After the decadence of the holidays and all the rich foods we devoured, our bodies were longing for simpler meals like this Tulingan sa Gata – Mackerel Tuna Fish in Coconut Milk and Vegetables. This was a family recipe which my son, Constante and I concocted and cooked together. I contributed this fish recipe to the cookbook Sariwa: Filipino Food and Stories Fresh from the Motherland by The Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity a few years ago when Aileen Suzara, one of the co-authors invited me to share this dish.
My late dad inspired this recipe. I’ve mentioned before in past blog posts how my dad enjoyed fish as an entrée so much and my mom cooked fish dishes nearly every day in my childhood home in the Philippines.
My father left us a legacy of a healthy lifestyle. My parents raised us on good, wholesome food cooked with produce my father cultivated and ingredients from our farm or grown in our backyard in my hometown, Tarlac. When we moved to America, I tried to raise my sons and feed my family the same way and I am constantly in search of the right ingredients to cook meals the way my mom taught me.
Tulingan is Pilipino for mackerel tuna– a small, thin fish which has a thick, white, meaty flesh. In this recipe, I boiled the fish first in water and seasonings. Then I added the cooked tulingan to the vegetable sauté and coconut broth. I have passed on this recipe to my son, Constante who like his grandfather enjoys fish dishes very often. This entree offers a savory-flavored fish simmered in a rich, thick broth of coconut milk with a saute of ginger, onions, garlic and vegetables. And whenever I cook and serve this Tulingan sa Gata to my family, I never forget what dad told me: If you ate right, then everything in your life falls in place.
Tulingan sa Gata - Mackerel Tuna Fish in Coconut Milk and Vegetables
- 1 pound 3 to 4 pieces, cleaned, scales, intestines, & tail removed mackerel tuna fish (tulingan)
- 1 whole chopped, divided, use half to boil the fish, rest for saute onion
- 1 Tablespoon sliced in 1-inch thin matchstick sizes fresh ginger
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce patis
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 large whole, sliced tomato
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup cubed kabocha squash
- 1 piece peeled, cubed potatoes
- 1 13.5 fluid oz. can coconut milk
- 2 cups shredded napa cabbage (or use regular cabbage)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a medium-sized stockpot, over medium-high heat, combine the mackerel tuna (tulingan) with half of the onion, half of the ginger, fish sauce and enough water to cover the fish. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes till the fish is cooked. Turn off heat and set aside.In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil. Saute the garlic and the remaining onions and ginger. Add the tomatoes to the saute. Cook for 5 minutes till vegetables are soft.Pour the vegetable broth. Add the squash and potatoes. Cover and continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes till the squash and potatoes are soft.Add the fish, coconut milk and cabbage to the rest of the vegetables in the saucepan. Season with salt and black pepper. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes more. Do not allow the coconut milk to be on high heat or the liquid will curdle.Serve warm with rice.Cook's comments: If preferred, you may substitute tulingan (mackerel tuna) with other types of white fish like tilapia, sea bass, snapper, pompano or the like. You can also use fillets. The results are just as delicious. For best results, try to cook the fish the same day it was purchased.Hello, Friends! All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos and recipe content I wrote, on your website,books, films, television shows or videos without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe or content on another website, video, news article,or media outlets mentioned above please ASK my permission, re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]