This morning, the guy who sells me fish came to our house bringing with him fresh Tulingan. We haven’t eaten this in a long time so we bought 1 kilo for 140pesos. Not bad for 5 medium sized pieces.
Tulingan, also known as Mackerel Tuna, if prepared properly, is a very rich and delicious fish. It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and Coenzyme q10 which are good for the heart. However, if the fish is not cleaned properly, it can also be very dangerous. There have been cases of poisoning due to improper preparation. It is very important to clean your fish thoroughly before you cook it. You have to carefully take out all it’s intestines, making sure that the “apdo” is intact.
I have cooked this dish so many times in the past, but today was my first time of cleaning a fish, particularly Tulingan. Anyway, after taking out the intestines, I washed the tulingan and prepared the rest of the ingredients. If you wish to use your fish in another time, you may put it in your freezer. It is good to invest in quality freezer locks because they help maintain the freshness of your fish or meat, at the same time, your freezer wouldn’t smell. For me, I use the Lock n’ Lock freezer locks because they’re stack-able and space saving. Even if you put fish in one compartment and pork in the other compartment, the smell of one won’t affect that of the other. You can maintain the freshness of a fish for up to 3 days by sprinkling a little salt over it before putting it in the freezer.
1 kilo of tulingan (whole or sliced)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chopped onion
4 pcs sili espada
1/2 cup sliced eggplant
1/2 cup sliced ampalaya
1 cup vinegar
1 1/2 cup coconut milk (2nd extraction)
1 cup coconut milk (kakang gata)
dash of pepper
salt or patis to taste
Note: You have to soak the sliced ampalaya in a water and salt solution for about 30 minutes before cooking in order to minimize it’s bitterness.
1.) Put the fish in a skillet or “kaha”. You may use a clay pot if you like to have an earthy and more flavorful aroma with your paksiw. But make sure to put a large piece of banana leaf inside the pot so your fish will not get burned.
2.) Add in the garlic and onions.
3.) Pour in the vinegar and the 2nd extraction of coconut milk.
4.) Turn on your fire to medium heat and wait for the fish to absorb all the coconut milk and vinegar.
5.) Once the fish has absorbed the coconut milk and the vinegar, pour in the sliced vegetables, sili espada and the kakang gata.
6.) Season with salt or patis and a dash of pepper. You may add 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
7.) Let the fish absorb about 50% of the kakang gata.
8.) Serve with hot rice.