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An occasionally belligerent mother of five and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Something Fishy

Our Damortis Haul
If  you ever get a chance to pass by the quiet town of Damortis, La Union, make you sure you have a cooler with lots of ice in it.
prawns @ 245php/kg
This we have come to realize in our recent Dagupan City journey. Damortis, , (whose name somehow evokes images of a man in a dark cloak and a scythe saying "Velcome to daMORTis) has now become one of my fave fresh food shopping destinations. 
alupihang dagat/tatampal or sea mantis...the poor man's lobster at 120php/kg
While my hometown, Baguio City is famous for its fresh strawberries and vegetables, Damortis is where the Baguio City Market gets most of its sea food supply. Fresh, cheaper and choices, plenty, here's a look at the items we bought and how we prepared em:
squid (small ones at 140php/kg)
When given an amount by the vendor, don't hesitate to haggle. You could almost always, shave off a few pesos or have a little  more of the seafood in question, at no extra cost (dagdag).
In buying seafood, note the appearance and odor. In my book, if it smells foul, it probably is. The eyes of the fish must be bright and clear. Scales must not  be coming off.
the humble dried espada, a.k.a. "Damortis Ham"@ 100php/package
In shrimps, you'd want it's exoskeleton to be firm, and no discoloration to indicate that it's been sitting on ice for a while.

"Bonuan" Bangus (Milkfish) 100 php/kg
Shellfish must be closed when uncooked. If the shell is opened, it could indicate that the mollusk inside has been dead for a while.
grilled paprika prawns with lemon butter sauce
Squid should have that nice sea smell and must not be overly slimy. Run away from it if it's skin is slimier than it is wet. 
adobong pusit (I cook ours with less sauce as I saute it in lots of olive oil, garlic and tomatoes after it's been boiled in vinegar, water, bay leaves, salt and peppercorns
boiled tatampal with pinakurat (coco vinegar with lots of sili, onions and garlic)
Rule of thumb for buying crabs (alimango variety), aside from smell (it shouldn't be rancid or smell like stale pee), you'd want the bigger ones to be a bit heavy (and i'm talking about the crab being siksik with meat and not all shell) . That would mean that there's more meat in them compared to those that have remained unsold and are now living off their body fat. For female crabs (or ones with a rounded carapace - crab's hard underbelly), you'd want the ones with dark pigmentation near that area  that would indicate the presence of eggs, and therefore, lots of crab fat (so not healthy but oh so yummy!).
Garlic and peppered scallops
Seafood is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and Omega 3 (fish oil) that may reduce the risk of heart diseases, lower blood triglycerides (excess stored body fat), and contribute to your overall well-being. Yep, provided you don't have allergies attributed to any of em, it's GOOD for you :)

Oh, and for those would be Damortis shoppers, keep in mind that the best time to buy is either early in the morning and around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. That way, you get a good selection that's really right off the boat.

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours. 

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