Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bangus Sisig

When you make a trip to the supermarket's frozen section. you will find that bangus or milkfish has been cut and sold in different ways, the way you would with chicken parts.

The yummiest and most expensive of course, is the prime bangus belly. Perhaps the most "boring"of them all is the back fillet. It is obviously the trimmings of the belly cut. For budget reasons, I get that and serve it the easy way-- breaded fish fingers.

Late last year I thought of coming up with a more novel way to serving it-- thus, Bangus Sisig.

Easy to prep, no rocket science involved. A healthy alternative.
However, it isn't sisig unless you serve it sizzling on a hot plate!

1 pack back fillet
1 red onion finely chopped
1 knob of ginger
1-2 green chili fingers (sili for sinigang)
salt and pepper
soy sauce (optional)

Pre-cook bangus fillet in little water with salt and pepper. Let it cool, remove the skin and separate into flakes.
Finely chop red onions or shallots. Get a knob of ginger and finely chop it as well.

Finally, slice the chili fingers, really thin. Keep the seeds to keep the heat of the dish. If you are a chili head then use siling labuyo instead (tiny red chilis).
(Simply sprinkle all of those on the bangus flakes.)

Just heat mixture in a teflon pan with little oil, add a little soy sauce of you wish, salt and pepper to finish. Toss or stir quickly just to get the spices mixed and to bring out the aroma.

Heat the sizzling plate thoroughly, brush with some oil (to get the best sizzling sound).
And transfer the bangus mix. Serve with calamansi or lemon wedges and eat it while it's hot!

(I suggest you serve the typical soy sauce,shallot,chili mix on the side to control the saltiness.)
Personally, I prefer it simple, with a light gingery taste and mild heat. That way you still get to taste the fish.
I usually serve it with hot steaming rice and munggo soup (mung bean soup). Happiness.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Some of my favorite things in Davao Part 1

I went to Davao, Southern Philippines for work but found enough time to engage in my simple joys. More than a year ago, I discovered their wet market called "Bangkerohan". I make it a point to go to the market wherever I go because this is where you really feel the pulse of the town...and where you discover great things to eat.

Before our prelude-to-a-buffet-breakfast-at-marco-polo-hotel, we dropped by a small stall that agreed to do freshly-made peanut butter according to our specifications. This is another story.

Growing up on "tsokolate eh"or Chocolate Espresso, I never knew that I could enjoy that heavenly brew in Davao. Somewhere in the small alleys of the market they call "painitan". I guess it means to "heat something--like coffee or chocolate!".

And so this opportunity allowed me to indulge (again) in 2 cups of thick tsokolate, with a hint of brown sugar sans milk. I felt milk was taking the zing away.

My friend and I, bought bread from the local bakery and a local delicacy-- I failed to ask the name. It was as fluffy as puto (steamed rice cake) but had a charred top like a bibingka (rich rice cake cooked via hot coals).

The norm is to eat "puto maya"which is neither a puto (steamed rice cake) nor a maya (native bird). Other stalls use white sticky rice, but I like the one that is reddish which they call "tapul". It was cooked with coconut milk, sugar, hint of ginger and anise. I like it served in a packet made of banana leaf.

This lovely brew I can get to make in my own home as they also sell "tablea"(chocolate tablets) which would also be wonderful for "champorado"(sticky rice chocolate porridge).

I also bought for starters 1/2 kilo of cocoa beans. I was instructed to dry-roast it in a pan, the way you would dry-roast chestnuts. And the skins would be easier to peel. Afterwhich, I can grind it into a paste and mold it in the fashion of "tableas". I will update you on this mini project of mine.

Whenever I get the chance to visit Davao-- this remains to be my personal ritual.