20 Apr2014


Version 1 of Sinaing na Tulingan was done in a palayok (traditional clay pot), in an attempt to do it as “authentically” as possible. But I realize that 90-95% of readers probably won’t go out and buy a palayok and stoke a wood or charcoal fire to replicate the recipe, so at the same time we were simmering away on coals, I also tried a version in a heavy enameled cast iron pot (Le Creuset in this case) on the stovetop to see if I could obtain similar results. The results? Yup, you can do this on your stovetop without sacrificing too much of the flavor (save for the underlying smokiness provided by the fire).


We cut open the fish and lay them flat on the banana leaves and seasoned them with salt and pepper, topped with both fresh and dried kamias or belimbi fruit. Notice how blood red this fish is, perhaps even more so than beef!


Wrapped the fish up in banana leaves and placed then in an enameled cast iron pot, which also had ginger, more kamias, chili, and some sliced red onions (an additional ingredient)…


…and each layer fit three fish wrapped in banana leaves (which I believe are both for flavor and for helping preserve the shape/integrity of each whole fish.


Add water to cover the fish and cover the pot and bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook for roughly 2-2.5 hours, paying attention to the level of liquid.


I will say that the braising liquid in the palayok or clay pot evaporated a lot faster than the tighter seal on the Le Creuset. At about the 1.5 hour mark, I put the cover of the pot askew so that more steam would evaporate and reduce down to say 1.5 cups worth at the end of cooking.


The results were delicious. I kind of like the splayed open version, as the flavor seemed to intensely seep into all of the fish meat. I am sure these would have been delicious fried as well, but we let them sit on the kitchen counter in the pot for about 7 hours then decided to serve them up for dinner in this snazzy take on “sizzling sinaing na tulingan” on a hotplate.


Onto a cast iron hotplate that was put over high heat for several minutes, I added some vegetable oil (it should have been lard and a lot more of it) and placed one whole tulingan on the plate to serious sizzle which “fried” the skin of the fish…


…then ladled in some of the “patis” or braising liquid of the sinaing onto the plate, that resulted in a hot, flavorful steam bath for the fish. This was DELICIOUS, but I worry about the acidic liquid on the cast iron plate (acid can strip some iron which you ingest) for any repetitive uses in this manner.



  1. millet says:

    ooooh…that last shot is surely asking for a big platter of rice!

    Apr 20, 2014 | 7:28 am


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  3. marilen says:

    Amazed at how blood red the fish is. Comfort food ‘dressed up’

    Happy Easter – MM and family and to all MM community.

    Apr 20, 2014 | 7:37 am

  4. MARILENE says:

    Although I don’t see the logic, I’ve been reading a lot of recommendations to use iron pots for that purpose, to ingest and that will augment body iron requirements.

    This version minus the individual dahon ng saging wrapping is how I cooked in the states, with an electric coil stove, that seemed to be a standard in apartment dwellings. It still satisfied that longing for a taste of home. However, the linamnam can’t be achieved by cooking only a small amount. Pero, pwede na rin with nilagang talong.


    Apr 20, 2014 | 8:24 am

  5. Mel says:

    A Batanguena told me the secret of the Batangas pinagat is pork. They place a cut of pork liempo at the bottom before layering the split tulnigan.

    My mom Linda used to buy pinangat na tulingan from the Tanauan public market and would occasionally prepare it herself at home. She pounds the fish flat before layering it.

    I have prepared this dish at home with my dutch oven and Indeed the addition of pork liempo makes the fish moist and the pork, kamias and salt notes enhances the flavor.

    Next time I prepare this dish I will try it with smoked bacon.

    Apr 20, 2014 | 9:05 am

  6. may says:

    I’ve been following your blog for quite sometime now. Though this is my first time to comment.
    Our version of the sinaing or pinangat na tulingan is almost same as yours MM though we add a little vinegar to it to balance flavor. We also add pork fat so that the banana leaves will not stick to the pot and that makes it more delicious. Fried sinaing the tulingan when served with garlic rice and fried egg and hot tablea choco makes a yummy breakfast. You can also try the pasta dish we cook at home with deboned and coarsely shredded sinaing na tulingan then sauteed in olive oil with garlic and herbs plus cooked pasta and topped with parmesan cheese.

    Apr 20, 2014 | 12:12 pm

  7. Betchay says:

    Happy Easter to you and your family!

    Apr 20, 2014 | 2:21 pm

  8. denise says:

    My aunts would cook this with strips of liempo making the base, tulingan slices wrapped in pechay or sometimes gabi leaves (we hardly come across tulingan that small in Dubai so it’s tulingan “steaks”?), and dried kamias only as fresh ones are hard to find. Most of the time they add coconut milk for more “sabaw” factor for her kids and me hehe

    Apr 20, 2014 | 6:43 pm

  9. passive.observer says:

    Question MM, can i use coconut meat as braising liquid? Also, what can you suggest as an alternative to kamias? Happy Easter!

    Apr 20, 2014 | 8:06 pm

  10. yummy trails :) says:

    drools :) would love to try this on my le creuset braiser.. the leftovers i will fry with garlic fried rice for our weekend almusal.

    Apr 21, 2014 | 12:43 am

  11. La Emperor says:

    MM, on Good Friday, I did exactly the same thing using my cast iron following your clay pot version. I could not find balimbi here, so I instead use sampalok as a sub and it turned out really nice. My mom and dad loved it.

    Thanks again for sharing and Happy Easter to you, your family and to all your readers out there.

    Apr 21, 2014 | 5:29 am

  12. Connie C says:

    Perhaps a bed of thinly sliced liempo fat or even banana leaves lining the hotplate may minimize acidic contact and the leaching of iron?

    Some info on using iron cookware to share:



    Happy Easter MM and family!

    Apr 21, 2014 | 9:56 am

  13. Monty says:

    Would you ever consider doing a post about the Navotas Fish Market? I know it’s not an easy task but I know you would be the best at capturing the essence of Manila’s seafood center.

    Apr 21, 2014 | 10:19 pm

  14. Lorraine says:


    Do you think I can use kalamasi instead if the camias? We don’t have camias where I’m at.


    Apr 21, 2014 | 11:36 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    Lorraine, I have never tried it with kalamansi. Others use vinegar, which makes it a paksiw, very similar flavor profile. The next time you are home, remember to buy some dried kamias to keep in your cupboards, it will come in handy at times like this. And it will last many months without going bad… Monty, I haven’t been to the Navotas market, but it’s been on my WISH LIST for years. As is a trip to enjoy all the delicacies of Malabon.

    Apr 22, 2014 | 3:03 pm

  16. chipperpj says:

    Hi MM! Long-time lurker and fan of the blog. This post made me really happy, as pinangat (as we called it at home–we are super Tagalog) was one of my favorite dishes as a child. My dad still cooks it when he finds good fish. He also makes a variation using dilis instead of tulingan whenever he finds good, fresh dilis, cooking bunches of them in little banana leaf packets. The dilis bones get tender enough to eat!

    Apr 22, 2014 | 6:13 pm

  17. Lorraine says:

    MM, thank you!!!

    Apr 23, 2014 | 11:51 am

  18. Desi says:

    thanks for this! I will attempt to do this using a slow cooker. Perhaps with less water. ????

    Aug 31, 2015 | 5:06 pm


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