Know Filipino Food: Ginamos (Salted Fermented Anchovies)


Ginamos is a famous local side dish or appetizer here in the Philippines. Now, that anchovies are in season, we have them in our fish market every day for a cheap price. I bought a kilo earlier for 70 Pesos (for reference, 1 USD is 50 Pesos). It was a fresh catch from the sea by the fishermen in our town. I decided to make them into ginamos. Ginamos is salted and fermented anchovies, it has to go through a preservation process. I learned about it in Youtube.


First, we had to clean the anchovies using purified water with salt and a bit of vinegar, then we drain it. We then put it inside a sterilized glass jar. we made sure we layer it with salt. A layer of salt at the very bottom then the anchovies then another layer of salt and then anchovies and so on. On top, we put some more salt and a little bit of vinegar. We then seal it shut and have it ferment for about a week.


It will be ready in a week and will have a distinct taste. It does not smell bad if you are used to it, but if you are unfamiliar with ginamos, you might find it a bit pungent. It is served a few squeeze of lemons or kalamansi to add taste and aroma to the ginamos.


I love ginamos on boiled unripe bananas. I also love it with rice and even on some veggie salads. We eat this in small amounts every day because it is too salty. We also have to drink lots of water if we eat this. The kids in the house wash it with water and just bathe it in lemon juice when they eat it to lessen the saltiness.