Another simple Ilonggo breakfast that brings finger licking goodness to your otherwise drab morning is Pinamalhan.Pinamalhan comes from the Ilonggo/Spanish word mala which means dry. Pinamalhan is a cooking process where fresh is fish cooked in native vinegar with sliced garlic,ginger, onions and a souring agent of either a tomato, batwan, or iba(kamias). The fish which is normally a choice of Bilong- bilong, Gurayan,Sapsap or Bangus cut into sections crosswise, is simmered slowly until the vinegar dries up in the cooking pan. Leaving a little of the liquid though, to drizzle over steaming hot rice is a wise option.
Way back when organic eggs were still aplenty in the backyard chicken coop,Pinamalhan is eaten with hot steaming rice mixed with raw chicken eggs seasoned with a bit of salt. Today in our infectious existence, with Salmonella and friends invading from all fronts, it's an eat at your own risk game.Super delicious though, if you're willing to put your gastronomic life on the line. But if you happen to chance upon a mungga nga Bisaya(native hen) who still lays those bacteria-resistant golden eggs, the itlog nga sinamo is one grub you wouldn't dare miss on an early morning. I couldn't think of another perfect match.
Frozen Chub Mackerel was the only option I had for my pinamalhan the other day. Oh, by the way, Mackerel is one of those fishes on the watch list with high mercury content. The reason why am getting rid of my stock fast. The Mack didn't do bad in it's debut as a pinamalhan; as was the "Canadian" vinegar. But how I wished the ingredients were all sea fresh and native--tuba or palm langgaw (vinegar).
If my pinamalhan looks somewhat brownish on the picture it's because I added a little soy sauce on the simmering liquid.The soy sauce caramelized when the cooking liquid dried up.So I deglazed it with a little water and poured it over the fish. Not bad eaten with sauteed guinamos.