I could still remember that my folks got me a pack of danggit lamayo or lamayong danggit as a pasalubong when they went to Palawan several years ago. But at that time, I have no clue what the dish looks like or tastes like. My google search then led me to Marketman’s post calling it as the ‘Pinoy breakfast heaven.’
He also stated that the term lamayo refers to how the fish is prepared. It is marinated first before partially drying them in the sun. After it is fried, it contains just the right amount of saltiness and crispiness of your usual dried danggit or Rabbitfish. But the marinade keeps the fish from thoroughly drying out from the cooking. The meat would then have texture and flavor similar to your favorite fish paksiw or fish in vinegar sauce.
Danggit Lamayo is then essentially half-dried and half-marinated danggit. And because it has seemingly the best of both worlds, this dish could indeed be the ultimate Pinoy breakfast meal.
So when Cyel, a good friend of mine, went to PPS last month, I requested her to buy a kilo for me. She told me that there were many stalls selling frozen lamayo inside the public market. She just asked around for the right directions, which is something basic that I did not do last time.
I figured out that the frozen fish could not survive the 12 hour boat ride to my hometown so I gave some to another friend and cooked the remaining pieces for myself and for my housemates. The guys thought that it was just another dried fish from Cebu. But the lamayo’s different taste betrayed their assumptions.
I am not sure if this is a uniquely Palawan dish, but tasting lamayo for the second time somehow brought back good memories of the place. Finding one at the public market was supposedly in my imaginary things-to-do for Project PPS, but I am already contented nonetheless. This post serves as a denouement of some sort to my PPS series.
A kilo of frozen danggit lamayo costs around Php300-Php400. Apparently, the few packs that Cyel bought were allowed to be tucked in her carry on baggage. But if you want to bring more as pasalubong along with the cashew nuts you purchased in Puerto Princesa, it would be better to have these goodies in an adequately sealed box and checked in at the airport.
The frontpage photo in this blog entry is Cyel’s and is posted here with her permission.