From the Carabao Restaurant of Coco Beach Island Resort from where we had our summer escapade. A copy-cat of their famous dish, "Pinutas". This is my version, instead of wrapping it in banana leaves and deep frying it. I lined a baking dish with banana leaves and baked it in an oven, that's for healthy reasons without sacrificing the good taste and cost cutting as well. Cooking oil has doubled its price lately. And for the fish, I used tilapia instead of tambakol.
after being prepared... before going to the oven...
- 3 pcs coconuts
- 3 pcs (3/4 kilo) tilapia, scaled & gutted
- ground white pepper
- a large chunk (50 grams) young ginger root
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 large (50 grams) red onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 small (30 grams) red bell pepper
- 3 pcs finger chilis
- 2 pcs hot chili pepper
- fish sauce
- 4 pcs pandan leaves, tied in a knot
- banana leaves
When you buy your coconuts. Let the vendor squeeze them for you, they have this manual jack-pump. Less work for you in the kitchen and you will have a pure coconut cream extract.
Clean the tilapia. Place in a colander. Let it drain. Set aside.
Meanwhile, mince the ginger, garlic, onion, celery, red bell pepper and chilis.
Line a baking dish with banana leaves up until the sides. Arrange the tilapia. Sprinkle moderately with ground white pepper. Put all the minced herbs and spices on top of the fish. Drizzle with fish sauce. Pour generously with pure coconut cream. Add the tied pandan leaves. Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake in an oven (I used a turbo broiler oven, my conventional oven is broken) for 50 minutes in 475 fahrenheit. Remove the aluminum foil, banana and pandan leaves before serving.
Best with warm cooked rice.