Today, I finished my presentation (my second mid-term presentation, actually). This is one of the reasons why I have ignored blogging and the kitchen for quite a while. I needed to meet my deadlines for my dissertation. However, as it turned out, no matter how on time I was or I am, some things just don`t ever turn out the way others expect them to be. To make a long story short, I won`t be graduating till September. But I am glad that today`s presentation is over. I went home with a big headache and a growling stomach and immediately made macaroni fruit salad and gobbled left over tocino. To further "celebrate" this event, is a blog post.
When I went home (Philippines) last October, a Tilapia vendor would always drop by our house every other day to entice us with his freshly caught tilapia or mudfish. We would almost always buy thus our refrigerator or our dining table is never without a tilapia. At 100 pesos per kilo (about 4-6 pieces), compared to the 100 pesos a piece here in Japan, I didn`t mind seeing tilapia everyday.
There was a week however, when we had a steady supply of the fish from Solsona, my mother`s hometown and my birthplace. My cousins built a fishpond, let the rain and clean stream ran through it and filled it with a lot of tilapia fingerlings. There were so many fish that even with a simple stick and a tiny bait, in less than a blink and voila, you`ve got yourself a meal!
There are a lot of ways to cook tilapia so you won`t ever get tired of seeing it always on your plate, but I won`t go into all the 101 ways. I would just like to share the way the Ilocanos (or at least, my side of the family) cook their "tilapia sinigang" . Sinigang is the Filipino sour soup or stew. Usually, tamarind is used to come up with that distinct sourness, although some other fruits such as guava, calamansi or kamias (Averrhoa bilimbi) may also be used.
Here though, the only ingredients used were tomatoes, onion, and salt. It is a very simple dish really. It only takes boiling water, dropping the tomatoes (sliced, of course) and onion and then the fish and add some salt and/pepper to taste. The broth is not as sour as the normal sinigang but it has the delicious taste of fish in it, especially if the fish is fresh. With this way of cooking tilapia, one can easily tell whether the fish used in the dish is fresh or frozen.Mangantayon!