Local Flavors

Woodworm: Palawan's Favorite Appetizer Isn't Something You'd Expect

Palawan, , Negros Occidental, ,

/user/maybepiccio

Belle Piccio | Nov 21, 2016

Woodworm: Palawan's Favorite Appetizer Isn't Something You'd Expect

Tamilok is a famous Filipino delicacy, often found in many parts of Palawan and Aklan, it looks delicious when served, but when it's freshly harvested, it looks something like this:

This strange animal is also known as a woodworm or shipworm, and is neither wood nor a worm; the tamilok is actually a mollusk that you can find in rotting mangroves along brackish water, where rivers meet the ocean.

suyacsaves

READ: An Easy Guide to Planting a Mangrove Seedling: Save Nature & Have Fun!

These strange-looking mollusks are eaten as an exotic dish in the Philippines, and is prepared as a “kinilaw,” similar to Peruvian ceviche.

If it’s your first time to try the tamilok kinilaw and have a weak stomach, I suggest that you put aside this idea especially if you have a day full of activities ahead. Like any kinilaw, it has a soft, almost-slimy texture, which, for a lot of people, is (literally) hard to swallow.

Removing tamilok from wood

However, if nothing can stop you from trying tamilok, it closely tastes like that of creamy oysters: it has a jelly-like consistency, quite slimy, and is saltier.

Again, like any ceviche or kinilaw, the tamilok is a good dish for pulutan. It is rich in protein and is also believed to be an aphrodisiac like oysters.

As these woodworms grow famous, more local and foreign tourists are getting curious to try it. The tamilok kinilaw can already be found in some restaurants around the country, well away from its native Palawan or Aklan. In fact, a native restaurant in Silay City, Negros Occidental serves this exotic dish.

Before eating the tamilok, you need to clean it first by removing the head so that the wood that it has eaten is excreted. Wash the tamilok with vinegar and ginger.

The cleaned raw tamilok is marinated with freshly squeezed calamansi juice, vinegar, chopped onions and chili peppers. Share and enjoy your tamilok!

Do you know other ways of preparing this exotic delicacy? Share it with us!

(Photos are screen grabs from ABS-CBN MagTV na Amiga. Watch MagTV na Amiga on www.iwantv.ph)


How to Get There

From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (estimated cost of Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). Silay is the site of the New Bacolod-Silay airport.

Silay City is just a 15-minute drive from Bacolod City.

VIEW: See what to bring home from Visayas with the Choose Philippines Pasalubong Guide:


More Exotic Delicacies
Tuslob-Buwa: Taste an Exotic Cebuano Treat in the Biggest Seafood Market in Visayas Region

Must-try Cuya Shell on Manjuyod's Beautiful Sandbar

Scorpion Crab: An Exotic Delicacy from Negros Occidental

7 Exotic Dishes Best Washed Down With Beer

exobeer

Add to your:WishlistDone That

Be a Pinoy Wanderer!

Choose Philippines encourages writers, photographers, travelers, bloggers, videographers and everyone with a heart for the Philippines to share their discoveries and travel stories.

Share Your Journey

Other Stories by Belle Piccio

Tell Us What You Think