My parents loved vegetables. On contrary, it is not like the usual salads we ordered in a restaurant. They loved the Filipino vegetables like the bulanglang dish. My dad always made sure that we have vegetable dish in our meal.
The most simple way of preparing a vegetable dish is the most trusted bulanglang recipe. Bulanglang is a specifically a Filipino vegetable stew. The vegetables are stewed in a broth of ginger, garlic and onion.
Dried anchovies or shrimps are sometimes added to give it additional flavors. The best thing about this is you just simply throw in any kind of vegetables in the broth. There is no standard vegetables that must go with this dish.
For this bulanglang recipe, we used long string beans or sitaw, bitter gourd or ampalaya, okra, eggplant and the alugbati leaves. Alternatively, use malunggay leaves, squash, livered papaya and other vegetables. Like I’ve said, there is no standard vegetables. Substitute rise wash or hugas bigas with water to add more flavor. Simply strain the liquid to remove the dirt. This will elevate the flavor of the broth.
Bulanglang is best paired with fried fish. The crispy fish contrast the soft texture of the vegetables. Fried fish is really good with vegetables. It’s like tuyo and champorado or puto and dinuguan, right?
This dish is really simple. You simply simmer everything. You don’t have to saute anything. Add the vegetables according to how long it cooked while maintaining a still crunchy texture.
How do you clean your fish? My mom taught me to rinse the fish with water. Rub it with lots of salt. Pour in some vinegar and massage the fish for a minute and rinse well. The vinegar somewhat reduces that fishy smell. The fish is good to go. Any citrus fruit like lemon or calamansi will do but vinegar is way cheaper.
|2 Thumb – sized||Ginger, peeled and slivered|
|6 cloves||Garlic, Crushed|
|1 Bulb||Onion, chopped|
|3 Pieces||Tomatoes, cubed|
|1 piece||Shrimp Bouillon Cube|
|1 Tablespoon||Dried Shrimp|
|1 1/2 Cups||Water|
|15 pieces||Long String Beans or Sitaw. Cut into 3-inch long|
|3 pieces||Small Bitter Gourd or Ampalaya, halved and cut into 3 parts|
|7 pieces||Okra, cut into 3 parts|
|3 pieces||Small Eggplants, cut into 3 parts|
|4 cups||Alugbati leaves|
|Fish Sauce or Patis to Taste|
|4 pieces||Fish, we used Dalagang Bukid|
|Salt and Vinegar|
|Salt and Pepper|
Combine ginger, garlic, onion, tomatoes, bouillon cube and water in a pot. Let it boil and simmer until tomatoes are soft. Pressed the tomatoes using the back of a fork to release its flavor.
Add the dried shrimp and remaining water and simmer for 5 minutes.
Place the long string beans, bitter gourds and okra into the pot. Simmer for 3 minutes.
Then, add the eggplants and simmer for another 2 minutes.
Add the alugbati leaves, and season with fish sauce. Let it simmer for another 2 minutes before switching off heat. Cover to cook further.
Thoroughly clean the fish. Rub with lots of salt for a minute. Then, pour the vinegar and massage for another minute to remove the fishy smell. Rinse with water and drain excess water.
Lastly, season with salt and pepper before frying.
Bulanglang and Fried Fish
- 2 thumb-sized Ginger peeled and slivered
- 6 cloves Garlic crushed
- 1 bulb Onion chopped
- 3 pieces Ripe Tomatoes cubed
- 1 piece Shrimp Bouillon Cube
- 1 cup Water
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Shrimp
- 1 1/2 cups Water
- 15 pieces Long String Beans or Sitaw sliced into 3-inch long
- 3 pieces Small Bitter Gourd or Ampalaya halved and sliced into 3 parts
- 7 pieces Okra sliced into 3 parts
- 3 pieces Small Eggplants sliced into 3 parts
- 4 cups Alugbati Leaves
- Fish Sauce or Patis to taste
- 4 pieces Dalagang Bukid Fish
- Salt and vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
- Combine ginger, garlic, onion, tomatoes, bouillon cube and water in a pot. Boil and simmer until tomatoes are soft. Pressed the tomatoes using the back of a fork to release its flavor.
- Add the dried shrimp and remaining water and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Place the long string beans, bitter gourds and okra into the pot. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the eggplants and simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Add the alugbati leaves and season with fish sauce. Simmer for another 2 minutes. Switch off heat and cover to cook further.
- Thoroughly clean the fish. Rub with lots of salt for a minute. Pour vinegar and massage for another minute to remove the fishy smell. Rinse with water and drain excess water.
- Season with salt and pepper before frying.