Philippine Native Cuisine Shell “Tahong” Stew

Now here’s a Philippine Shell stew that will keep the taste buds stirred up. This native cuisine “Tahong” Stew is guaranteed to rouse appetite and the pangs of hunger in a ravenous mood.

Shellfish “tahong” is an affordable native sea food recipe available in all wet markets especially in summer. Buy only from reputable dealers for an edible and fresh variety. It is often sold per 2 or 3 liter-container can at a very reasonable price. For a can of “tahong” this is the list of ingredients of this native cuisine: two small bundles of sliced onion leaves, two small bundles of sliced “kinchay” leaves, a small bundle “malungay” leaves (cleared of small branches), a small bundle native chili “labuyo” leaves (cleared of small branches), a half fist of peeled and sliced ginger, 5 pieces minced garlic, 4 pieces peeled and sliced onion tubers, 3 cups water, 3 tablespoon cooking oil, and salt to taste. With these ingredients in hand, we’re ready to cook this native recipe.

Thoroughly wash the shell, about 3 times, with clean water. Pull out any wool sticking out from the shell, but be careful not to pull out the mussel. Crush small craters, if any, sticking to the shell. Wash one last round with clean water. Sauté garlic, ginger, and onion tubers in cooking oil until brown. Pour clean water and cover with lid. Boil this native cuisine.

When boiling, pour in shell and boil until mussels in the shell turn plump red. This often takes 1 to 2 minutes. Put in the rest of the ingredients and boil again for 1 to 2 minutes. This native recipe serves 5 to 6 people.

A variation of this native cuisine is to sauté the garlic, onion, and ginger till brown and then sauté the shell with them. After half a minute, with a little fish sauce (“patis”), pour a whole bottle of white, non cola softdrink or soda into the native recipe. After a minute, pour in the rest of the ingredients. This makes for a sweet, spicy, and pungent native seafood recipe, stew and mussel, that pleasantly tingles in the mouth.

This native recipe is best partnered with fried or grilled pork chops or fish, or beef. A matching native long chili crushed in a sauce of fish sauce (“patis”) adds to the delight.

This shellfish stew is a native cuisine that is fully spiced up and packed with leafy veggies to come up with a peculiar pungent flavor that makes mouths sampling for more.

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