We're right in the middle of the Lenten season, which culminates with the observance of the Holy Week come last week of March. Since the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, most of us are already observing regular fasting, especially on Fridays, which, to most of us, are 'Meatless Fridays' for the duration of Lent. This means no pork, no beef, no chicken—just fish, seafood and vegetables.
This is why I think one of the recipes that I picked up from the Stopover Aklan regional food promotion which is ongoing at InterContinental Manila's Café Jeepney until March 24, 2013, comes in very handy. It's Fish Kinilaw, which is a specialty appetizer in Western Visayas, where Aklan (home to the world-famous Boracay Island) belongs. Different places have different versions of the kinilaw, also known as kilawin or the Filipinos version of Fish Ceviche. The one of Aklan really capitalizes on freshness of ingredients, particularly of the tanguingue fish.
A collaboration of InterContinental Manila, the Provincial Government of Aklan and the Provincial Tourism Council of Aklan, Stopover Aklan brought to Manila very talented Aklanon chef Arlyn Conanan, who unselfishly shared this recipe. I'm sharing it with you in time for the season of Lent.
250 grams fresh tanguingue fish
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. chopped ginger
2 tbsps. calamansi juice
1 pc. medium-sized red onion, diced
onion leeks and hot peppers for garnish
1. Peel off skin of fresh tanguinguie fish, and cut fish into cubes. Set aside.
2. Combine vinegar, salt, sugar, ginger, calamansi juice and onion. Mix well.
3. Add vinegar mixture to the cubed fish. Mix and make sure the cubed fish is marinated well.
4. Garnish with onion leeks or hot peppers.
5. Serve chilled.
Dolly T. Dy-Zulueta is editor of Flavors Magazine. She graduated from a certificate course in culinary and baking skills at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS). Aside from this course, she has taken several cooking classes in several cooking schools.