On my way to pick up my son from school this afternoon, I passed by a supermarket, bought lapu-lapu (grouper) and saw this pack of fresh fish roe. (I believe they are grouper roe.) I thought instantly that fish offal also qualifies as lamang loob so I bought few grams and decided to make another Lasang Pinoy 9 entry.
I am not sure how many Pinoys (and Batanguenos) make use of fish innards as appetizer but I do remember mom cooks them and calls this side dish bagoong. Maybe because her dish is particularly cooked salty? Bagoong, of course, is fermented salted anchovies.Mom chooses the type to use – only from bangus (milkfish) and few other large fish like lapu-lapu and never tilapia. Whenever she prepares daing na bangus, the offal was set aside. The bile, however small, were carefully removed and discarded together with the gills so as not to have bitter taste. Everything sliced or mashed then sauteed in oil with lots of garlic, onions, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Mom sometimes makes it extra salty and serves it like real bagoong – alongside fried daing na bangus (milkfish, ‘butterflied’ and fried) or over eggplant salad.
My photo here is yellowish as I have more roe than liver and the bunch, looking like a poor man’s caviar. Mom’s is always brownish and the creamy texture and taste of the fish liver is evident which is comparable to that of chicken.
Caution: Not many may like it. In our family, I am the only who developed a liking for Mom’s exotic dishes like the above, burong mustasa at burong halaan (mustard leaves salad and clam ceviche). This is also the 1st time I tried it again for years.