Unlike my Kapampangan cousins who are so good and uberly-patient when it comes to cooking, I kinda dislike slaving myself for long hours in front of the stove preparing food.
Maybe because I could still recall how my dear mother would asked me to continuously stir and mix this sticky food (I think it was some kind of kakanin or probably biko) for fifteen minutes or more back in the days. With the heat from the stove and tired muscles from holding a spatula or ladle, it was a nightmare and kept on complaining. I could hear my playmates shouting outside while playing tumbang-preso. All the more reason to be displeased in doing hard labor just to eat.
Looking back now, I have my mother to thank for that. She introduced me to the pleasures as well as the displeasure of cooking. Hard it may seem but when you do something on your own, specially it is the first time, there is excitement. If it turns out better that you expected, a feeling of pride and adventure grows on you. If the result does not quite sit well with you, then there is a challenge waiting till your next try.
I have grown to love cooking. I am not that good but I am proud to say that I can survive on my own. I have limited knowledge of recipes. I intend to rectify that by trying new dishes.
My latest kitchen adventure presented itself in the form of Ginataang Isda or Fish in Coco Milk.
- 3 medium-sized fish, cleaned & cut (tilapia, tulingan)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup malunggay leaves
- 1 eggplant, cut into pieces
- 5-7 string beans
- 1 big, red pepper
- 3-5 pcs garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper
- In a pan, boil the coconut milk, garlic, pepper in medium heat.
- Add the fish and cook until tender.
- Add the veggies - eggplant, string beans, red pepper.
- Simmer for a few minutes until done.
- Add the malunggay leaves and season with salt.
- Serve with a plate of steamed rice.
Actually, I am not sure what type of fish I used in this dish. I just picked the one available in the freezer. :p
In the photo above, I served the dish minus the eggplant and string beans because I noticed too late that I was using a smaller bowl. Anyway, I grabbed the opportunity to take a shot of what I labored. :)
Also noticeable is the huge not-so-red pepper. Unlike other people who mix this in a dish cut or sliced, I prefer mine as is. It is not that I don't like my food a little hot but I am serving this, too, with my toddler.
Over-all, I am satisfied with my first try in preparing Ginataang Isda. :)