Sinigang na Tuna sa Kamias is one of my dad’s favorite fish dish. The usual sinigang uses tamarind as souring agent but this recipe uses kamias or kalamias or bilimbi fruit.
Kamias is this tiny green fruit which normally about 2 to 3 inches long. It has a distinct sour taste. It is easy to grow since it does not require any kind of special attention. The best part of it, it can bear fruits 3 to 4 times a year.
Luckily we have a tree in our backyard which has been there for more than 20 years. If we have too much fruit my dad used to cut it in half and dried it under the sun. This is also the primary ingredients in another Batangueno dish Sinaing na Isda.
This morning when I woke up, my dad was already gone to the market and when he came home he has this kilo of tuna jaw. He loves tuna jaw. It is really flavorful. He loves it grilled or the sinigang way. Initially, I’m planning to make a regular sinigang using tamarind soup base. However, when I went to our backyard, I saw the kamias tree bearing so much fruits and it is such a waste since we seldom use it.
The secret in cooking sinigang na tuna sa kamias is you have to get rid of the strong fishy odor of the fish. It will really throw you off if you do not clean the fish properly.
The secret I learned from my mom is to wash it with vinegar, calamansi juice or lemon juice. What I did was to marinate the fish in calamansi juice and salt for 15 minutes to ensure a fresh smelling fish. The result is a clean tasting fish broth. This technique really helps to remove the fishy odor and taste of the tuna.
Another one, It is unusual to add ginger in sinigang. However, if you are cooking fish, ginger is a must. It helps to remove the fishy after taste of the dish. Also, it adds this cool spicy flavor to the dish.
An idea struck me. Why not make sinigang sa kamias? From what I know, kamias is a great souring agent for sinigang when it comes to fish and shrimps. So I picked roughly 30 pieces of this fresh green fruit and wash it thoroughly.
Kamias or Kalamias?
In Batangas, we use to call kamias as kalamias. It’s only when I went to Manila that I heard people calls it kamias. So when I’m in Manila I call it kamias but when I go to the province I call it kalamias.
My first experience with kamias is in Batangas. We had several trees in our grandparents’ backyard. I can still remember my nanay or grandma picked its fruit using this long rod with net basket at the end. Then she will dry it under the sun to make sinaing na isda.
You can check out Fish Sinigang in Kamias Fruit for other version of Sinigang na Tuna sa Kamias.
|Tuna Jaw, chopped
|Calamansi or Lemon Juice
|Rice Wash or Water
|Thumb – sized Ginger, slivered
|Fresh Kamias or Bilimbi Fruit
|Ripe Tomatoes, chopped
|Okra, cut into two parts
|Sitaw or Yard Long Beans, cut into 3-inch long
|Onion chives, chopped
|Green Chili or Siling Panigang
|Ground Black Pepper
Thoroughly clean the tuna jaw. Add calamansi juice and salt. Mix everything together and marinate for 15 minutes. Rinse with clean water. Drain and set a side.
Boil the rice wash or water. Add garlic, onion, ginger, kamias and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the kamias and tomatoes are tender. Mash the kamias and tomatoes using the back of your wooden spoon.
Add the tuna jaw and okra. Simmer for 3 minutes.
Add the yard long beans and kangkong. Let it simmer for another 3 minutes.
Lastly, add the onion chive and siling panigang.
Season with ground black pepper and fish sauce.
Sinigang na Tuna sa Kamia
- 1 kg Tuna Jaw, chopped
- 1/2 cup Calamansi Juice or Lemon Juice
- 1/2 cup Salt
- 4 cups Rice Wash or Water
- 8 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 1 bulb Onion, chopped
- 3 pieces Thumb – sized Ginger, slivered
- 30 pieces Fresh Kamias or Bilimbi Fruit
- 3 pieces Ripe Tomatoes, chopped
- 5 pieces Okra, cut into two parts
- Sitaw or Yard Long Beans, cut into 3 – inch long
- Kangkong leaves
- Onion Chives, chopped
- Green Chili or Siling Panigang
- Ground Black Pepper
- Fish Sauce
- Thoroughly clean the tuna jaw. Add calamansi juice and salt. Mix everything together and marinate for 15 minutes. Rinse with clean water. Drain and set a side.
- Boil the rice wash or water. Add garlic, onion, ginger, kamias and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the kamias and tomatoes are tender. Mash the kamias and tomatoes using the back of your wooden spoon.
- Add the tuna jaw and okra. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the yard long beans and kangkong. Let it simmer for another 3 minutes.
- Lastly, add the onion chive and siling panigang.
- Season with ground black pepper and fish sauce.