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  • Writer's pictureJarnard Sutton

In the Kitchen with DJ Tangalin of Tidal

Executive chef of Tidal, Danilo Tangalin, is doing some great things to Tidal's menu. He's introducing traditional Filipino concepts to his guests such as the Seafood Sinigang. We caught up with chef Tangalin to chat about his inspirations as a chef and his flavorful seafood stew called Seafood Sinigang.

Seafood Sinigang


Mussels, clams, shrimp, scallop, tomato, braised greens and ginger tamarind bouillon

What's the story behind Seafood Sinigang?

Sinigang is one of the most recognizable Filipino dishes in the world. It is also the ultimate comfort food. We wanted our menu to be very well-balanced and adding a seafood stew as an appetizer does exactly that.

What's the key component to this dish?

The tamarind broth is the key component of the dish. We make it fresh from tamarind fruit and simmer the broth for three hours to extract the flavor. Its sour notes compliments the varietal of seafood we have in the stew.

Describe the taste to someone who haven't had this dish.

It’s the perfect balance of seafood, acidity and sweetness. We also add an incredible tasty salt from xroads Philippinese Sea Salt called Sugpo Asin (Giant Prawn Salt). It is now available through Specialty Produce. We also garnish the dish with shrimp and fish chips.

What's a good beer and/or cocktail to pair with this dish?

Cali Creamin' Vanilla Cream Ale from Mother Earth Brew Co. in Vista, CA.

Watch as chef DJ Tangalin prepares his flavorful seafood sinigang.

What kind of experience will a diner get at Tidal?

When you dine in at Tidal, as soon as you drive into our drive way, you know you are in for a treat. We have beautiful sunset, warm and accommodating staff, comfortable ambiance and food that is world class.

About DJ Tangalin

Executive chef DJ Tangalin / Photo Credit Jarnard Sutton

Are you from San Diego?

Born and raised in the Philippines, lived in Hawaii and then moved to New Jersey where I went to culinary school. I traveled and lived in NYC, San Francisco, Healdsburg and finally ended up in San Diego four years ago.

What inspired you to become a chef?

Bringing people together through gastronomy. Food brings friends and family together. From a couple's first date to their wedding, to baby showers all the way to birthdays and even retirement parties. To be part of someone’s life journey is a different type of accomplishment.

What has your journey been like leading up your current position at Tidal?

It has been an adventure. What I have done, places I have been, people I have met and the dishes I have created has been a true joy. Everyone and every place I’ve been has an influence on what ends up on the plate. But I will never forget one of the things I’ve learned and that is “the food is the star of the plate, not the chef.”

What's your favorite dish to prepare?

I love to make sauces and right now we have a medjool date-infused demi for our duck dish. We have a tasting menu going on at Tidal and most of the time I always include this dish. I also like to prepare the Maple Leaf Duck breast and slow roasted with cardamom salt, served with a braised cabbage and sweet potato.

What is your favorite dish on Tidal's menu?

Wow, so many to choose from our new menu. What stands out the most for me is the simplest one, the Foie Gras “Pop Tart.” Inside a puff pastry is a foie gras torchon, apples and a fig-star anise jam. It's served with apricot puree and fresh slices of persimmons. I can say that after years and years of cooking that this could be my ultimate signature dish.

What's your favorite ingredient to cook with?

Any fish. My mom used to be a fish monger and her family used to own fish farms.

What is one culinary trend you're noticing in San Diego?

A great trend right now is that a lot of local San Diego chefs are continually promoting the use of sustainable seafood and utilizing local farms. The very exact reason why I moved here. I love our food and chef community. What do you feel is the biggest challenge when it comes creating new dishes?

For me and my new challenge is how to push forward Filipino flavors and Filipino cuisine. It is the new frontier in gastronomy, even Alain Ducasse from France said it.

When you're not coming up with delicious food items for Tidal, what do you enjoy doing on your spare time?

When me and my beautiful wife Jazel gets a chance, we always try to visit new restaurants. My family is growing, we just welcomed my son Tres (third generation Danilo Tangalin) five months ago. My daughter Addyson is now three-and-half-years old.


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