November 26, 2012

Ginataang Tambakol - Skipjack Tuna in coconut cream

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch. ~ Orson Welles

If you'll ask me what's my favorite food, ginataang tambakol is included on my top 10 list. I remember eating it with banana or mango when I was young. It sounds odd but the combination of hot rice, "gata" (coconut cream) and these fruits are SUPERB! Thanks to my mom, she always put sliced banana or mango on my plate whenever we have our lunch or dinner. I tell you, try this... it's crazy delicious! ;)

So this is our lunch today. Simple, easy to cook, economical, comforting, rich and exquisitely divine!
1 medium size tambakol (8-10 slices, including the head), about less 1kg
1 medium size ginger, sliced
2 shallots or onions, sliced
2 crushed garlic
1 siling panigang (finger chili) whole
2 cups of coconut cream (first extraction)
1/2 cup of coconut milk (second extraction)
1/4 cup vinegar
5 pcs mustasa (mustard leaves), optional
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash the tambakol thoroughly in running water. Remove the innards like the intestines and gills. Season the fish with salt.
2. Layer the tambakol in a casserole. Put in the vinegar, ginger, shallots or onions, garlic, siling panigang (finger chili) and coconut milk. Cook on medium to high heat, covered.

3. Bring to a boil, about 10 minutes. Pour the coconut cream, simmer for 10-15 minutes.

4. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the mustard leaves and cook for 5-7 minutes.

5. Serve, share, and enjoy.

1. If you want a spicier version, you may add siling labuyo (bird's eye chili) after putting the coconut cream.
2. If you want a more intense flavor, you may fry the fish first before cooking it with coconut milk. You may also simmer it further to get an oilier sauce.
3. NO STIRRING PLEASE. You may tilt the casserole back and forth to combine the ingredients. Reason for not stirring is the fish meat may break up when you stir.
4. You may also replace the mustard leaves with malunggay, kangkong (water spinach), sitaw (string beans), sigarilyas (winged beans), or talong (eggplant). If you're not into vegetable, you may omit it.
5. You may also replace the vinegar with 3/4 to 1 cup sliced kamias.

Happy day always,


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