It was all because we were at the supermarket yesterday and I saw several beautiful strips of Salmon belly.
I was raised in a home where everyone love seafood and vegetables; where Shrimps were served on regular days and crabs and clams were a familiar sight at Sunday lunches. My siblings and I argued over who gets the last squid, craved for our mom’s Ginataang Tulingan (Tuna in coconut milk) and fought over who deserves to get the head of the Maya Maya (Emperor white snapper), aside from dad who pretty much wins it all the time.
My husband is no seafood lover. Although he eats Milkfish and Tilapia and likes steamed shrimps, he prefers meat and chicken; so sometimes, because it’s impractical to be preparing a separate dish just for myself, I feel quite deprived of my favorite foods.
Not that Jay doesn’t try, he does, especially when my side of the family come together for family dinners or lunches, but it takes time for someone who’s not into it to learn to appreciate seafood. What I’m doing is introducing them to him and the kids little by little.
That’s why I just had to get those Salmon belly strips!
I wasn’t sure on what to do with it at first, to be honest, until I found this type of eggplant in one of the shelves!
I’ve been looking for this for so long and they’re usually unavailable whenever I go to the groceries. The long, purple one is more popular around here.
This type of eggplant is the best for Sinigang, so I decided that that was what I wanted to do with the Salmon Belly –I was going to make Sinigang with it!
What is Sinigang?
Sinigang is a staple Filipino soup dish that is characterized by its sour flavor.
Traditionally, the sour-ness is produced by Tamarind included in the soup, but local manufacturers have produced instant Sinigang flavor mixes that most Filipinos now use when they want to cook this dish.
Frying the belly
My problem with fish dishes is that sometimes, they have “fishy” aftertaste and I know that my kids will immediately dislike the food if they even have a hint of that aftertaste.
My mom, who’s a great cook by the way, advised me to put in a little ginger and I did try that a couple of times, but I don’t like tasting ginger in my Sinigang, so I decided to fry the Salmon belly strips and rid them of the “fishy” aftertaste once and for all.
Here’s how I cooked my Sinigang Fried Salmon Belly:
1K Salmon belly strips
Okra sliced into shorterpieces
2-3 Eggplants, sliced into small pieces
1 small Radish, peeled and sliced into thin pieces
1 pack Sinigang mix (I prefer the one mixed with Gabi)
1 long hot pepper (optional)
How to cook Sinigang Fried Salmon belly strips:
1. Season the Salmon belly strips with salt and pepper
2. Heat oil in pan, then fry the Salmon belly strips. Start with the side of the skin, then turn over when they are slightly brown.
3. Once the Salmon belly strips are cooked, take them out of the pan, put them on kitchen towels and set them aside.
4. In a pot, heat a little oil then saute your onions and tomatoes.
5. Add in the sliced Okra, Eggplant and Radish. Mix them together and let them simmer.
5. Pour in water, enough to make soup.
6. Add the Sinigang mix, then stir the vegetables in the pot very carefully, and only until the Sinigang mix is dissolved with the soup. Keep the fire low.
7. Add some salt (as desired).
8. Wait until the soup boils before adding in the Kangkong leaves and the Salmon belly strips.
9.Let it simmer for 7-8 minutes before serving.
Everyone ate, everyone happy
My husband, who’s the super supporter of my cooking, says he loves it! Our kids love Sinigang and it’s not so hard to get them to eat the vegetables included in it (except for the radish which I had to cut in really tiny pieces so they can swallow them without choking).
I liked it.
An old Filipino proverb says that if you’re the cook, you won’t have any appetite for the dishes you prepare, but that’s not true with me at all. I eat everything I cook which is probably why with all the exercising, losing weight can be very challenging.
But going back to the Salmon belly strips, it’s my first time to cook this Sinigang variant and I’m happy I went for it because I came up with this yummy dish. As one wise comment-er, Rina De Alban, pointed out below, the frying adds an interesting, unique flavor and texture to the dish. The saltiness of the fried Salmon balances the sourness of the soup well.
A friend of mine suggested topping pasta with Fried Salmon, sounds interesting right? Maybe I’ll do that next, but for now, try this recipe let me know what you think.
Till next time!