This is my tribute to Jose Rizal’s “Noli Mi Tangere”… I read a new translation/publication of the classic story a few months ago and I was pleasantly surprised how much more I enjoyed it as an adult reader, not as a forced high school assignment. There were several snippets of every day life (then and probably still now) that really struck a chord, and my favorite was the description of being on a boat on a lake and how one should really have the pot of sinigang broth ready and waiting for the freshly caught fish, not the other way around. It was brilliant. And so I tried to come close to that description here. First, talakitoks just caught and barely breathing. Next, a kilo of ripe and pungent native guavas. Some unripe tamarind. Rush home at 80km per hour (fortunately, not on horseback).
I started off by making a simple guava broth. Just wash and slice open several guavas and boil in some water. I tasted it after 15 minutes or so and it was redolent with guava flavor and fragrance, but a bit on the sweet side. I have made several sinigangs with just a guava broth… but this time, I was curious and added a bit of sour tamarind as well. The result? A VERY VERY nice broth with the guava flavor and sweetness but a bit of a sour note from the tamarind. Why had I not thought of this before? I strained this into a large pot, then added some sliced white onions, tomatoes and a few more sliced guavas and let this simmer. Season with some patis and or salt to taste.
We cleaned two medium-large talakitok (trevally or jacks) and sliced them into four pieces each. After the soup has simmered for several minutes, taste and check for seasoning.
About 8 minutes before sitting down to eat, add the radish slices, then a minute or so later the eggplant, then the long beans, then the fish and about a minute before turning off the heat, the kangkong (water spinach) stems and leaves. Serve piping hot. Now if only I could have Jose Rizal to dinner… I would like to get his opinion on where the Philippines is at today. :)
Note: First and last photo taken by the Teen. :)