Archive for the ‘fish’ Category

>Sinigang na Tilapia (Ilocano Style)

>Today, I finished my presentation (my second mid-term presentation, actually). This is one of the reasons why I have ignored blogging and the kitchen for quite a while. I needed to meet my deadlines for my dissertation. However, as it turned out, no matter how on time I was or I am, some things just don`t ever turn out the way others expect them to be. To make a long story short, I won`t be graduating till September. But I am glad that today`s presentation is over. I went home with a big headache and a growling stomach and immediately made macaroni fruit salad and gobbled left over tocino. To further “celebrate” this event, is a blog post.

When I went home (Philippines) last October, a Tilapia vendor would always drop by our house every other day to entice us with his freshly caught tilapia or mudfish. We would almost always buy thus our refrigerator or our dining table is never without a tilapia. At 100 pesos per kilo (about 4-6 pieces), compared to the 100 pesos a piece here in Japan, I didn`t mind seeing tilapia everyday.

There was a week however, when we had a steady supply of the fish from Solsona, my mother`s hometown and my birthplace. My cousins built a fishpond, let the rain and clean stream ran through it and filled it with a lot of tilapia fingerlings. There were so many fish that even with a simple stick and a tiny bait, in less than a blink and voila, you`ve got yourself a meal!

There are a lot of ways to cook tilapia so you won`t ever get tired of seeing it always on your plate, but I won`t go into all the 101 ways. I would just like to share the way the Ilocanos (or at least, my side of the family) cook their “tilapia sinigang” . Sinigang is the Filipino sour soup or stew. Usually, tamarind is used to come up with that distinct sourness, although some other fruits such as guava, calamansi or kamias (Averrhoa bilimbi) may also be used.

Here though, the only ingredients used were tomatoes, onion, and salt. It is a very simple dish really. It only takes boiling water, dropping the tomatoes (sliced, of course) and onion and then the fish and add some salt and/pepper to taste. The broth is not as sour as the normal sinigang but it has the delicious taste of fish in it, especially if the fish is fresh. With this way of cooking tilapia, one can easily tell whether the fish used in the dish is fresh or frozen.Mangantayon!


>Twas` a Hiatus (Inihaw, Inabraw and Kamote Leaf-Banana Salad)

>For so many reasons (which, I will slowly disclose with every post from hereon), I let my blog go on a hiatus. Well, let me correct that, for a time ( more or less, 3 months), I didn’t even want to stay in the kitchen, nor cook anything. My hard drive though, is full of food pictures. So as a comeback, I will be sharing some of the foods that I got to enjoy when I went home to the Philippines for a short vacation. Yep, that is one of the reasons. Went home and put food-blogging at the back of my mind (writing that is, not the food).

First feature is that sumptuous lunch prepared by Manang Perla, my brother-in-law Boyet and my sister Peng. We were supposed to go to the beach that day but there was no available transportation and the weather didn’t look so promising, so instead, Boyet cooked one of his specialties (the one he always cooks whenever we go home for vacation), Inihaw Galore!

The Ihaw (grill) part is not a very hard thing to do but when the fishes and sea food came together with the side dishes which were grilled eggplant (torta) and green mangoes with tomatoes and fresh spring onions with a bit of fish sauce, my, my, it is one mouth-watering dish!
We ate outside at Mama`s garden and Manang Perla came out with her delicious Inabraw which consisted of string beans, squash flowers and malunggay (horseradish tree) leaves.
In addition, she and my sister made a combination of banana flower (or heart, we call it “puso ng saging”) and sweet potato leaves salad. This one is not a mystery either. Just boil the leaves and add minced ginger and tomatoes in fish sauce. The banana flowers and potato leaves were boiled separately though. We usually rub salt to the banana flowers before boiling to remove some bitterness that come from its juice and then you have to squeeze the flowers after boiling too.
Now, that, plus eating with your hands plus a glass of cold soda on a not-so-hot day with your family is what I call a real good time!
So what made me decide to write a blog today despite the things waiting to be done on my to-do list? It is freaking cold! I need something to remind me of summer.

>Sinuglaw with Tako (He cooked! …and blogged!)


Today, I came back late from school and so did Rad , from work. He assured me though that I won`t have to cook tonight because he will cook something that I would like to feature here in my blog. His “Sinuglaw”. Even if dinner was late, it was worth it because once again, I ate my heart out. So here is Sinuglaw, a popular dish from Davao, whose name apparently came from the fusion of “sinugba” meaning grill and “hilaw” or “kinilaw” meaning raw. He even insisted on writing something plus the recipe! Well, well, well… an instant guest blogger!

He says:

Late this afternoon when I was about to board my train back to Shizuoka the thought of Mindanao, specifically Davao came to me. I was more of a beach bum way back then and no summer passes by that I don’t stay at Samal island. I dunno, I may have had just a bad day, my mind was so dead tired, that I longed for the food of the island. Fresh sea foods. Specifically, the all time favourite kinilaw. So when I arrived at Shizuoka, took the bus home and got off at the supermarket to buy the ingredients. This time, my creative mind was awakened.



  • pork chops
  • kikkoman soy sauce
  • salt
  • a dash of black pepper

— mix everything together then grill. It would be better if you can marinate the pork for a while before grilling. Then slice into bite sizes or in the same size as you would slice the tuna.



  • fresh tuna (maguro)
  • datu puti white vinegar (abt 3 tbsp)
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/4 carrot
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 ginger
  • *(all vegetables are cut into small bits)

1] While the pork is grilling, prepare the kinilaw or raw part. Slice tuna into cubes and mix with white vinegar add a dash of salt.
Toss until tuna meat is “cooked” (turns white).Discard the extra juice.

2] Toss tuna meat, ginger and onion with the lemon juice and put in the fridge or freezer till it is ready to serve. If you put it in the freezer, make sure that it won`t be too long for the mixture to freeze.

3] Slice/cut all other ingredients into small bits. You can either mix it together with or garnish afterwards for presentation.

——– We both like fresh octopus or tako so I put some in too. When everything is cut and ready, mix the grilled and the raw parts together. Serve immediately.

And I say,

Oh how I wish this happens everyday… or at least every week!
note: I love how the colors and came out in the picture that I will enter this at Laura`s Best Food Foto at Hey What`s For Dinner Mom! .Drop by and check her wonderful blog. And don`t forget to drop by on Monday (or is that Sunday, Tokyo time?) and cast a vote! For my photos of course.LOL!

>An Ilocano Dish on a Rainy Night

It has been raining all week in Shizuoka. Kinda reminds me of typhoon season in the Philippines, in Ilocos, which, by the way, was just ravaged by the recent typhoon. At home, while the patter of the rain lulls everyone to sleep, our stomachs automatically churn and get ready for the traditional Ilocano rainy day dinner or lunch — monggo inabraw – that`s mungbean cooked in bagoong (fish paste) soup base. It is the Ilocano version of stew.

Inabraw Ingredients:
  • about 4-5 handfuls of monggo/mung beans (whole or ground)
  • bagoong or fish paste (katsuo shokara – かつお塩辛)
  • garlic
  • onion
  • vegetable oil
  • some veggies or greens (spinach, sliced eggplant, etc.)
  • shrimp cubes

Soak the mung beans for at least an hour to loosen the seed coat. Soaking will reduce the length of time of boiling the beans to rid of their seed coats. Removing the seed coat is basically just straining the seeds off the mixture since they will automatically float. You can opt not to soak but you have to boil it for a long time (perhaps more than 45 minutes) then remove the seed coats while it boils.

Once the seed coat is removed, boil the beans till they are soft or till they practically disintegrates (you won`t see whole beans). Then add 3-4 teaspoon of fishpaste, depending on how salty you`d like it to be. The Japanese fish paste is less salty. If you use the true-blue Iluko Bagoong a tablespoon is enough. Boil further till the taste of the fish paste has sank in. I like to put 1 Knorr shrimp cube into the mix for added flavor.

In a separate skillet, put oil, saute garlic and onion till the onion is golden but not burned. If you want to put in some meat or fish, this would be the best time to mix them. then ladle the boiled beans into the skillet. Stir. Put the vegetables last making sure that they are not overcooked.

Instead of mixing fried fish into the stew, we just had our fried milkfish as it is.

And although it was raining, Rad requested for some milk shake.
Avocado Milk Shake Ingredients:
  • 2 small avocados
  • 2-3 brown sugar (depends on taste)
  • about 1 glass of milk
  • ice

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend till frothy.
And so, Mangantayon!

>Paksiw na Tilapia


For the past two months, we have been regularly buying Philippine foods from Asia Yaosho via the internet. Sometimes the local supermarket have fresh tilapia but at a 900 Yen (~450PhP) price, I would rather wait till I get home to the Philippines. Fortunately, Yaosho has frozen tilapia imported, not from the Philippines, but from Taiwan. But tilapia is tilapia. We also bought milkfish and had last week but in our hunger, we weren’t able to take any photos.

“Paksiw” is a Filipino culinary term for something cooked in vinegar. In Ilocos, we sometimes call it “Liningta” which means “boiled”. This recipe is so common with so many varieties already but I always do mine using what my parents have thought us. It was only recently that I “perfected” it. I think. When I say “perfected”, it means that it is already worthy of praise from my father who cooks this so perfectly. It would have been better if I used Ilocano Vinegar (the black one) and lined my pot with banana leaves.


  • 1 Tilapia/Bangus
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ginger
  • salt (about 1 tsp)
  • black pepper
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 50 mL vinegar
  • water (about half or so of the amount of vinegar used)
  • Optional:
  • chili peppers
  • eggplants


This is as idiot-proof as it can get. Just mix all the ingredients together, cover the pot and bring to a boil then simmer at low fire till about half or more of the liquid disappears. Do not stir. You can put in the veggies when it is almost done to preserve their color. I used about 2-inch ginger. My mother said, the more garlic and ginger you put the better it will be.

So what did I do wrong in my past attempts? I was so impatient on getting it done that I always put the stove on high. Teheheheh. I guess “liningta” requires some “anus” (patience). So, mangantayon!