An inexpensive alternative–Fried Adobong Galunggong | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

An avid Inquirer reader and a passionate cook, Godelia “Godie” Ricalde simply couldn’t pass up the chance to share her specialty fish dish, Fried Adobong Galunggong.

Ricalde, a retired librarian, submits her recipe for fish adobo using galunggong (round scad) with the budget-conscious homemakers in mind as well.

“This is a result of my constant experiment in the kitchen, which turned out to be my most sought-after dish by family and friends,” says Ricalde, whose culinary interest started in early ’90s when she took care of her sick mother and spent most of her time at home.

She had been whipping up adobong galunggong for some time, until a friend suggested she instead fry the fish for added crunch and texture.

“I did just that,” she says. “I fried the fish and it was good. Later on, I improved on it by marinating the fish overnight for a more flavorful bite.”

After marinating the galunggong with vinegar, salt, garlic and ground black pepper, Ricalde cooks the fish and the marinade with sautéed garlic, onions and ginger. Then, she adds oyster sauce to make it a bit sweeter.

When the liquid has been reduced to half, she removes the fish and fries it separately in vegetable oil until crispy. She serves the fried fish with adobo sauce on the side. She complements the concoction with ensaladang ampalaya and fried rice.

“I prefer to use galunggong because it’s meatier and easy to eat when fried,” says Ricalde, who hails from Lemery, Batangas.

Others can also use hasa-hasa (short-bodied mackerel) or alumahan (Indian mackerel).

Aside from her fish adobo, Ricalde cooks other Pinoy specialties such as menudo, pork kilawin, pineapple meatloaf, chicken pork adobo, adobong pusit (without the squid ink), pork binagoongan (using homemade bagoong sourced from Laguna), cream chicken, pancit bihon, steamed tilapia with sesame oil, oyster sauce and leeks.

Her friends also ask for her buco pandan, fruit salad and ginataang bilo-bilo.


Ricalde finished high school at Manila Science High School. She then worked for her AB Social Sciences major in Economic Political Science degree at the University of the Philippines in Manila. She took up her master’s degree in Library Science at UP Diliman.

For 10 years she was a librarian at Philippine Social Science Council organizing and setting up its library system and network. She then moved to Ateneo de Manila University, where she served for 15 years.

She also had stints with Citem (Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions) as trade and industry development specialist assigned in the library; the Economic Development Foundation, the Statistical Research and Training Center, and the Institute of Social Orders in Ateneo campus.

Second in a brood of eight, Ricalde left Ateneo in 2008 to continue what she loves doing best—cooking.

“I’m single and I think I have earned enough savings to retire and focus on my love for cooking,” she says. “I live alone and I’m happier when I’m in the kitchen, feeding friends and siblings.”

Ricalde loves to host lunches and dinners for friends here and abroad, especially for batchmates at Manila Science High School Class ’73, where she is an active committee member helping to organize their grand reunion in 2013.

She has also attended cooking and baking classes at the The Maya Kitchen and Julius Maggi Kitchen.

When not busy cooking, Ricalde does volunteer work as adviser for the Quezon City Librarian Association.

“I started compiling all adobo recipes of Adobo Corner since February and I said to myself I should be submitting my own fish adobo recipe to this column,” Ricalde says. “I’m happy I just did.”

Fried Adobong Galunggong
1 k fresh galunggong, medium size
2 medium onions, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced for sautéing
1 thumb ginger, sliced thick
2 tbsp vegetable oil for sautéing
2 bay leaves
¼ c water
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 c vegetable oil for frying
2 medium tomatoes sliced round, to garnish
1 medium cucumber sliced round, to garnish

1 c vinegar
2 tsp salt
½ head native garlic, crushed
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Clean the fish well. Marinate galunggong in vinegar, salt, garlic and ground black pepper overnight. Then, in hot oil, sauté garlic, onions and ginger. Add fish and the marinade. Add water. Add oyster sauce. Bring to a boil without stirring. When mixture boils, lower heat and add bay leaves. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid has been reduced. Remove the fish. Fry the adobong galunggong in vegetable oil until crispy, but do not overcook. Remove from oil then drain. Serve hot the fried adobong galunggong on a platter garnished with tomatoes and cucumber. Serve adobo sauce on the side.

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