So what I know as pompano is the dark gray fish that’s great fried. In Gensan, what is called the pompano is the talakitok. We had this in the Tiongson road dinner that we had.
We did buy some of the same fish to bring home and I copied the way it was prepared. It was basically steamed with tomatoes, onion, ginger, lemongrass, seasoned with salt, and a tad bit of butter. It was easy enough to make. Also, Kuya did say that the whole thing is plopped on the grill (not really steamed, but steamed in its own juices). So I wrapped the fish up, then threw it on top of a cast iron grill and let this fish be grilled/steamed.
It took about 20 minutes for the whole fish (defrosted fully) to get cooked. I was afraid it would be raw inside, but it was beautifully steamed. The fish was so mildly flavored that it was soooo good. It was clean tasting, fresh from the day it was caught (Though it had stayed frozen for about a week). The tomatoes provided the juices, the lemongrass the freshness, the ginger removed the fishy smell, the onion some flavor. It was all good.
This was easy cooking and most probably will be translate to other seafood in the household. But damn that was easy 🙂
Steamed Fish Recipe
1 pound whole fish, guts and gills removed
1 onion, sliced in half. Half chopped roughly.
4 tomatoes, sliced in half
1 to 2 stalks of lemongrass, only the lower part, smashed to break it up
a thumb of ginger, sliced
salt, about 1 to 2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup water
Prepare a foil big enough to fully wrap the fish and allow space for steaming as well. Season the fish in and out fully with salt. Fill the gut of the fish, and the space in the head, with the chopped onion and sliced ginger. Also place a stalk (or half a stalk) of lemongrass) in the cavity. Place the fish down on the foil and surround with the tomatoes, onions, lemongrass. Pour in the water and seal the foil. Place on a ast iron pan and steam over medium heat for about 20 minutes. For bigger fish, steam longer and ensure that it does not dry up.