Thursday, January 13, 2005

Filipino ceviche of Spanish mackerel

i have made this ceviche, raw fish cured with lime juice, using salmon and what they call Boston mackerel here. the latter has dark meat and shiny striped skin. the ceviche or kinilaw ends up being quite strong and faintly gamey with salmon and Boston mackerel.
i espied the Spanish mackerel with its smooth silvery and tiny yellow spotted skin and saw that it was fresh and smelled of the ocean. the meat is pale pink and firm and after curing becomes white and mild tasting after the cure.

Kilawing tanigue or tanguingue was all the rage in Manila when we last went home, too long ago. my ma used to make us her version using tiny live fish (jumping still!), pouring boiling vinegar and calamansi juice over them and adding ginger, chilis and slivers of shallots.

i used salt to cure the fillets, following the method for saba sashimi in Emi Kazuko's Japanese Cooking, then "cooked" it in lime juice in the refrigerator.

...another "side dish" for my burong mangga (pickled green mango).

1 whole Spanish mackerel, about 1 1/2 lbs., gutted, cleaned, filleted;
bones picked over
1/2 cup sea salt
1/2 cup lime (or lime and calamansi) juice
1/4 cup slivered red onion or shallots
1 long green pepper,thinly sliced, optional
coarsely ground black peppercorns
a splash of Vietnamese fish sauce

cover the fillets with sea salt and store in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes, ideally 3 hours. rinse with cold water and gently pat dry.
making sure all pin bones are gone, chop in to cubes and mix in a bowl with onions, green peppers, onions, peppercorns, and lime juice, enough so fish is completely submerged. before serving, splash a few drops of fish sauce..
cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in the refrigerator for at least an hour.