Ginataang Isda
Family Table | Fish | Mains | Mama Meals

Ginataang Isda: How to Make this Quick and Simple Fish Simmered in Coconut Milk

October 4, 2017

Do you know that it is almost impossible to push a stroller on the beach?

We are now on holidays with Tobi’s parents, brother, and nephew in Cadzand-bad, Netherlands. Cadzand-bad is a beach town on the coast of the North Sea. The beach stretches quite far. There are a lot of families on their autumn holidays and older couples walking their dogs. It has been quite windy, which is normal for the coast. We have been lucky with the weather so far. I hope our luck holds!

We are staying in a rented 4-bedroom house with a backyard, huge trampoline and a slide and swing set for the kids. Even if we don’t leave the house, the kids are kept busy and are burning their energies. They are therefore atired at the end of the day. As a bonus, the house comes with a sauna too! I cannot wait to use it!

The beach is a 10-minute walk from where we are staying and yesterday we brought the stroller with us as it was near Becca’s nap time when we left the house. Paul, Tobi’s nephew, wanted to go near the water and we were following him.  My mind was wandering and thinking about what to blog about this week and I remembered that I made this ginataang isda a few weeks back and I have not shared it with you yet! I suddenly stopped because the stroller would not move anymore! The sand was too loose for the wheels. My mother-in-law and I had to pull and drag the stroller across the sand to get near the water where the sand was more compact.  There the stroller was able to move more easily.

So, I am now correcting my oversight on forgetting to share the recipe for ginataang isda. This is a very simple dish to make, can be easily prepared for one person (like the recipe I will share now) or scaled up to serve the family or guests.

Let’s make ginataang isda!

Fish cooked in coconut milk (ginataang isda)

Gata is the Filipino word for coconut milk and ginataan means “cooked in coconut milk”. Isda is Filipino for fish.

Mise-en-place ginataang isda

I used dorade (sea bream) for this fish is readily available in Biel, but we usually make this with whole tilapia. I suspect other white fish will work for this as well. The ingredient list is quite short, you will need your fish, ginger, onions, garlic, Chinese cabbage or bok choy and coconut milk. If you want it spicy, you may add a couple of red chili peppers. I am not a fan of spicy food, so I leave that out.

Heat a pan large enough for the fish to lie down comfortably in over medium heat. Thinly slice a thumb-size piece of ginger and a small onion. Mince the garlic. Wash a few leaves of the Chinese cabbage.  You may use as much as you want. I usually put in around 4 to 5 leaves or 2 bok choy.

Sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger. Add in the coconut milk. Pour water into the coconut milk carton (around half of the carton), swish around to get the remaining coconut milk and pour into the pan. Season with salt, pepper and a few splashes of fish sauce. Nestle in the fish and cover.

Dorade cooked in coconut milk

Cook for 10 minutes then turn the fish over and add in the Chinese cabbage.

add the chinese cabbalge to the dorade

Cover and cook until the fish is done, around 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately with rice.

You may check the fish for doneness by testing with a fork and if it flakes easily, it is done. Or you may use an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature of the fish in its thickest part should be 145°F/63°C.

Filipino Fish cooked in coconut milk (ginataang isda)<

Ginataang Isda (Dorade in Coconut Milk)

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Ginataang Isda

Yields 1

Ginataang Isda (Fish in Coconut Milk)

A simple and easy healthy meal for one!

5 minPrep Time

25 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Recipe Image
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Ingredients

  • 300 grams white fish (i.e. dorade or tilapia)
  • Thumb size ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 150 ml (scant 2/3 cups) coconut milk
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) water (pour into coconut milk carton or can and swish around before pouring into the pan)
  • 4-5 leaves Chinese cabbage or 2 piece of bok choy
  • Salt, pepper and fish sauce to taste
  • 1 or 2 red chili peppers, optional

Directions

  1. Heat a pan large enough for the fish to lie down comfortably in over medium heat.
  2. Thinly slice a thumb-size piece of ginger and small onion.
  3. Mince the garlic. Wash a few leaves of the Chinese cabbage (As much as you want) and leave whole.
  4. Saute the onions, garlic and ginger. Add in the coconut milk. Pour water into the coconut milk carton (around half of the carton), swish around to get the remaining coconut milk and pour into the pan. Season with salt and pepper and a few splashes of fish sauce. Nestle in the fish and cover.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes then turn over and add in the Chinese cabbage.
  6. Cover and cook until the fish is done, around 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately with rice.
Cuisine: Filipino | Recipe Type: Main

Notes

You may check the fish for doneness by testing with a fork and if it flakes easily, it is done. Or you may use an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature of the fish in its thickest part should be 145°F/63°C.

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