Category: Fish

Stuffed Milkfish (Rellenong Bangus)

Stuffed Bangus, Photo by PH Morton

Stuffed Bangus, Photo by Arnold Gamboa

This recipe is suitable for special occassion or celebration.  It is extra delicious bursting with goodness.

Stuffed Milkfish (Rellenong Bangus)


  • 1 large sized bangus ( milkfish )
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small sized carrot, small cubes
  • 1 box raisins ( optional )
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 raw egg, large
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce (or light soy sauce)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp. Flour
  • cooking oil for frying
  1. Ask the fish-monger to clean and remove the scales of the fish or using a knife, scrape fish by going against the scales.   This is fairly easy to do. Gently pound the fish using flat side of a heavy spoon or Chinese knife.  Pounding will loosen meat from the skin. Ensure that the skin is not damaged or broken.
  2. Carefully cut the big bone that run through the fish, from the tail end up to the head. Then pull this out.
  3. Insert a long spoon or spatula through the bangus neck.  Gently prise out meat away from the skin. Scrape as much of the flesh throughout the whole fish but always be aware not to break the skin.
  4. Make the marinade for the skin by mixing the soy sauce and calamansi (lime) juice. In a large dish arrange the fish skin flatly and pour and marinate by pour the soy sauce mix all over.  Leave for 10 minutes or so.
  5. Simmer the fish meat in a little water, once opaque, drain and remove any visible bones as you flake the meat.
  6. Using a wok or frying pan, sauté the garlic until golden brown. Add onion and tomatoes. Stir in carrot, and pepper as well as the fish meat. Season well with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce or light soy sauce.
  7. Add raisins.
  8. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  9. Now open up the marinating fish skin and fill  it up with the cooked fish meat/tomato/onion mix.  Stuff until the skin has ballooned into a fish-like shape once again.
  10. Beat the egg and then pour it into the stuffed fish and then roll the fish into the flour.
  11. Finally wrap the fish with banana life or aluminium foil and roast for 30-40 minutes at 180ºC.  If using aluminium foil, remove at the last 10 minutes.  This recipe can also be cooked by deep-frying using a large wok.  There is no need to wrap the fish with anything!
  12. Serve immediately.

Enjoy with tomato ketchup.  Sarap (delicious)

Tinolang Lapu-lapu (Grouper Fish Tinola)

Tinolang Lapu-lapu, photo by Carol Elep

Tinolang Lapu-lapu (Grouper Fish Tinola)

The Philippines is an archipelago, a cluster of islands surrounded by water and as such, fishing is a major source of living and fish is one of the staple food of the country.

The Filipinos, therefore, have an extensive recipes cook and preserve these lovely fresh delicious fish; many are naive to the country, passed down from generation to the next, some are adapted from international recipes and gave them its own distinct Filipino flavour, and plenty more made up from growing amount of available ingredients in the market.

Tinolang Lapu-lapu is a really nourishing.  It is an all-round season recipe, can be enjoyed by all at whatever the weather.

Lapu-lapu is called grouper  fish in English.  Ask your fish monger to clean and cut the fish.


1/2 kilo or just over a pound of Lapu-lapu (grouper) fish, cleaned and cut
3 stalks spring onion, cut into an inch length pieces
3 pieces lemon grass, chopped
1 inch ginger (optional), chopped finely
1 vegetable stock cube (knorr or Oxo)
1 small marrow or 2 courgettes
6 cups water
Salt & pepper


Bring to a boil the cups of water in a casserole pan over high heat.

Drop in the spring onions, lemon grass, ginger and stock cube. Give it a stir and then over the pan.

Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add in the marrow or courgettes slices and the fish, continue to simmer for 8-10 minutes in medium heat.

Season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Enjoy the taste of the oriental sea at its best!

Chicken Paella Recipe

Paella in Barcelona – Photo by Peter Morton

We had a wonderful meal of chicken paella whilst on holiday in Barcelona.

The dish was so sumptuous that I still think about it today. LOL  I have tried to make my own version and I found Jamie Oliver’s version is a good starting point for a truly delicious Spanish paella.

Below is a Jamie Oliver recipe:

Chicken Paella Recipe


• 6 boneless chicken breasts or thighs, preferably free-range or organic, skin on, each quartered
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• plain flour, for dusting
• olive oil
• 100g chorizo, sliced
• 6 slices pancetta or streaky bacon
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 2 litres hot chicken stock, preferably organic
• 2 large pinches of saffron
• 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
• 500g paella rice
• small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped, stalks chopped
• 2 handfuls peas, fresh or frozen
• 10 king prawns
optional: 500g mussels, scrubbed
• optional: 2 small squid, halved and scored


Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Season the chicken pieces and dust with flour. Heat a little olive oil in a large deep pan and fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Place the pieces on a baking tray and into the oven for 30 minutes.

Put the pan back on the heat. Add the sliced chorizo and pancetta or bacon and fry until browned and crispy. Then add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Meanwhile infuse half the hot chicken stock with the saffron. Add the smoked paprika, rice and infused stock and leave to cook on a medium heat, stirring from time to time.

After 20 minutes the rice should be nearly cooked. At this point, pour in the rest of the stock along with the peas, prawns, and the mussels and squid if you are using them. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 10 minutes more.

Finally, add the cooked chicken and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon.

Charcoal Grilled Tilapia

Tilapia, photo by PH Morton

Tilapia, photo by PH Morton

Charcoal Grilled Tilapia

I really find it very sad that tilapias have been having a bad press lately when in natural fact, they are one of the best tasting fish there is.

They are also very versatile, they can be cooked with just a bit of ginger and a few tablespoons of vinegar or can be fried, and be made into fish balls, etc.

Whilst growing up in Marag, where we had a farm,  tilapias used to grow naturally along the dykes that run in between our rice-field.

At lunch time we would go and catch them by hand or with the help of a rattan woven like a net.  After cleanign and de-scaling the fish, the would then be pushed into a bamboo skewer and set over an open fire to grill.

We then have a delicious lunch with boiled rice.  We also have a home-made sauce made from small amount of water, a dash of salt and a few siling labuyo (bird’s eye chili).


Teriyaki Salmon Noodles Recipe

teriyaki with noodlesI love this salmon recipe from Waitrose.  Certainly, a nice change from battered fish of the fish and chips tandem,  though a delicious combination.

Did you know?

Salmon is rich in fatty acids, which keep the skin moisturised.

Teriyaki salmon with noodles

Marinate the salmon for 5 minutes in a teriyaki, honey, garlic and ginger combo

Serves: 4


  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 120g each), skin on
  • 120g medium egg noodles
  • 1 tsp Waitrose toasted sesame oil
  • 5 essential Waitrose salad onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 120g trimmed sugar snap peas
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 3 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tbsp clear honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 220c, gas mark 7. Combine the teriyaki, honey, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan and simmer for a couple of minutes until thickened. Brush over the salmon fillets. Put the fish in a foil-lined roasting tin; leave to marinate for 5 minutes, then bake for 10. Brush with a little more dressing.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions and drain. Warm the sesame oil in a frying pan; sauté the salad onions, sugar snap peas and sesame seeds for 1 minute. Stir in the cooked noodles and coriander.
  3. Serve the noodles and salmon with the lime wedges.


Salmon head in sour miso soup (Salmon sinigang sa miso)

Salmon head in sour miso soup (Salmon sinigang sa miso)

Salmon head in sour miso soup (Salmon sinigang sa miso) Photo by PH Morton

Salmon head in sour miso soup (Salmon sinigang sa miso) Photo by PH Morton

Don’t be put off with that rather scary looking fish head.  Sinigang sa miso is a very delicious sour soup.

Peter absolutely loved it, though he would not touch the head. LOL

We went to a restaurant called Baliwag Lechon Manok in Tutuban Centre because the crispy pork lechon and chicken were just too darn hard to resist.  Anyway with our order, the sinigang sa miso came as a package.  Though I shouldn’t be, I was as shocked as Peter when we saw this rather enormous fish head staring rather blankly at us.

I tried the soup as I remember that miso soup was sour and anything sour is fine with me.  So I tasted it and told Peter that it was rather good.  Before I knew it, he was slurping the soup unmindful of the fish head.  LOL

You too can make this soup at home with perhaps a handsomer fish, or as the British do – headless.

Here is a quick recipe incorporating a couple of salmon heads.

  • 2 pieces Salmon Heads
  • 1 pack sinigang sa Sampaloc mix (1 liter pack, tamarind base soup mix); this can be bought at any oriental foodshop selling Filipino products.
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 big onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ lb fresh spinach or Kangkong (water spinach); you can also use Chinese cabbage or Chinese leaf lettuce
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce (patis)
  • 5 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Using a large sauce pan, heat the oil.
  2. Sauté the onion and tomato until they have softened.
  3. Add the salmon heads and let each side cook for 3 minutes
  4. Add water and bring to a boil. Let this simmer for 10 minutes
  5. Mix in the sinigang sa Sampaloc  and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes
  6. Add the fish sauce followed by the spinach or Chinese leaf lettuce
  7. Turn of the heat and cover the pan for 5 to 7 minutes
  8. Serve hot with a freshly boiled rice.

Hmmmm sarap

Paksiw Na Bangus (Stewed Milkfish in Vinegar)

Paksiw Na Bangus (Stewed Milkfish in Vinegar)


This is one of my most favourite fish recipes.  It is so good and it is healthy as well.

You can add as many vegetables to it according to your taste.  Although, of course, the main ones or traditional ones are aubergine (eggplant), ampalaya (bitter gourd) and the long finger chillies; all stewed in plenty of vinegar and aromatic ginger, to give it bite! 🙂

Bangus or milkfish can be bought, sadly frozen, from any oriental foodshop here in the UK selling Filipino goods.  

If somehow milkfish is not available or not to your liking as it can be rather bony, then tilapia is a very good substitute. Tilapia is also widely available fresh. Just go to a local fishmongers.

I am sure you are going to enjoy this recipe.

Paksiw na bangus, photo by Cristy Miclat

Paksiw na bangus, photo by Cristy Miclat

Paksiw na boneless bangus with ampalaya, CMiclat


1 Big Bangus ( Milkfish ), scaled, cleaned, cut into 3-4 slices (2 tilapias, each sliced in half)
1 head garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 thumb-sized ginger, chopped
2 pieces finger chilies (siling haba)
1 eggplant, quartered
1 medium ampalaya (bitter gourd), chopped
1 cup vinegar, cider or red wine vinegar are a suitable substitute
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Defrost and clean the bangus by removing the scales and remove as many bones as you can.

Rinse and cut crosswise into 3 steak pieces. Dry using some paper  kitchen towels.
Arrange the fish, eggplant, bitter gourd, onion, garlic and ginger, green chillies in a cooking pot.
Add salt and pepper.

Pour the water, vinegar and oil into a lidded pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve with freshly boiled rice.  Leftovers are delicious with fried rice for breakfast a la Filipino style.


Jellied eel – a traditional Eastend Recipe

Jellied Eel, photo by PH Morton

Jellied eel, photo by PH Morton

Jellied eel – a traditional East-end Recipe

Peter had been wanting jellied eel  – made to a traditional East-end recipe, for ages.

On his birthday, just before Christmas last year, he had his wish granted at Manze’s pie and  mash & eel shop (known as shops as opposed to being called a restaurant or cafe). The shop is adjacent to the Chapel Market in Islington North London.

We visit Chapel  Market around Christmas time every year for our fresh vegetables, meat etc., for the festive family meals.

Anyway,  it was rather lucky that Manze had not run out of the eel delicacy yet when Peter enquired as usually eels are off the menu by lunchtime!

Jellied eels are served as a side dish to  pie & mash.

The traditional pie  is normally made of suet based pastry pie containing  minced beef. The  mash  is mashed potato.

The delicious green tinged liquor served as a gravy with pie & mash  was traditionally made using the water kept from the preparation of the stewed eels,  but nowadays mainly from the parsley used with cooking of the jellied eels.

Peter said he enjoyed the jellied eel but I am not too sure as I think I saw his face turned rather green at some point. 🙂

When I was still a little girl, eels were quite a delicacy in our province in the Philippines.  It was fun trying to catch them because they were so slippery; it was almost impossible to catch them without a net. The eels used to live in dykes around our ricefield.

photo from

photo from

The dykes were so clean, that you can drink from them if you are desperately thirsty but we used to go up further afield to the waterfall, which sourced our farm.

With a feat of engineering, my father was able to harness the water directly from the waterfall using a course of bamboos which carried the water not only into the field but to my mother’s huge water clay jars as well, giving us fresh, cool drinking water.  The taste was definitely better than any bottled mineral water that are on sale nowadays.

Anyway, I digress!  When we caught enough eels after much screaming and hilarity, my mother would salt them liberally to remove the slime and then she would cook it with sprouts from vines (not sure of the name of the plant, will find out) growing near our farmhouse which give a very sour taste; perfectly delicious.

Eel is delicious eaten hot but I am not too sure about cold jellied eel.  I couldn’t really comment too much because I turned down Peter’s generosity to taste his eel meal. 🙂

Anyway, he said it was good and that is good enough for me.

If you happen to come across some eel to cook here is the recipe for the jellied eel.

900g eel
1/2tsp Grated nutmeg
Juice and zest from a lemon
handful of fresh herbs such as parley, thyme an coriander, chopped finely
Fish stock – 600 ml (1 pint)
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 small carrot, chopped finely
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
Bouquet garni
15g Gelatine

Method of Preparation:
1. Skin and bone the eels but do not cut them up. Lay them on the table, skin side down and sprinkle with grated nutmeg, a little grated lemon zest and the chopped herbs.
2. Cut the fish into pieces about 4 inches long. Roll up each piece and tie with strong cotton or fine string. Put the stock, vegetables and bouquet garni into a saucepan and bring to he boil. Add the eels and simmer very gently until tender, for about an hour.
3. Lift out the fish take off the cotton or string and place the eels in a basin. Measure the stock and make up to 450 ml (* pint) with water.
4. Add the gelatine to the lemon juice to dissolve the gelatine, then add this to the hot stock. Stir until completely dissolved. Strain this over the fish and leave to set.
5. Turn out when cold and serve with a green salad and sliced gherkins.

Dilis Ukoy (Anchovy Fritters)

Dilis fritters, Photo by Bless Mercado

Dilis fritters, Photo by Bless Mercado

Dilis fritters, Photo by Bless Mercado

Dilis fritters, Photo by Bless Mercado

This is so delicious and the cook must be warned that whilst still cooking, one might be tempted to taste and taste the hot fritters.

Dilis Ukoy (Anchovy Fritters)


1lb fresh Anchovies
2 Eggs, beaten
1 cup water
1/2 cup plain flour (All purpose flour)
1/4 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
4 stalks spring onion, chopped fairly finely
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
vegetable oil for deep fry


1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, egg in a cup of water. Stir thoroughly until a smooth batter has been achieved.

2. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Mix in the chopped spring onions.

4. Wash the anchovies and then drain. Tip into the batter.

5. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, large frying pan or a deep-fat fryer.

6. With a large ladle scoop a large portion of anchovies with the batter and let sizzle in the hot oil. Be careful.

7. Fry until crispy and golden at both sides. Fish 😉 out and let it drain in paper towels.

8. Continue cooking the rest of the anchovies by repeating the above procedures.

Serve this delightfully filling anchovies fritters with your chosen sauce or dip.