Sarciadong Tilapia (Tilapia Braised in Sautéed Tomatoes)

Sarciadong Tilapia (Tilapia Braised in Sautéed Tomatoes)

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone had a much better than weekend than I did! I say this because I got called to work on Sunday for an event; it was towards the end of a Saturday work day and I was excitedly looking forward to a do-nothing Sunday when I got a text from my supervisor asking if I was free to work and help out with an event. I sighed when I saw the message, and was tempted to say “no I’m not free because it’s Sunday”. I probably would’ve gotten an earful on the Monday though, so being the ever so star employee (no not really) that I am, I said “yes I’m free”. So there went my only day off. I’m definitely looking forward to this weekend though for the long weekend; 3 days off (including Sunday) and a short start to next week! I’ll definitely be using this time to experiment in the kitchen.

Anyway, that aside, the recipe that I will be sharing with everyone tonight is a classic favourite in the Geronimo household. Ever since I was a little kid, this dish will always somehow make it’s way to the table either for a delicious lunch, or a warm hearty dinner. Sarciado (sar-shee-ah-doh) is a fish dish from the Philippines that predominantly features tomatoes and eggs. The name sarciado in the Tagalog language means cooked with a thick sauce where the word “sarsa” is derived from the Spanish word “salsa” meaning sauce.

It is essentially a combination of two separate dishes: “piniritong isda”(fried fish), and a tomato-scrambled eggs “sarsa” sautéd in a flavour combination of garlic, onions, ginger, and fresh tomatoes. Traditionally, the dish was developed as a way to make leftover fried fish into a whole new dish that is both appetising and hearty. It may seem strange to put fish and eggs together, but trust me, they do go very well together. Having said this though, the dish does not solely rest its fate on leftover fried fish – there’s not stopping you to whip up this dish using a freshly fried fish of any kind really – mackerel, snapper, grouper, or even tilapia works well. For the recipe that I will be sharing tonight, I have chosen to fry up some beautiful fresh saltwater tilapia.

Sarciadong Tilapia (Tilapia Braised in Sautéed Tomatoes) Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 whole tilapia (about 500g each), gutted, scaled, and cleaned
  • 1 cup fish stock*
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
  • Thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 small brown onion, halved and then sliced thinly
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • Turmeric powder
  • Spring onions, chopped
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

*I have a lot of fish heads and bones left over from the previous two recipes which can be found here and here, so I decided to drop them into a pot of water together with salt, garlic cloves, whole black peppercorns, ginger slices, and some dried bay leaves. Left to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour and you’ve got yourself a lovely fish broth. Alternatively you can just use water instead of fish stock.

METHOD

  1. Heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Season the tilapia fish with ground sea salt, pepper, and rub the turmeric powder into the fish. Fry the fish until golden and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes and then flip the fish over and cook the other side for a further 3-4 minutes. Once done, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. (If you are using leftover fish, skip this part and move on to step 2).
  2. Remove some of the oil from the large frying pan, leaving about a tablespoon behind. Bring the heat down to medium and sauté the ginger and minced garlic together until fragrant and golden brown, about a minute. Add the onions in and cook until soft, a further 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, toss and leave to cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 2-3 minutes. Once soft, add the fish stock (or water) and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the sauce is brought to a simmer. Season with a bit of fish sauce, adjust to your liking, and ground black pepper.
  4. Place the fish in the pan and cover it with the sauce while leaving it to braise (quickly), about 5 minutes. Pour the egg into the sauce and quickly mix until well combined. Turn the heat off before the egg completely solidifies.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and top with some chopped spring onions (unlike me where I completely forgot, though optional). Serve immediately with hot steamed rice and enjoy!

Sarciadong Tilapia (Tilapia Braised in Sautéed Tomatoes)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

Hello Everyone! I’m feeling sad, are you? Well, the only reason I’m sad is because Seafood Month has come to an end! I can’t believe the month has flown by so quickly. On the bright side, we get to explore a whole new range of dishes for the month of October! I won’t say yet what I have in store for the blog, so you’ll just have to stay tuned as all will be revealed on Thursday!

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

So here we go, on to our last recipe for Seafood Month: Pesang Tilapia! Apparently, frying the fish first is not the traditional method in making Pesang Isda (isda means fish in Tagalog just for those who don’t know), it is actually boiled in the ginger stew until tender, and is actually a much healthier option as opposed to frying the fish. However there are a few pros to frying the fish first, mainly for taste and also technique. Firstly, frying makes the fish and stew taste better, and secondly, frying prevents the fish from flaking, because of its stable texture ,when cooked in the stew for a long time.

I’ve read a couple of recipes online prior to writing this post up, and a few suggestions have come up on what to serve on the side with this dish. One of the most popular is having some miso sauce as a condiment. I usually just have some fish sauce and calamansi mixed together as a condiment. I’ve also tried searching around for recipes that make any mention of serving this dish with some filo-style scrambled eggs but I haven’t seen any. Nonetheless, it actually tastes really good having the scrambled eggs together with the fish!

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew) Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-22 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the ginger stew

  • 800g whole tilapia fish, scaled, gutted and cleaned*
  • 1L water
  • 2-3 bunches of baby bok choy or pechay, cleaned and ends removed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

*Alternatively you can use any other types of fish such as catfish, grouper, mudfish, and/or seabass. I know some people who can’t eat fish if it’s still whole; you can still cook this dish with fish cutlets or fillets.

For the Filipino-style scrambled eggs

  • 3 large free range eggs, beaten
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Ground salt to taste

METHOD

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Season the fish by rubbing some salt and black pepper. Once the oil is hot, fry the fish until golden brown. Once browned, flip and fry the other side of the fish, about 6-7 minutes per side. Once done, transfer the fish to a serving dish.
  2. Discard the oil, leaving behind about a tablespoon or two, and in the same pan, fry the ginger slices until fragrant. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden brown. Finally, add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether. Then add the water, whole pepper corns and salt, and bring the stew to a boil.
  3. While the stew is simmering away, move on to making your scrambled eggs. Heat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Add in the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Then add in the tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  4. Once the tomatoes are soft, pour in the beaten eggs and stir with a spoon, lifting and folding it over from the bottom of the pan, until the eggs are softly set and slightly runny in places. Turn the heat off and leave the eggs for a few seconds to finish cooking. Give a final stir before serving.
  5. Turn the heat off from the ginger stew and add the baby bok choy, leaving to cook for about a minute. Pour the stew over the fried fish and serve immediately with some steamed rice and the scrambled eggs. Enjoy!

Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

Sautéed Egg for Pesang Tilapia (Tilapia in Ginger Stew)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak)

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak)

Hello Everyone and sorry for a very late post tonight (or more like just past midnight by the time I am done with the post)! I spent the day bringing my family around to Bondi Beach and Maroubra Beach despite the gloomy weather. We managed to visit the beaches and take some photographs before it started to pour. After that, we chilled around at my friend’s place before finally heading off to the airport; I said my goodbyes to my Mom and my two younger sisters. Safe travels! They’ll be in Kuala Lumpur for about 7-hours, and then finally arriving in Brunei the next day in the afternoon. I just finished editing and uploading my graduation photos on Facebook, and now I am writing this post. I thought of just going to bed since I am quite tired, but I felt bad for not even attempting to write a post for tonight/today. Anyway, I’ll make it quick if I can; I’ll probably end up taking the long route and explaining some components of the dish that may be unfamiliar to some people.

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak) Ingredients

Bangús (or Milkfish) is the national fish of the Philippines. They are notorious for being much bonier than other fish, which is why deboned milkfish, called “boneless bangús” in the Philippines, has become popular in stores and markets. There are many ways in which you can use this fish to create many loved home-cooked Filipino dishes, and I will show you two/three easy ways to prepare the milkfish for a tasteful lunch or dinner. Pritong Bangús (fried milkfish) is a simple dish that is packed with flavours. The milkfish alone has its deliciously rich taste, especially the belly, but the marinade enhances its flavour with a hint of sourness and spiciness. The bangús belly is my favourite part of the fish, especially when it is fried. I would always fight for the bigger piece of belly, or I would always make sure that I get the bigger share of the belly. In an ideal world, the belly would be ALL mine.

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak) Ingredients

PREP TIME 8 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 12 MINS | SERVES 2-3

*Minimum. Up to 12 or even better, overnight in the fridge for marination time.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large boneless bangus (milkfish); scales removed, cleaned and butterflied
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 red bird’s eye chillies, cut in half
  • 1 large red spanish onion, cut into rings
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • Juice of 2-3 calamansi

METHOD

  1. Combine chillies, vinegar, garlic, whole peppercorns, and salt in a large container. Give it a good stir to combine the ingredients before laying down the fish skin side up. Cover the container and place in the fridge to marinate for about 8 to 12 hours, or even better, overnight to soak up all the flavours.
  2. Heat about 1 cup of oil in a large frying pan (preferably with a lid)** over medium-high. Fry both sides of the bangús until each side turns medium brown in colour. Once cooked, place on a serving plate. You can enjoy the fried bangús just like this with some steamed rice and atchara*** on the side, or you can add a few more ingredients to further heighten the flavour of the dish.
  3. Tip the oil out into an empty jar (you can reuse for your next frying adventure) from the same frying pan, leaving about a tablespoon or two. Fry the onions until soft and then turn the heat off. Add in the soy sauce and give it a good stir, about 1-2 minutes, and the pour the mixture over the fried bangús. Squeeze the juice from the calamansi over the fish and serve!

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak)

Pritong Bangús Steak (Fried Milkfish Steak) Ingredients

**Caution: take care when frying as the oil has a tendency to splatter because of the liquid from the marinade. Make sure to cover the frying pan while leaving open a small space for the steam to escape.

***Atchara or Atcharang Papaya is basically pickled julienned or grated green papaya and soaked for a week in cooked vinegar and sugar mixture with onions, garlic, ginger, pepper corn, and red bell pepper.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

BR Nina's Itikan & Restaurant - SPECIALITIES: Kalderitik

BR Nina’s Itikan & Restaurant

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday! Today’s post is on a restaurant that can be found along the Sta. Clara Bypass Road in Sta. Maria, Bulacan. My cousin first introduced me to this place when we were visiting the Philippines last month. I told her that I wanted to dine at local eateries that are natively special to Bulacan and this is where she took my family and I. If I am not mistaken, itik is quite popular in Bulacan as there are also many balut hatcheries in the area. For those of you who do not know what a balut is, it is basically a developing duck embryo (fertilised duck egg) that is boiled and eaten in the shell.

Anyway, I could not appreciate the atmosphere at the time that we went with my cousin for it was during dinner and although the place was well lit, it felt dark to me. So my mother, my two sisters, and myself decided to come back to this place for lunch and the ambience had a bigger impact on me than it did the first night we dined at BR Nina’s Itikan. I think the fact that we were the only table there as well made a difference for it was less noisy (I mean, excluding the traffic along the bypass) and we had the whole place to ourselves. The place is an outdoor restaurant with a main dining area upon entering, and a few bahay kubos at the back where you could also dine. A bahay cubo is known as the national shelter, native house of the Philippines and is made from using indigenous building materials like bamboo and nipa. Its name is said to have originated from the Spanish word, cubo, which means “cube” because of the bahay kubo‘s rectangular/cubic shape. Nowadays you’ll see many eateries adapting the bahay kubo into small, private eating huts, big enough to seat between 4-8 people.

BR Nina's Itikan & Restaurant - BR NINA’S FIESTA: Crispy Kare-Kare Liempo
BR NINA’S FIESTA: Crispy Kare-Kare Liempo (₱250.00)

When I first had dinner at this place, I was very much intrigued by the ‘crispy’ part of the name of this dish, only because I’ve never had kare-kare before with crispy meat. The sauce, even though for me it felt like it was straying away from a traditional kare-kare, was nice and flavourful. The sauce tasted like it had coconut milk in it and didn’t taste so much like the peanut buttery goodness that I love; it was still creamy though. The vegetables were cooked to perfection, as in it wasn’t overcooked, and though some of the cuts of pork meat was cooked well, some were a bit hard and overdone.

BR Nina's Itikan & Restaurant - SPECIALITIES: Fried Itik
SPECIALITIES: Fried Itik (₱160.00)

The first time we came here we had the fried itik as recommended by my cousin. For me it was just okay, nothing much special to it other than the fact that it’s an itik and that it definitely tastes different than any normal fried chicken. The meat was quite dry and because there was no sauce to go with it either, besides the very basic condiment of soy sauce and calamansi, the overall dish was very dry. If we didn’t have the bulalo soup to pair with it, it would’ve been a very dry meal.

BR Nina's Itikan & Restaurant - SPECIALITIES: Kalderitik
SPECIALITIES: Kalderitik (₱170.00)

Since itik is their speciality here in this restaurant, we decided to order at least more than just one on their specials menu and experience itik cooked in many different ways. The itik was really tender and flavourful. It was so tender that it was fall-off-the-bone perfection. It also had a little bit of spice to it as well. This dish is one that I very much like from their specials, even though it doesn’t look very well presented – but this is pretty much home-style cooking.

BR Nina's Itikan & Restaurant - SPECIALITIES: Adobong Itik
SPECIALITIES: Adobong Itik (₱170.00)

Though it doesn’t look as appetising (let’s face it, pretty much everything you’ll see here doesn’t look appetising), it tastes better than it looks. However, compared to the kalderitik, this dish was quite dry. The sauce came as a side with the dish, but because the itik was deep fried, it was quite dry. Also, I felt that there was a little bit too much garlic on the dish. It did have that adobo flavour to the itik though!

BR Nina's Itikan & Restaurant - SPECIALITIES: Sisig Itik
SPECIALITIES: Sisig Itik (₱170.00)

Sisig is a Filipino dish traditionally made from parts of a pig’s head and liver, seasoned with calamansi and chilli peppers. I love me a good sisig dish. I never fail to have a flavourful sizzling plate of sisig whenever I visit the Philippines. I was drawn to this dish only because I’ve never had itik sisig before, I’ve always and only have ever had pork sisig. This sisg dish is by far my favourite of all sisigs I’ve ever had in the past. The flavour was on point and the addition of fresh chillies on top added that extra kick of heat that the dish, in my opinion, needed.

BR Nina's Itikan & Restaurant - FRIED: Crispy Tawilis with Salted Egg
FRIED: Crispy Tawilis with Salted Egg (₱150.00)

Sardinella tawilis, or known by Filipinos as just tawilis for short, is a small freshwater sardine, reaching up to 15cm and weighing less than 30g. On its own, it doesn’t actually have much flavour to it. But all your really need is the salted egg and tomatoes on the side to go with it and you have a match made it heaven. Even with just a little bit of achara to go with the crispy fried tawilis and you’re pretty much hooked on it. You can eat the fish whole as well, yes, including its head, tail, and bones!


SOUPS: Bulalo (₱220.00)

Besides their specialities, this bulalo soup is by far the tastiest of all bulalo soups I’ve had in the past. The broth is harboured all the flavours from the meat, and what’s good about it also is that the broth doesn’t have a lot of oil in it and isn’t very fatty at all. The meat was very tender and the vegetables still had a bit of crunch to them. It was definitely much better in terms of flavour than the bulalo soup that I cooked myself.

BR Nina’s Itikan have quite a lot to offer on their menu beside their specialities of various itik dishes; many also praise their crispy kare-kares from Facebook comments and reviews that I’ve have seen. Overall, I thought that the food that we’ve had at this place were generally quite good. I haven’t had any major issues with any of the dishes only that the fried itik and the adobong itik itself are quite dry, but other than that, everything else were pretty much on point for me. I love love love their duck sisig, and for that I’d say that their food is a sure 7 out of 10 for me. Ambience 8 out of 10 and service is variable between 7 to 9 out of 10. I say this because there are only two waiters running the floor and serving probably a total of 10 tables. So when the place is packed, it’s quite hard to flag down a waiter when you’re ready to order or wanting to request for more water or tissue for your table – that’s the downside. Otherwise, they’re friendly and always quick on their feet. You’ll see then running around trying to get to every table and fulfilling every customer’s requests. It’s also relatively cheap so therefore a good value for money, where their specialities of itik only costs about AUD$5.00 – a whole duck for just $5.00? Quite impossible ain’t it? That is, if it were sold in Australia.

BR Nina’s Itikan & Restaurant
Bypass Road Sta. Clara
Sta. Maria, Bulacan
Philippines, 3022

– Ally xx