21 years have passed and not a day goes by that I don’t miss my birth home, when I left in 1989 there were many fond memories that I took with me, and one of those were the variety of tastes that the Philippines had to offer. I grew up eating traditional dishes, fruits and delicacies, and all my life I have always kept those memories close to my heart.

When I was a child I was lucky enough to pick and eat passion fruits, mangos, guavas and star-fruits whenever I want. Those things were freely available in our garden. We didn’t rely on supermarkets for our food, what we needed and wanted was there, and I always feel very privileged to have had that experience.

I don’t know about you, but certain foods reminds me of certain events in my life. And once in a while I like to reminisce and recall those events through my love of food.

This dish always reminds me of my childhood, I remember my mom used to cook ‘Tahong’ all the time, the smell of frying garlic, ginger and onions always brings me back. Good times, that I wish I can re-live. But hey, at least I can always reflect, smile and say… those were the days.

So, this is my own take on one of the Philippines most popular dish, and if you’re a seafood lover like myself, I’m sure you would appreciate the fusion of refreshing flavours that this dish will bring to your palate.

Mussel Soup (Tinolang Tahong)


  • 1kg Fresh live mussels
  • 5 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 1 thumb of ginger grated
  • 1 pint of water
  • handful of coriander
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1tsp fish sauce
  • pinch of rock salt
  • 1 red chilli


  1. Firstly, clean the mussels by putting them in a bowl of cold water, scrape the beards and barnacles. Throw away any ones that float or that are open. Here is a link that I particularly find useful.
  2. Heat the oil in a large work, add onion, garlic and ginger sauté until golden brown then add water and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the mussels and cover for until all the shells are open, be careful not to over cook the mussels as these will make them quite chewy.
  4. Add salt and fish sauce, stir.
  5. Add the chilli and coriander simmer for a couple of minutes then serve with steamed rice.

*the strength of the flavour depends on how much water you add, so feel free to add more water for less ‘fishy’ flavour and less for a more fuller taste.

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British/Filipina now living in Valencia, Spain. Mum, wife, designer and illustrator. I am also the author of Ohla Living where I share my lifestyle, travel, recipes and creative ideas.


  1. That looks amazing. I wish I could eat something like that but I’m allergic to mussels. 🙁

  2. Hi there, I stumbled upon this your blog and I thought it would be rude not to comment. I love what you have done and the whole layout loving the recipes too! Bookmarked! :biggrin:

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