Monday, 23 March 2015

Binagoongang Tilapia



Food is all I can think of all day every day. Maybe because since I cannot cook what I want and I feel like
 I am deprived of eating good food. Not that the husband is not cooking for me but there is a difference between somebody cooking for you and you cooking what you like. I really need to get well very very very soon.

Oh well, for now let me tell you  of a delicious accidental discovery.  It was about my Binagoongang Tilapia 

Since Christmas of 2014,  my husband had been wanting to eat "binagoongang baboy" that he would incessantly request for me to cook one several times.  But since I'm no friend with pork, I tend to keep on postponing cooking  "binagoongang baboy" until I forgot about it. For those who have been following our blog, you may know by now that I don't eat red-meat, not because I don't like pork, beef, or lamb nor do I find them unhealthy.  It was not even my choice to eliminate them from my diet; I was just forced to (hu-hu-hu...sob...).  My digestive system cannot process red meat no matter how small the amount I ingested which left me no choice but to give up my favorite pork lechon and steaks.  Now you understand why most of the time, cooking red meat doesn't interest me (har har)

One day, several weeks ago, my husband took out a few pieces of tilapia from the fridge and asked me to cook it as "binagoongan"  . We "argued" as always, "exchanged views", will describe it better, whether to add or not to add coconut milk. You see, I've cooked my fair share of "binagoongan" dishes and most of the time I add coconut milk.  My husband actually suggested not to add coconut milk because he wants something similar to the "binagoongang baboy" cooked by my husband's colleague last Christmas.  His colleague's "binagoongang baboy" consisted of pork slabs boiled until tender, diced, then sauteed along with the bagoong alamang. No coconut milk was added and it was tasty ( I tasted the sauce, well, what was left of it)  I was hesitant to do the same as I thought that such cooking procedure might only be applicable with chicken, pork, and other red meat and I don't think it would be appropriate to do the same on fish.  I can steam the fish or fry it but not boil it before I add the rest of the ingredients other wise I will end up with flaked fish. The problem with those cooking methods is that, the flavor will not penetrate the meat of the fish and I want a way that would allow the bagoong flavor to seep deep into the fish's flesh.

So I decided to add  coconut milk to make sure that the fish will be cooked through and that the flavor will penetrate the meat of the fish.  As I was stir-frying the fish and about to prepare the coconut milk, I noticed that the coconut milk powder we had was several weeks past its expiry date. In short, no usable coconut powder = binagoongan without coconut milk. There :-) and what do you know, this fish dish turned out delicious and became one of my husband's favorite.

And since it is the Lenten Season, we will be posting meatless and seafood dished for the next few days.  I cooked this twice already so try it yourself

     BINAGOONGANG TILAPIA
     (www.myfresha-licious.com)

Ingredients :

Tilapia - 2 medium sized cut into 2 or 3 parts
Bagoong Alamang - 2 to 3 tbsp
Garlic, coarsely chopped - 10 cloves
Onions, diced - 1 medium
Ginger, sliced thinly - size of a thumb
Green onion leaves, diced -  3 stalks
Green chilies - 3 to 4pcs
Chili Flakes - as desired
Olive oil-2 tbsp
Sukang Paombong - 2 tbsp

Cooking Procedure :

1. Gut and wash your tilapia properly then slice them.
2. Pour the olive oil in a wok or deep frying pan and heat it.
3. Toss in the chili flakes and stir until the oil turns somewhat orange.  Add the garlic, ginger, and onion and give a quick stir. Add in the bagoong alamang and stir for a few seconds.  Make sure your fire is under low only.
4.  Throw in the sliced tilapia and stir.  Stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
5.  Drizzle with the sukang paumbong and continue to stir-fry for a few minutes until the fish is cooked through.
6.  Toss in the green chilies and green onion leaves a minute before turning off the fire.

Serve with lots of rice 

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