Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Ah, ginamus. I can truly say that I love this stuff more than I love bagoong. While they are are made through the same process, salting and fermentation, nothing beats that nice fishy taste of ginamus. Bagoong can sometimes be scaly or have an itchy mouthfeel and most of the time the salt granules would not be completely melted so the end product is not as smooth as I would want it to be.

However, I'm not really sure about which one I like more, ginamus made of small, teeny weeny itsy bitsy fish or those made from regular sized dilis. I remember that we used to have this large plastic container, like the one up top, of ginamus. Sometimes it will be filled with small-fish or regular-dilis ginamus but either way, I would eat it with anything. I like it with fish or meat, and especially with green mangoes shredded so fine. I also like it with this vegetable dish my mom used to cook. Remember, we were really cash poor, so all our meals where, to put it politely, very creative. This particular veggie dish would have malunggay, okra, kangkong, and some garlic, onions and tomatoes. No oil is used. My mom would just dump all those veggies in a pot, add water and season it with vetsin and salt. The result is like tinolang gulay. It was great with the salty fishiness of ginamus with kalamansi and the whole fish in the ginamus would be like the sahog of the dish. Simple and delicious!

I also like ginamus with boiled unripe saba bananas. The bananas have to unripe, you see, so that it will give that starchy background to the ginamus. But my mom said that the best kind of bananas for ginamus is the type she calls laun. Meaning bananas that are unripe but have grown old on the tree itself. It seems that for some reason, some bananas never grow yellow, ripe and sweet on the tree. It just remains starchy and bland but the taste of the fruit itself is not mapakla (feel free to tell me what the English equivalent of this word is). And I think it's true. Laun saba banana is the better pair for ginamus.


  1. your mom's dump-everything-in-it recipe makes me laugh. is she bisaya? both my parents are. from leyte. and i have this theory that bisayans have the most unsophisticated (i am being nice here, them being my parental units and all) concept of cuisine. this is especially true of my dad. when he was a starving law student, he said he would boil water, salt, and malunggay for lunch. he would make a huge batch so he wouldn't have to cook dinner.

  2. I guess you can say my mom's half-half coz my lolo was from Leyte, too (but grew up in Zamboanga) and my lola's pure ZamboangueƱa.

    But I think what you said is true. Hehe. I remember my lolo prefers things simply done like just grilling the fish over making some fancy escabeche or sweet and sour. He was always like "Basta kusido, pwede ya come."

  3. "Basta kusido, pwede ya come."

    trademark leyteno remark.


  5. SARAP NITO ^_^ away from qatar - bisaya southern leyte poy