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Sinabawang Tahong (Filipino Mussel Soup) Recipe

I am a chef on a luxury world cruise liner. I love to cook and write recipes that are inspired by foods from all over the world.

Sinabawang tahong (mussel soup)

Sinabawang tahong (mussel soup)

Mussels, known in Tagalog as tahong, are a very popular shellfish here in the Philippines. For this recipe, fresh mussels are cooked in a tasty broth. Enjoy this inexpensive but delicious sinabawang tahong at home.


  • 1 kilo mussels, cleaned
  • 1 1/2 inches ginger, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 litre water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


For prep:

  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 medium plate
  • 1 small plate
  • measuring spoons
  • chopping board
  • knife

For cooking:

  • pot
  • cooking spoon
  • soup ladle

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

20 min

25 min

3 to 4 servings


  1. Heat oil in a pot.
  2. Saute the ginger, onion, and tomato. Cook until soft.
  3. Pour in the water and allow it to come to a boil.
  4. Add the fish sauce and tahong (mussels). Cook mussels until shells are open.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve while still hot.

How to Check Fresh Tahong (Mussels)

  • When fresh, tahong should be tightly closed.
  • If the shell is slightly open, tahong must close quickly if tapped against a counter.
  • Discard any tahong with broken shells.
  • Dead tahong will float in water.
  • Fresh ones should smell like the sea. They shouldn't have a fishy smell.

Tips and Techniques

  • Use a paring knife or shell knife to clean the mussel shells.
  • Remove the beard of the mussels using scissors.
  • Brush the shell to remove any sand.
  • In a bowl, pour in water to dilute the salt. Mix well. Add live tahong into this solution so that they will expel any sand.
  • Add leafy vegetables like kangkong to make the sinabawang tahong more nutritious.
  • Allow water to boil before adding the mussels.
  • Once the mussel shells open, turn off the heat immediately in order to prevent overcooking. Overcooked mussels will release all of their juices, causing them to shrink.
Sinabawang tahong recipe

Sinabawang tahong recipe

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© 2021 Travel Chef


Travel Chef (author) from Manila on May 14, 2021:

Hello SP Greaney,

Seafoods are abundant where I'm currently living.Good thing for me because I prefer eating chicken and seafood than pork or beef. I hope you'll still try our recipe!

Travel Chef (author) from Manila on May 14, 2021:

Hi Louise,

Same here, I really love mussels. I will share more mussel recipes next time. Thank you for dropping by!

Sp Greaney from Ireland on May 13, 2021:

The dish looks great. I don't eat much seafood as I'm not really good at preparing it.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on May 12, 2021:

This sounds lovely. I love mussels, so definitely going to try this. Thanks!

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