Early to market, means lots of worms…heehee.


I love going to the market(s). Even if I have had a late Friday night, a busy week, a mental low, getting up and hitting the markets on Saturday morning almost always gives me an early morning high. I am a morning person by nature, and rise at 5 a.m. on most days… though on rainy days and unusually dark mornings my body clock can be fooled. This morning at 5:30 a.m. I must have been mid-REM sleep cycle and was jarred awake by my alarm clock, and had what I would describe as a “wet cotton brain”… But a few minutes later, headed to market, I was back in gear. There were several interesting finds at the market this morning but three are featured in this post. Up top, some SUPERB native dayap. I have waxed poetic about dayap before, and made a terrific dayap pie which you should attempt if you have access to good dayap, so when my favorite dayap suki has a box laid out with these gorgeous fragrant fruit, I always pounce like a hoarder and buy as much as I can, even if I have no plans for the fruit. I bought two kilos today and as I was paying, another customer seemed equally thrilled to find the dayap and said they were terrific in a fish paksiw with dayap (I let him have the last 1/4 kilo of fruit)…


I also found a mini-mountain of young sampaloc leaves. With the onset of the “rainy” season, tamarind trees have mkt4sprouted their new growths and someone had obviously clipped several trees worth of the young and subtly fragrant tamarind leaves. These are perfect for a sinampalukang manok that has a hint of sour but not the shocking acidic taste of unripe tamarind fruit broth. I bought 1/4 kilo of these leaves, which is quite a bit. They also happen to possess that natural green color that screams “I am fresh, I am young, I am natural and I am worth it!!!”


Finally, I ran across a vendor that had a good 20 kilos of “native” guavas (not these massive elephantiasis like wonders with bland flavor) and I bought 5 kilos so that I could make a little more guava jam this weekend. I wish I could figure out how to pick the guavas with pink flesh only as I wanted to replicate a gorgeous pink guava jam that my sister bought from France, but I got a mixture of pink and pale green instead. The bowl photographed above was of the darker green and not so ripe guavas… they have a few days to go before I can turn them into guava jelly… but I had another batch that were soft, ripe and pungent as can be, they are already cooked into guava jam and bottled as I type this. Yes, it was a good morning at the markets…

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16 Responses

  1. That picture of the guavas makes me crave for sinigang na baka sa bayabas. If only I could find native guavas here in Toronto…

  2. I love markets, too. Just got back from Union Square, NYC which is at it’s most bountiful peak. Bought flats of sour red cherries for jam, blackberries, peaches, apricots as well, duck’s eggs for making salted eggs, duck’s legs for confit. Persian cucumbers, brandywine tomatoes. white corn, lobster. striped bass. etc. Even New York State Rose’. Will send jams your way with the next BB box. I don’t know why anyone would go to Whole Foods in the summer.

  3. By the way, those massive “guavas” are feijas, not guavas and they have been transplanted from Brazil and grow very well in New Zealand and Thailand.

  4. Aren’t dayap and key lime one and the same fruit? According to Wikipedia key limes are native to Southeast Asia and spread to the Americas later on. The pie you made seems to be the real deal key lime pie.

  5. Great find! I am awaiting your paksiw na isda in dayap. Fish is always good with acidic concoction or dipping sauce – saltiness and acidity goes well with fish. You are right the tamarind leave shoots give great justice to sinampalukang manok. I have a feeling the French use the meat of the guavas in their jam too. They dressed the guavas first – peeling the skin off and deseeding them and boil them until it reaches a mushy consistency – blend it until smooth pass through a sieve – reduce it to the desired level of reduction – add sugar and acid to finish it off to the desired consistency. It is only my theory. Yes, the French guava jam cannot even come close to ours – it captures and arrests the essence and flavor of guava.

  6. Sister, you have great picks there. I can see your stove top churning out jams and jellies. Whole Foods is pricey – they capitalized on their organic produce and antibiotics and hormones free meat with lots of vegan turn around now and purists. I am awaiting a piece of scandal from them that will rock the vegan and purist population and most of these vegans and purists make six figure a year. Long story short as you make money you are picky on what you eat, you have more buying power. Back on the guava jam, but then again I read in books the skin of the fruit contains pectin so I assume they poached the dressed guavas with the peeled skin and when it gets to the blending part they fish out the skin.

  7. Aridelros you are absolutely correct. I totally agree with your idea. So meat/pulp is in there.

  8. ctl, I do have a recipe for sinigang na bayabas with bangus in the archives…didn’t realize it worked well with beef as well…hmmm, learned something today… sister, sounds like a nice haul from the market! I am particularly envious of the sour cherries, blackberries, peaches and apricots! Jerry, yes key limes are evolved from dayaps, I have an earlier post on this and it was a surprise to me at the time when I did the research for that post. Maria Clara, the fish paksiw with dayap turned out well, post coming up. MC and aridelros, actually, I like most of my fruit jams to have less than a totally smooth consistency, I like to feel the bits of fruit on my tongue… strawberry, mango, ranspberry and cherry all have to be reminiscent of the original fruit. For my guava jam, I used a food mill and got enough textural remnants but I suppose if you want a really smooth jam you would have to process the fruit finer and further… bernadette, thanks! Sorry, aridelros, pineapple is the one thing I am violently allergic to at the moment, so there is a dearth of focus on pineapple in this blog…

  9. Sinigang na baka sa bayabas is the best! I eat it with patis/sili on the side and lots of rice. This dish reminds me so much of my dad. In our household, only he and I liked this dish and we would spend many a happy moment sitting on the dining table, savoring this not-so-mainstream sinigang.

  10. My mother had dayap in her garden and it bore so many fruits that we would just pick a fruit when we want to have dayap juice…isn’t that THE life? Unfortunately, it had it’s time and it died. sniff, sniff. I would want to plant one in my garden as soon as I find a good dayap plant, tree?

    She used to make lechen flan with dayap rind and it’s the best leche flan there is. No egg whites.

  11. MM, it’ll be interesting to note as well that dayap and key lime share the same scientific name. It’s like you say potatoe I say potato.
    I’m so jealous of those young and fresh tamarind leaves, very nice indeed for sinampalukang manok. I actually found a bottle of tamarind leaves bottled by a Thai company at the Asian store my last visit there, thought about picking it up but decided against it at the last minute.
    Anyway, another dish that I miss is sinigang using tamarind flowers, mashed the flowers with salt to yield the sour juice just like what you will do with santol for sinigang, it’s absolutely yummy.

  12. Hi MM, speaking of guavas reminds me of hinatukan nga bayabas that my mother would cook when we were small. She first boiled the ripe guavas, drained them and scooped out the seeds (which was set aside to make into jelly later) then chopped up the meat. She then sauteed them in a little oil with some garlic, removed the garlic just before they browned then added some coconut cream and sugar and cooked until the mixture had reduced a bit and reached the desired consistency. In retrospect, the combination of it all sounds so weird but eaten with rice and fried dried salted fish it worked!

  13. Hi MM: Please..please let me know where you got the local dayap?
    And if you don’t mind..your suki’s name…hahahah..don’t worry. I won’t diminish the supply. Its just that I can’t find that kind of lime variety in my area (Makati) or maybe I don’t know where to look. I’ve wrote to a local magazine to help me out, but I wasn’t satisfied with the reply I got. Been dying to get a hold of this as my friends and family are waiting for me to cook my well loved Cold -Thai Vermicelli Salad. Just loved the zing in that fruit not only in savory dishes, but even the dayap zests are great for a yummy leche flan.
    Also, thanks for adding some new if not reworked recipes for all of us to enjoy!

  14. my mom cooked sinigang na baka sa bayabas for the first time in 20 or so years. I was first hesitant to try it as I am only familiar with sinigang sa bayabas using either bangus or hito which I like.

    But when I tasted the finished product, I knew I found a new favorite food. the savory meat flavor with the slightly sweet guava was awesome. perfect for a rainy day. I ate a lot!

    too bad it was only 1/2 kilos’ worth of beef since my mom thought nobody would like the combination. well, there is always a next time.

  15. erleen and ctl, will have to try this baka and bayabas combination soon… raneli, I bought it at the FTI Taguig market; but fair warning, it runs out quickly. I get there pretty early and buy everything I can… :) I suspect Farmer’s market would have it as well… and perhaps the Lung Center Market on Sundays in QC…

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