This is a two-in-one recipe where you get the best of both worlds: the sweet-soury goodness of paksiw and the coconut-infused creaminess of ginataan.
By the way, galunggong (mackarel scad in English) is no longer a poor man's fish. It's PhP 120 - 130 per kilo nowadays. A kilo gets you about eight pieces of medium-sized fishes. When it comes to fishes, choose the small varieties like galunggong, bangus, asohos, dalagang bukid since they're not on top of the food chain, and hence, low on mercury. Stay away from the big fishes such as tuna, marlin, swordfish, shark, etc.
|The best of both worlds: Ginataang Paksiw na Galunggong|
Also since we're cooking with vinegar, don't use your aluminum pots because the acidity will cause the aluminum metal to leach into the dish. Get a stainless steel pot instead, or for even better results, an earthen pot (palayok).
1 Kilo Galunggong
1 Cup Kakang Gata (Thick Coconut Cream)
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1 Cup Water
5 Garlic Cloves
1 Bunch of Pechay Leaves
2 Siling Haba (Green Finger Chilis)
1/2 Cup Vinegar
Red and Green chili pepper (optional)
Cooking the Paksiw
1. Gut and rinse the fishes. Pat dry with paper towels. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Chop the onion and garlic. Place inside a pot, arrange the fishes on top, add the green finger chilis, the okra (cut the tops and tails) and eggplants (chop into bite-sized logs).
3. Pour half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of water.
4. Cook for about five minutes, or until the fish are done. No stirring needed. Set aside.
Cooking the Ginataan
1. Pour the coconut milk over the fishes in the same pot and half a cup of water. Simmer for about ten minutes minutes, stirring carefully so as not to break the fishes.
2. Next add the coconut cream.
3. Add the pechay leaves and the red and green chilis (don't break the chilis if you don't want the dish super hot)
4. Simmer for ten more minutes until the coconut cream thickens and becomes oily.
5. Season with patis, salt, and pepper.
6. Serve with a steaming bowl of rice!
You can adjust the cooking times, of course if you want the veggies a little crisper instead of soft and almost slushy like in this recipe. Ordinarily, we like our veggies crisp and half-cooked of course, but this is one of those dishes where we actually like the veggies a bit over-cooked so that they're soaked and drenched in coconut cream better.