Marketman’s Unusual Finds at the Arranque Market

Freshly skinned frogs…

…several types of eels…

…scrawny pigeons…

…black Chinese chickens and locally raised ducks…

…baby octopi…

…fresh abalone…

…various types of fish lips…

…and several varieties of sea cucumbers…

…fresh lotus root…

…ginormous bags filled with dried chilis, dried woodear mushrooms…

…large flowering chives and of course, the wild rice shoots I featured earlier…

…and finally, several kinds of pickled or fermented vegetables. A very interesting visit to a small but vibrant and well-stocked market. Arranque Market is between C.M. Recto and Soler Streets, a 10-15 minute walk from the Binondo Church.

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31 Responses

  1. this post brings back growing up memories of palengke drop-offs of my mom at this market. glad to know Arranque is as fully-stocked as ever…..

  2. When will the local government of Manila turn the city into a world class city? Or a even city worth visiting by local or foreign tourists. Manila holds so much potential. It still has so many as in so many places worth seeing and visiting. This market is just one of the places that the city government can turn into a local spot that both tourists and regular market goers can frequent to (like the local markets in Bangkok, Hong Kong or Singapore). Manila is both a historic and historical city, I was born there and I really hope present and future leaders of the city will really exert effort to protect it from further decay and destruction.

  3. Heck, when was the last time you came home for a visit? In old historic intramuros, you may want to try a walking tour with Carlos Celdran (he has several different tours) or one in Binondo with Ivan Mandy… while we aren’t anywhere near some other countries in the way our markets, historic sites, etc. are preserved and kept up, they are there if you are interested enough to seek them out. As for markets in particular, if you visit Manila, you may want to head to the Salcedo Market, the Legazpi market, the Centris market, Farmers market, Seaside market, etc. — the seasonal selections can be quite impressive. Oh, the flower market in Dangwa is pretty impressive as well. Getting around Manila on public transportation can be a bit difficult… but that’s another story.

    As for world class city, I guess my view is that with so much poverty, low income levels and such a rampant growth in population, the chances of that happening any time soon are pretty slim. Read my earlier post on poverty levels in the Philippines, here.

  4. Wow! This is my first time seeing a black chicken. I’m not sure if I would eat that.

  5. MM, I’m at Dangwa so often, I should start my own walking tour there. Btw, Down To Earth is my supplier of organic flowers and I was able to try the new kale last week. My kids didn’t know what to think of it. Imagine if I brought them to Arranque?

  6. Fish Lips! Have been wanring to make a good hot and sour fish lips soup. Source of ingredients now reduces the problem to finding a reliable recipe

  7. ilove that flowering chives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i will visit arangue next next friday!!! i want to try that rice shoots! and i want the lotus . MM can you give me recipe for the lotus?thank u

  8. the photos reminds me of wet markets in China. Lotus roots are one of my favorites – its good as a cold salad -with white vinegar, sugar, chilis and sesame oil, and great stir fried with sichuan peppercorns, spicy black bean paste and lots of chilis – yum!

  9. MM, how safe is it around the Arranque Market? I have always wanted to go explore bigger markets but I’m worried that I become the victim of a pickpocket or something.

  10. So what did you buy MM? All of those look so promising. I love frogs, and those look plump and juicy!

  11. wow saw this in my Zite reader! First marketmanila feature in my newest favorite app. I would love to have those slithery eels with gata.

  12. Gosh, this is just a 20 mins ride from Sampaloc (where I stay during my visit to Pinas) and I have never visited the place. Sabi ko pa naman sa team ko, I can’t find things at the regular market in Legarda nor in Quezon where our Mission House is located. Ang dami kong gustong lutuin, eh wala nga. Now…I know where to go next time na pag-uwi ko. Thanks.

  13. Im raising some of those black chickens right now, for pets not food at the moment. They are super cute fuzzy chickens! Not cheap though …

  14. What a timely post about Lotus Root, MM! Lotus root…a staple at my in-law’s house. They make it into soup but I prefer it as a cold salad. …choose the ones that are heavy and firm and not lamog making it soft. Then after peeling soak it in acidulated water to preserve its pale looking color like artichokes. Then thinly slice using a mandoline and drop the slices in the acidulated water. Blanch quickly in salted boiling water. Shock in ice water. PAT DRY. Then make Ginger-Sesame dressing…sprinkle with chili flakes and roasted sesame seeds. I have bottles and bottles of this dressing, MP…it is my all purpose dressing. I use it to marinate thinly sliced short ribs (it is barbecue season here now) for Kahlbi ribs added with a grated Shinko pear, a dressing for Cold Thai Noodle Salad with home smoked chicken and roasted vegetables, to nap over COLD TOFU and sprinkled with Pork Floss and Furukake , nap squares of blanched spinach (after squeezing the water out of it) like in GOMAAE, for Chinese coleslaw made with shredded napa cabbage and such and used in Korean tacos made with leftover Kahlbi ribs (thinly sliced napped lightly with Korean chili paste thinned with rice vinegar and honey…and I am sure you can come up with other uses of it, MP!

    All of the above are for supper today and the leftovers (Kahlbi) used for tom.’s Korean tacos!

  15. one of my family’s favorite purchases at arranque market is dried bamboo shoots. soak them in water till they rehydrated. in the meantime, make an adobo with pork and plenty of dried mushrooms that have been rehydrated; when almost done, add the rehydrated bamboo shoots. the adobo should be a a bit saucy so that the mushrooms and bamboo shoots have flavorful liquid to absorb.

  16. hahaha! nangigigil now with arranque market … going after the frog to make “lelut-tugak” (frog-lugaw). i wonder what they do with the skin, it can be crispy-fried with garlic.

  17. I live around this area and even if there are so many people during the holidays (esp Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year), I love being here :)

  18. Thanks for posting this, MM! So much happy childhood memories are coming back! My A-ma was a whiz in the kitchen, whether she cooked the dishes herself or supervised the cook. In spite of the compliments, she would always attribute the delicious taste to the ingredients she would buy in Arranque. A favorite is the pickled mustasa which my A-ma would cook with oysters. Super yummy! And, for some reason, even the beef shank and pork ribs here are tastier compared to other places I’ve bought meat from. Looking forward to what you will be doing to the stuff you bought from here.

  19. Hi, Theresa! If you get to try the black chicken cooked with sibut in soup, you will love it! Black chicken is very malinamnam, if you could get past the color. : ) Also, it is very nutritious! Though the soup is most delicious when cooked at home, Fu-Lin (I don’t know if this restaurant is still open) does justice to this.

  20. Oh Bettyq, I am not very adventurous when it comes to food… that’s why my hubby teases me a lot. I’m not a huge fan of ginger (fresh) so I am not sure if I would be willing to try the ginger sesame dressing. But… I am a creature of habit such that if I like something I can have it anytime all the time, like the lobster oil which I love to drizzle on anything…

  21. Ms. BettyQ – recipe please for Ginger Sesame Dressing.. or I can concot it myself, pero baka masira…hhihi, mas spoiled ako sa mga creations mo. Thanks in advance.

  22. The flowering chives looks more like garlic scapes to me. They are flower stems that grows from hardneck garlic. They are cut to direct the energy of the plant to the bulb instead of the flower. I like it stir fried with pork or fish. It also makes an excellent pesto. It has a very mild garlic taste but the texture is more like sitaw rather chives.

  23. PITS, MANILA, the frog skin is edible? REALLY?! I never knew that! I’d probably never try it either, but that’s the first time I heard that.

  24. I love seeing unusual finds in the market too! I just recently saw fresh lotus roots in Farmer’s Market! It was P200 a kilo. I wasn’t sure if I was being priced too high so I didn’t buy it. I want to make it into the sweetened dessert served in Asian restaurants. :)

    Things that I saw that I liked were bignay in Sidcor, and Taro Jam, sea cucumbers, and Pako in the North East Greenhills Market.

    Frogs are kind of normal in this household. I rarely see them but my mom loves them, so I buy for her whenever I see some for sale :)

  25. Looks like an interesting market to visit. The foto with woodear mushrooms and dried chilis have lots of condiment bottles in the background. Would love to see what they have. I dont know if it’s still there but I used to see a lot of these stuff also at the Mayon Market in QC. May be because there are a lot of Chinese residents in that area. They would have abalone,fish lips,frogs,etc etc. I used to live near there but have since moved to the East. I would love to visit Arranque. My memories of that market was sooo long ago when I was a small girl with my Mom. Cant even remember why we used to visit since we used to live in farawy Marikina. Thanks MM for that food tour of Arranque…want to visit and explore.

  26. For trains, take either the LRT1 (Doroteo Jose) or LRT2 (Recto). It’s a short walk, admittedly through a seedy section of a seedy area.
    For parking, the area of Manila Grand Opera Hotel has good, safe parking places. Check Google maps.
    After doing your marketing, the famous Lido cafe or Ma Mon Luk is just a short walk away. Lido is where Mayor (or soon to be ex-mayor if his deputy would have his way) Lim has his regular coffee.

  27. I would love to see some frog legs sold in the wet market nearby. I haven’t had them in years. We used to catch them in the rice fields in my dad’s hometown. I just clean them, sprinkle some salt on them and grill over hot coals.

    By the way MM, have you tried making a pinterest account for your site? Your pics all look pinnable.

  28. Frog legs cooked in sinigang broth with tamarind leaves for acid was a favorite in the household of my childhood. I haven’t given up hope of someday enjoying a dish I have not had for almost half a century.

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