Fish Head Pinangat with Banana Blossom (Heart)

banana heart in pinangat

We have two fish heads in freezer. I don’t want to fry it because its edible portion is limited. I thought it would be great if I cook it together with banana heart, pinangat.

2 large fish head, halves
1 banana heart (blossom),
3 small siling panigang or 1 large siling panigang
2 onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

1) Remove all the matured bracts from banana blossom. Cut into quarters and wash thoroughly.
2) Place the banana blossom in a pot together with the rest of ingredients.
3) Bring the mixture to a slow boil for 30 minutes to one hour.
4) Adjust salt and vinegar according to taste preference.
5) Serve.

banana heart in pinangat

How to Make Fish Lumpia (Blue Marlin)

blue marlin fish lumpia mix

This is my own version of fish lumpia. I prefer to use the blue marlin fish because it contains very few fish bones. Other kind of fish can be used for the purpose, just be sure to take time to remove all traces of bones.

1/2 kilogram blue marlin or other fish of choice, finely chopped or ground
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoon flour or cornstarch
lumpia wrapper

1) Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Break the egg in a separate container – to prevent the waste of other ingredients in case the egg is already bad.
2) The mixture should be tacky and not watery. Add more flour of cornstarch if the mixture is too watery.
3) Wrap mixture with lumpia wrapper. Refer to – Ho to make banana heart pork lumpia – for wrapping illustration.

blue marlin fish lumpia mix

Are those Fish Safe to Eat? Fish Kill at Anda, Pangasinan

I heard from ABS-CBN news – Bandila:

More than 40 tons of milkfish (bangus) died at Anda Pangasinan. Municipal agricultural office have no explanations about the cause of such incidence. According to fishermen this could be the result of two factors: 1) Fish are suffocated due to excessive dung. The management increased the amount of feeds to hasten the fish growth. and 2) Bangus died due to lack of oxygen. Fish kill resulted a lost of more that two million pesos.

Definitely those fish are not safe to eat. Fish that are floating had undergone the process of rigor mortis. This process starts within 12 hours from the time of catch unless covered with ice or frozen.  Rigor mortis is the process through which fish loses its flexibility due to stiffening of fish mussels after few hour of its death. Then this process is followed by breakdown of various components and formation of new compounds responsible for changes in odor, flavor and texture.

Fish that are sold in supermarkets, public markets and talipapa are frozen or covered with ice to maintain freshness.  Good fish still sinks in water.  So you will not buy those fish that are floating on vendor’s banyera, large basin.

Philippine Standard Quality for Patis (Fish Sauce)


Department of Health published a regulation prescribing the standard of identity and quality of patis.
(Fish Sauce, Condiments, Sauces, Seasonings)


1. Identity: Patis is the clear liquid sauce, straw yellow to amber in color, obtained from the liquefaction of the mixture of fish or shrimp and common salt, and has a strong salty taste with traces of fishy odor.

2. Standard of Quality
a) specify gravity 1.21-1.22
b) Total Solids not less than 32%
c) Alkalinity of the water soluble ash of one gram of the original sample – not less than 1 and not more than 2 cubic centimeters of tenth normal acid.
d) Protein Content:
1) Extra Special Patis – Not less than 12%
2) Special Patis – not less than 10%
3) Regular Patis – not less than 6%

3. Statement of Substandard Quality
Patis whose protein content fails below the minimum standard requirement of 6% but not below 3% of protein, shall be labeled “Patis Below Standard” or “Patis Flavor”. Any similar food products containing protein less than 3% are no longer considered patis and should not be allowed to be offered for sale under the name of “Patis Below Standard.”

How to Buy a Good Quality Big Fish

Having trouble buying a good quality fish? The following fish freshness criteria will help you identify good quality fish. This commodity spoils rapidly. Sharpen your senses to avoid ones.

Number “3” is best while number “0” is worst.

Visual Evaluation

3. Bright, iridescent pigmentation, no discoloration.Aqueous, transparent, mucus.
2. Pigmentation bright but not lustrous. Slightly cloudy mucus
1. Pigmentation in the process of becoming discoloured and dull. Milky mucus.
0. Dull pigmentation. Opaque mucus

3. Convex (bulging). Transparent cornea. Black, bright pupil.
2. Convex and slightly sunken. Slightly opalescent cornea. Black, dull pupil.
1. Flat. Opalescent cornea. Opaque pupil.
0. Concave in the centre. Milky cornea. Grey pupil.

3. Bright colour. No mucus.
2. Less coloured. Slight traces of clear mucus.
1. Becoming discoloured. Opaque mucus.
0. Yellowish. Milky mucus.

Flesh (cut from abdomen)
3. Bluish, translucent, smooth, shining. No change in original colour.
2. Velvety, waxy, dull. Colour slightly changed.
1. Slightly opaque.
0. Opaque

Colour (along vertebral column)
3. Uncoloured.
2. Slightly pink
1. Pink
0. Red

3. Kidneys and residues of other organs should be bright red, as should the blood inside the aorta.
2. Kidneys and residues of other organs should be dull red; blood becoming discoloured.
1. Kidneys and residues of other organs and blood should be pale red.
0. Kidneys and residues of other organs and should be brownish in colour.

How to Make Fish Kikiam, Chinese Squid Balls and Fish Crackers

This is the last part of my training lecture on Fish Processing. Click the link to access the first part.


2 cups filleted/chopped fish
½ cup chopped shrimps
½ cup singkamas (in small cubes)
½ cup carrots
½ cup finely chopped kintsay
½ – ¾ tbsp. refined salt
1½ tsp. white pepper
3 tbsp. cornstarch
6 tbsp. flour
¼ tsp. monosodium glutamate (MSG)
oil for frying

Utensils and Equipment
chopping board
frying pan
knives turner
measuring cups and spoons strainer
mixing bowl stove

Packaging Materials

PP/PE bags (.003 thickness)

1. Combine all ingredients and blend thoroughly.
2. Wrap the mixture in taope or panyu-panyoan and form into rolls [approximately 3 cm (1¼ inch) diameter and 14 cm (5½ inches) long].
3. Steam for ten (10) minutes, cool and drain.
4. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown.