Friday, February 15, 2013

Recipes for Meatless Fridays: Paksiw na Bangus

As promised in my previous post on Recipes for Meatless Fridays, here is another meatless recipe that you can cook one Friday this Lent.  This dish was a regular in our household when my Lola Caring (Grandma Caridad) was still alive and very much active in our kitchen.  She loved cooking this tasty fish dish in a palayok and we loved eating it!  I have tried to recreate this dish by recalling how my grandmother would cook it before.  I've mentioned before in one of the recipes (Adobong Manok sa Suka) I shared here in my blog (which was also inspired by my grandmother's recipe) that my grandmother didn't use measuring cups or spoons and didn't write her recipes.  Her recipes were passed on to us as we watched her closely cook in the kitchen and as we enjoyed them. 
Paksiw na Bangus Recipe.
By Lola Caring (Grandma Caridad)
1 Bangus (milkfish) cleaned and sliced into 4-5 pieces (sinigang cut)
1 head garlic, crushed
thumb-sized ginger, chopped thinly
1 cup white vinegar (there were times when she used tuba)
1/2 cup water
salt and peppercorns to taste
2-3 pieces finger peppers (siling haba)
1 medium sized ampalaya, halved lengthwise then cut into 3-4 smaller pieces
1-2 medium sized eggplant, halved lengthwise then cut into 3-4 smaller pieces
Cooking Procedure:
  1. Season cleaned and sliced milkfish or bangus with salt and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Put crushed garlic, chopped ginger and the peppercorns in the palayok or pot together with the milkfish.
  3. Pour the vinegar and water over the fish.
  4. Simmer under medium heat until the fish is almost cooked.
  5. Add a bit of salt according to taste.
  6. Add the vegetables (finger peppers, eggplant and ampalaya) and let it simmer for a few more minutes until the fish and vegetables are done but not soggy. Make sure that you check often enough to prevent the vinegar and water mixture from evaporating completely.  This could burn your fish and give a bitter taste to your dish.
  7. Remove from heat and serve hot with steamed rice.
This is another easy dish that you can cook this Lent.  Bangus or milkfish is also very common in the Philippines making it available all year round.

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