Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market Has a Legendary Filipino Food Stall — Halo Halo
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Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market Has a Legendary Filipino Food Stall — Halo Halo


– You know what would be
really great right now? – [Off-Camera] What? – Some sinigang. – Wild one! – Wild one! – Hey! (man screams) – We’re here in Seattle, Washington. I heard about a place, in Pike Place Market,
called Oriental Mart. It’s part-grocery, part-eatery, owned by three generations of one family. Ate Lei, has become known
for her salmon sinigang. She actually gets fresh salmon from across the street every single day. She also has something called
the ‘Do You Trust Me’ plate. So I’m really excited to meet the family, and learn more about the
history of Oriental Mart. – [Leila] Oh wait, wait,
good morning Joseph. – Here’s your tomato and green onion. – Oh, thank you so, so much. For my sinigang. – For someone that hasn’t had sinigang, how would you describe it to them? – It is sour, a tamarind
soup base that I use. – [Francesca] Has anyone ever said no? – [Leila] To sinigang? – [Francesca] Yeah. – [Leila] Maybe one out
of 500 have rejected. – [Francesca] Ah, okay. – [Leila] Because they’re
not used to the sour taste. – [Francesca] When did you
start using the collar, and why? Why salmon collar? – [Leila] They sell it just to me. – Yeah, that’s what Jason was saying. – Oh, really? Yeah, so it’s true. It’s a part of the salmon
that people usually ignore, and back then, nobody
knew how to cook with it. – [Francesca] Oh, okay. – Yeah, it wasn’t as popular as it is now. The first fish that I
used, which is the bangús, people were not used to it,
’cause it had small bones. Nobody would order it. That’s why I switched to collars. So, a couple more minutes. – Smells good. – When a customer sits here,
especially for the first time, I always ask them, “How’d you
find out about our place?” “My relatives told me
to come and eat here.” – I mean, that’s how I found out about it. Chef Sheldon Simeon, you might know him. He told me about this place. His photo’s on the wall,
– [Leila] Thank you chef. – [Leila] At this point just turn it off. – [Francesca] Great,
cause it’s gonna cook. – [Leila] That’s good. This kind of mustard
greens cook really fast, so you don’t wanna overcook it. – [Francesca] Wow, look at that collar. – [Leila] You can
do anything sinigang. You could do shrimp sinigang,
you could do beef sinigang, you could do pork sinigang, I
love the spare ribs sinigang. This the finished product. – [Francesca] So in the
summer, you fry your collar? – Yes, you know what, I
got some big ones here. Maybe I should fry you guys some collars. – Okay. – [Leila] Sometimes we get so much of it, we decided, hey why don’t we fry some. This is a seasoning from Pike Place Fish. The Pike Place Seasoning. – [Francesca] Oh, and you add it on there. – [Leila] Somethin’ somethin’
that we put together. – [Francesca] Do people specifically ask for this in the summer? – [Leila] When I put this out there, it’s like gold. They just grab it right away. Now the Filipino way to eat that would be with tomatoes and green onions. You are going to make it. – [Francesca] Okay! – [Leila] Little cubes. – [Francesca] I’m not a chef guys, so. It’s a good knife. – The fish boy sharpened it for me. – The fish boy sharpened it. – [Leila] Then the green onions. The green part for
garnish, and then the end, white part for the sinigang broth. Mix them together, a
little touch of fish sauce, then a little bit of the seasoning. – [Francesca] Oh, this
is how you should eat it. I’m really hungry now. – [Leila] That looks really pretty. – [Francesca] I think so too. – [Leila] Ooh, it’s
getting nice and crispy. – [Francesca] Oh yeah. – [Leila] You did such
a good job Francesca. – You did too, thank you. – Wow. – [Francesca] Thank you for
letting me cook with you. – Now it’s time to taste. Something so simple, tastes so good. – The salmon is super, super crispy, and I like the seasoning that you put. I just imagine this in the summer. – I love the natural flavor. It just keeps it simple,
you know, it’s great. I can hear your crunch. – Okay, I’m done talking,
(laughs) goodbye. – This is my 88 year old mom, Mila. This is Francesca, Nay [Mom]. – Kamusta [Hello]
– Kamusta [Hello] – She reminds me of my lola. – So mom’s the one that
started this in 1971. It was like eight by 10,
with just a few groceries. And then we bought half
of the other store here, and then this part right here. The eatery started in 1987. – Ah, cooking? It’s not my type, but eating is my type. – Do you like her food? – Of course, she’s the cook of the family. – You got Mom’s approval. – Yeah, I guess. – When I first opened, I
have the few of the Japanese, few of the Filipino, a few of the Thai, a few of the Chinese, that’s
why we call it Oriental. – What was the Filipino community like, when you first opened? – The Filipino community
were very supportive. I’m glad that I had my
business in the market. We still would like to
maintain that family closeness. – That’s why we only have one store.
– [Francesca] Yeah. My sister, she helps me out. It’s just the same people
cooking day in and day out. I told my mom, I said,
“I’m just gonna cook this, “just like I cook at home. “If they don’t like it,
then it’s time to go.” But dang, 30 something years
later, I’m still here cooking. I even have a sign back here
that says remember Leila, you love your job. I kinda look at that, when
a customer makes me mad. I take a couple of deep breaths,
and then I’m fine again. – Okay, so I’m gonna try the sinigang, because that’s what I came here for. We tried the fried salmon,
which is really amazing. And that’s something you
can get only in the summer, but the sinigang is here every single day, all year round. You just see that salmon fat, ugh. That’s when you know it’s good. Mmm! It’s just the right amount of sour. More commonly, you’ll
see milkfish in sinigang, which in the Philippines we call bangús. The belly part is probably the best part of the bangús. I think that same kind of fatty textures you get in all parts of the salmon collar, and it cuts through the sour. That’s why I think it
works really, really well. Okay, so this is the
‘Do You Trust Me’ plate. I think that it’s a really great way of introducing Filipino food for people that come by here and aren’t really familiar with it. I wanna try this longanisa. The spoon and fork method. You gotta use the spoon,
and then you use the fork to push the food into the spoon. Try it one time, tell me how it goes. Mm, I helped make the sausage guys. My wrist is a little sore
from all the turning, but it was worth it. I’m gonna feed some people
today, so you’re welcome. The way they run their business is really similar to how
a lot of families run their businesses in the Philippines. Everyone in the family’s involved, you get produce and you get ingredients from your neighbors. It’s really awesome, especially to me, to know that there’s a place like this that has existed here, and Ate Lei has been
cooking Filipino food, in this spot, every single day, since 1987. You do have a lot of
locals, regulars, and then you have tourists. And she’s created this really
fun and exciting environment where if you don’t know
what you wanna try, that doesn’t matter,
she’ll give you everything. And it’s a really great
introduction to Filipino food. I really hope you enjoy this
episode at Oriental Mart, here in Seattle, Washington. If you like to click
more, watch here (laughs).

About Ralph Robinson

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100 thoughts on “Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market Has a Legendary Filipino Food Stall — Halo Halo

  1. That fried salmon collar changed me for the better. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk, and hope y'all make it out to Seattle one day soon!

  2. I've passed that store more times than I can remember, when I used to live in Seattle. I don't know why I never thought to try the food. I will have to the next time I visit!

  3. Aww. Only the collar? The whole head is full of fish fat and meat is as well and the eyeballs are to die for. I love it. But yeah. To each their own i guess. 😁

  4. Been to pike place, never knew that there is a Filipino eatery 😊
    We will look for it next time.
    Thank you so much 😊 #proudpinoy

  5. Believe it or not, I met some yesterday (he's half Pinoy too!) Who doesn't like Sinigang. I guess it's not for everyone. I personally love it!

  6. I just tried sinigang not too long ago. It was so flavorful and really delicious 😋 now I have to learn how to make more filipino foods.

  7. Grilled Salmon Collar is even better. If you have the chance to go to Davao, Philippines, you MUST get it.

    You can also have sinigang with miso paste. It makes the soup white and has a unique smell and taste. Try it once. It also negates some of the sourness.

  8. Hello 👋 it’s nice to see some goodness food in Seattle by the market I’ll come visit them one day I love ❤️ small carediria and store at the same time just like back home 🏡👍🏻👍🏻🙏🙏❤️❤️love you guys 🥰😘😍

  9. I do have alot of Philippine friend. I will visit went I go. Hope to try that sour fish soup. Am Khmer we have something similar

  10. Sinigang has a potential to actually sell abroad. It's healthy, one thing that most foreigners want to eat nowadays. Let's support and help filipino cuisine get a bigger audience😁. if ever my husband and I ever go to Seattle, I'll go there. !

  11. Hope you didn't step on any heroin syringes or homeless people lying face down in the middle of the street… Man that city is a total dump now

  12. I went to this place when I visited Seattle two years ago. I didn't know they serve "sinigang na salmon". Will try to order it next time I'm in Seattle .

  13. I remember back in the late 80's when we first moved and settled in Seattle (well, Bellevue to be exact), salmon collars and bellies were free and the fish vendors were just very glad to give it away. My wife and I together with our young kids would travel there on a weekend and get some of those for our sinigang and paksiw. Then the Vietnamese came and started buying the stuff in bulk and from that day on, nothing was free 🙁

  14. My mom usually shallow fries the salmon before she puts it in the sinigang. It helps with bringing out the salmon taste more and the fishy smell.
    People should also try salmon head sinigang with miso. Absolutely amazing – especially the cheek and eyes 😋

  15. Walked by this so many times and never been inside! The next time I go out to Seattle this is going to be my stop!

  16. Salmon collar it's perfect for sinigang sa miso. Yes pike place have mustard leaves in there sinigang but I don't see the sour part that they put into it.

  17. im so happy to see on YouTube!!! wow..I love to eat at that Carenderia when we were cruising from Seattle to Bermuda.. she really cooks good..i missed Leila's Salmon Sinigang …

  18. What I particularly like about this episode is that it features the best of Filipino-American food while highlighting the Filipino-ness of the culinary style and flavors. For example salmon collar, it's actually not that easy to find in the Philippines compared to salmon heads or salmon belly, but the preparation here is exactly how we would have done it in the Philippines so the ingredient is very Pacific Northwest but the method is so Filipino. I'm glad Eater highligted this because in the Bad Saint episode, Eater highlighted the soft shell crab (not Filipino) in the byline, rather than the aligue (crab tomalley or crab fat) which the Fil-Am chef himself highlighted in the video as the key Filipino ingredient in the dish.

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