Burong Isda Recipe
Since this seems to be a common request for a more detailed reciple (since I really hardly gave anything out on this post), I shall be posting this online. Enjoy :)
Buy the following ingredients
4 kilos of fresh water fish
2 kilos of masarap na rice – we use jasmine
The only rule my mom kept reiterating to me throughout the whole conversation was everything should be kept clean, otherwise, it might ruin the fermenting process.
The fish can be any fresh water fish, though we use at home is tilapia, since it is cheap and readily available too. My mom said you can use mudfish also. We use the small to medium sized tilapia, and we come out with around 12 pieces of fish for the 4 kilos.
Clean the fish thoroughly and slice it daing style. You can have this done wherever you buy it, but we prefer to do it at home. Less cross contamination with other germs. If you are unable to find the smaller fish, you may opt to remove the middle bone of the fish, and even the head. We don’t do this, but you can if you want to.
Drain the fish properly, we lay them flat on the colander or the cookie cooling rack with a tray underneath. After this has drained, salt it like when you make daing, enough to season thoroughly. Then, allow the water to drain again. You may do this in the refrigerator to keep bugs away.
Cook the 2 kilos of rice, but not malata. Just cook it properly.
Allow the rice to cool on a tray and ensure that no flies set on the rice. Once it’s cold, season the rice with rock salt like when you make sinangag.
Using a container like a Tupperware or something with airtight lids, do layer the rice and fish.
Put one layer of rice, about an inch, and ensure that the bottom is completely covered by the rice, and squish it to compress the rice. You may use a sandok or another utensil to compress it properly, just please make sure it’s clean. Follow this by the fish. Usually, we have two pieces of fish per layer, but if the size of the fish makes it difficult to arrange the pieces, you may cut the butterflied fish into two so you can manipulate the pieces better. Squish again, and with every layer you put into it, ensuring that you end the layers with the rice.
The container you use should be almost full, with just an inch of air from the rice to the cover. Close tightly and set aside.
Preparation and Cooking
The buro will be fermented for a total of 8 to 10 days. It depends on the sourness level you want. We sauté by the 8th day.
Every 3rd day since the buro was made, open it and squish the items down even further. Note that this will really smell like it’s fermenting. Every time we make it, I still am a bit turned off by the smell of the buro (but I do love it) whenever my senses are not ready for it.
On the 8th day, prepare lots of garlic, onions and ginger with the ginger around double in volume of either garlic and onions. Also, have on hand lots of oil, we use canola, but any vegetable oil will do. There should be enough oil in the pan when you’re cooking it that some oil are floating on top.
Saute the aromatics, followed by the buro. If you left the bones in, you may have to remove some of the bones that did not soften enough to eat. This will take a while to cook through, but be patient and keep it on low fire. Mix it around every few minutes to cook it through and so it wouldn’t burn. Taste. You may need to salt it more or add msg. Cool, then refrigerate.
We just reheat enough to eat for one time :)
My mom tells me also that before, the fermenting would take around a month, but that would use copious amounts of salt to preserve everything, which would make the buro too salty, but the long fermentation ensures that the bones, head and every part of the fish disintegrates into the buro.