Tasting another version: Pilar’s Tinolang Isda

Who would have thought that fish can also be prepared as a subtle for the popular Filipino dish, chicken tinola? With chicken as the main ingredient, this well-known recipe helps Filipinos become more accustomed to foreign flavors. Within the vicinity of Pilar Port in Sorsogon, Masbateño Eatery offers another version of Tinola that perfectly captures Pilareños’ culinary preferences.

‘Kusido’ for Sorsoganons is another name for Tinolang isda. This recipe dates back more than 30 years and was created by Jocelyn Borja’s parents in Masbate.

“Matagal na po, elementary palang po, I’m 48 now. Minana ko lang po itong Kusido sa nanay ko,” Borja said in an interview with Bicoldotph.

The use of pure lemon as the souring ingredient distinguishes this Kusido dish from others and makes it impressive. Apart from that, the way this dish is cooked is quite different from what you’re used to.

“Sa kanila po hindi kalamansi ang gamit, gumagamit sila ng sachet sinigang mix. Kami po purong kalamansi ang ginagamit naming,” Rodelyn Lumaban, one of the eatery’s helper explained.


Simple and everyday ingredients like onions, tomatoes, lemon juice, Talakitok, salt, petchay, and water are all that are needed for this recipe.


Boil the fish for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the foams during boiling because they contribute to the fishy taste and odor of the ‘Talakitok’ fish. After adding salt, tomatoes, and veggies and adjusting the heat to low, add lemon juice to achieve the appropriate level of sourness.

Your Tinolang isda or Kusido is now ready after at least 2-3 minutes.

Masbateño Eatery serves regional cuisine including Kinunot, dinuguan, pork steak, Igado, their best-selling Kusido, and many more from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The eatery has been around for more than 3 decades because to this Kusido dish, whose special flavor captivated countless Pilareños and even people from other provinces. | Aaron John Baluis

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