Today is United Nations Day, so I thought it would be nice to mark that with a New World international recipe connection. This is a dish from The Philippines that is heavily influenced by the native cuisine of Mexico, due to the Spanish galleon's that ran between Acapulco and Manila and back. Of course, the "Aztec influence" here come in the form of a rich tomato sauce, spiced up native Filipino style with lemon juice and fish sauce. Tomatoes are called Kamatis in the Filipino language. This recipe from a book that I recently picked up entitled The Flavor Of Asia by my all time favorite Filipino food writer Reynaldo Alejandro (who is also a chef, accomplished choreographer/dancer & graphic artist). In addition to the Filipino recipes, the book contains recipes from all over Asia, and not just China & Japan. There are a fair number to recipes from out of the way places like Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia and Laos. This recipe conveniently calls for fillets, but as you can see whole fish can be used too.
1 lb. fish fillet (sole, red snapper or sea bass)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable or corn oil
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 cup tomatoes, minced
1/2 tsp. pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. fish sauce or additional salt
14 cup scallions, chopped
1. Season fish with salt and lemon juice. Let stand for 20 minutes.
2. In a large skillet, using 1/2 the oil, fry the fillets until light brown on both side. Drain.
3. In another skillet, saute the garlic in the remaining oil until light brown (my note: don't burn it), then add the onion and cook until transparent. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft. Add pepper, water, and fish sauce or salt. Simmer until thickened.
4. Add fried fish to sauce. Cover the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, turning filets once.
5. Serve hot, garnish with scallions.
|This is an Aswang, a Filipino monster of the forest.|