Known as skilled cooks, Batangueños are fond of building recipes out of cattle and fish meat because of its abundance in their province. Among the popular fish delicacies that Batangueños like to cook is the tulingan or the mackerel, usually cooked ‘sinaing’ or boiled style like that of rice.
A variation of Laguna’s paksiw na isda, sinaing na tulingan is preferred to be cooked in a clay pot with the mackerel sometimes wrapped with banana leaves to enhance its flavor. Small to medium sized mackerel are best cooked with kamias until dry, added with water, and a bit of rock salt.
The tails of the tulingan are removed and discarded by twisting and pulling it out because it is known to cause allergic reactions to some. While the tulingan may not be available all year long in some parts of the country, the sinaing na tulingan recipe, however, can be a great way to savor the goodness of the mackerel, for it can last days even without refrigeration.
A heritage recipe of Batangueño mothers who have passed it on to their children, the sinaing na tulingan became a prized recipe of every Batangueño. Other natives also prefer cooking the tulingan ginataan style, wherein coconut milk—sometimes even ginger powder—are used for an alternative flavor.