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Country > Philippines > Siquijor Island > Lazi
Date > 2023 > September
Activity > Food Odyssey

Food Odyssey

FOOD Hacks

Sep Food Hack: Fish Tinola, Ratatouille, Chayote Omelette, Flat Bread September 2023

Sep Food Hack: Fish Tinola, Ratatouille, Chayote Omelette, Flat Bread

Location Google Map: Lazi, Siquijor Island, Philippines

Rediscovering the Kitchen
This September, after moving to a small house with a kitchen, I became active in the kitchen again after a long hiatus. I bought a gas stove, wok and other kitchen utilities. It's still an exciting time for me rediscovering what I can do in the kitchen. All my cooking is wok-based as the wok is my only cooking pan. All food prepared is basically a hack from the many Youtube videos I look over. I mix and match depending on what I feel and depending on what I have at the moment.

Sep Food Hack: Fish Tinola, Ratatouille, Chayote Omelette, Flat Bread
Rattatouille on a wok
Fish Tinola
Fish Tinola

Fish Tinola

(Sep 5, 2023 Lazi, Siquijor Island, Philippines) When my fisherman-neighbor saw a gas stove delivered to me, he gave me 3 fishes - fresh catch of the day! I'd rather not clean fish, so I graciously declined saying my stove arrived but I still had no pots/pan (which is true). A minute later, he came back with loaned pot for my fish soup. At that point, it would be rude of me to refuse. I had to roll up my sleeves and view lotsa Youtube videos on 'how to clean a fish', 'how to sharpen a knife' and 'how to cook Fish Tinola'.

Kitchen Hacker
I'm a natural hacker so having understood the underlying principles of making Fish Tinola, I took the liberty to modify so I can uitilize other kitchen items I had. I simultaneously added cornmeal to cook my 'rice corn' with the soup, and I added freshly grated carrot - or my carrot will go bad already.

(I'm not putting quantity since I just threw things in the wok) Fish, water, onion, malunggay, ginger, salt, tomato, spring onion, calamansi

Saute onion, garlic and tomato (contrary to the video, I fry aromatics first before boiling them...extracts more flavor). Add water and boil, add fish. When done, add malunggay. Turn off heat. Add spring onion and squeeze calamansi. Serve!

Ending Thoughts
The Fish Tinola didn't taste like any fish tinola, but it was great as well. With the calamansi, lemon grass and kafir I've added, the soup tasted more like a citrus soup with an underlying fish flavor.

Moreover, I learned a few things from that episode - cleaning fish, cooking fish tinola. Unfortunately, sharpening a knife proved too challenging - my dull knife got duller. Still, it was a winning situation.

Lastly, I'm grateful for the fact that the world's knowledge is now at your fingertips - Youtube, GPT4, Google Bard, etc. There is no excuse not to know something anymore.

And yes, I'm grateful to my generous neighbor!

Proper Cooking on Youtube

Native Chicken Egg
Native Chicken Egg

Native Chicken Egg

(Sep 8, 2023 Lazi, Siquijor Island, Philippines) It's becoming increasingly rare nowadays, but fresh native chicken eggs can still be purchased - sometimes by the household. There is no industrial native chicken farming in Siquijor, so these native eggs are free from hormones and anti-biotics. They are flavorful and small. I haven't chanced on buying from the retail stores, but when I meet someone, I ask if he has some native eggs he wants to sell. I might get 3 eggs or just one. Only if I can't find one will I resort to industrial-farmed chicken eggs.

Bolinao Kinilaw
Bolinao Kinilaw

Bolinao Kinilaw

(Sep 17, 2023 Lazi, Siquijor Island, Philippines) Along the roadside, you might just see a guy sitting down with a styrofoam cooler. It means he's a fisherman and he's got fresh catch of the day. I chanced on the small fish they call Bolinao. They eat this raw while fresh. I bought about 1/3 kilo for P50. Immediately, I made fish Ceviche, locally known as Kinilaw.

Preparation: Mix together thinly sliced onion, minced ginger, raw fish, thin slices of biasong (Kefir lime), calamansi juice, coconut vinegar, salt to taste

Improvement for Next time: less ginger to balance the flavor and Tabon-Tabon to remove the fishy taste (not always available)

Final Result: It's not bad. What's great about this is that the fish is as fresh as it gets...probably just hours old. Also, here in Siquijor, you can get pure, homemade aged coconut vinegar - you can't even buy this in big cities.



Ratatouille w/ Pan-Fried Bread

(September 24, 2023, 2023 Lazi, Siquijor Island, Philippines) Long before Ratatouille became a runaway French culinary movie, I had been ordering that as a carinderia staple - it's nutritious and flavorful with varied vegetable ingredients. What I usually eat though is the Filipino version of Ratatouille - the modest Pinakbet (flavored with salted shrimp paste instead of tomato sauce), widely regarded as a poor man's food (because meat is expensive in the Philippines). Ratatouille is easy for me because the nearby market sells cut-up vegetables for cheap - PHP 25 (US$.050).

Ratatouille can look intimidating given the many French sauce you prepare for the dish. But in simplified form, it's really just tomato sauce (for expediency, mine was store-bought) and different cut-up veggies - and that's exactly how I made mine, wok-fried.

The final outcome was predictably nice - filling, flavorful (in a veggie way) and easy to make. The little package of cut-up veggies made 4 meals for me. I partnered it with pan-fried bread. I had to make the last meal an omelette.

Next time, I would stir-fry the aromatics and veggies on high heat first (wok wei) and then add the tomato sauce (instead of the other way around).

Youtube: However, if you want to do the proper Ratatouille, here's a video from my fav Youtube channel: Recipe30

Chayote Omelette
Chayote Omelette

Chayote Omelette

(September 29, 2023 Lazi, Siquijor Island, Philippines) I had some leftover chayote after doing Pancit Canton. I had to use it before it spoils. How? I always default to egg omelette for that. I think egg omelette and pizza are 2 of the most versatile dishes around - you can practically throw anything on it and it'll still come out ok.

Ingredients are chayote (sliced thinly to cook fast), garlic, 3 Chinese Musketeers (a name I coined for the inseparable trio in stirfry cooking - oyster sauce, fish sauce and soy sauce, in 3:2:1 ratio respectively - I use this instead of salt), green onions, 2 eggs, corn starch slurry (this adds crunch and volume on the egg omelette).

Cooking was to saute garlic, throw-in the chayote, then toss them in a bowl with beaten eggs + 3 Musketeers + slurry. Add more oil on wok and fry the mixture in low heat so as not to overcook the eggs. Transfer the omelette on a serving dish and sprinkle with green onions.

On the hot wok, add a little more oil and pan-fry slices of bread - mop the bread onto the frying pan to absorb the oil and flavor. Even old bread tastes great when pan-fried. Serve bread with omelette.

The final outcome was a filling and satisfying breakfast especially with hot brewed coffee.

Turkish Flat Bread
Turkish Flat Bread

Turkish Flat Bread

(September 30, 2023, 2023 Lazi, Siquijor Island, Philippines) Since I don't have an oven, my only recourse for making bread is a wok. I tried doing a loaf bread but no matter how low I take the temperature, the outside still burned before the inside got cooked. I have to default to frying bread. One such bread is the Turkish Flat Bread.

Ingredients I used are bread flour, corn starch, baking powder, tuba (instead of water/yeast), and brown sugar. Bread recipes are generally universal. The difference here is that it's flattened and fried (instead of allowing to rise and bake). Frying time was 2 mins/side on the lowest heat.

Next time, I'll include fried garlic or grated lemon rind on the dough as I ball it. This should infuse an aromatic fragrance when you break the bread.

The final outcome was a flat bread with borderline cookie/bread in consistency - nothing like the soft and tearable flat bread I saw in Youtube. Still, it was good bread.

Ending Thoughts
The kitchen is a playground. With all the infinite videos on Youtube to experiment on, this playground just became a rabbit hole.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider

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More on Lazi:

Lazi Local Info
  1. Resorts - Lazi has some beach/dive resorts on its west coast - Gabayan Riviera, Lazi Beach Club, Bahura Dive Resort. However, the popular area for tourist resorts are in San Juan
  2. Transport - Lazi is the junction where the jeeps begin their clockwise route (Lazi-San Juan-Siquijor Port) or the counter clockwise route (Lazi-Maria-Larena Port). Because the jeeps are rare with about 2 to 3 trips/day only in the morning, it's practical to just have a motorcycle here in Siquijor. With its affordability (a brand new Rusi motorbike is as low as P45k), people just buy motorcycles...especially those who live up in the mountains.
  3. The Boulevard - Lazi's main draw is its seaside cobblestone promenade. When the sun goes down, people gather here for eats, drinks, open-air, harbor view and the sunset
  4. Lazi Port - Kho Shipping, the shipping line operating from Lazi Port, has stopped its service to Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Dumaguete, Tagbilaran and Cebu. Passengers can go to Siquijor Port or Larena Port for boat services out of Siquijor Island

More on Siquijor Island:

Siquijor Island Local Info

Jeeps - there are only 2 routes for jeeps within Siquijor Island - and they are rare. Most people have their own motorcycle transport.

  1. Siquijor Port to Lazi - last trip leaves at 3pm from station near market
  2. Lazi to Siquijor Port - jeeps depart from the Lazi Port area. 5 jeeps, the last trip at 12:30 pm. Lazi to San Juan, P50.
  3. Larena Port to Lazi - jeeps are unpredictable. As of this writing, there is only 1 jeep plying the Larena-Lazi route. This jeep leaves Larena for Lazi at 9:50am. After that, no more jeep. You'll have to take a tricycle to Siquijor Pob for jeeps going to Lazi
  4. Lazi to Larena Port - 6am (daily) and 9 am (M-Th)

Food - these were suggested by a local to me

  1. Lechon manok & liempo - roasted pork belly and chicken at Joel's in Siquijor Poblacion. I've tried this myself...yummy, even if the chicken was no longer hot
  2. Bibingka - sweetened rice cake by Fidy's Bibingka (P30) in Sawang, Maria. I've come back for this and I buy for other people as well as 'pasalubong' - they love this
  3. Siopao - at the Rosita store near Thrifty (P25) in Siquijor Poblacion
  4. Peanut butter - by Rene. Just ask around in Siquijor Poblacion. It's popular
  5. Torta - sweet cakish bread at the Thrifty story in Siquijor Poblacion
Siquijor Island Map
Siquijor - Dumaguete Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)
  1. Montenegro Lines - at Siquijor Port, P234.00/pax, P169/bicycle, 7:30am/10:00am/2:00pm/4:30pm

  2. Montenegro Lines, Siquijor to Dumaguete

  3. Aleson Shipping - at Siquijor Port, 6 am and 6 pm daily, 1:30 pm M-Sat, Regular P200.00/pax, Aircon P250.00/pax

  4. Aleson Shipping, Dumaguete to Siquijor

  5. Ocean Jet - 40 mins,at Siquijor Port, 0919.066.5964,,, 6:00am/6:00pm, P350/pax (tourist/open air), P580/pax (business class)

    Ocean Jet

Siquijor - Tagbilaran - Cebu City Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)

En route to Cebu City, the ferries usually make a stop-over to Tagbilaran (Bohol) to pick-up more passengers or unload.

  1. Ocean Jet - 8:20 am, at Siquijor Port
    To Tagbilaran: P800/tourist & open air, 2 hours (arrive 10:20 am), P1200/business class
    To Cebu (Pier 1): P1600/tourist & open air, 4 hours (arrive 12:40 am), P2400/business class
  2. Lite Ferries - at Larena Port, no Senior Citizen discount for online ticket purchase
    To Tagbilaran: T-Th-Sun, 3 hours, depart 7 pm - arrive 10 pm, P475/standard (Tourist, PHP 750)
    To Cebu: T-Th-Sun, 10 hours, depart 7 pm - arrive 5 am, PHP 605/standard (Senior P484), Tourist, PHP 770
  3. Apekoptravel - at Larena Port to Tagbilaran: 1:00 pm, xxx hours, P750
    Reserve through call or text: Cleare - 0938 283 4760 | Grace - 0936 534 6564 | Jessel - 0961 759 6711, Pay via G-Cash: +63-917-880-1464, Email:, Facebook messenger: Apekoptravel. Enter your birthday and nationality to get discounts: 0 to 3 years old free, 4 to 9 years old will have 20% discount, 10 years old and above full price, Filipino Senior Citizens will also have 20% discount

Siquijor - Plaridel Boat Trips (as of Jan 2023)
  1. Lite Ferries - at Larena Port, T-Th-Sun, 2:00 am, 5 hours, PHP?

Siquijor - Cebu (Liloan) - Cebu City BUS Trip (as of Jan 2023)

There is only one bus plying this route - Sugbo Urban. Tourist class coach, a/c, comfortable, Sun-Fri (these dates keep changing). P420 for bus, P275 for ferry to Liloan. Larena Port around 5 am, makes a clockwise roundtrip around Siquijor Island - Larena, Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi (stops at Lazi market for breakfast and leaves 6:50 am), San Juan, Siquijor (arrives 8am, P50 from Lazi to Siquijor Poblacion) and catches the 1pm ferry at Larena Port (Sundays at 3 pm) for Liloan, Cebu and resumes its land route. Arrives Cebu City (South Bus Terminal) 10 pm.

Sugbo Urban is the cheapest and most convenient way because it goes around the island (clockwise) along the circumferential road, passing through - Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi, San Juan, Siquijor...and back to Larena where it takes the ferry at 1 pm. This saves you the hassle and high transport cost of a tricycle. Besides, it's a long trip from the other side of the island to be taking by tricycle.

Sugbo Urban

Sugbo Urban

Suggested Destinations After Siquijor Island

These are the nearest popular destinations from Siquijor by boat

  1. Bohol - Bohol is an island northeast Siquijor. Tourist attractions are Chocolate Hills, Tarsier Monkey, Loboc River Cruise, Beaches of Panglao, whale sharks (recent offering), freediving (recent offering)
  2. Cebu - Cebu City is the usual gateway into the Visayas. But in Cebu Island itself, there are many offerings - Whale Sharks of Oslob, sardine run at Moalboal,Thresher Shark of Malapascua
  3. Dapitan (Zamboanga del Norte) - I haven't been there but a lot of island ferries ply this port. There must be something here.
  4. Dumaguete - Dumaguete is a small charming progressive coastal town in Negros Oriental. Cafe and restaurants line the famous Boulevard Boardwalk. Tourist attractions include Japanese Shrine, Casaroro Falls, snorkeling along the southern coastline (Dauin, Masaplod Norte, etc), Balinsasayao Twin Lakes
  5. Plaridel (Misamis Occidental, Mindanao) - I haven't been there but a lot of island ferries ply this port. There must be something here.


Siquijor Blogs
Siquijor Island
  1. Goodbye Siquijor April 18, 2024
  2. January Chronicles: Bandilaan Meditation January 2024
  3. My January Yoga Practice: A Journal January 31, 2024
  4. Jan 2024: Squid, Balangawan, Margarita Pizza January 2024
  5. December Chronicles: Yuletide Season December 30, 2023
  6. December Snapshots: Bolo Bolo Dip, Christmas Lunch, Tuba Denizens, Friends Forever, Men Working, Cow / Crow December 1-30, 2023
  7. Eggplant Bulad Pizza December 20, 2023
  8. Canghaling Cave November 14, 2023
  9. Kings and Queens November 13, 2023
  10. Barangay Vote-Buying October 22, 2023
  11. Real Estate Mapping October 1, 2023
  12. Learning Cebuano: Oct October 1-31, 2023
  13. Oct Food Hack: Pizza, Kinilaw, Coconut Bread, Fish Okuy, Carrot Omelette,Lemon-Grass Tea October 2023
  14. Sep Snapshots: Fisherman, Granny, Pedicure, Big Fish, Garbage September 1-30, 2023
  15. Sep Food Hack: Fish Tinola, Ratatouille, Chayote Omelette, Flat Bread September 2023
  16. Together Forever Sep 11, 2023
  17. The Cigarette Talk Sep 1, 2023
  18. Siquijor Star Meditation Center Aug 31, 2023
  19. The Lost Dogs of Siquijor Aug 27, 2023
  20. Moving to a Bungalow! Aug 22, 2023
  21. Aug Chronicles: CDO produce August 31, 2023
  22. Aug Snapshots: Pan de Sal, Palpitate, Taho, Tuna, Pineapple August 1-31, 2023
  23. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  24. July Chronicles July 31, 2023
  25. July Snapshots July 1-31, 2023
  26. Learning Cebuano: July July 1-31, 2023
  27. June Chronicles June 31, 2023
  28. June Snapshots June 1-31, 2023
  29. Learning Cebuano: June June 1-31, 2023
  30. May Chronicles May 31, 2023
  31. May Snapshots May 1-31, 2023
  32. Learning Cebuano May 1-31, 2023
  33. In Search of a Cool Climate May 25, 2023
  34. The 64 km Bike Ride May 16, 2023
  35. Lazi Fiesta May 15, 2023
  36. The Boulevard Opening May 5, 2023
  37. April Snapshots April 1-30, 2023
  38. Learning Cebuano...Again! April 1-30, 2023
  39. Kris Visits Siquijor Mar 17 - Apr 15, 2023
  40. Exploring Siquijor with Marky Mar 25 - Apr 11, 2023
  41. Siquijor Healing Festival April 5-8, 2023
  42. The Talk at United Church of Christ April 2, 2023
  43. Mar Snapshots Mar 1-31, 2023
  44. Vigil for the Ghost Ship of Siquijor March 31, 2023
  45. Judging an Essay on Gender Equality Mar 29, 2023
  46. The Thief, the Shaman, the Elves and the Police Mar 20, 2023
  47. Finally Acquiring the Motorbike Mar 18, 2023
  48. Bitcoin Blunder Mar 15, 2023
  49. Maria's Unsung Beaches Mar 11, 2023
  50. Lagaan Falls Mar 9, 2023
  51. Tibhong Spring Water Source Mar 8, 2023
  52. Bolo-Bolo Natural Spring Mar 2, 2023
  53. Reasons to Get a Wife March 1, 2023
  54. Feb Snapshots Feb 28, 2023
  55. Camagung-Ong Natural Spring Feb 28, 2023
  56. Heeeere's Johnnie! Feb 26, 2023
  57. Manifesting a Motorbike from Thin Air? Feb 18, 2023
  58. The 'Bad Guy' of Siquijor Feb 15, 2023
  59. Amazement from Drivers License Renewal in Siquijor Feb 15, 2023
  60. Locong Falls Feb 9, 2023
  61. Inguinal Hernia? Goodbye ABS! Feb 4, 2023
  62. Jan Snapshots January 31, 2023
  63. In Search of Tubod Cold Spring Jan 27, 2023
  64. 1:4:2:3 Nadi Shodana Jan 26, 2023
  65. Lazi's Boulevard Jan 22, 2023
  66. Lazi: A Monthly Stay Jan 21, 2023
  67. 7 Days in Maria, Siquijor Jan 14-21, 2023
  68. Capilay Spring Jan 17, 2023
  69. Siquijor: In Search of Resonance Jan 9-14, 2023
  70. Riding Around Siquijor's 86km Coastal Road Apr 3, 2012
  71. Exploring the Cantabon Cave of Siquijor Feb 23, 2012
  72. Jovee and Missy's Excellent Adventure Nov 6-7, 2010
  73. Freediving in Siquijor's Marine Sancturaries Apr 23-24, 2010
  74. Island Tour of Siquijor Apr 22, 2010
  75. Kram's Siquijor Wedding Apr 21, 2010

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