Petchay-Wrapped Tilapia in Gata
I add a little effort in preparing this fish recipe for weekend lunch, its a petchay-wrapped tilapia cooked in coconut milk. It’s a Yummy Magazine inspired dish but instead of using a bunch of mustasa leaves, I prepared it with pechay because its the one available in the market. I must say that it’s the easier and lovelier way of plating it.
The issue was released last April 2013, an article from the magazine’s Family Kitchen, cooked and written by Joey de Larrazabal-Blanco. It’s the one with the yummy Sinuglaw cover. Petchay-Wrapped Tilapia in Gata was my second tilapia dish posted online.
This is a family favorite, usually with kamias fruit, eggplant and a lot of ginger, it’s affordable and easy to cook. Also, it’s a dish fit for slow cooking with your clay pot, yun ang turo ni Lola. Cook in a slow fire and then walk away lang ang peg!
2 to 3 pieces of tilapia this big makes 1 kilo, usually ranges Php 100 to Php 120 pesos per kilo (as of press time). Fish must be scaled and gutted. You can season the fish with salt and pepper first before wrapping it with the leaves. If its prepared, then you’re ready to cook!
In a pot, put slices of onions, garlic, ginger, kamias (optional) and a generous amount of coconut milk seasoned with enough fish sauce (patis) to taste. Kamias acts as the sour agent which balances the umay taste of coconut milk but if its not readily available, you can always substitute it with vinegar. Fish dishes cooked with coconut milk usually taste better when its a little sour and perfect with piquancy from chilis. Put in the petchay-wrapped tilapia after the first boil. Then cook it gently for another minutes to let the gata incorporate in the fish or until thick. Fish usually cooks fast, if its flaky then its done. To give the dish a kick, garnish it with 2 sliced red chilis. Best served hot with steamy cup of rice and a fruit serving.
Atis also known as sugar apple are picked fresh from the backyard in Angono, taste amazing when it’s cold.