Christmas is coming. As much as we love all the holiday feels around us, the worry of finding the perfect gift for family and friends dawns on us. Since we often can’t buy the best of the best for besties, why not come up with something with your own hands (and stove), making your present more meaningful and a guaranteed gastronimical delight.
Here’s an easy recipe shared by a friend, tweaked it a bit for more “huwaw” factor.
- Dried fish or tuyo in Filipino
- 1 part Olive Oil
- 1 part Vinegar
- Green pitted olives
- Chopped Garlic
- Dash of Paprika
- Chili Flakes
- Baby carrots (optional)
- Siling labuyo (optional)
- Remove head of dried fish then fry. Half-cooked.
- Descale and fillet the fish.
- In a casserole, heat olive oil. Add garlic until mid golden, then add vinegar.
- Bring to a boil. Add a dash of paprika for coloring.
- Add tuyo, cover and let it simmer in low heat. I let it cook for 30-45 minutes for the vinegar to really soak in.
- Add olives and chili flakes. Simmer for another 5 or less minutes.
- Stir in capers. Let it simmer for 30 seconds then take the casserole off the stove.
- Let it cool. Pour in sterilized bottles.
Tips and Tricks:
- For dried fish, I prefer Lapad or Galungong tuyo. Buy fish that are bigger than usual so you won’t have to fillet millions in one sitting.
- Capri is the cheapest brand I found for capers and olives. Molinera is next.
- Cooking tuyo can be a challenge for people living in condos with very strict regulations. What others do, they bake the tuyo instead so the smell won’t fill the entire building (tip by my good friend Van). Haven’t really tried that one though. In my case, I fry them outdoors, sorry neighbors!
- When filleting the fish, remove the scales first. Once all scales are off, carefully insert a thin knife on one side of the fish. Take off the spine and the rest of the mini fish bones. It’s nice to see your tuyo in neat halves. But it’s inevitable for them to split in quarters.
- Put capers in moderation. And never ever boil/simmer with capers for too long. I made this mistake on my first try and the entire batch tasted nothing but capers.
- When done, make sure the you have enough vinegar-olive oil to soak the tuyo. Consume no less than 24 hours after cooking. This should be enough time to let all the flavors marry. But with a husband like mine, a 24-hour wait is preposterous!
- Packaging: The smallest mason bottle I found in the SM store is around Php 29. You can probably find a better deal if you go to shops in Divisoria.
- Packaging: When my husband gave a couple of bottles to his boss, I just added a little label and placed them in a plain paper bag. Since it’s Christmas, you can go gaga and unleash your inner artist. It’ll be fun!