By Gian Franco 2021-08-22

Sinaing na tulingan recipe



The term sinaing is not limited to the process of boiling rice. Sinaing is a quick and easy cooking method akin to steaming, but which can also be done to particular dishes. The method is traditionally done in covered clay pots or deep woks to marinate the meat in flavors and steam. The meat sits inside to be slowly cooked under low fire until the fibers become tender and render natural juices. With a sinaing dish, you’ll need patience to wait it out for several hours and even overnight. However, the results will be a rewarding Filipino heritage dish.


A particular dish hailing from coastal areas of Batangas uses tulingan or bullet tuna. When it comes out of the pot, it’s known as sinaing na tulingan or pinangat in the nearby province of Laguna. The popular local dish gives off fresh aroma, and it’s infused with tangy, savory taste deep to the bone. It’s a perfectly healthy seafood dish enhanced by natural seasonings such as salt and the souring fruit kamias (Bilimbi). The well-loved dish is only made tastier with the addition of pork fat in the pot. The extra protein renders oil over time after repeatedly adding enough water to evaporate. Since this dish needs time and attention to meld the flavors, it’s really best to use clay pots or palayok.


Tips for cleaning bullet tuna or tulingan

Cleaning the fish is the most crucial step here since sinaing requires leaving the meat for several hours in water. Although tulingan has no scales, its innards and gills need to be removed like with any other fish. Make sure the fish is thoroughly cleaned in tap water until the blood is rinsed off. Usually, the tails are removed and discarded. You can do this using a knife or manually twisting and pulling the tail off the spine. Research explains that the tail may contain harmful levels of histidine that could turn into allergy-inducing chemical called histamine.


To make sure the flavors permeate the flesh, use a knife to make a long slit on both sides of the fish. Press the sides to flatten the fish and wash off any remaining blood.


Preparing the flavor

Adding flavor to sinaing na tulingan is effortless as you only need not more than 5 ingredients, excluding add-ons. For your souring agent, you can use either dried or fresh Kamias. If you can’t find these in the market or your backyard, you can use vinegar, tamarind, or calamansi as substitute. Put Kamias on the sides or bottom of the pot or deep wok and submerge in water.


Before bringing the water to a simmer, hold the fish and rub generous amounts of salt everywhere. Then, wrap the head of tulingan in banana leaves to ensure that the fish do not disintegrate. Add the souring agent into the water before cooking. To add more flavor, you can put some chops of pork fat to let it render oil. When everything is ready, cover the wok or pot and braise the fish for at least 3 hours. Add water to continue simmering over low heat. When you’re satisfied with the fork-tenderness, let the water evaporate and allow the oil to render.


Can you re-heat sinaing na tulingan?

Yes, absolutely. It’s cooked with natural citric acid so you have the perfect recipe for batch cooking. This is a simple recipe that you will need when you have a busy week ahead. That is, as long as it is stored properly in a sealed container or in a refrigerator. Serve with patis (fish sauce) and steamed rice on a rainy day or cold night. Yum! You can also add coconut milk or fry the fish to make crispy toppings on other dishes.


Thumbnail from Foxy Folksy.







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