Filipinos especially those from Quezon provinces where coconut is their major product love to cook with it. Well, there’s nothing quite like the indulgent and lipsmacking combination of creamy coconut with the fiery taste of chopped chilies that can be found in Bicolano’s dishes. This ginataang viands, or cooked in coconut milk, have lighter but equally rich taste in comparison to Western dishes that use full cream. So here’s a dish called Ginataang Tambakol on an Oragon version. You’ll be needing a whole tambakol, also known as yellowfin tuna with this dish. However, half a large tuna of any kind will also do if you can’t find this fish. More important is that you get its firm, flaky flesh as it will stand up to the cooking time and the rich combination of flavors of gata and sili in the sauce. Not all people are fun of spicy food, so you may consider green chilis which are less spicy. Add ginger to cut through any lingering fishy aftertaste. And there you have your ginataan dish, savory, creamy, and spicy.
- 1 whole regular sized Tambakol (about 1kg) or half of a big size Tuna
- 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, sliced-2 tbsp. palm vinegar
- 3 pcs green chilis
- 1 pc. chopped red hot chili (optional if you want it extra hot)
- ginger (about an inch), sliced
- salt and pepper to taste (pepper must be the whole grain but ground a bit)
- Clean fish by removing its gills and guts then slice to serving pieces. Season with salt.
- Cook the fish by steaming them with vinegar (paksiw). In a cooking pan add the fish, garlic, ginger, onion, and vinegar, bring to boil in medium heat and continue cooking the fish in low heat for about 5 minutes until the meat is soft and fragrant.
- Adjust the heat to high and add the coconut milk (don’t stir too much – so that the fish will not break apart).
- Bring to boil, Simmer for about 5 minutes. Adjust thickness of sauce by slowly adding water up to desired consistency.
- Drop the whole green chilies and the chopped hot chili. Adjust taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer into a serving plate and serve with hot rice and enjoy!