Last Friday I took a day trip up to Bogo, in Northern Cebu, specifically to identify suppliers of seafood to supply our restaurants and as a result, help the storm ravaged areas get back on their feet. The more products we can purchase up North, the better for the residents there. And sea produce is an excellent way to go directly to the source and to provide income for fishermen and their families… The primary objective was to find a supplier of three types of danggit or rabbitfish products which is abundant in the area — the basin in the photo up top is filled with freshly caught danggit.
We managed to find a trusted supplier through referrals and ended up at a makeshift danggit processing business that was nothing more than a few covered structures and outdoor drying areas. The fish were cleaned by locals in what is a very tedious and delicate process.
It is amazing to see how quickly the fish are processed, and I have written about this before, in this post.
The fish are washed carefully by hand…
…and instead of being dried, we purchased the filleted fish for further processing in Cebu City a few hours later. They packed up 10+ kilos of cleaned fresh danggit in one kilo portions and we placed them in coolers with lots of ice for the 2.5 hour trip back to Cebu.
Once in Cebu, we marinated the fish in coconut vinegar, salt, spices and garlic and semi-dried them for a brief period and let the flavors meld.
Refrigerate for 1-2 days or freeze if you don’t plan to eat them soon after you make them.
Heat up some lard or vegetable oil and fry the danggit until just golden on the edges, having a balance of crisp exterior and still chewy, moist interior. This tastes “fresher” than fully dried daing na danggit and the marination adds substantial flavor to the dish. Called lamayo, this marinated and semi-dried danggit is utterly delicious and is only the first of three ways to prepare rabbitfish…