We had houseguests for the last few days, who had once lived in Manila some 50+ years ago, and were returning on a nostalgic trip to visit their old homes, school and other places. After a several full days of sightseeing, the early evenings were always a time to decompress, relax and succumb to trans-pacific jet lag. I sometimes struggle with pica-pica’s to offer at the cocktail hour, that are both local yet familiar. This one is always a slam dunk. It’s so incredibly easy to do, it is local in flavor yet very much familiar to anyone who is used to smoked fish such as kippers or such, so it has broad appeal.
To make, fry up a whole medium sized tinapang bangus and flake the meat, you will end up with roughly 1.5 cups worth or so. Place that into a food processor. Add 1.5-2.0 bricks of cream cheese, some light cream (or yoghurt) to loosen things up, some chopped green onions, salt, pepper, a few dashes of worcestershire sauce and tabasco and a final spritz of fresh dayap juice (or kalamansi or lemon will do). Blitz this until well blended and serve with some toast points, bagel chips, etc. Delicious. I find that it’s terrific in hot pan de sal as well. If you store this in the fridge, make sure to take it out 30-40 minutes before you serve it so it warms up a bit and is easier to spread. Garnish with chives or green onions if you like.