“Soriso” or Meaty Dried Fish from Northern Palawan


These incredibly meaty, semi-dried fish arrived from Palawan last week. Folks who know me, know that I am thrilled to try, photograph, inspect and taste a food item that I have never come across before. This quest soriso2to seek out local food items means that when one of my trusty crew return home to the provinces on holidays, they sometimes bring back unusual items for me to try… In this case, some dried fish which was just as pungent and salty as other dried fishes I am familiar with, but it was boneless and unusually meaty and still a little moist. Called “soriso” or “zorizo” in Northern Palawan, I was unable to confirm the spelling or even the appropriate pronunciation of this goody. I suspect the name is a variation on chorizo since the bodies of these dried fish appear almost tubular, like a chorizo. But I made that up, who knows if I am correct… We are not even sure what kind of fish it is but it seems it could be from the family of triggerfish or leatherjackets that seem to have a lot of body mass.

Deboned and semi-dried, these soriso are incredibly salty and could use with a gentle rinse in water if you don’t want your heart rate to rise after eating a few of them. sorisoThis type of dried fish is used as a flavor agent in Visayan style vegetable stews or soups, or incorporated to some monggo or even served sarciado with some tomatoes and onions to cut the saltiness. It can also be fried and eaten plain with some vinegar, chilies and lots of rice. Delicious. I think if there is one thing that would instantly trigger thoughts of the Philippines, it would be the incredible smell of dried fish frying away and scaring off anyone who hasn’t grown up with the aroma…

Still need more dried fish aroma? Try these previous posts…
Lamayo or semi-dried danggit
Daing, Tuyo, Buwad
Daing na Dulong
Laing with Daing
Tinapa at Daing
Tinapang Bangus
Tabo-an Dried Fish Market, Cebu
South Forbes Tuyo

Fried Dried Danggit


14 Responses

  1. Have you tried desalting them they way they do saltcod? Three Portuguese friends swear that adding more salt to the soaking water actually speeds up the migration of salt from the fish. Haven’t consulted Harold McGee about that but once desalted though, you can presumably also cook it the way you do saltcod. My favourite is with lots of fried onions, thinnest shoestring potatoes and hardboiled eggs but there is of course just plain frying, that is, if you do not mind people slowly backing away from you.

  2. ang ganda ng pagkaberde ng dahon ng saging na pinaglagyan ng isda. buhay na buhay ang kulay, love dried fish, kaninang umaga breakfast ko dried jeprox fish, malutong at di masyadong maalat i think its from thailand.

  3. When my Uncle from Palawan comes to Manila to visit us, he always brings my Mom that kind of dried fish which she always cook with soup, and a vegetable called “upo”, they called it “tinolang daing”. Well, I really havent tasted it but they said its nice.

  4. My husband had this idea of marinating dried fish in beer to lessen the saltiness. We tried it with the dried fish we bought—much like the zorizo but the lady told us it was dried tanigue (also fleshy). We tested the efficacy of beer by dividing the fish into two portions—one as is and the other soaked in beer overnight. The result is that the one soaked in beer really did taste less saltier than the “original” one! Right after eating the fish, my husband urged me to write this “discovery” to you. Timing talaga… So, here!

  5. with those beautiful dried fish, I imagine making patola-misua soup topped with lots of crispy fried garlic for breakfast and guinisang upo for lunch.

  6. Are these the same as daing na labahita? We soak these in hot water to soften and use as sahog in laing. Sometimes, we saute with lots of garlic, onion and tomatoes. Or simply fry in oil and serve with sinangag and chili vinegar.

  7. Allen,

    Hi! I think you’re right! Daing na labahita nga ito, super alat, you have to make babad sa tubig para maalis ang alat. Sarap siya iprito then sawsaw sa chopped tomatoes or in chili vinegar. These fleshy daing is a good substitute for the bacalao in the recipe Bacalao ala vizcaina

  8. Some of the dried fish that comes from Palawan is either labahita or tanigue. We used to bring this in some time ago when we had a mining operation in the eastern coast of Palawan. This was a livelihood project of the “colonos” in Iwahig Penal Colony.

  9. it looks like labahita nga. whenever we have one, my Mom will cook it with upo, tomatoes and potatoes. weird combination but its quite good. the potatoes absorb the remaining saltiness of the labahita (we soak it in water before cooking to lessen the salt). masabaw siya! ang sarap!

  10. If you’re craving for that salted fish taste minus the stink and all the convenience… check out your local chinese restaurants for “Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice.” Discovered this dish about 4 years ago and fried rice is no longer an afterthought…

  11. The mighty and powerful dried fish – they are good just fried with sinangag, chile vinegar or chopped tomatoes especially for breakfast with tsokolateng batirol. Regardless we grow up with the pungent aroma – the waft they give out lit up the whole neighborhood – which they find it very offensive and clings through the house for a day or two regardless you have a super power exhaust fan.

  12. I guess, this is Philippines’ equivalent of the Portuguese “Bacalhau.”
    Again, when the recipe calls for Bacalhau, have this Palawan dried fish as substitute.

  13. Those look great! Although I’m much more familiar with Bararawan from Palawan.

  14. Apicio, the de-salting in salt water is an interesting concept…I wonder if it works?! I am not a huge fan of bacalao but am slowly learning to love it as Mrs. MM is a big fan but she can’t handle all the salt either… alilay, young banana leaves have one of my favorite natural colors ever, it is similar to young rice seedlings. Annette, the upo, which is rather bland must help to take away from the saltiness of the dried fish… bernadette, tuyo in beer…I think you may have invented a new potential pinoy Macho favorite… think about the marketing… Pritong San Miguel Tuyo… heehee. allen leila cookie and rhea, aha, yes, they could be labahita. LC, you are right, if you live in the west, get your daing fix in a Chinese restaurant…



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