I have been eating a lot of tuna (salpicao, burger steak or teriyaki) lately, ignoring the smaller fishes sold in the market. However, when I saw this fish called “barilison” (means similar to bariles –> tuna in Tagalog), I knew one particular dish to cook it with!
Barilison are smaller versions of the tuna, but incredibly meaty as well. They a re similar to what we call “tulingan” back in Luzon. Tulingan is always cooked sinaing, steamed in kamias or bilimbi, acquiring a sour-salty tasty a fter cooking. Pair with steamed rice and diced tomatoes, and you’ve got a perfect meal. In my case, I couldn’t get any kamias so I settled for tamarind which also work well.
Clean the fish and pat dry. Slice lengthwise to the bone and add a little salt. Do the same to the other side. With the palm of your hands, press the fish to flatten at both sides. Do the same to the rest of the fish. In a claypot, place a layer of tamarind then add the fish. Add another layer of tamarind and fish, putting several layers depending on the amount you are cooking. End with a layer of tamarind. Add water till half-ful. Cook on high till it starts to boil then lower fire to let it simmer at least 30 minutes.
Best served with rice and chopped tomatoes. You can eat this directly, or like what I do, I pan fry till fish is golden brown. Reserve the sauce as dipping sauce for the fried fish.