“laing” or dried (sometimes wilted) taro leaves (“dahon ng gabi”) cooked in coconut milk. A very spicy vegetable recipe made creamy with lots of coconut milk and flavorful with fresh or dried fish or some meat.
I have every intension to post here more of stimulating dishes from the said southern Luzon region. While I have posted a dish called “isda adobo sa gata” which is basically fish cooked in coconut milk, let me feature now its counterpart from the Bicol region, the “sinanglay” or whole fish stuffed with a mixture of some vegetable, chilies and spices then boiled in pure coconut milk. Basically, the dish is also fish cooked in coconut milk only done in a quite different but very interesting method.
For Filipinos living in a country like Sri Lanka where the use of chilies in its cuisine is quite prevalent, there is no way not to think of “Bicolano” dishes back home to refer to or compare with. As we all know, most dishes from the said Bicol region are also heavily laden with chilies to a point where the level of spiciness proved to be unbearable to some, specially the uninitiated. While over the years, many Filipino outside of Bicol have learned to enjoy such very hot dishes like “bicol express” (which I have cooked several times but not yet posted here) and “laing” as mentioned above, some remain to be unable to handle the food, most especially the former which is predominantly made from fresh chilies.
tilapia or Saint Peter’s fish is the usual choice for “sinanglay”. But various varieties of carp as well as barramundi or “apahap”, catfish or “hito”, mudfish or “dalag” and some select saltwater fishes also work well for the dish. Since I have purchased 2 medium snapper or emperor (I’m not quite sure) fish the other day which I have not decided what to do yet, this “sinanglay” idea hit me at the proper moment. It pretty much saves me time thinking how to properly prepare the lovely and tasty-looking saltwater game fish I bought.