Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lenten Recipe: Pinangat na Pompano

Featured Recipe: Pinangat na Pompano
Created and prepared by Ramon Gumapac
Cook at Island Pacific Supermarket

The featured recipe was created and prepared by veteran and seasoned cook, Ramon Gumapac. Ramon, a native of Batangas, has been cooking Filipino dishes for more than 15 years now. He is one of the cooks whipping up sumptuous native Filipino dishes at Island Pacific Supermarket. 

Christians and Roman Catholics alike view this Lenten season as a time to reflect on their sins whether big or small. As a form of penance, followers of Christ observe fasting and abstinence from meat of mammals to remind themselves of how Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights in the desert before beginning his ministry. (Matthew 4:1-2)

Mostly Roman Catholics, Filipinos observe fasting by taking only one full meal for a day which can include meat, as long as it does not equal one large meal. No snacks between meals are allowed when fasting. Catholics 18 to 59  years old are expected to observe fasting as per the new Code of Canon Law.

Many confuse the two, but fasting is different from abstinence. Abstinence means refraining from eating meat, soup made from meat, or gravy made from meat. Other faithfuls, however, opt to do partial abstinence, wherein they eat meat, meat soup or gravy but only once a day. The revised Canon Law states that Catholics should start with abstinence at 14.

Catholics fast and abstain during Fridays, in memory of the day Jesus was crucified (Code of Canon Law 1983). Thus, Fridays are regarded as "Fish Fridays" as fish meat and vegetables can only be eaten during this day.

In observance of the Lenten Season, we bring you another fish recipe that you can whip up and enjoy this Friday--- Pinangat na Pompano. Pompanos are "deep-bodied, toothless fishes with small scales, narrow tail base, and a fork tail." Silver in color with a blue back, the pompano fish grows to a length of about 45cm (18 inches) and weigh of about 1kg (2 pounds). It is regarded to be very tasty fish and is favored in the American Atlantic and Gulf coasts. 

Pinangat, on the other hand, refers to the Filipino cooking method wherein meat or fish is poached in calamansi or lemon squeeze, kamias or tomatoes together with ginger and other spices.

The pinangat na pompano is a very delicious dish that one can easily make in less than 30 minutes. This dish is best consumed with steaming rice.

Here for the enjoyment of our kababayans is the Pinangat na Pompano:

Pinangat na Pampano
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 50 mins
Serves 4

1 Golden Pampano Fish (approximately 1 1/2 lb)
2 medium-sized diced tomatoes
1 medium-sized diced onion
1 medium-sized ginger
1 tablespoon salt or fish sauce
1 tablespoon calamansi juice
salt and pepper to taste

Clean fish thoroughly, cut into 3 pices and rub with sea salt then set aside.
In a pot, bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil.
Add in tomatoes, onion, ginger and fish sauce (or salt) and pepper.
Let it boil for 15 to 20 minutes in low to medium heat until tomatoes are almost reduced to skin.
Add the calamansi juice and boil for another 5 minutes.
Add in the fish and cooked for 20 to 30 minutes.
(Optional) Add some vegetables like, jalapeño, tomato and onion simmer for 3 minutes. Serve while hot.

Enjoy your pinangat na pampano!

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