Fish be In You

I am not a pescatorian (people who eats fish mostly, with some dairy and veggies). I like to eat meat more than I do fish, mainly because I hate tiny or sharp bones to sort or pick out.
Some fish even tastes strongly like...uhh... fish!
I also don’t like fish faces staring at me, eyes wide open, while I eat their flesh and kin.

Unless they look and taste like...these sugary sweet almond paste fishies!

These fish was on a sweet miniature kitchen counter made by Chef Heny Sison for her good friend Chef Ed Quimson's birthday (I was at the party).  I wish I was her good friend! I was lucky enough to count as Chef Ed's willing taster! His bacon wrapped steak is to die for! That's Chef Ed and his trademark sarong.   

There are just so many fish (types) I can take.  I know. I have weird eating preferences. I do love tilapia, Maya Maya, lapu-lapu, dalagang bukid and galunggong – fried not grilled or broiled or in soup.  Fried fish is not as “fishy” tasting.  I like the slight salty batter crunch that compliments a side of fresh tomato wedges with minced basil and onions or with thin slices of kamias (we have a tree, see) or green mangoes and a bit of bagoong (anchovy paste).

Milkfish or bangus was not right up there in my favorites list.  It just wasn’t.  I don’t suck the jelly off the eyes or fish cheeks nor eat roe (except 
tobiko) or drool over melt in your mouth belly (so I've heard).  I don’t like the hard bone or the pliant, nylon thread like prongs that hide like needles in a haystack, stick between teeth or lodge on the throat.  I only eat the crusty flakes and the rest I dump on my dad’s plate.
The family loves bangus to smithereens.  Every week my mom preps one whole fish for daing and one to stuff with tomatoes and onions, wrapped in banana leaves or aluminum foil and grilled on a coal fired stove. That last is called inihaw.  Daing, I eat.  It is milkfish marinated in vinegar, salt, pounded garlic, peppercorns, and maybe chilis; then fried.  I still don’t eat the belly part. See? Perfectly good bangus wasted on me.

Fish is good for me, I know.  All that good protein and Omega 3.  And, I am Filipino! I belong to a clan renown for patis (fish sauce) making.  I live in close proximity to fish pens and a famous fish port - a point of envy among city friends.  I should love milkfish, no?
During Lent, it is un-Catholic to eat meat.  Eating fish is considered penance.  If you can’t abide by the Friday fish plate rule, you have to try during Lent. At the very least!
So I got happy when someone gave me a pack of milkfish filled Hungarian sausages.  No bones, no meat.  Just densely packed but moist and smoky flavored milkfish in a sausage casing. No preservatives either.

 I love the lightly spiced and thin battered crisp fried fish nuggets as well.  It appeals to my lazy, inner child hehehe. It actually is for kids, shaped and all but what the hey.  Some looked like a chef's toque, head of broccoli, funny jellyfish, a tree,  cloud, sheep or a very fat camel. I don't really care. I was snacking on the nuggets, with mayo and ketchup and mustard.  I can’t tell you much more for now, because it isn’t out in the market.  Soon it will be.  Lamentably not in time for Lent and I ate my stash way before.  I’ll have to stick to the few fish I like to eat in the meantime.  Fried, of course.

Why is milkfish called so when there's no milk in it? Hmmm.  Reminds me of a question my nephew put to me several Lenten seasons ago.  Why is Jesus nailed to the cross? Which answer he figured out on his own: so He won't fall off it.  That broke up the church crowd silenced by prayer.
Peace : )!

P.s. Just to clarify, Chef Ed has nothing to do with the milkfish sausage and nuggets. The almond paste (excuse me, fondant pala) fishies just perks up the page some, don't it? Of course, I just have to have cake in here.


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