Friday is the day that we abstain from meat during lent (and you might know the reason behind it). I cooked Fried Tilapia for dinner last Friday and had some bagoong Balayan (fermented fish paste) on the side – it was a blast. I might have abstained from meat that day but I miserably failed on the fasting part. The amount of rice that I consume is usually doubled when fermented fish pastes such as bagoong Balayan and guinamos (or gamos) is around.
I love to eat fried fish but I’m hesitant to have it on a regular basis. I don’t have any allergies or sort; it’s just that I’m having a hard time neutralizing the smell while cooking. It is winter here and I can’t open the windows for ventilation. All the vents are running but the smell still hang around – sometimes I need to empty a bottle of air freshener just to reduce the odor. When I was in the Philippines, I’ll just open all the windows and set the electric fan to high (number 3) for the air to circulate then the odor will be out in a few minutes.
When it comes to eating fried fish, I’m not sure if I’m doing it like most Filipino does. I eat fried fish using my hands (nagkakamay po ako) and I mix the fermented fish sauce with rice and mash it. I always have a piece of whole tomato on the plate. I first take a bite of tomato before putting the fish (with rice) in my mouth.
How do you eat fried fish? Please pardon my silly question. I just want to discover other ways to enjoy this simple dish.
Update: I know that most of you know how to fry fish. This is how I do it.
- 2 pieces medium tilapia, cleaned and scales removed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup cooking oil
- Rub salt all over the fish including the insides.
- Heat oil in a wide frying pan
- When the oil is hot, put-in the tilapia. Cover the frying pan, but make sure to open it a little so that steam can come out. Fry each side in medium heat for about 6 to 10 minutes. Note: I usually wait until I don’t hear any sound. This means that the liquid is gone and the fish is crisp.
- Remove from the pan and arrange in a serving plate.
- Serve with your favorite condiments and side dish.
- Share and enjoy!