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I grew up in a rural area where fish is abundant, with fish as part of a daily meal. It has been an inside joke that if we are to eat more fish, we’ll grow scales and fins. 🙂

 

There’s milkfish (bangus) in sour soup (sinigang) and skipjack tuna (tulingan) in a stew made by cooking them in water with vinegar and salt (pinangat). There’s tilapia stuffed with tomatoes, onion and celery and deep fried inside a foil (pinaputok na tilapia) and grouper (lapu-lapu) in sweet-sour sauce (escabeche). There’s dried fish of different sorts that you eat with rice…dipped in vinegar with garlic. Then there’s round scads (galunggong), black scabbard (espada), spanish mackerel (tanigue), milkfish again, tilapia again fried and eaten with rice complimented with any of the following: diced tomatoes and onions in soysauce (toyo), fried eggplant with shrimp paste (bagoong), a mix of vegetables – pinakbet, munggo and the likes and of course the classic dip; calamondin (calamansi) squeezed on fish sauce (patis).

 

The list goes on but a blog post won’t be enough for all of them…I like fish best when smoked (tinapa). My mom would especially pack tinapang bangus for me when she visits us in Quezon City (circa 2001).  I was never familiar about the place so I could only go as far as SM North and Cherry Foodarama. I doubt they carry tinapa in their food section. If they do, I was so reliant to my mom that I didn’t bother looking.

 

Now, being 12 hours away from our dining table I often crave for smoked fish..I’m happy once in a while getting smoked mackerel in the market- whose cost I wouldn’t spend on often. Then, there was an elderly Filipino who sells tinapang bangus for 10Euro. I buy one if I chanced upon him at the mall but he hasn’t been there for years…I crave even more. William Camden once said “The sea hath fish for every man.” – I take that as one which becomes a favorite, I think the sea gave me a number of them, it’s just that with smoked fish, I feel a bit closer to home.

 

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