Independence Day lunch: fried fish, poqui-poqui and bulalo soup |

Independence Day lunch: fried fish, poqui-poqui and bulalo soup

I’m not big on occasions unless you’re talking birthdays. Birthdays are special. But Independence Day, I have ambivalent feelings about. Unlike other people who make plans to go out and watch Independence Day activities, we stayed home and slept in late. Very late. And when I got out of bed, the first thing I wished for was rain (it was so darn humid) — it never crossed my mind that torrential rains will ruin whatever parades, fireworks displays and whatnots have been scheduled for the day.

In fact, I wasn’t even aware of the date. Two days ago, I knew it was exactly a week before Speedy’s birthday, a week is a long time so I absentmindedly decided I should start counting the days again in three days’ time or so when I should begin making plans about what to cook and bake for birthday boy.

So, Independence Day almost came and went. Until I went online and there were all those photos of the flag and “Happy Independence Day” greetings. And that was when I realized that, subconsciously or by sheer coincidence, everything I prepared for lunch was decidedly a hundred percent Pinoy fare. Independence Day lunch: fried fish, poqui-poqui and bulalo soup

Crisp-fried matangbaka (big-eyed scad / purse-eyed scad), poqui-poqui and bulalo soup.

And this is where I write about how I originally envisioned this post until I realized it was Independence Day. I was really going to write a tip about how to enjoy bulalo soup without paying for the unreasonable price of beef shank bones with a little token meat. It’s crazy how beef bone can command such a high price. But then bulalo is a delicacy and hype jacks up the price.

So, here’s how to beat the system.

Buy soup bones. Go to a grocery where bones are sold as scrap. Choose a whole leg bone then have the butcher machine slice the bone crosswise into several pieces. And you get all the bone marrow you want at less than half the price.