There’s nothing quite like the indulgent and lipsmacking combination of creamy coconut with the fiery taste of chopped chilies that can be found in Bicolano dishes—ginataang viands, or those cooked in coconut milk, have a lighter but equally rich taste in comparison to Western dishes that use full cream, making them a great pairing with some added heat. With this dish, you’ll be needing a whole tambakol, which is also known as yellowfin tuna. Half a large tuna of any kind will also do if you can’t find this fish—what’s important is that you get its firm, flaky flesh as it will stand up to the cooking time and the rich combination of flavors of gata and sili in the sauce. Green chilis are the typical addition, but you can add red ones if you like spice—and the ginger will cut through any lingering fishy aftertaste. Masarap!
- 1 whole regular sized Tambakol (about 1kg) or half of a big size Tuna
- 1½ cup coconut milk
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, sliced-2 tbsp. palm vinegar
- 3 pcs green chilis
- 1 pc. chopped red hot chili (optional if you want it extra hot)
- ginger (about an inch), sliced
- salt and pepper to taste (pepper must be the whole grain but ground a bit)
- Clean fish by removing its gills and guts then slice to serving pieces. Season with salt.
- Cook the fish by steaming them with vinegar (paksiw). In a cooking pan add the fish, garlic, ginger, onion, and vinegar, bring to boil in medium heat and continue cooking the fish in low heat for about 5 minutes until the meat is soft and fragrant.
- Adjust the heat to high and add the coconut milk (don’t stir too much – so that the fish will not break apart).
- Bring to boil, Simmer for about 5 minutes. Adjust thickness of sauce by slowly adding water up to desired consistency.
- Drop the whole green chilies and the chopped hot chili. Adjust taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer into a serving plate and serve with hot rice and enjoy!
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