Upscale pinoy escabeche. :) That’s the best way for me to describe it. And it was wickedly good. We had some yellow fin tuna fillets left over from some kinilaw or ceviche experiments earlier the same day, so I added some olive oil to a pan, salted and peppered the fish, and seared it in a hot pan until lightly browned, and turned it over. Remove the fish as soon as you feel or see that it is opaque all the way through and set this aside.
Meanwhile, prep the stuff for the “sauce” — some sliced onions, ginger, garlic, red bell bell peppers (got great ones at Tosana Farms, tomatoes, julienned apple mangoes, sliced siling labuyo or chilies, mini-coriander for garnish. Into the same pan you cooked the fish, add the onions, garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, peppers, and chilies and saute a minute or two longer. Add a couple of tablespoons of homemade or store bought tamarind puree, a bit of water (you could add a bit of cornstarch with water for a slightly thicker sauce), a teaspoon of muscovado sugar and some good fish sauce. Add a touch of kikkoman or salt and pepper to taste. Add the mangoes just before you are ready to take this off the heat. Garnish with chopped coriander, or in this case mini-coriander from Malipayon Farms. Ladle on top of the fish and serve immediately.
I also fried up some tanguigue (spanish mackerel) in the same manner as the tuna and also ladled this sauce over the fish. Both versions were delicious. The thai-style inspired sauce was sweet, piquant, savory and a perfect foil for the fried fish. You need copious amounts of rice with this dish. So simple, so easy to make, and the results totally worth the effort. Perfect for people avoiding meat on Fridays during lent, or great to eat at any other meal during the year.
We served each portion with a half dayap that was squeezed over the fish just before eating. This added a fragrant hit of citrus that really made the dish sing. Delicious fish dish. :)