Sun Cooked Fish

I think most people are looking for something new and unique to eat. At least among those who enjoy eating!

No matter where you live, proper food handling is important and even more so in tropical climates, such as in the Philippines. Florida, my home State, counts, too. During my 26 year history with the Philippines, I have been ill very few times due to the food. 

I enjoy fish but I don’t enjoy bony fish. Just to keep things simple, I use boneless bangus for my sun cooked fish. The boneless bangus, aka milk fish, is butterflied already when you buy it, so it is perfect for marinating. Most everyone has their own marinating favorites. For me, I use soy sauce, vinegar, lemon or lime juice, a little brown sugar, smashed garlic cloves and grated ginger. Adding Worcestershire sauce adds to the flavor. Some like it hot, so adding peppers of choice is fine and I sometimes do. Even some of the local bell peppers in the Philippines are a little on the hot and spicy side. 

Lemon and lime, as we know it in America, is not cheap in the Philippines, so I use kalamansi, the local lime which works out perfectly well. Kalamansi is not expensive and costs less than $1 for a kilo. It is P30 per kilo in Bacolod.

After marinating the fish for one hour, it is time to let the sun do its work. Place the fish outdoors on a plate, without the marinade, where it will have direct contact with the sun for about one hour. Please make sure there are not any cats or dogs or other critters around to run off with the fish! Once the sun has done its work, it is time to deep fry the fish. It doesn’t take long because the fish is already cooked to some degree from the citrus lemon, lime or kalamansi, the vinegar and the sun. Deep fry the fish until golden brown. Now you have yourself something good to eat!

In the Philippines, most everything goes with rice. But if you want something different as a side dish, the usual favorites I learned in Florida are good, too. French fries, Cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad, are all fine. As is garlic bread or hush puppies. I never dip sun cooked fish in tartar sauce or cocktail sauce since it is not needed but if you want to try it, go ahead. Different strokes for different folks!

If you like deep fried fish with a different twist and fish that has been kicked up a notch, try the sun cooked fish. I think you will like it.


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