4.263 Parros Clams in Spicy Black Bean Sauce with Sinangag

-Cycle 4, Item 263-
25 (Wed) September 2013

Parros Clams in Spicy Black Bean Sauce with Sinangag


at Seafood Market

-Ermita, Manila-

with attendees of the WHO conference, WHO Korean staff, and other random Korean people

WHO Research Trip: Day 2 (see previously 4.262 Chickenjoy...).


Seafood Market is a seafood restaurant.  It's one of those places where customers choose the seafood, the amount, and the manner of preparation (see for example 3.285 Lobster Tempered in Spice).  Here, the ingredients tend toward Philippine (e.g., lapu lapu), while the styles lean Chinese (under Chinese ownership).

Just in case, I guess.

Among the Korean staff at WPRO, the restaurant is a popular venue for hosting Korean visitors/VIPs in town for various conferences/consultations.  The SOP, enshrined in an actual written document, includes a list of off-menu dishes specifically designed to suit Korean palates, as well as algebraic calculations of portions to order based on the number of persons and number of dishes.  Hospitality codified.

Apparently, occasions arise so often, twice/thrice monthly, more during academic vacation periods, that the Korean staffers collect dues to finance the gatherings.  Hospitality capitalized.

Soy sauce with chilies and calamansi--the standard condiment for every meal in the Philippines.

Steamed shrimp--a tad fishy in flavor and a major asspain to peel (1.5).

Clam miso soup--curiously sweet, but quite good (3.0).

Kimchi--made with local ingredients, like maybe fish sauce, kinda weird, but interesting (1.5).

Chili jumbo shrimp--predictable, okay (2.5).

Soju + San Miguel--Korean-Philippine cultural exchange.

Spinach with garlic--very good, if standard (3.0).

Kangkong with garlic--very good, if similar to the spinach (3.0).

String beans with garlic--apparently, the SOP doesn't cover redundancy (2.0).

Hotpot with scallops, mushrooms and water chestnuts--good (3.0).

Japchae noodles with assorted vegetables--an invented quasi-Korean dish (3.0).

Calamares--competently deep-fried but a bit bland in flavor (2.5).

Steamed lapu lapu in ginger-soy dressing--a popular Philippine fish in a classic Chinese preparation (3.5).

Fish tempura--excellent (3.5).

On this occasion, the guests of honor included the Korean participants of the Informal Consultation on Reducing the Harmful Impact on Children of Marketing Foods, Beverages, Tobacco & Alcohol, including me, and some professors and researchers from Korea who just happened to be around.

Forget the clams, it's all about this sauce.

Sinangag (garlic fried rice)--a popular local method of serving rice, awesome.

The best dish of the evening was the parros clams in spicy black bean sauce, paired with sinangag.  Chinese-Philippine fusion.  The clams were juicy.  The sauce was savory with a nice kick, perfect for drowning the fluffy long grain rice.  The bits of imbedded deep-fried garlic provided extra punch.  In fact, it was the best dish and the best meal overall that I've ever had in the Philippines (thus far).

 Mangoes--the Philippine national dessert, supposedly the best in the world, but I didn't try them because I hate fruit generally and mangoes particularly.

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