Filipino Food: Stay Away from the Fish Paste

There are only a few foods on this planet I dislike. One of them happens to be a favorite of Jenny’s. She’s a big fan of fish paste, which in the Philippines is a popular condiment. It’s like mustard to them. To me, it tastes as appetizing as its name sounds.

Fish paste? Does this glue fish together?

fish paste
Fish paste and mango is a popular food for Filipinos. It makes ketchup with eggs like sane. (Photo Courtesy of FFE Magazine)

When I was in second grade, we had a project where we glued goldfish crackers to construction paper. One of the girls in the class was caught pealing the crackers off of our artwork, eating them soon after. Or maybe she waited. I don’t know. I didn’t watch that freak literally devour art.

The above doesn’t have much to do with fish paste, but I think it at least sends a much to everyone reading that I wasn’t the dumbest kid in school.

venus de milo
On our class field trip to the museum, this girl ate the Venus de Milo’s arms. (Photo Courtesy of

Fish paste didn’t always make me quiver. The first two or three times I tried it, the taste wasn’t bad. The last few times I did indulge, fish paste and I didn’t get along nearly as well.

Filipinos love their fish and they want it to taste like fish. Instead of frying it and making it taste like a French fry, they enjoy their dinner hitting their taste buds like a crash of ocean water hitting their tongues. To me, it’s too bleachy.

Fish paste is a guilty pleasure for Jenny Bee. I’ve seen her eat it with rice, meat, and a scoop here and there directly off of a spoon. Can I blame her? When you’re eating something your entire life, you’re going to love it when you’re an adult too. Why do you think I eat up compliments so well?

giant timmy
The perfect compliment here would be to tell me I don’t look like a freakin’ giant.

There are select foods in our household where Jenny gets the bulk of it. When we make rice, there’s an unwritten rule that she gets more. When it comes to mango float and many other desserts, we split it evenly.

Jenny can offer me all of the fish paste in the world and I’ll pass on it.

I’m already not a big condiments person. Give me something lathered in cheese or filled with custard and I’m all set. It’s what makes me an American.

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