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Fish with Vinegar & Coconut
  -   Paksiw na Galunggong
2 main  
20 min  
This very tasty dish is quick and easy to make (once you've cleaned the fish). Americans aren't accustomed to dealing with small bony fish but it's not difficult to learn (Note-3) - or you could use fillets instead. In the Philippines the fish would likely be cooked head-on, but for simplicity I remove the heads. There will be a lot of sauce so serve with plenty of Jasmine rice.


Mackerel Scad (1)  
Vinegar (2)
Green Chilis (3)
Coconut Cream
  1. Clean FISH and discard heads. Arrange in a sauté pan just large enough to fit as one layer.
  2. Add Vinegar,Water.
  3. Sliver CHILIS lengthwise, slice GINGER thin and chop very fine. Add both to pan along with Salt.
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer about 5 minutes. Add Coconut Cream, stirring it around as much as possible without breaking up the fish. Bring back to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with plenty of Jasmine Rice.
  1. Mackerel Scad:   This fish, often called "round scad", is the traditional fish for this dish. It is milder and much less oily than real mackerel and comes in sizes from 7 to 17 inches. For details see our Mackerel Scad page. Scad are related to Jacks and Pompanos, so those could be considered as substitutes, but don't use a fish that's too mild. Various Scad are generally in good supply in markets serving a Philippine community. For more fish choices see our Varieties of Fish (very large page).
  2. Chilis:   These should be Philippine Long Chili, but those aren't much available even in Southern California, so substitute some other not too hot green chili, such as Japanese Shishito, Korean or Indian. For details see our Chilis page.
  3. Eating Small Fish: lift off and eat chunks of the upper side of the fish taking care not to disturb the very top edge of the fish which is full of fin spines. Watch for tiny ribs you may encounter in the body cavity area. When the first half is eaten move the narrow strip at the very top of the fish away from the body - it'll take all those fin spines with it. Lift off the backbone and tail. Pick out any tiny ribs in the body cavity area and eat the second side of the fish. Chopsticks are the best tool for disassembling and eating fish if you handle them well. Chinese chopsticks for larger fish and Japanese for smaller.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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