Sinanglay is a fish-based dish coming from the Bicol region and it coming from Bicol region; one can already assume that the recipe will have coconut milk in it as part of the stew. With its main ingredients being Tilapia and the coconut milk, at first look, you will think that sinanglay is just Ginataang Tilapia. However, the preparation for Sinanglay is miles different.
What distinguishes Sinanglay na Tilapia from other recipes is that before stewing the tilapia into a pot full of coconut milk (or reverse), you need to first cut and gut the tilapia and stuff it with the other ingredients such as sliced ginger, onions and tomatoes much like how you would stuff the Tilapia in Pinaputok na Tilapia. However, once you’re done with stuffing the Tilapia, unlike in other recipes where you can leave it unsewn or uncovered, in sinanglay recipe, you will have to cover up the Tilapia with Gabi or Pechay leaves and tie it up with lemongrass stalks so that the filling will not burst out once you start simmering it in the pot.
Sinanglay na Tilapia Recipe Preparation Tips
As the only difficult part of this Sinanglay na Tilapia recipe is stuffing and covering the tilapia, everything else is simple as one would only need to drop the Tilapia in the pot and pour in the coconut milk. Another important ingredient in this recipe is the Lemongrass. Aside from using it as a tie to tie up the Tilapia, one also needs to drop a lump of Lemongrass as will add another layer of taste into the dish. Also, while cooking, make sure that you stir it occasionally so that the coconut milk will not curdle.
Lastly, though it is recommended for you to have fresh squeezed coconut milk, should it be inaccessible in your area, you can always look for canned or tetra-packaged coconut milk in your supermarket.
You can garnish your Sinanglay na Tilapia with chopped siling labuyo and serve sinanglay hot with steaming white rice.
- 3 pcs. medium tilapia, cleaned and scales removed
- 4 pcs. wide bok choy (or pechay) leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pc. medium onion, diced
- 1 pc. large tomato, diced
- 1 thumb ginger, chopped
- 3 pieces long green chili (or 1 pc of siling labuyo if you want to make it spicy)
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (medium thick)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- a pinch of maggi magic sarap to taste
- In a bowl, combine garlic, onion, tomatoes, and ginger then mix.
- Stuff the tilapia with the garlic, onion, and ginger mixture.
- Wrap the pechay around the tilapia. I use 4 pcs. of pechay leaves for each to ensure that the entire fish is wrapped.
- Arranged the wrapped tilapia in a wide cooking pan then pour in coconut milk. Sprinkle salt and maggi magic sarap, cover, and turn on heat.
- Cook the fish in medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes.
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