Thursday, 27 February 2014

Sinanglay na Tilapia with Taro and Cabbage leaves

the white thread was missing!! So I made use of the thread available :-)

I was chatting with some friend on FB messenger a few nights back and the topic was about food.  The conversation started from fried egg for lunch, then it went to fried tilapia with salted red egg for dinner, then back to fried egg (I had scrambled egg with onion for supper at that time), to fried hito (catfish).  And because of that I had that instant craving for fried hito.  As our conversation went on, my imagination took me back to Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia where we had delicious Indonesian, Burmese, and Malaysian fried catfish (now I forgot the names of those restaurants!!!)  Then the topic on pinangat (Bicolano's pinangat) came up, I  suddenly found myself gorging on pinangat or tinoktok, laing, and bicol express in my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants I frequent so many years back in Naga and Albay.   My desire suddenly shifted,  I wan to eat pinangat.  

The pinangat  I'm craving for consist of ground  fish, shrimps, or meat, mixed with coconut meat and wrapped in taro leaves then simmered in creamy and spicy coconut milk.  Right there and then I had been planning my recipe for dinner the following day - Pinangat!  We just need to buy grated coconut milk and some shrimps and fresh taro leaves.  The following day came and I had no ingredients for the pinangat because my driver (my husband heheheh) is lazy to go out and drive for me.  So I ended up cooking this dish - Sinanglay na tilapia.  

Sinanglay is a dish originating from the Bicol region (as I had been told).  It is almost similar to ginataang isda but the way of preparing this dish along with certain ingredients differentiates sinanglay from the ginataang isda.  You can say that sinanglay is a crossbreed between laing and ginataang isda because of the presence of the gabi (taro) leaves. Traditionally, the fish for sinanglay is stuffed with onions, ginger, and tanglad (lemongrass) leaves then wrapped in gabi (taro) leaves.  Some people use pechay or mustard leaves.  Tanglad leaves are used to tie the leaves in place.  Then the wrapped fish is simmered in creamy coconut milk seasoned and spiced with salt or fish sauce and sili. 

For my sinanglay na tilapia, I used cabbage and  gabi (taro) leaves.  We only stock on shredded gabi (taro) leaves which I often used in cooking laing so I made use of some cabbage leaves as a cover.  And since I have no tanglad leaves, I made use of sewing threads to tie the cabbage and taro leaves around the tilapia.  

You can also check my other Sinanglay na tilapise using pechay or bokchoy leaves here.

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Ingredients :

Tilapia, scaled and gutted - 1 whole
Taro leaves (gabi), dried and shredded - a handful
Cabbage leaves - 2 large leaves
Green Chili - as desired
Onion, diced - 2 medium
Garlic, chopped coarsely - 5 cloves
Ginger, sliced - 1 of thumb-size
Coconut Milk Powder - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Fish Sauce - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Black pepper crushed
Vegetable Oil - 1 tbsp
Siling Labuyo (optional)

Cooking Procedure :

1.  Pat the tilapia dry and make 3 diagonal slits on each sides of the fish.  Rub it with salt.  Stuff the fish cavity with onions and ginger.
2.  Reconstitute the dried taro leaves by soaking them in water for about 15 minutes.  Drain
3.  Lay one large leaf of cabbage on top of a plate, the cabbage leaf should be large enough to contain the tilapia.  Place half of the soaked taro leaves on the cabbage leaves, spread them out.  Then put the tilapia on top of the taro leaves.  Top the tilapia with the remaining taro leaves then cover it with another large cabbage leaf.  Tie them in place using a thread or if you have lemongrass leaves, use that instead.
4.  Dissolve the coconut powder and salt in water.
5.  Place the vegetable oil and garlic in a pan and heat them.  Saute until the garlic becomes aromatic, add in the ginger and onions and saute for a minute.  If you want to add siling labuyo now is the time to throw it in to be sauteed.
6.  Toss in the green chillies and give a quick stir.
7.  Pour the coconut milk dissolved in water and bring to a boil.  Season with fish sauce and black pepper powder.
8.  Place the wrapped tilapia in the coconut mixture, make sure that the half part of the wrapped fish is submerged. Continue simmering for about 10 minutes.  Flip the fish over and continue simmering them for another 15 minutes or longer to reduce the liquids  leaving a creamy coconut sauce.

Dish out and enjoy.  You can add  siling labuyo for that extra kick

 © myFresha-licious  (27February2014)


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