Sinaing sa Gata
by Josea A, Razon
(Davao City, Philippines)
Fish is one of my favorite food. Specially when this is cooked by my father.
My father was a local cook and he can transform food to make it more palatable and attractive. He was always invited to prepare food for large handaan and he got paid with pots of food for us.
That was Bayanihan in the past.
On ordinary days, he would buy kilos of small tulingan.
Coconut was not a problem because we had few trees around our house. We just had to pick some iba fruits in the neighborhood. Iba or cucumber tree balances the taste of Sinaing sa Gata as it produces sour taste.
My father cleaned the fish, remove the entrails and blood, wash them well. Then, after that, he would prepare the chopping board and coarse salt.
This food is preserved for a longer time because of the salt and the long cooking. So it is best to prepare a lot.
Here's what we need to enjoy this delicious Sinaing sa Gata.
1 kilo Tulingan (Mackerel Tuna)
Coconut - grated, squeezed and set aside the kakang gata and the second coconut milk water
First, prepare the fish. After cleaning and washing is done, let the fish drip.
Then, make a slanting cut on the body of the fish. After that, generously sprinkle with salt and press the whole fish.
Then arrange the fish in a pot (palayok is best) lined with pressed iba.
Add some patis to enhance the taste. When all the fish is in the pot, pour the second coconut milk to become the stock for boiling for a long time.
Boil the fish as long as possible until even the bones are tender.
Lastly, add the kakang gata and let it boil until a little oil from the coconut milk comes out.
Serve with sliced tomato.