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06 February 2014

Food Recipe: "Gourmet Galunggong or Galunggong Was Never the Poor Man's Meat, It was Just a Victim of Prejudice"

Click image to enlarge. Photo by Randal San Miguel

Once a upon a time, galunggong (round scad) was the “poor man’s meat," but that was back in the 1980s. Now, the tilapia or Saint Peter’s fish is the “poor man’s meat.” But that is another story, which has nothing to do with Saint Peter at all.

Frankly speaking, I still prefer galunggong any day.  Not only is it rich in omega 3, but galunggong is also a concrete evidence of the prevailing class system in the country.  Like most things in the Philippines, galunggong is just another victim of the upper class relegating certain things as for the impoverished and other things exclusively for the affluent. I disagree.  Who says galunggong is poor? On the contrary, galunggong is very democratic, the rich and the poor can eat it. All it needs is the right dressing, presentation, marketing and extra hard work, and hold the prejudice please.

Here is my brother’s recipe on how to elevate the humble galunggong into the ranks of nouvelle cuisine.

Galunggong (mackerel scad or round scad)
Crushed pistachios (alternatives, almonds, cashew or peanuts)
Napa cabbage or Chinese cabbage (pechay)
Ripe tomatoes
Cilantro and coriander (alternative, parsley)
Soy sauce
Lemon or calamansi
Chopped chilies
Olive oil

Coat galunggong with crushed almonds or pistachio. You may also use peanuts or cashew nuts. Then, steam the Chinese cabbage (pechay).

For the side mini-salad:
Dice tomatoes, onions and cilantro or coriander (or parsley) separately, then mix them all together.  

For the sauce:
Just mix soy sauce with wasabi, lemon or calamansi, chopped chili and olive oil. Adjust the proportions based on your taste. There are no strict rules.

Presentation (see picture)
Place the steamed Chinese cabbage on a plate with the sauce. Cut the fried galunggong into bite size pieces (2 to 3 inches) and place them on top of the cabbage. Place the mini-salad next to the fish. You may also put sliced lemons as garnish on the side.  Be creative in your presentation.  VoilĂ ! Le Gigi!
(Recipe by Randal San Miguel. Post written by Rob San Miguel)

Darwin G. Amojelar; “Tilapia' replaces 'galunggong' as poor Filipino's meat – NSCB,”, accessed 02/05/2014

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