Saturday, February 18, 2012

Of little pigs and silver fishes

Hello there! How well do you like fairy tales? Well, I do (did, and still do)… very much! As a child, I was able to keep my own collection of Classics Illustrated, numbered them one by one as my mother bought one or two every time we would go to the city to shop. Then my father would read the stories first and read them to me, until I was old enough to read them myself. I would keep them in my bookshelf, invite my friends to read over, until I left our hometown for my college education. Sad to say, while I was away, my mother lent quite a number to a cousin who never got to return the borrowed items :( Years later, I had all my comic books bound and read to my own children during their early years, just the very same way my father did when I was still a small child.

This morning, as I went to the market earlier than usual, I remembered the story of the Three Little Pigs.

Let me reminisce a little bit. In the story, one of the three pigs was wise enough to build a house of brick and play tricks by going an hour ahead each time the wolf would lure him into picking turnips  and apples in order to get him as his prey.

The little pig who made a house of bricks

This wise little pig picked turnips and apples an hour ahead in order to avoid the wolf

And other tricks which led to the bad wolf's doom

Note: All photos about the 3 little pigs are from

Oh, please don't get yourselves deceived. This post is not really about the story of the Three Little Pigs. But just like the one pig who was wise enough to pass the wiles of the wolf by picking turnips and apples one hour ahead of the wolf, I was just glad to have been able to get more and better choices for fish and meat today from my favorite vendors than when I'd come later in the morning as I used to.

Now, let me get to the core of my post. Today, I'm featuring  the heroine of the day---White Pampano, also known as Silver or White Pomfrets (Pampus argenteus).  Are you familiar with this kind of fish? Well,  I'm not very good at remembering names of fishes I see in the market but the first time I was introduced to this fish by my favorite fish vendor, liking it was not difficult at all because of its soft meat and rich tasty flavor. For the past few months, this White Pampano has caught not only my attention but also my taste buds. Surprisingly, it also took both my husband (who has been on fish diet since he recovered from a mild stroke last year) and my eldest daughter captives of its tasty flavor.

Okay, if you are not familiar with White Pampano, let me tell you something about what I, myself, have learned about this fish.

Found mostly in coastal waters in the Middle East, South Asia and SouthEast Asia, Silver or white pomfrets  are characterized by their flat body, forked tail fin and long pectoral fins. Silver Pomfret are usually silver or white in color, with few small scales.

  This fish is prized for its taste. Not only that, at this writing, I just discovered its high nutritional value! Pomfret muscle contains  protein and fats. Pomfret protein is known to have a well-balanced amino acid composition, with high amounts of glutamic acid, lysine, leucine , and aspartic acid. Twenty two fatty acids were found in pomfret oil and saturated fatty acids were the most abundant. Palmitic acid was the dominant fatty acid, followed by oleic acid, DHA, myristic acid and stearic acid. Pomfret muscle is rich in n-3 PUFA.       

So for today's menu, a platter of Fried White Pampano with Spinach and Camote Tops Salad again! Yes, again, because last week I also prepared the same salad with a little variation. You can see that in my post last week.

For the fish, I simply fried them after sprinkling them with iodized salt and ground pepper.
Then for the salad, after blanching, I just poured a tsp. of Balsamic Vinegar, a dash of salt, sugar and ground pepper to the green leafy vegetables and topped them with sliced tomatoes and onions.

 And lastly, my own version of Beef Strips with Sigarilyas and String Beans

Sesame oil (just enough to grease the stainless steel pan)
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion sliced thinly
1/4 kg beef strips
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1/2 cup water
Salt and ground pepper to taste
4 pcs string beans cut 2-inch long
3 pcs sigarillas cut diagonally 1/2-inch thick

Cooking Directions:

Saute beef in garlic and onion until onion becomes translucent. Add oyster sauce and Hoisin sauce. After 2 minutes, add water and simmer until beef becomes tender. Add water as necessary. Add salt and ground pepper to taste. 

Once beef becomes tender, add sigarillas and string beans. Simmer for 2 more minutes until vegetables are cooked according to desired consistency.

Serve hot over a cup of rice.

So this is what we had for lunch.
Fried White Pampano, Spinach-Camote Tops Ensalada and Beef Strips with Sigarillas and String Beans
Have you tried these meals before? If not, then, I challenge you to make your own experiment with these very simple but nutritious recipes. Happy eating! :)
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  1. Not a fish we have tried. Now I don't like serving a fish with head, just one of those things. Looks good though.

  2. This fish turned out so good. Tried on the weekend, was wonderful. Thanks so much!

  3. Ihavent fiied fish for awhile (constraints of living in a condo) but I definitely love to have fried pompany any given day. Your menu sounds so good. I like the beef as well. I don't think I've has sigarillas in awhile :( I'm not sure if its available here or not.
    Happy weekend!


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