Dampa is the New Carinderia


My friends and I get together and feast on good food once every 2-3 months. Since we all have differing schedules, it’s quite hard to get everyone gather regularly.

What do we all have in common? Love for food. More than that, we love GOOD food.

So, one Saturday, after a company event, two from the group recommended that we try to eat at a dampa market since everyone’s famished after a long tiring day. We ended up at Dampa sa Farmers Market. The place has a handful of paluto stores with paluto (cooking service) prices ranging from 70-140 pesos to 300 pesos max depending on the dish.

When they hand out the menu, don’t get confused. The prices that you see there are mostly the paluto (cooking service) prices. You might want to clarify the price of the dish with the lady or gentleman assisting you.

What’s great about Dampa Markets is that you have the option to shop for your seafood, vegetables or fruits of choice then you can hand it to the paluto store.

We ordered a variety of dishes including shrimp tempura (half kilo), sinigang sa miso (half kilo salmon head), garlic butter crab (one kilo) and rice (Yep. Rice is Life!). The serving sizes are quite impressive. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth and more! Our group of 6 paid a total of P1,800.00+ or P300.00+ each. That’s approximately around 7 US dollars or 5 British pound.

Dampa-Paluto style would be your best bet if you’re looking for affordable dishes. You can always split the bill if you go there as a group. I highly recommend this place for people who are on a tight budget.  😁

Garlic Butter Crab

Crabs in Garlic and Butter Sauce

I am Bitter #weekendcooking

Asian cooking is basically characterized by strong aromatic components that impart a huge burst of flavor. With the variety of spices found in any Asian market, simple recipes can be elevated.

Over the weekend, I was craving a taste of home. I wanted to have something savory. I woke up early that Sunday to buy all the ingredients I needed for a stir fried bitter gourd and mushrooms in oyster sauce.

What’s great with majority of Asian dishes is that you don’t really need the exact measurement of ingredients and condiments. The sweetness or saltiness of your food will greatly rely on your preference.


So, for this dish, let me walk you through the steps.

  1. I tossed a handful of thinly sliced pork and very little minced garlic (because I love the aroma of it) in a skillet and fried it for a good few minutes until golden brown Oh by the way, You can also use ground pork or chicken.
  2. Set it aside.
  3. Using the same skillet and the fat from the pork (reduce the amount of oil if there’s too much so you won’t look like you’ve been kissed by a pig when you eat it 🤣🤣🤣).
  4. Saute the garlic, onion and tomato. I placed a spoonful of minced garlic and sliced onion. Native tomatoes in the Philippines are juicy and mostly small in size. I used two. Just enough to give the food some acidity.
  5. I added the sliced button mushrooms and gave the skillet a quick shake.
  6. Almost immediately, I tossed the sliced bitter gourd into the bunch. Mixed the ingredients carefully for 2 minutes (I like my vegetables crunchy!).
  7. Poured enough oyster sauce to give my dish flavor!

By the way, you can add water if you want to. I like my sauce thick so I didn’t add any.