Tinapang Bangus

I used to hate tinapa (smoked fish) for two reasons. First is the numerous bones in middle and on sides. I was not sure why. I think I was born with very poor fish deboning talent. Pointed bone often got stuck inside my mouth and throat. Mouth area was bad and throat was worst. Removal was often hard that mom was forcing me to swallow rice ball or large banana slice. The stuck fishbone was supposed to be carried down by either of the two.

The second was the off taste. It was often bitter. Especially the part toward the head. Later, I realized. The thing is caused by broken gall bladder. The maker had the bad habit of not thoroughly cleaning the entrails.

I have never encountered badly cleaned tinapa as of the present date. Many makers, nowadays, learned to raise the quality of their product. They need it to be on par with the competition.

Yet another fish I hate is bangus. It is no doubt delicious but the quantity of bones is ridiculous. Thanks to our skilled deboners, I can enjoy it without the miniature arrows. Of course, I can debone it for myself if I want too. However, there are many sellers offering it as free service. Why bother?

This bangus variant is impressive. Delicious bangus flavor combined with a delicious fish. I might try setting up a mini smoke house but not learn the art of removing fish bones.

tinapang bangus

Bangus is approximately twice to thrice bigger than original tinapa. The smoke and heat which make the skin golden brown to dark brown is enough to cook the internal but not significantly change its color.  The texture is also softer as compared.  I think the smoking time and temperature for galunggong tinapa can be adjusted to reduce the toughening effect. It might not be as good as this bangus but it might be better.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Daing, Danggit : Removing Too Much Saltiness

There are two known popular pasalubong from Palawan. The cashew nuts (and other cashew products) and the danggit.

Danggit is a dried salted fish. Quite similar to daing. Split open to halves, salted and dried. The difference is the fish species used. It is round and thin. I never know the exact species though. Again, I forgot to ask.

The danggit we bought and brought home are good. No doubt about it. I find it too salty though. Yours might taste different because there are various fish processors there.

I said it was too salty. We already know that salt is not a volatile compound. Apprentice cooks often make mistake by finalizing salty taste to soupy veggies and boiling it further. It often result to too salty dish. Water evaporates leaving the salt to concentrate. Yes, this is how sea salt is made.

When a soupy dish is too salty. Water can be added to dilute. When a salted egg is too salty, there is noting we can do about it, I guess. When danggit is too salty, we can do a trick to make it less. That is soaking in water before frying. Then dry over low pan heat before frying. The fish salt content will diffuse to water making the fish less salty. Degree of removal depend on amount of water and soaking time. However, do not soak it up to point it become saggy.

danggit

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Flying Fish Daing

Dried fish in cellophane bag. Dark, halves and curly. I assumed it was another ordinary daing. A darker version. The reason why have never reached my knowledge yet. I was too busy with my self acclaimed full time job (chocolate making) that time.

flying fish daing

Note: Daing, to put it in simple words, is salted dried fish. Fish are cleaned, sliced to halves in longitudinal fashion, then dried under the sun. Smaller fish such as sapsap and law-law are salted and dried in the same manner.  No cutting done cause they are too thin and small. Daing na Bangus borrowed from this concept but are never dried. Dipped in spicy vinegar instead of drenching in salt.

I prefer darker fry for fish but lighter for chicken and pork meats. The latter two usually turn tough toward the end. Not crispy.

Mama said she cooked it but the difference before and after cooking was hard to discern by color. It was dark brown by default. Yes, we judge the fry degree by color. It turns brown as it cooks. We usually desire golden brown. Home cooking is inclined on darker shade for crispier texture.

Breading technique can do golden brown with crispy outside and juicer middle part. If am correct, breaded chicken is simply a fried chicken. Fish fillet for fish and tempura for shrimp.

So this was it. No color change before and after. It was tough to bite. I feel it was like the fish version of tapa. But it could never be as hard because fish muscle are not as long as meat. It also has no ligaments and fats.

Daing na isda are salty. However, it contained less. It was not comparable to public market daing. Some of which are too salty beyond compared. To the point that we need to soak it in fresh water and re-dry to lessen the saltiness.

I later found out that it was smoke daing made from flying fish. Came from seas of Bicol region. The generous sponsor added that it is good for ginataan (cooked in coconut milk).

Smoke and salt have preservative effect. Combining the two may allow maintained effectiveness compare to salt alone. Then bringing a different flavor experience.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.