LP9: Salted Fish Roe and Innards

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On my way to pick up my son from school this afternoon, I passed by a supermarket, bought lapu-lapu (grouper) and saw this pack of fresh fish roe. (I believe they are grouper roe.) I thought instantly that fish offal also qualifies as lamang loob so I bought few grams and decided to make another Lasang Pinoy 9 entry.

I am not sure how many Pinoys (and Batanguenos) make use of fish innards as appetizer but I do remember mom cooks them and calls this side dish bagoong. Maybe because her dish is particularly cooked salty? Bagoong, of course, is fermented salted anchovies.Mom chooses the type to use – only from bangus (milkfish) and few other large fish like lapu-lapu and never tilapia. Whenever she prepares daing na bangus, the offal was set aside. The bile, however small, were carefully removed and discarded together with the gills so as not to have bitter taste. Everything sliced or mashed then sauteed in oil with lots of garlic, onions, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Mom sometimes makes it extra salty and serves it like real bagoong – alongside fried daing na bangus (milkfish, ‘butterflied’ and fried) or over eggplant salad.

My photo here is yellowish as I have more roe than liver and the bunch, looking like a poor man’s caviar. Mom’s is always brownish and the creamy texture and taste of the fish liver is evident which is comparable to that of chicken.

Caution: Not many may like it. In our family, I am the only who developed a liking for Mom’s exotic dishes like the above, burong mustasa at burong halaan (mustard leaves salad and clam ceviche). This is also the 1st time I tried it again for years.

The Round-Up

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

8 thoughts on “LP9: Salted Fish Roe and Innards

  1. i love fish roe(bihod sang isda). i cook it adobado style.
    your post just reminded me i haven’t eaten fish roe in years already.wala eh. :sad:

  2. i wish i could have some iska :grin: maybe i’ll try with shad roe….i think your mom’s cuisine is truly smashing :!:

  3. Fish roe? Addicted ako diyan :razz: Pati na rin iyong burong mustasa at halaan, sobrang sarap, pinoy taste talaga. Pero tayo talagang mga pinoy mahilig sa maalat at matamis.

    Sabi ng friend ko na nasa US, ang dami raw pinoy doon na dina-dialysis ngayon dahil na rin sa choice of food nila :cry: Ito rin kaya ang reason kaya marami ring mga pinoy ang nagkaka-renal failure? Ewan ko basta masarap talagang kumain

  4. im so glad im not the only one who loves fish roe. i wonder how many likes fish innards though :) stel, as a yound kid i thought mom can’t cook kac napaka simple ng mga luto nya. now i realize how great her cooking pala!

  5. Angelo,

    In bacolod we fry bihod and sprinkle it with lots of kalamansi and eat it with rice. kanamit gid ya!

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