Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Tochong Bangus" (Milkfish in Salted Tofu and Spices)

Philippine cuisine has its own fermented tofu called “tahuri or tahure” , a salty pickled tofu made by packing cakes of firm molded tofu with salt. No alcohol or brine is used in the process. Matured for several days or months, it becomes a brownish-yellow and acquires a uniquely complex salty flavor.

  • 1 medium (500 g) milkfish (bangus), scaled & gutted, cut into 6 diagonal pieces
  • salt
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • ½ head of garlic, finely crushed
  • 50 grams ginger, julienne
  • 3 large (150 g) red onion, sliced thinly (sauté cut)
  • 4 large (200 g) ripe red tomatoes, sliced thinly (sauté cut)
  • 1 pc salted tofu (tahure)
  • 1 salted egg
  • 3-4 tbsps of white native vinegar (depends on how sour you want your dish to be)
  • 2 cups rice wash or water
  • 1 large (175 g) eggplant, cut at 3” length & quartered
  • 2 pcs finger chilis
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Here’s how:
  1. In a bowl, sprinkle the milkfish moderately with salt. Stand for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut and prepare all the vegetables. In a small bowl, mash together salted tofu and salted egg. Set aside.

  2. In a non-stick wok, over medium-high heat. Put oil, heat thoroughly. Fry lightly the milkfish on both sides. Set aside.

  3. Back to the wok, using the same oil. Put together garlic and ginger. Saute ‘til garlic is rich golden brown. Add onion and tomatoes. Cook until limp. Mash well. Put salted tofu & salted egg mixture. Cook for a minute or two. Keep stirring.

  4. Pour the vinegar. Do not stir. Bring to boil. keep boiling for 2minutes or ‘til fragrant.

  5. Add rice wash, fried fish, eggplant, chilis and soy sauce. Cover. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or ‘til eggplant is done.

  6. Serve with warm cooked rice.

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