Philippines offer vast foods from different countries and magnificent representation of foods from its region. In the north, it is more on veggies and fermented fish sauce and shrimp pastes unlike in the South; their recipe includes more of using coconut milk. But in the city, well thank God there are so many things offered like foreign foods to regional foods.
Snail to some can be an exotic food. It is not that easy to eat unless you know the trick of tapping a hole on its tip so that you can slurp it off easily. The only thing I regard eating snail is when it is cooked with coconut milk and when it is hot and spicy. You can order this recipe on food courts in the mall and I can suggest that you try Barrio Fiesta on their rendition of Snail in Coconut milk.
The next food that I tried to eat was fried catfish. It wasn’t that tasty compared to sole fish and tilapia because it has a different smell. A good chef that knows how to cook a catfish uses a method of marinating or putting something inside the fish while grilling it or frying it. In this case, what I have seen was lemongrass that was included in the recipe.
This lemongrass fights off the fishy scent and taste of the catfish and is really perfect. Well if you have tried to cook this fish before, probably you may have used some sauce or red chili, onions and tomatoes and stuff it inside this fish. This method pertains only on frying or grilling, not for soup recipe.
About tilapia fishes well I have heard that these fishes originated in South Africa and it travelled to the waters of the Philippines and that were it all started as most tilapia fishes are breed in fish ponds. Forget about fish kill issue, what I am talking about here now is that tilapia is one of the most tasty and delicious fish that I like so much because I can make a lot of recipes out of it.
As to what I showed here, this was prepared by my cousin who is working as a cook in a local restaurant in the north. He fried one tilapia and the other tilapia, he called it Sarciadong tilapia which is sweet and sour in taste was outstanding with crispy green bell peppers. The brown sauce that you can see on the saucer was bagoong or fermented fish sauce. It is salty in taste blended to perfection as a condiment for fried fish and sweet potato tops which we call “talbos ng kamote”.
Now these foods you may consider eating with hot steamy rice and with plain hands, even if you don’t need to use any fork, spoon or knife. How I just wish I can be there again to experience the wonderful goodness of our local fishes and some delicacies. But anyway, thumbs up for these recipes and hope you can also try to order them if it’s available in your place.