Pasta ala bulungan

Pasta ala bulungan.

Seriously. My mom went on a marketing spree in Bulungan last Sunday. One of her hauls was this big bucket worth of mussels, locally known as tahong, for 20 bucks (roughly $0.50). It must be around 3 kilos worth of mussels. She also got a bunch of shellfish innards sold for Php50 a kilo. The interesting thing with these innards is that once she looked closer, she realized that the innards contained scallops in it. And scallops for 50 bucks is definitely a bargain in my side of the country. The moment she got home, she showed me her seafood stash and I can’t think of anything else but adding it into a pasta.

My aunt from Italy taught me this recipe. It might be close to a simple marinara sauce but lighter and sweeter in flavor. Whenever we have seafood, even if it’s just mussels, I always try to cook it in this way. You can’t go wrong with this recipe as long as you have fresh ingredients. You can’t get that sweet briny taste if you don’t have fresh seafood. More than that, you’ll also get a tummy ache if your seafood’s not fresh. In this recipe, I only have mussels and scallops. You can be more experimental with your ingredients by adding other shellfish like clams, halaaan, and maybe some shrimps.
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When life throws you fish, make tuyo!

Home made tuyo.

This weekend was seafood haven at my place. My mom and our maid went to this seaside marketplace in Paranaque which we call Bulungan. Bulungan is a tagalog word refers to a place where you whisper. But this happens in this marketplace because this is where fishermen from the coasts of Cavite drop their haul and sell it to market stalls. Market stall owners would then whisper bids to the fisherman to get their catch. Once the prices have been matched, the market stall owners then sell it to other market stall owners in markets further from the Bulungan. The market is alive every 5 a.m. and pretty much all the freshest catch has been bought already by 8 a.m, read this blog The food of love: best fish to eat for heart health by Lisa.

My mom managed to buy a lot of tawilis in this bulungan trip. Once she cleaned them of their guts, she immediately salted them and dried them in the sun. Hence our quasi-fresh tuyo is ready to eat. I’m not so big a fan of tuyo, but I’m sure this would taste interesting if you mix it with some pasta! :3

Going to Bulungan 

To get to bulungan is quite tricky since the place is really nondescript. If you go to Paranaque, go to La Huerta (near Saint Paul Paranaque) and ride a large sidecar at 7-11 (or anywhere near the marketplace). Ask the driver to bring you to bulungan and he’ll be driving you through strange side streets and alleyways. Word of advice, get ready to get dirty when you’re there.