Breaking News

[Recipe] Sardinas na Galunggong (Sardines-style Round Scad) in Oil

Sardinas na Galunggong

Galunggong (round scad fish) sometimes also refered to as GG is so integral in Filipino food culture that it is not uncommon to see consumer price watch groups track its price along with other essential staples such as rice and sugar. Oftentimes described as the "fish for the filipino masses" it is interesting to note however that it is actually far from cheap. Perhaps the historic reason for its wide appeal is the abundance of the species in Philippine waters which has steadily dwindled down, hence the increasing price due to scarcity - I can only speculate as I have no direct knowledge in the matter. One thing I am sure though, whatever the price point, galunggong remains to be a favorite amongst filipinos whether it is in the form of tinapang galunggong (smoked round scad), fried until crispy or paksiw (cooked in salt and vinegar).

This particular recipe is in line with my continuing effort to further explore the different ways I can make use of my pressure cooker to make delicious home cooked meals.

This is actually very similar to my earlier recipe for sardines-style milkfish. Unlike the milkfish though that has a lot of very fine bones (so pressure cooking is a good way of preparing it so that you wont have to deal with removing them during a meal), the galunggong doesn't have that much fine bones and the pressure cooking process just ensures that the central bones and those located in the chest/belly cavity (ribs?) become soft enough to eat without worry.

Brining not only seasons the fish but also helps firm up the flesh before pressure cooking. It is also worth noting that using quality Spanish smoked Paprika does wonders on the flavor as the smokiness infuses into the oil. Feel free to replace the vinegar with more pickle juice in the recipe.
1 Kg galunggong (round scad) - cleaned
1/2 cup sea-salt (for brining)
3/4 cup oil (I used 50:50 extra virgin olive oil and corn oil)
1/2 cup sliced black olives 
4 pcs large dill pickles (sliced)
1/4 cup pickle juice

1/4 cup cane vinegar
1/4 cup salty soy sauce
1 medium onion (quartered)
3 medium tomatoes sliced
1/2 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
4 pcs whole bay leaves
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
5 pcs whole local chilies (or depending on how hot you like it to be - I actually adjust the spicyness in the end using cayenne pepper or shichi-mi tōgarashi)
Salt to taste 

Brine the fish for 30 minutes by completely dissolving the half cup of sea-salt to just enough water to completely submerge the fish. Drain. 

In a medium sized pressure cooker, arrange the fish on top of a low rack (to prevent the fish from sticking and burning in the bottom). Layer the sliced black olives, sliced dill pickles, tomatoes, onion, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, dried oregano, smoked Paprika and chilies on top. Pour in the oil, pickle juice, vinegar, salty soy sauce and enough water to cover all of the ingredients (be mindful of the maximum liquid level of your pressure cooker). 

Pressure cook for 70 to 80 minutes (I cooked mine for 80 minutes and the bones came out nice and soft enough to eat). I typically set the heat of the stove top (it is easy to do fine adjustment in an induction cooker) just high enough for the steam to come out (increasing the heat setting doesn't actually help in the cooking since the maximum temperature will be dependent on the pressure setting of your cooker - all it does is make the water evaporate inside quicker), this ensures that you don't dry out the water inside. Upon opening the pressure cooker, further simmer with the lid off to reduce the liquid, and finally adjust the seasoning to your preference (salt, cayenne pepper or shichi-mi tōgarashi if you prefer it). 


xantee said...

This look and sound so good I will try this, I'm in Keto diet and it is Keto friendly, only few carbs on the tomatoes. Thanks for this recipe.

JEP said...

I'm glad that you liked the recipe. You can try it with other firm fish with fine bones also. The pressure cooking softens the fine bones. Enjoy the dish if you decide to make it. :)