17.12.07

Du long (dulong) and winding road to good eats

Its a festive season. Then why am I cooking a "lowly" fish dish? Shouldn't I be cooking fiesta like or holiday mood giving eats? Excuse me. Think again :-) It's no ordinary fish. It is called dulong. That's why.

The Philippines is home to dulong, considered to be one of the smallest specie of tropical fresh water fish in the world. Scientifically, it is called Pandaca Pigmaea, but is also known as ‘dwarf goby’. That sounds 'ew-ie'. Dulongs are almost microscopic in size, about 1.1 to 1.5 cm long with only its glistening eyes as distinctly recognizable.

It iiiis considered a delicacy because you don't find it everyday even in large Philippine wet markets. So on days that it is available and after making sure that it is remains fresh, I grab it without really thinking how I am going to cook it.

First order of the day is to make sure I got ½ kilo to be cooked as soon as I get home from the market. It is very important that the fish retains its freshness. Otherwise, dulong brings an instant itch to one’s lips if it is not fresh.

Today, I decided to cook my pandaca pygmaea without fanfare – dulong omellete. How neat is that? So, with half a kilo of dulong, I take my measurements of flour, an egg, beaten, salt according to your taste, freshly milled black pepper and finely chopped green chillis. Combine everything in a glass bowl. Formed ala pancake, fry in very hot vegetable oil. Wait till its golden brown. Allow oil to drip and presto. Use chilli vinegar sauce as dip. Oooh awesome. Best eaten hot.

PS

That's an internet borrowed picture of how my dish looks like :-). Sorry my camera is not yet available. Aaargh.

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