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03 February 2011

Guinataang Dulong

One afternoon, we fancied gathering the wild cherry tomatoes growing in our front yard. My wife became quite excited about it, actually, because guinataang ligaw na kamatis (wild tomatoes in coconut milk) was one of her favourites when she was a kid. We gave our harvest to my mother-in-law, who promptly left for the market to buy grated coconut.

She arrived quite pleased because she found something that also reminds her of the old days in the province: small, white fish called dulong. It's like whitebait here in New Zealand. She said you don't get it often so she bought some when she saw it. What's even better is that they also used ligaw na kamatis (wild tomatoes)! So our simple meal was elevated to guinataang dulong.

This dish is yum! Coconut milk with tomatoes and fish... what more can one ask for? Very tropical.  Great with hot, steaming rice!


dulong, about 1/2 kg
mustard leaves (mustasa)
grated coconut meat from one coconut
very warm water
salt and pepper
wild tomatoes (may be substituted with cherry tomatoes), 1/4 kg
half a clove of garlic, crushed and chopped

Place the grated coconut in a bowl and pour about three cups very warm water.  Get a handful and squeeze over another empty bowl.  Repeat until all the coconut meat has been squeezed.  Set aside this coconut milk.

Repeat above procedure to get a second batch of coconut milk.

Get about two tablespoonfuls of the dulong and wrap in mustard leaves.  Tie it up to ensure it remains intact during cooking.

Pile these parcels one on top of the other in a pot.

Next, place the wild tomatoes.  Then sprinkle some salt, pepper, and add the garlic.

Pour the second batch of coconut milk.  The coconut milk should submerge the whole lot.  If not, simple add some more very warm water to the grated coconut then squeeze the meat directly over the pot and repeat if needed until ingredients are submerged.

Place pot over medium heat, then simmer when coconut milk starts to boil.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the first batch of coconut milk then continue to simmer until the sauce thickens a bit (about 15 minutes).

Don't forget to remove the strings on the parcels before serving.  Enjoy!

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