Expect more recipe posts here because my New Year’s resolution is to eat in more, rather than eat out, and I will be sharing my discoveries along the way
Right after the gluttony of the holidays, the usual tendency is to go meatless. It so happens that I really love our native milkfish, bangus. I dig its delicate flavor & the fact that it goes well with any type of cooking – whether mixed with vinegar (as paksiw), soy sauce (bistek) or simply pan-fried. Here’s another variation..cooked in olive oil, or what’s commonly called bangus sardines. This is usually sold in the market as canned or bottled and can be expensive too, so why not make it at home?
I chose the smaller kind of bangus which was luckily available at the wet market that weekend. You can pick the bigger variety too and just have it cut in pieces.
Most of the bangus sardines recipes online said to use the pressure cooker, but for this experiment I opted for the slow cooker instead.I loved how it beautifully melded the flavors with the fish coming out so tender and almost falling off the bone.The beauty of the crockpot is that I can just leave my dish to cook on its own while I got about my business. Estimated cooking time is approximately two hours for the sardines.
Here’s how to make:
Have the fish cleaned and you can choose not to have the scales removed.
Put the fish in the crockpot along with some sliced carrots and whole pickles (about 3-4 pieces), laurel leaves and hot pepper.
Add olive oil, the quantity of which should be level with the fish. Half canola + half olive oil would do if you’re cooking on a budget.
Then add soy sauce and tomato sauce (about a cup for both). I also sprinkled salt liberally which didn’t harm me as the oil seemed to have balanced it off.
I set the cooker’s timer on high for the first hour and then to low for the last 45 minutes or so of cooking.
The result is a bangus sardines dish I really savored eating, proudly homemade and healthy. No doubt I will be making this again… great with rice!