Yeah, yeah, yeah. I am in a phase. I have been curious to make this in small household batches ever since I saw how easily this was made in the province. Of course, when I saw this, it was in huge cemented squares of fermenting fish and salt, then transferred to urns for more fermentation. I was hesitant because it smelled, and I might be wasting a good kilo or so of fish. But then, for my sake, I decided to try it.
My mom, the ever consenting food purveyor of mine, was happy to let me do it, with a mild amusement on her face saying that this will most probably taste really good, especially since it’s pure. A lot of the stuff you buy in the supermarket shelves have been diluted to accommodate mass production. So well, let’s see where this will go.
I bought a kilo of tawilis, a local herring. I read that the best fishes to use this with are mackerel or herring. I was actually looking for galunggong, a kind of mackerel, but didn’t find any. The tawilis is smaller, about 4 to 5 inches head to tail, so it might be better. I washed them, kept them whole, and dried them with paper towels. I then added about 4 to 5 tablespoons of salt and let it sit in a glass jar.
It has been a couple of days actually and the fermenting is not so bad. The fish smells like dried fish or daing, not offensive, but really strong that it actually makes me gag a bit. I know I won’t be tasting this raw lest I throw up. I will have to boil it before even trying it, which supposedly kills off the good stuff, they say.
A few days in, I am thinking if it is done, but the fish are still quite whole, but soft. Supposedly, some ferment for months, some just for a few days. I am not sure what to do with it, so I just stuck it in the fridge for now. Slower fermentation, greater flavor, hopefully. 🙂 I will last a month before I open this thing up and cook it, or I will forget about it completely. I will post updates when I do remember to open it up 🙂