Ever wondered why the thrifty character of an Ilocano is celebrated? One logical explanation is because he eats rehashed fish and grows his own veggies.
You may want to try cooking our yummy soupy inabraw (aka dinendeng). Here’s how:
- marunggay (moringa) leaves
- saluyot leaves (Corchurus or mallow-leaves)
- sabong ti parya (bitter melon flowers)
- grilled or fried fish
- 3 tbsps fish paste (bugguong)
- Bring grilled or fried fish to boil in 3 cups of water.
- Add bugguong until liquid boils
- Add vegetables and remove caldero from heat as soon as it boils.
Now you’re ready to serve the Ilocano dish and in fact, an unavoidably ubiquitous dish in Ilocos. Backyard vegetables like marrunggay, parya, saluyot, tabungao, pechay, camatis, kabatiti, pallang, uttong, carabasa, among many others, are 100% organic and cheap, and more often than not, free.
Grilled dalag (mudfish), paltat (catfish), tilapia or galunggung (mackarel) make the tastiest inabraw. Another lovely abraw is a combination of murrunggay, cabatiti (sponge gourd or loofah) slices and sabong ti carabasa (squash flowers).
Ilocos bagoong is all-natural, with monamon fish fermented in salt. The best bugguong is aged in burnay.
You get to hear “Inabraw manen?” as often as you smell the fish paste boiling. The smell can reach as far as one block away — a telltale sign that an Ilocano lives in the neighborhood:)
Note: Cook before serving. Cooled inabraw is so unappetizing.
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012