Eating Parrot or Loro Fish from The Philippines
Loro means Parrot in Tagalog (the northern language of The Philippines). To many people outside of Asia, or the Caribbean, the Parrot fish is that brightly colored beautiful fish you see in underwater photographs or videos. Dare I mention, Nemo here!
In Polynesia Parrot fish is considered “royal food” and eaten raw by only the King!
What is a Parrot fish?
It’s actually an incredible fish. It get’s the name “parrot” not from its bright bird like coloring. But rather from its mouth. Which has strong teeth that are formed in bone that are similar to a parrot’s beak. Click the photo above to see the beak-like mouth.
Parrot fish are also notoriously difficult to classify. They change color throughout their life cycle. And, are hermaphroditic. Many are born female, and slowly change into males!
They live and eat around coral which gives them a very hard fish scale for protection against sharp edges.
Another interesting fact is that at night, the parrot fish releases a slimy mucus from its mouth to envelope its body. It does this to hide its scent from predators.
How much does a parrot fish cost?
Here, in The Philippines eating Parrot fish is no big deal. It’s readily available in most wet markets, and supermarkets.
There are also tourist restaurants that serve it too, some at a high cost. To give you an idea of how much Parrot fish really costs, I paid 40 pesos (USD$0.90) for the one photographed above. The fish weighed about 400 grams.
Parrot fish are also found in tropical pet shops.
How do they cook Parrot fish in The Philippines
There are many ways. But, the most common is in a simple onion like stew. Fried and served with salad and vinegar. Or, in this case grilled over a charcoal barbecue after being stuffed with onion, bell pepper, and garnished with salt and pepper.
What does parrot fish taste like?
Scaling a parrot fish is quite difficult due to the hard scales. Which I think is why it’s not so popular a fish for eating compared to other varieties found in The Philippines. But, scaling is important otherwise it’s like cutting through armor!
I was really expecting something quite different from a brilliant bright blue fish like this. What I got was a tasty light flaky fish, with not too many bones. I wouldn’t say it was any different from any other white fish out there. A mild fish taste, but nothing out of the ordinary.
It seems the parrot fish is a lot better looking than tasting!
This is an additional article featuring Filipino food