Everytime we talk about food, N keeps raving about a dish his Nanay (his grandmother) cooked that he loves so much. He was born and raised in Lipa, Batangas where fresh fish, vegetables, quality meat and Ate Vi are always available. ;)
He recalls fondly how Nanay makes sinaing na tulingan (a type of tuna slow cooked in sour broth or dried camias with chunks of pork fat) using a palayok (clay pot) and how much he misses the simple and traditional way of cooking this dish that reminded him so much of his childhood.
So when he saw fresh tulingan at the nearby Filipino supermarket, he was ecstatic! He bought 5 pieces of fish and excitedly announced that he was going to make dinner tonight. :)
Of course, we didn’t have a claypot nor can we start an open fire outside the building — but it still turned out pretty good in my opinion. Although, I am not a reliable critic for this dish because this is the first time I tasted it. LOL! But N says “it can be improved” and he should’ve cooked it an hour more.
Nevertheless, it still brought him back to the good ol’ ala eh days of his childhood.
NOTE: He made the ginataang (cooked in coconut milk) version and not the regular sinaing.
- 5 pieces tulingan or skipjack tuna
- 1 piece large tomato quartered
- 1 onion quartered
- 1-2 pieces green peppers
- 1 can coconut milk (or 2 cups)
- 1/2 pack of Knorr Sinigang mix
Clean the fish! Now, I’m not gonna lie, I have no idea how to do this. I promised myself I will learn one of these days but so far it hasn’t happened yet! LOL! Anyway, N cleaned it — he took out all the funky stuff like the gills and the innards. Then I saw him pulling on the tail, I told him to just use the scissors to cut it but he said that was how they do it back home in Batangas. So he was pulling the tail and some kind of gunk came out with it. So that’s how you clean the tulingan.
After cleaning, he pounds the fish with his hand until it flattens. I asked him why and he said so that the fish could absorb the flavor more. (“para mas malasa!”)
Next, arrange it in a pot and cover with water. Add the sinigang mix and all the ingredients except for the coconut milk. Let it boil for 5 minutes and let it simmer until the water is reduced. Once it does, add the coconut milk. Again, let it simmer on low fire until the sabaw is reduced.
N says it should be at least 3 hours, but he only cooked it for two. (it was already 8pm!)
Serve hot with lotsa rice!