Sinungay: The Weird but Tasty Fish
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Recently, I’ve been obsessed with reading articles, which also includes the paid writeups about shoreline scavenging. I was surprised that there are no known poisonous seaweeds. Some are only not palatable and might cause you hyperacidity.

It also turned out that there are lots of shellfishes that we can forage and eat, and some of them are being ignored.

I came to the conclusion that people will never go hungry if there’s available knowledge about picking free foods.

I mentioned in the blog post: Labrador Stall: The Sidewalk for Freshly-Caught Seafood that we saw this weird-looking horned fish that we called Lady Gaga Fish. Well, we actually bought one. And then, on another vacation, a fisherman offered it to us.

What is Sinungay Fish?

Internationally known as Unicornfish, sinungay are the cousins of surgeonfish. They are known for their big horns, thick and leathery skin, and pointed tails. They are found in the tropical coral reefs, which also includes the Philippines.


Sinungay for sale

Though the horns look like their biggest assets, these herbivores will opt to swim away when bigger animals or humans threaten them. They are able to propel fast using their fins, tails, and powerful bodies. However, when cornered, they’ll use their sharp part of their tails to defend themselves.

Can You Buy Sinungay Fish?

Yes, you can. However, since they are big, fast, and super active, they are hard to catch; therefore, not easy to find. In fact, I haven’t seen sinungay in the public wet markets of Quezon City.

The first fish we bought is in Labrador and then in Dasol both are towns of Pangasinan. They are priced P450 and P190 respectively. During our first experience, we were actually ripped off.

How to Cook Sinungay?


During our first encounter with this fish, we asked the personnel of Villa Balinmanok how to cook it. They said such can’t be cooked the ordinary way because the skin is thick and super hard. They added we have to roast it first before scraping the skin using a knife.

The thick skeleton of the fish makes it hard for us to chop it during our second encounter. So again, we just opted to grill it.

Sinungay Bones

The Taste

Though it’s weird, sinungay tastes pretty amazing. It tastes like bangus but with firmer and juicier flesh. The bonus is it also has fewer bones. Best dipped with spicy soymansi.

Sinungay is one fish that God, through the ocean, can indeed provide. We just need to take care of his creations and preserve it for the next generation.

Written by Ringo

I am a home base guy who loves food, writing, books, and dogs... Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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