig H2O pag lotona ang k,t,s,b,L o Sampalok elagay ang Bihud in senegang na miso sa komokolong senigang at in 5min. hangoen mo sa kalan at yayaen mo na komaen ang asawa mo,
    ang sarap abot langet sa sarap, isapa nga ha he he hi,.
    email kayo sa aken sa para sa ebapang lotong Bihud, Caviar,Roe, Burena at kinilaw ang sarapsarap no, DIBA

  46. bihud or bihod is normally cooked adobo style. its a very popular dish here in QC, V.luna area. im not sure if anyone here is familiar about this small eatery in teacher’s village or UP vill i think, which specializes in bihod. anway, a lot of this dihs has sprung up in all sorts of eateries here.

    its not also cheap. in the market, tuna or tanigue bihod is sold at approximately 200-220/kl. YES! its that expensive!!

    im not sure about maya-maya eggs being used. whats commonly used are tuna & esp tanigue roe. bec. its the best, in terms of quality after cooked.

    normally, we would boil it first with some ginger. just so the egg sac would keep the tiny eggs intact. after 3mins or so, drain & cook it adobo style. with loads of garlic & ginger as well. i think the tanigue variety is the best. since it doesnt have a malangsa taste.

    when buying it at farmers, make sure you buy the ones that are yellowish almost gold in color. since the roe is already at their best stage. meaning, one can see the eggs round & shiny. some of the bihod are still at their “infancy” stage, so when cooked, you cant see the roe. when you slice it, it looks like a paste only. something like sliced tofu. not a good choice for adobo.

    goodluck to your bihod adventure!

  47. The Maya-maya roe you refer to in Legaspi is from a cultured fish otherwise known as “Bighead Carp,” hence, its abundance. (Personally, I prefer roe from marine fish.) Regarding its use, I suspect it’s the fish roe that adds substance to KENG SOM, spicy tamarind, Lemongrass, and red curry-flavored Thai soup closely related to the Philippine Sinigang.

Comments are closed.



Subscribe To Updates

No spam, only notifications about new blog posts.