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.
Last Week we featured binusog na pusit or stuffed squid as a recipe that can be included in many of Filipino Catholics' meatless diet. This week, we will feature another Pinoy favorite, the sinigang na bangus or milkfish in sour broth, which is not only served during the season of Lent, but all year round.
Bangus is one of the most popular table fare in the Philippines, as it is considered to be one of the predominant fishes in the island. Albeit notoriously known for being bonier than the ordinary fish, the bangus still remains as one of the Pinoy favorites when it comes to fish meat because of its extraordinary taste.
Pinoys like deboning the bangus with their hands whilst eating. Others who would like to be spared from the hassles of manual deboning and buy the "boneless bangus" instead. Deboned or not, Pinoys like to have bangus on their plate whether it may be pinirito (fried), inihaw (grilled), relyeno (stuffed), or sinigang (stewed in sour soup).
The sinigang's sour taste has been traditionally associated with tamarind--which is now conveniently replaced with tamarind bouillon cubes or granules. Pinoys who prefer cooking it the old-fashioned way (especially those in the province), still prefer using tamarind or its alternate: guava, calamansi, bilimbi, or raw mango to achieve the sinigang's sour flavor.
Aside from fish, others also like to use pork, shrimp, or beef as the main ingredient of sinigang. This dish also have plenty of vegetable ingredients that include daikon or labanos, water spinach or kangkong, yardlong beans or sitaw, eggplant or talong, chili or sili, and taro corns or gabi--which can make for the soup's thickness.
Not only is it an ideal meatless dish for someone who is observing Lent, sinigang na bangus is also low on calories and rich in nutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates. Usually partnered with soy sauce or fish sauce(if one finds the soup too sour for his taste), sinigang na bangus is best served with steaming rice.
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
1 piece large bangus, cleaned and sliced into serving pieces
5 cups water
1 small ginger, sliced
2 pieces tomatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium eggplants, cut into serving pieces
5 pieces string beans, cut into serving pieces
2 cups kangkong leaves
1 small pack tamarind powder
1 teaspoon salt
In a casserole, bring water to a boil together with the ginger.
Add the bangus, tomatoes, and onion and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the tamarind powder and salt to taste.
Add the eggplant and string beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the kangkong leaves, and let stand covered for 5 minutes.
You may also add or use fish sauce or patis to taste.
Serve hot with rice.