Sinigang na Bangus sa Kamias

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I still have few pictures of my mom’s cooking taken during my last vacation that I want to share. Here is one of her many variations of sinigang (sour broth). Sinigang maybe cooked with fish, meat (maybe lean meat, fatty or bony parts) or shellfish. Vegetables vary depending on availability and, of course, preference. The most common souring agents are fresh sampalok (tamarind), bayabas (guava), kamias (bilimbi) or simply a pouch of sinigang mix available at the store nearest you.

So typical of mom – seldom does she plans on anything before buying, and even before cooking. Buy the staples and decide the last minute based on what’s in the ref/pantry and the remaining time before the meal itself. An example is this sinigang na bangus sa kamias (milkfish in sour bilimbi broth). And how my son loves it!


2-3 medium-size milkfish, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
4-5 (or more) fresh kamias
2 pcs chayote,sliced into bite-size pieces
1 green chili peppers (optional)
patis (fish sauce)

Add the onions, tomatoes and kamias to a pot of boiling water (about 5-6 cups of rice washing water) and simmer for about 5 minutes. Season with patis and salt. Add the chayote and cook until almost done. Add the bangus and green chili and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

11 thoughts on “Sinigang na Bangus sa Kamias

  1. we had a kamias tree in the backyard of our house in ilo2. we use the fruit a lot as a souring agent. we even put kamias in our dinugu-an.a good substitute for tomatoes. my late grandma used to make candied kamias.

    sarap maghigup ng sabaw nyan :smile:

  2. Bangus… how i miss it. They don’t sell it here – the one that’s closest is seabass but i’ve never tried cooking it as sinigang. Maybe i should try but no kamias here either. ay naku!

    It looks so appetising and warming…

  3. sluurp!!! wow, I miss bangus too. Haven’t had any in a looong time. There once was a restaurant in Los Angeles, called Bahay Bangusan, they only served one thing cooked in every conceivable way, but my favorite was always the loins sinigang. Can you imagine getting a bowlfull of just bangus bellies?! Yummy.

  4. lucky me pala kc bangus is accessible in this part of the isteits! oh well. not so much into milkfish din, dami tinik! but then again, my latest post has bangus in it too! hehe..c marco ang may kagagawan!:)

  5. same here angelo we also had a kamias tree nung bata pa kami. check this sketch of our old house…

    mae & JMom, d2 din wala pa ko nakitang bangus. i’ve tried once, pinsan yata ng bangus – looks exactly the same inside & out, except mestizo mapula pula sya. same taste din. and i wud definitely buy bangus bellies!

    hi sha! la din d2 kamias e. i can only use lemon here as souring agent hanggang sinigang na babi yun…

  6. oo ces, bangus is nice kaya lng kainis ang tinik. but u know, u wud b amazed to c the locals here when they eat isda. grabe ang galing mag alis ng tinik! super tinik ang mga isda kac d2 e.

    toni i do use sinigang mix kaya lng wala pinoy store d2. pag napadaan ng HK we buy there at syempre pag galing pinas, may baon :D

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