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Filipino-Style Mussel Soup (Sabaw ng Tahong)

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Mussel Soup (Sabaw ng Tahong)

Mussel Soup (Sabaw ng Tahong)

Filipino-Style Mussel Soup

Since the Philippines is surrounded by ocean, it isn't surprising that Filipino cuisine features many seafood dishes. This mussel soup, called sabaw ng tahong, is one of my favorites. In Tagalog, mussel is "tahong," and soup is "sabaw."

Typically, seafood soups are salted with patis (fish sauce), which is common not only the Philippines but in Vietnam and Thailand, as well. But to tone down the somewhat fishy flavor, what we would call the malansa flavor, we add ginger to the broth. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do.

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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

20 min

25 min

4 servings


  • 2 pounds frozen mussels
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 inches ginger, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1- 8oz bag spinach


  1. In a large pot, saute the garlic, onion, and ginger in oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook till softened.
  3. Add the water and fish sauce and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the mussels and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach, and cook until wilted. Serve hot and enjoy.

Tips and Variations

  • You can use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes, if you like.
  • To make it spicy, add chili peppers.
  • You can add other vegetables, as well, besides spinach.
  • If you have access to fresh mussels, certainly use them rather than frozen.

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