gakka, udang, ken kappukan in sanchez mira

One day in Sanchez Mira, Cagayan, some Ilokano writers meet yet again, on their way to a writers group meet in Ilocos Sur, stopping over to partake some gastronomic blessing.

Well, well, well, the usual and ubiquitous kappukan (fresh raw beef kilawen) is there, and those are slighty scalded gakka (small sea shellfish still abundant in Cagayan coasts), and those are live udang (river shrimps) for kilawen:


These are unusually large gakkas bought in the tiendaan of Sanchez Mira. The usual gakkas being sold or hawked are smallish for the mouth to easily break open the tiny shell and suck out the tasty morsel of a meat (note: this is distinct from tukmem/bennek/dukiang freshwater clams):


These are “native” freshwater shrimps, udang it is called, caught in rivers, the raw live flesh is so delicious, tasty and sweety:


And this is yet another beef kappukan complete with trimmings (fresh liblibro, tualtualia and dalem):


Another serving:

What a bliss, indeed! Cheers!


kilawen a sosay

Sosay it is, one one the many monikers of tanigue or tangngigue or sailfish, swordfish, or big Spanish mackerel whatever, which, aside for being made into a savory sinigang, is most preferred into a tasty and spicy kilawen.


Still on our Ilocos food trip, on our stop over in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, we chanced upon large chunks of prime sosay meat among a horde of yellow fin tunas and bonitos. We didn’t pass on the rare chance.


Preparing the kilawen is the easiest and simplest, cut the sosay and dice it into bite size:


Then season/spice it with calamansi, ginger, onions:


And there you have it, kilawen a sosay ready, here with suka ti basi ti naartem a sili:

Get your brandy or cold beer ready!