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One day, I was in front of our freezer thinking what should I cook on that very moment for the dinner of my family. And I saw the seabream filling up in one of the freezer's drawer, and suddenly it came up to my mind, what if I make a ginataang seabream, since I got a stock of coconut milk in our cabinet and the rest of the ingredients are commonly found in our kitchen. 

Ginataang isda is a Filipino fish stew made from fish and leafy vegetables in coconut milk with garlic, ginger, onion, patis (fish sauce) or bagoong alamang (shrimp paste), and salt and pepper. It is a type of ginataan. A common version of the dish, known as ginataang paksiw na isda or paksiw na isda sa gata, is additionally soured with vinegar (a cooking method known as paksiw). Ginataang isda is a type of ginataan. Ginataang isda is a more generalized name meaning "fish in coconut milk". It is more common, however, to name the dish based on the type of fish used. The typical fish used in ginataang isda include: ginataang tilapia (tilapia), ginataang tambakol (yellowfin tuna), ginataang galunggong (blackfin scad), and ginataang tulingan (skipjack tuna)[1]

In this recipe we are going to use a fish called sea bream. Sea bream are round white fish, caught in the Atlantic Ocean during a long fishing season from the late Summer through to early Spring. [2] Widely considered by chefs to be the tastiest of all fish, Mediterranean sea bream has a wonderfully clean taste and satisfyingly meaty texture.  [3]

Watch the video until the end to learn how to clean the fish and technique in cooking this recipe.

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Preparation time:  10 mins      Cooking time:  30 - 40 mins    Servings:  2 - 3 persons

* Always use an organic ingredient as much as possible. That means no chemical sprays or chemical fertilizers. 

* Avoid bursting the gall bladder of the fish when cleaning as this could give a bitter taste.

* Using coconut oil for sautéing instead of any ordinary oils in the market because studies show that coconut oil may raise the levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol, relative to total cholesterol, potentially decreasing the risk of heart disease. [4]

* Stir the coconut milk most of the time when cooking. Canned coconut milk is widely available and inexpensive. But you will need to stir or shake it. The fatty “cream” will rise to the top of the can over time, creating a dense layer that needs to be mixed back into the watery liquid below. [5]

* Always start with a small amount of seasoning and adjust it slowly until you reach the right flavour. 

    1 large sea beam - scales and gills removed
    1 medium size ginger - cut julienne
    2 cloves garlic - minced
    1 medium onion - cut lengthwise
    2 tbsp coconut oil
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    1 can coconut milk
    2 - 3 red & green chilli 
    1 - 2 cups spinach
    pinch of salt 
    1/2 tsp chilli powder - optional if not spicy enough

  1. Clean the sea bream - remove the scales and gills. Cut into 2 or 3 pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat the pan and put the coconut oil. 
  3. When its hot enough, sauté the onion, garlic and ginger respectively until translucent.
  4. Season with ground black pepper and fish sauce. Mix.
  5. Pour the coconut milk and let it simmer for several minutes in medium heat setting. Don't forget stir frequently. 

  6. When the coconut milk has lessened down, add the red and green chillies.
  7. And add the cut fish at the same time and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until the fish is cook. 

  8. Check the taste and adjust the flavour according to your preference. You can add chilli powder or flakes if you want it to be a little bit spicy (optional).
  9. Then lastly add the washed spinach and simmer for 5 mins. Remove from the heat when cook. 

  10. Transfer in a serving bowl.
  11. Serve, share and enjoy!  

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