|Pinoy Food Recipe : Ginataang Tilapia|
The Philippines, being an archipelago, has numerous regions with a variety of specialty ingredients and dishes. One region in the north is well known in producing deep-fried pork with a crackling skin, exotic dishes abound in central Luzon while ceviché is widely prepared in the southern most region.
In southern Luzon, the use of coconut milk and chillies are the highlight of their dishes. Bicol region is famous for two iconic coconut dishes – Laing and Bicol Express, both uses coconut milk and chillies.
So with a craving of anything with coconut milk, I am sharing with you this delicious recipe – Ginataang Tilapia (Tilapia with Coconut Milk).
2 Whole Tilapia (cleaned, no fish scale)
Pechay (Bok Choi - wash with cold water)
Red Onions, sliced (though I prefer quartered)
Long (Green) Chili, sliced (Long Chili, known as siling mahaba or siling haba)
Cornstarch for coating fish
Coconut Oil for deep frying
Salt and black ground pepper, to taste
1) Season fish with salt and pepper then coat Tilapia with cornstarch. Shake off excess cornstarch and fry until slightly cooked – just sealing off the seasoning on the fish. Set aside for oil to drip.
2) Sauté red onions and garlic then toss ginger after a few minutes.
3) Add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Gently lay fried tilapia while the coconut milk boils, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
4) Add in pechay and long chili and simmer for a few minutes, without over cooking the vegetables.
Enjoy this easy to cook fish dish, a Pinoy food recipe – Ginataang Tilapia (Tilapia with Coconut Milk).
Cooking Tips :
If you wish a hotter version. Add in partial long chili when boiling the coconut milk. Then add the remaining chili when the fish is being simmered.
When choosing fish, look at the eyes. Choose the ones with clear (not cloudy eyes) and smells fresh. There are four Tilapia here and one has cloudy eyes, so do not buy those.
There are numerous names and spelling variations for Bok Choi such as Bok Choy, Pak Choi and Pak Choy. In the Philippines, it’s called Baguio Pechay or Pechay Wombok.
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Pie Rivera is a former food columnist of Republic of 7107 Island Travel Magazine and a freelance food & travel writer for local magazines and online travel communities. She is a TV producer and creative director by day and wanderlust at heart.
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