Grilled Galunggong / Mackarel Scad

Galunggong is an extremely common fish in Philippine waters and markets.agal1 Considered the benchmark of locals’ well-being, the price of a kilo of galunggong is tracked by the President and the press, in the same way the Big Mac index is used globally. Galunggong or Mackarel Scad (Decapterus macarellus) can grow up to a foot in length and has a dark somewhat oily but tasty flesh. Fried galunggong and boiled white rice is the basic meal of that mythical seaside Filipino Juan, Jose or Procopio. At the market recently, I was accompanied by an old work colleague who is now based in the U.S. and who wanted to wander around a local wet market. The combination of Marketman and a nice white guy really sent prices soaring! One vendor had some very fresh looking baby galunggong about 5-6 inches long. Just a bit bigger than sardines, my guest asked if we could get some and grill them like fresh sardines in the Mediterranean. We bargained them down to PHP40 for half a kilo and I walked away knowing I had just paid 20% more than I should have, but what the heck.

To prepare, de-gut the fish by having someone with fingers smaller than mine pull the guts out through the mouth. If the fish is too small or the guts are too slippery, make a small slit in the stomach area and extract the guts. Rinse well and dry with paper towels. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and some olive oil (extra virgin not necessary). Fire up a grill or barbecue and when hot, grill the galunngong until just cooked, perhaps a couple of minutes on each side depending on the heat of the fire. I also grilled some siling mahaba (long green chillis) that I found in the fridge. Serve with patis (fish sauce) and dayap (lime) or kalamansi (calamondin). They were really very good. Something I will cook more often. My guests for lunch ate the whole fish, head included, but I just ate the body and removed the bones…


15 Responses

  1. galunggong is not a bisaya name… I know we have this in Cebu I cant even remember the taste anymore… thank you for this post.

  2. Sarap, ang tawag namin yata ay bulilit sa ilokano,binabalot nang dahon nang saging at may maraming hilaw na manga at linuluto nang kunting tubig, Market man ginutom mo tuloy ako.

  3. In cebu you call this bodboron. ……must be the same in Negros. Tuloy is the sardine.

  4. budloy ang tawag sa galunggong dito sa butuan. try cooking it paksiw then deep fry mo pagkaluto mo sa paksiw. try cooking it fresh, clean the intestine, put some native vinegar, garlic, ginger, siling haba, salt, vetsin and pour some cooking oil. cook it by boiling until the juice is dry. after cooking, deep fry it. pagkasarap kaayo. burp

  5. This fish is very good. I always look for this in the market here in California. The thing is, this is seasonal so we just have to wait when it’s is available. This is good to eat freshly fried with patis or bagoong isda. Man, it’s heaven for me especially whe you eat them with your hands. One time my friend had a little lunch party at her house, she asked me what I
    want for lunch. She already ordered several kinds of fish and I asked her if the market have galunggong and they did. At the party all the guests like the GG. The tilapia and the catfish were left untouched. The good thing is we had “to go”(balot).

  6. My Dad and I were talking about Galunggong and he was wondering what is the more common term in English. His guess was mackarel, so he asked me to google it. The first result was your blog entry. I knew I should’ve gone straight to your blog. Thanks! :D

  7. masarap talaga ang galunggong,, same name ang tawag namin dito sa sorsogon, hinahanap hanap ko parin yan dito sa america hehehehehe kasi ang sarap nyan eh lalo na kung prito, ang tawag nayan sa english ay mackerel scad..hope tama ang searching ko kasi dami klasi ng mackerel eh..

  8. the name galunggong refers to a whole family of fish, who all look similar but are not exactly the same.

  9. I am from guimaras and the galunggong in hiligaynon or ilonggo is tamudjos. I don’t know if I spell it right but that’s what it called

  10. i am looking for a galongong fish here in florida if it is available in the market. does anyone knows in what market i can buy it? i am now very hungry that i couldnt eat this kind of fish, it makes me get sick if i cant eat food that filipino used to eat in phils., my husband bought me a salmon fish but i dont think that fish was still good bcoz when we ate it upset our stomach allot, it seems we wanted to threw up. hoping for some filipino in florida could tell me where to buy the galongong fish, thank u.



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