How to Make Gourmet Tuyo and Pasalubong Ideas from the Taboan Market

Bulad (which means “to dry” in the Visayan language) is a popular pasalubong item when you’re visiting Cebu City. Danggit is undeniably the queen of all bulads, but the truth is, I hardly eat danggit at all. That is because I always feel cheated that there is hardly any fish meat in danggit. One of my favorite bulads is galunggong or scad. And today, a Friday, I made my homemade gourmet tuyo using dried scad I bought from the Taboan Market. If you read further, I’m also sharing other things you can buy as pasalubong from the Taboan Market.

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Ingredients:

tuyo or buwad (P45/quarter kilo)

1 head garlic (P5)

half a bottle of olives (P55/bottle)

half cup corn oil

half cup olive oil

half cup white vinegar

peppercorn

Procedure:

  1. Fry the tuyo. I removed the head because the fish won’t fit my bottle with the head intact. I also don’t like the head so much, so off they go. Remove dried fish from pan after cooking.
  2. In the same pan, add the oils, vinegar, smashed garlic, olives and peppercorn. You can add siling labuyo, but I didn’t have any. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Add the tuyo back and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and let cool completely before transferring to bottle.
  5. I recycled a bottle (although I was tempting to use my sister’s Mason Ball jar) to store the tuyo.

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For lunch today, I just fried eggs, reheated some rice, and opened the bottle of gourmet tuyo.

* * *

While you can find danggit and other kinds of dried fish in malls nowadays, it is still best to buy in Taboan Market.  The prices at Taboan Market is still cheaper, especially if you buy in bulk, and, if you are a foodie, you can find other types of dried fish that you cannot find in souvenir shops. My technique to get the prices of the dried fish even cheaper is to buy from the stalls inside the market, and not from stalls facing the road.

Here are other things you can buy as pasalubong at the Taboan Market (and its vicinity):

  1. Baskets and native products. Go at the back of the dried fish stalls.
  2. Chorizo de Cebu and longganisa. I love chorizo de Cebu and I was impressed that the market has invested in a more sanitized area for making the chorizo. You can also watch how they make the chorizo.
  3. Tablea. If you are already inside the market, ask for directions to the tablea maker. If you are lucky, you will be able to see them roast, peel the cacao seeds, and grind the roasted seeds in their big grinders. Also, if you are luckier, you can chance upon coffee traders visiting the grinders.
  4. Cardinal Bakeshop mamon. Cadinal Coffea and Gran Tierra started in a now unrecognizable bakery in F. Llamas St. (this is the street where Taboan Market is located), and you can still buy their oh-so-soft mamon and chiffon cakes at the original bakery (behind the building across Taboan Market). The bakery has seen better days but I tell you the mamon and the chiffon cakes still taste the same good-old, good-old (with a hint of Royal Tru-Orange in the batter).

* * *

If you are feeling more adventurous, from Taboan, you can do a walking tour of the one of the oldest settlements in Cebu City. The area where Taboan is located is called Brgy. San Nicolas. This area was formerly called Tupas after Rajah Tupas who ruled here. The San Nicolas Church was the first church to be established in Cebu City. The church is just one block away from Taboan Market. Across the church and nearing the sea is the Pasil Fish Market. Another church is nearer to the fish market and this area is believed to be the place where the Sto. Nino was given as a gift.

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