How to Eat the Tamilok: The Longest Mollusk in Palawan

Have you seen raw pig's intestine? Yeah, it looks like it.
Have you seen raw pig’s intestine? Yeah, it looks like it.

I grew up eating mollusks, clams, snails, squid, and octopus, but this one, they call tamilok is different. As you will see in the picture it is very long.

The popular mollusk that I have grown up eating are easy to the taste and the stomach. But this thing, they call tamilok (“Tommy look!”)  is eaten raw. I have not heard anyone eat tamilok cooked besides, eating it raw is quite a touristy experience. Anybody would want to try anything to look like a real tourist.

I am a tourist.

Probing with my chopsticks, tamilok does not look like it has a head and tail. Of course, it has, but the difference is subtle, and this subtlety has spared me from a horrible decision of choosing between eating head or tail first.

It has to be dipped in vinegar! I wished they have the spicy hot vinegar in the restaurant to tame its taste, but they have none. Since its long, I wound it around the stick first, opened my mouth with hesitation, gulped and half masticated the poor tamilok until it slid down my throat. It actually got stuck in the middle. The slimy thing of a mollusk has tangy and grainy feel in the mouth as I flushed it with some beer because its supposed to be eaten and downed with alcohol. The alcohol helped pushed the thing down my stomach.

You see, I don’t really drink beer but I have to for the tamilok experience and the touristy appeal that comes along with it.

With the underground river and the tamilok, Palawan is setting two world records, the longest underground river and the longest mangrove-boring mollusk – the tamilok, in so far as I’d seen with my two eyes.

Uh, I forgot them, monkeys!

Ask me, it I eat it again, no, not the monkeys. I mean the tamilok.

I think so, but I’ll do it the Visayan kinilaw version. I’ll slice them into bite size ones, mix it with chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger, and chili and seasoned with salt, and, native vinegar (from coconut).


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