Daing, Danggit : Removing Too Much Saltiness

There are two known popular pasalubong from Palawan. The cashew nuts (and other cashew products) and the danggit.

Danggit is a dried salted fish. Quite similar to daing. Split open to halves, salted and dried. The difference is the fish species used. It is round and thin. I never know the exact species though. Again, I forgot to ask.

The danggit we bought and brought home are good. No doubt about it. I find it too salty though. Yours might taste different because there are various fish processors there.

I said it was too salty. We already know that salt is not a volatile compound. Apprentice cooks often make mistake by finalizing salty taste to soupy veggies and boiling it further. It often result to too salty dish. Water evaporates leaving the salt to concentrate. Yes, this is how sea salt is made.

When a soupy dish is too salty. Water can be added to dilute. When a salted egg is too salty, there is noting we can do about it, I guess. When danggit is too salty, we can do a trick to make it less. That is soaking in water before frying. Then dry over low pan heat before frying. The fish salt content will diffuse to water making the fish less salty. Degree of removal depend on amount of water and soaking time. However, do not soak it up to point it become saggy.

danggit

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Palawan Danggit

Palawan is known for three things. The first is cashew. The delicious and ever expensive cashew nuts. I was also hearing and seeing cashew wine back then. However, I never got positive response when I asked residents about it. . The second is dangit.  Perhaps we all know what cashew is but the second thing seems foreign to most. The 3rd is several tourist spots.

We are not talking about tourist destinations. It is all about danggit.

For starters, dangit is a dry salted fish. A small sleek fish. Cut across and open wide to increase surface area for efficient salting and later drying. It is a counterpart of tuyong daing and daing na bangus.

What fish species? I never know and I forgot to ask. Maybe danggit is the local common name. Salting and drying is just a form of preserving it. It is dangit fresh or dried.

It is one of popular pasalubong so we did a stop over at nearest market to buy. We never want salted so we politely asked for unsalted. Too much salt is bad for the kidney. We don’t want that.

The guy pointed us to what we wanted. Packed a kilo suitable for airplane boarding. What I remember was a series of polyethylene, old newspaper, polyethylene, old newspaper and another polyethylene. Pressing plastic bag carefully eliminating air as much as possible and sealing immediately.

Perfectly packed. I can’t smell dried fish.

While on board, I heard a passenger saying “smells like dangit”. Not because of our baggage. She was carrying loose package of dried fish inside the plane. I guessed she never knew the trick. It was also our first time but someone was kind enough and thought as the simple trick.

At home, we found out that what we bought was super salted fish. Every fish is small but I can barely eat half every meal.

fried dangit

I will never buy from that man again​. Going trip back is unlikely and meeting him again is next to impossible.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.