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Steaks, Sarciado, Ginataan: The many ways to prepare fish this Holy Week

MANILA, Philippines — Fish, fish and more fish! You are likely to be eating more fish than ever this Holy Week because you have decided to stay clear of meat and vegetables. 

You might run out of recipe ideas, though, because of having to prepare fish dishes meal in and meal out. There are practical fish recipe ideas that you may want to try.

What you can do with fish depends a lot on what fish you have on hand, and whether it is a whole fish, sliced, deboned, or cut into fillets. It also depends a lot on the texture and natural flavor of the fish.

The head can be made into Sinigang (sour soup) or Tinola (clear soup) to take advantage of the natural flavor of the exquisite deep-sea fish.

For easy Sinigang, use your preferred souring agent and, if lacking in flavor, adjust with a Sinigang mix. Complement it with vegetables like kangkong, string beans, tomatoes, okra, radish, or any vegetables you prefer.

For Tinola, enhance the fish’s natural flavors with ginger, chicken or shrimp cube, salt and pepper. Add raw papaya or sayote and some greens.

Salmon slices can be grilled and served with teriyaki sauce. These slices can also be steamed with lemon and herbs (such as thyme, tarragon and parsley) then served with a variety of sauces. It goes well with different sauces. A cream sauce with chopped dill should be good.

Another option is to cook the slices in oyster sauce. This dish is simple but delicious.

For a healthy salmon dish, you can simply poach the fish or bake it in parchment pouches with lemon slices, vegetables and aromatics.

Probably the most affordable fish in the country today, Tilapia or St. Peter’s Fish, is also one of the most versatile. You can cook it in many ways. The easiest way to cook it is to fry it.

Fried tilapia can be transformed into a number of different dishes with a change of sauce — Escabeche, Sweet and Sour, Tausi, Kinamatisan, Sarciado.

You can also make Paksiw na Tilapia with vinegar or Pinaputok na Tilapia by stuffing and wrapping in banana leaves before drying.

Tilapia can also be stuffed with chopped onion, tomatoes and ginger. Season it with salt and pepper, then grill.

It can also be cooked in coconut milk to make Ginataang