Fish recipe for Lent : sinanglay

Sinanglay is a dish normally made of tilapia and pechay (leafy greens). Its origin is the Philippines’ Bicol region which is known for the spiciness of their food and using a lot of coconut milk in their dishes.

Anyway, I first saw a photo of sinanglay in Appetite magazine and proceeded to recreate it in my kitchen. I couldn’t find the magazine anymore but it’s one of my favorite dishes from last year. I love the fact that it has the right balance of fish & vegetables. Plus it becomes so tasty with the addition of bagoong (shrimp paste) and of course the coconut milk.

Am sharing this dish because it’s the Lenten season. And you know how sacred this time of the year is for Catholics. Either people are fasting or eating just fish & veggies to purify the spirit. I highly recommend trying out Sinanglay ..it’s a good and colorful representation of Filipino cuisine.

As I said, I don’t have the original recipe anymore so we’ll just give pointers on how you can recreate Sinanglay in the kitchen:

4-6 pieces tilapia fillet, cream dory or any white fish
large, flat pechay leaves for wrapping the fish
1 piece onion, sliced
1 piece ginger, sliced diagonally
6 cloves garlic
carrots, sliced
salt & sauteed shrimp paste, to taste
approximately 1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. cooking oil
siling labuyo or chili pepper, as desired

Procedure:

1. Put one piece fish on a piece of pechay laid flat on the table. Add about 2 pcs. carrots on top.

2. Wrap the fish parcel like you would a spring roll then secure with a toothpick.Set aside and continue to make more rolls with the remaining fish & carrots.

3. In a separate pan, saute onion, garlic, ginger and bagoong in oil. Add half of the coconut milk then put fish pieces. Simmer in low fire, until fish is cooked.Add remaining coconut milk in last few minutes of cooking. Season with salt and sili for a little kick, as desired.

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