Sarciadong Daing / Dried Fish Braised in Tomatoes


If there is one smell that 90 million Filipinos around the globe will recognize in a nanosecond, it is the smell of frying daing, buwad or dried fish. If you could bottle that aroma you could stop wars by just releasing it in vast quantities on the battlefields daing2and watch the soldiers scurry back home. “Nuclear” as an adjective, takes on a new meaning when you have successfully harnessed the smell of frying, salt-cured, semi-rotting, sun-dried raw fish. Its potency is rivaled by few other odors. So when I came home late yesterday morning and entered our front gate, I immediately knew that some daing had been frying… The cook always tries to fry daing when we aren’t home to minimize the aroma comments…but the smell lingers for quite a while. Curious why she was cooking daing at such an odd hour, I went into the kitchen and she explained that she had just pre-fried some daing for her version of a Sarciadong Daing. Gosh, is this dish utterly simple and delicious, or what??

To make, take some good bisugo daing or similar dried fish and soak it in warm water and rinse it in cool water for a few minutes to remove the excess salt from the preservation process. Fry it until cooked, not overly crisp, drain on paper towels and set aside. daing3Next, in a saucepan, sauté some sliced red onions, garlic and julienned ginger in some vegetable oil. Add several ripe “native” tomatoes and a few teaspoons of sugar, to taste. Add some cracked plack pepper. Make sure you are generous with this mixture, make more than you think is necessary. Then carefully put the fried dried bisugo into the mixture and let the juices seep in and flavors meld. After about 3-5 minutes, remove from heat and let it rest and serve shortly thereafter. This tastes terrific. The inherent saltiness of the daing coated in all those great flavors of sautéed onions, garlic and tomatoes. The sugar adds a touch of sweetness that tempers the daing. The ginger some flavor and freshness… No sawsawan required. But vinegar with chillis works for me. Make sure you have lots and lots of hot rice when you serve this dish! Yum!

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14 Responses

  1. Wow! this looks nice… I love daing (anything salty for that matter. hehe)…
    keep it coming kuya MM :)

  2. I agree with everyone! This looks masarap! Never tried this before. I also agree that frying daing leaves a lingering smell…(as the joke goes, smells bad, tastes good!) Have a nice weekend, y’all!!

  3. i will try that for breakfast tomorrow. sarciadong daing partnered with fried eggplant slices doused with oyster sauce. mmm

  4. You seem to be on a daing roll here. Your military linking of daing smell reminds me of another military simile for the smell of a particularly fierce époisse: “It’s like the entire Grande Armée taking off its boots after a thirty-mile march in August.” Although not illegal to bring into Canada or US, this unmistakable odour makes Customs sniffer dogs wimper and recoil in horror and Customs officers flare their noses in fright.

    A friend’s nursing colleague’s elderly mother coming through the Canadian Customs with a large bundle of dried squid who was asked by the officer about it suddenly could not recall the English word for pusit and blurted out in panic “it is my pusit” to which the officer followed up with “why does it smell that way?” The frightened lady nervously replied “because it is all dried up.”

  5. I’m a sucker for daing. I’ll cook this tonight!


    You are funny, intelligent and very well versed in almost every topic under the sun. Keep it up!

    Your fan from Boston.

  6. On the extremely rare occasions that I get my hand on some daing,like when a relative comes back from home. I have to pick a nice day so I can open up all the windows to fry the daing. Oh, and I have to wait until my husband goes on a business trip so the aroma gets a chance to dissipate before he gets home! But it’s all worth it. I love daing and so do my kids! I even tried grilling them outside but it attracted huge bees, not to mention the curious neighbors wondering about the smell!

  7. You put on high pedestal the humble daing to another culinary delight. I will definitely try this. It is good with fried rice with lots of garlic in it too! This is something new to me. I never run out of daing at home. When I fry daing, I concurrently burn regular coffee ground like burning an incense to knock off the daing tang on the other stove. Before I discard the churned coffee to pour water to ensure there is no live amber. It works for me. Thank you MM for sharing this.

  8. Yummm, that looks so good. I think we still have some danggit left over from my mom’s last visit, but bisugo is still my favorite, and we can’t find it here. Just give me lots of rice, chopped tomatoes, suka and bisugo, masaya na ako :)

  9. apicio, i almost fell off my chair from laughing! i can so imagine it…. poor lady! MM, i had something like this in Layte or Bohol (it was so many years ago, I don’t remember now which), except that they used tuyo (the one that’s dried whole) and not daing. it was pretty good..i think the folks there call it “tinabal”.

  10. millet, yes in western and southern leyte, ‘tinabal” is a favorite. and they use the saltiest tuyo available. it could also be a staple in bohol since that part of leyte has a lot in common with bohol.

    now i’m getting homesick.

  11. apicio,our house was in chaos from laughing so much and my dh adding more jokes about fish smells gave us stomach cramps.

    MM,I love this gourmet daing recipe!

  12. I only cook dried fish or dried-squid when husband is not around. The smell is enough to drive him out of the house. Then I had to take the extra pain in setting up the frying fan outside the house, as the smell lingers for a long time if cooked inside, of course attracting the neighbor’s curiosity in the process. G’ah!

  13. MM,
    I love your web site. I love eating and cooking.

    thanks a lot for your recipes and cooking ideas.

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