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Friday, May 13, 2011

Paksiw na Bangus

Blogger went back online around noon...but I was in the middle of eating lunch with Cherlin that time then we had to go to Clarise's Field Day, so I didn't have enough time to do my post. When I got back home and was all set to do it, I found out that even the recipe that I already typed on Blogger last Wednesday night is gone, so I have to start over again! It really is Friday the 13th hah!

But I know technical glitches like that can happen regardless of the platform you use.  I was so annoyed with Blogger since last night that I considered moving my blog to Wordpress.  So I registered and started designing my Wordpress blog...then this question suddenly popped into my mind: "Am I sure that this won't happen to Wordpress?". I must admit that I like the layout on Wordpress better. But isn't blogger more stable because it is owned by Google? I'm really having second thoughts about moving to Wordpress. I would greatly appreciate if anyone who has done the swap share some thoughts on this with me.

Going back to my Meatless Friday post...

This recipe that I'm going to share with you is the easiest and most common way of cooking Bangus (Milkfish) in the Philippines. It is called Paksiw na Bangus (Vinegar Stewed Milkfish). Milkfish, by the way, is the national fish of the Philippines. Our country contribute around 55 percent to the total world bangus production. Because of its  mild, sweet flesh and its melt-in-the-mouth belly fat, many Filipinos love bangus. But there's one thing that some people don't like about it - it has so much bones. It is said that the flesh of bangus is shot through with about 180 thin spines. But fortunately the spines are in bundles so you don't have to deal with each one individually.  It can easily be removed to produce Boneless Bangus which is preferred by many. But for this dish, bangus with bones on works best.

I really love Paksiw na Bangus! It has a flavor that bites, especially when cooked with bitter gourd and chilies! I just love pouring its sauce over hot, steaming rice. Because the bangus calls for industriously removing its many fishbones, it is best eaten using your bare hands! I can hear non-Filipinos already saying "ewwww". Oh well, that is the traditional way of eating for us Filipinos. We sometimes eat with bare hands, especially with seafood and dry dishes such as inihaw (grilled) or prito (fried). Maybe you should try it sometimes! :)



Prep Time: ~15 mins               Cook Time: ~20 mins                Servings: 4            

Ingredients:
  • 1 big bangus, cleaned, scaled and cut into 5 to 6 slices
  • 1 head garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, crushed
  • 2 finger chilies (I used Jalapeño pepper)
  • 2 ampalaya (bitter gourd), sliced
  • 3 pcs small, round eggplant, quartered
  • 1 cup vinegar (I used ½ cup cane vinegar and ½ cup spicy white vinegar)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp fish Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns

Procedure:

1. Wash and clean your bangus. Remove the gills and the scales. Rub them with salt. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
2. In a large saucepan, put half of the garlic, onion and ginger and some peppercorns.


3. Arrange sliced bangus on top.  Add the remaining garlic, onion and ginger. Add water, vinegar and fish sauce. Sprinkle peppercorns on top. Cover and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes. 


4. Add the bitter gourd, eggplant and Jalapeño pepper. Continue simmering for another five minutes or until vegetables are cooked.


5. Remove from heat. Serve with hot rice!



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