Luj: So I just got back from Oxnard—spent a few days of vacation there—and my Mom made me Daing (dried fish) a couple of mornings for breakfast. I love it. I truly love it. It's super gnarly, but I love it. Anyway, she sent me home with several frozen bags of it.
So I got home last night, woke up this morning, and decided to pull out some of my camping gear so I can cook it in the far corner of my backyard where no one can witness the aroma.
Well, less than an hour ago, there I was cooking away and I swear, a swarm of flies and yellowjackets like I've never seen started hovering around me. Also, I went back into my house and although I'm cooking it about 30 yards from my back door, I can smell it from the front of the house when I went to check my mail! I finished cooking it and brought it in, but now my house smells like it!
I have unleashed something I don't know that I can properly do battle with! Anyway, I guess I better eat it now (my rice is ready).
I actually went on the internet looking for any information on Daing and I found something that started with an amusing story...check it out...
Being filipino is not easy.
* * *Luj: Just a follow up post...
I finished my meal and realize I did a couple of DUMB things
1. I ate while at my computer. Now my keyboard and mouse smell like fish. I also had an instance when I kind of broke off a piece of the fish and it sort of went all over the place. Now there are hidden pieces of daing hiding somewhere. This is going to be a challenge to fix. I may have to buy a new keyboard and mouse.
2. I probably should've worn something I wasn't interested wearing for the rest of the day. I also probably should've waited to shower. I have to shower and change now.
3. I washed the daing pan with other dishes. Now the other dishes smell like fish. Shoot. Mind you, I used a pan I normally only use for camping, so that's going back out in the garage with my camping gear. However, there were a couple of plates and tupperware that I washed with the tainted pan, and now they reek. I don't know what to do. My Mom told me yesterday that when I cooked this stuff, I should probably clean it all with lemon. That is probably what I'm going to have to do.
4. Just an observation, but my paper cup full of Peet's coffee smells like Daing. Ah screw it, my whole world smell like Daing right now. My usually unfriendly cat has all of a sudden taken a liking to me. Sigh.
Thursday, July 26, 2007. Day of the Daing. The Invasion Has Begun.
* * *[In the following, please note Dad's "logic" in paragraph 2]
My Dad: You have tasted the food of the Pilipino Gods! Your Mom served that at your B'day party and it was the single convincing reason that I drove that far! She promised Tina would catch the fish and that she would BBQ it. The dried and smoked kind elevates the stuff to incredible levels.
I eat mine with finely chopped/diced tomatoes, onions, cucumber, and cilantro seasoned lightly with patis (salt is bad for my blood pressure). I do three super large eggs over easy, two cups of rice, and I am in heaven!
There are many other fishes available at Ranch 99 or Seafood City. Some are from China and some from Vietnam or Thailand. I try them all and found my favorite to be Shisamo.
Shisamo is from Japan and some sushi bars serve it. It is a tiny fish (about 4 inches) served charcoal grilled and each tiny fish is filled with roe! That's right! Fish eggs. Pudjo and I once ate $50 worth at a sushi bar! Buying it at Ranch 99 is cheaper. $1.99 for 5 pcs in a package but buy a minimum of 2 packages or you'll be sorry.
Charcoal or gas grilling is the only way to cook this stuff. It seems the smoke covers the aroma and carries it away. I will grill about a dozen pieces at a time, wrap it in tin foil and store in the fridge. I then heat up what I want in the toaster oven (wrapped in tin foil- on LOW) and I end up with minimal aroma. Frying definitely produces the most aroma and sometimes I do that just to drive Soosi crazy (last time she called a cab and went to a movie)!.
* * *Luj: I think that's going to be my morning project for tomorrow. I have to clean out my garage, so while I'm doing that, I can bbq the daing. I have a bunch of it, so I might as well. I also have lots of tomatoes, so I can make that as well. Uncle Norman, I hope you're right about the smell being lessened when you bbq! I wanted to ask my parents about it in more detail, but they friggin' went to Vegas.
* * *CookieDuster: I thought I smelled fish the other day!
* * *My Dad: Y'know those seasoning packets that make instant adobo, sinigang, etc.? You know, the ones you dissolve in a cup of water and add your fish and stuff and "Voila!" sinigang!
I was thinking (uh, oh) what if I made gravy instead of soup? Like use a lot less water, maybe some wine, some corn starch to thicken it and butter to make it richer and then use it as a gravy? Would that work you think? Have you tried it?
Oh heck, I'll just go ahead and try it! Hey Soosi, I need a saucepan! Speaking of what works, did that bbq thing work for your dried fish, Luj?
* * *My Brother: Dad...butter in the sinigang mix? Danger Will Robinson, Danger.
* * *
Believe it or not, this thread goes on. In fact, it will probably go on for several more days. All of which makes me think...it really is time for a family reunion.