My Lola Lita, for some reason, goes to the market a number of times a week. I’ve even known her to go twice during some days. Naa pa la’y loyalty card ang Tabo-an noh, or Frequent Shopper Rewards Program ang Carbon, daghan na siguro kaayo siya’g premyo. Sometimes, she goes with a list of things to buy, other times she just goes to get a single ingredient, like eggplant, for example, but still returns to the house with a kilo of maskara, two dozen eggs, a cooler of fish, a baby goat, and dragon eggs. I may have slightly exaggerated there, though, but still, this is the reason why her chillers and freezers are always full – so full, in fact, that the cold inside hardly has any space to circulate anymore.
From one of these frequent trips, she brought back tangigue steaks, which I decided to cook ala pobre. I hardly ever order seafood when eating out, but ala pobre is my go-to fish dish during the rare times that I do. It’s very simple to make, really, so why don’t you try it? Because as the saying goes, you’ll never know unless you try….. Hahahahaha.
Serves: 3-4 people
Time: 1 hour & 20 minutes (including marination)
4 pieces tangigue steak; 1 inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 head garlic; diced
1 medium white onion; sliced vertically
8 pieces calamansi
1/8 cup liquid seasoning; (I used Knorr. Char)
salt and pepper
Season the tangigue steaks liberally (o diba big word) with salt and pepper, and add the calamansi juice and liquid seasoning.Let marinate for an hour.
While fish is marinating, in a pan, heat the oil over a low flame and sauté the garlic until golden brown, like my skin color. CHAROT! Make sure the garlic doesn’t get too brown because this just gives it a bitter taste, which we want to avoid. When garlic reaches the desired color, remove and set on a plate. Add sliced onion too pan and sauté until caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. When onions become translucent, remove and set on plate.
Increase heat to medium, and fry tangigue steaks, about 4-5 minutes per side. Serve topped with the caramelized onions and sautéed garlic bits.