Hello Everyone! I find it hard to believe that it’s already the middle of the month – oh how time flies by so quickly! I don’t have a long-winded tangent to go on about tonight so this post will most likely be shorter than the previous two.
Paksiw sa Gata is a Filipino cooking procedure that involves two cooking styles – Paksiw (stewed in vinegar), and Ginataan (stewed in coconut milk/cream). This cooking procedure is a quick and easy way of preparing a fish dish; a staple amongst Filipino families.
You can use other cuts of salmon such as the heads, tails, and the flesh itself. Likewise, you can also use other types of fish such as Threadfin Bream (Bisúgo) and this unnamed White/Silver Fish that my mom used to get from the markets in Brunei for her paksiw (without the gata) dishes that we grew up on. The only reason why it’s unnamed is because I don’t actually know the name of it *cheeky grin*
Besides the protein, it is also an easy dish to incorporate greens into. Bitter melon (ampalaya) leaves are most common, but not restricted to. I absolutely detest bitter melon and its leaves, and so I opted to use malunggay leaves for this dish. Other common/favourite alternatives include spinach, water spinach (kangkong), and chilli leaves.
PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 6
- 1 kg salmon belly, washed, scaled and, cut into large chunks
- 1 cup coconut milk (fresh, canned, or frozen)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup spicy vinegar*
- 3 long green chillies
- 3 red bird’s eye chillies**
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 small red onion, quartered
- 1 bunch malunggay leaves
- Thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- Salt, to taste
*Or you can always use normal white vinegar if you don’t sit well with spice
**Optional – only if you want your paksiw sa gata to have a spicy kick to it or not
- Add the ginger, garlic, onions, chillies, black peppercorns, vinegar, and water into a medium-sized cooking pot. Heat over medium-high and bring to a brisk boil. Continue boiling for about 10 minutes to allow the vinegar to cook and for the aromatics to infuse into the liquid.
- Turn the heat down to low, and slowly stir in the coconut milk in and season with a touch of salt. Bring to a slow boil. It is important to bring it back to a boil slowly to avoid curdling the coconut milk. This happens when it is heated too quickly.
- Add in the salmon belly chunks and allow to cook for a further 5-7 minutes before adding the malunggay leaves in. Turn the heat off and cover for about 30-60 seconds to allow the malunngay leaves to wilt.
- Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy with steamed jasmine rice. Paksiw and Ginataan dishes are always best eaten with rice!
This only just came into mind as I was finishing this post off. I thought back to popular (highly viewed) dish that I made a while back that also uses Salmon Belly (Pan-fried Salmon Bellies).
The next time I make this dish, I’m going to pan-fry my salmon bellies to get it nice and crisp. Then, cook the vinegar and coconut milk sauce separately and just pour it over the pan-fried bellies. There’s nothing I love more than a mouthful of crispy yet melt-in-the-mouth belly fat!
– Ally xx