Thursday, March 02, 2006


This is Ricky, the guy who makes tapsilog in a little caravan just outside my front gate.

The word "tapsilog" is a contraction of tapa (beef marinated in vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper, or variations on that theme, then fried in oil), sinangag (fried rice), and itlog (fried egg). Ricky mans his caravan from around 2pm until anytime up to the wee hours of the morning from Sunday - Friday. Saturday is his day off (Saturdays in LB are quiet because his main clientele, University of the Philippines students, often go back to their hometowns). Tapsilog isn't the most earth-shattering dish, but I eat it occasionally and quite like it, especially if I get home from work late and can't be arsed cooking or going further afield (i.e., another 100 metres) to other eating establishments. For the students, I think it's often the equivalent of a late-night drunken kebab/yiros. It's cheap -- Ricky charges 35 pesos, just under AUD$1 -- and I like the tart-sweet oily saltiness, even though they say it's bad for you, hmph.

There are a heap of variations on the -silog theme. You can see some of them on the menu behind Ricky. Tunasilog (obviously) replaces beef with tuna (tinned), hamsilog = ham, longsilog = longganisa (filipino sausage), cornedsilog = corned beef (tinned), hotsilog = hot dog sausage, tosilog = tocino (cured pork), siosilog = (I think) siomai (chinese-style pork dumplings). I don't know what malsilog and shangsilog are. Nor do I know why Ricky advertises longsilog twice, at different prices.

Stop press! I just texted D about malsilog. The "ma" means maling. To quote D's txt, maling is: "cheap Chinese luncheon meat. DO NOT EAT!"

It's late and my judgement may be fatigued -- I'm not sure if this is a completely boring post or not. BUT -- I will press on. For your tapsilog enjoyment, I present two photos of some particularly nice tapsilog eaten with D, M & K at Subic Bay (a symphony of industry and nature north of Manila) in July last year.


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