Fish pochero is a hearty and healthy tomato-based stew consisting of crispy fish braised with different vegetables like napa cabbage, green beans, potataoes and banana. This saucy dish is best eaten with hot steaming rice during the rainy season.
Tomato based stews are one of the most confusing dishes in the Filipino cuisine. Some say that you are a bonafide Filipino if you can distinguish each one of them. Pochero, menudo, afritada and kaldereta, how do they really differ?
I made some research to compile a quick guide on your tomato-based dishes.
- Pochero – usually uses chicken or pork, has cabbage, potatoes and banana
- Menudo – usually uses pork, has chopped liver, potatoes and green peas
- Afritada – may use chicken or pork, has carrots, potatoes and bell peppers
- Caldereta – traditionally uses goat meat, uses liver spread, potatoes and carrots
Hopefully you were able to see the main differences among the dishes. What’s good in these tomato-based dishes is that they all incorporate different vegetables into the dish. A healthy and savoury dish is a satisfying one. I really do not want these dishes to compete but pochero is my number 1. It’s like choosing a favorite from a quadruplets siblings. Maybe the banana as one of its ingredients made it stand out for me. Imagine having meat, vegetable and fruit in one dish! Truly a great deal!
HOW TO COOK FISH POCHERO
You might notice that chicken and pork are the type of meats usually used in making pochero. Who does the rules anyway? And now we are making a twist with your favorite pochero as we use fish as the meat of the dish. You can use any type of fish like yellow fin tuna, tulingan, bangus and dalagang bukid and many other. In this particular recipe, we will use the famous tilapia.
After you clean the tilapia and cut them into serving pieces, it is important to rub them with salt. It is to get rid of the fishy smell and to also extract the flavor of the fish once it is cooked. For the first few steps, you are going to fry the fish, banana and potatoes separately. These are the ingredients needed to be cooked before adding into the sauce later. After you have finished frying, you are going to sauté the aromatics and then add the vegetables one by one. When it is time to add the tomato sauce and water, don’t forget to season it with fish sauce, salt and pepper. Some people use tomato paste and just increase the added water. It works too if what you have is tomato paste. Adjust the taste of the sauce using sugar. The sugar balances the sourness and saltiness of the dish. When the sauce is done, add the pork n beans and the napa cabbage. These are added last since they will be too mushy if overcooked. Finally, add the fried fish, potatoes and banana. Make sure to coat them with the rich tomato sauce. When everything is set, transfer the fish pochero in a serving plate and enjoy it with hot steaming rice!
1 kilo tilapia
3 to 4 pieces of semi-ripe banana
2 medium-sized potatoes
15 pieces green beans
2 cups tomato sauce
2 ½ cup water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup pork and beans
1 bunch napa cabbage
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt to taste
sugar to taste
oil for frying
- Clean the tilapia and remove the scales. Cut it into serving pieces and make some slits. Rub each piece with salt.
- Heat some oil in a pan and fry the chopped bananas until light brown. Transfer to a strainer and set aside.
- Fry the potatoes until light brown. Transfer to a strainer and set aside.
- Fry the tilapia pieces until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a strainer and set aside.
- Sauté some onions and garlic until aromatic and light brown. Add the green beans and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add the Napa cabbage stems and saute for a few minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and some water. Stir to combine. Let it boil under medium heat.
- When boiling, add the fish sauce, black pepper and salt. Stir the ingredients well.
- Do a taste test and adjust taste with sugar. Mix well until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the pork and beans and napa cabbage leaves. Mix the ingredients well. Cover the pan and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the fried fish, fried bananas and potatoes. Stir well to coat each piece with the sauce.
- Turn the heat off and transfer the fish pochero in a serving plate.
- Serve with a lot of hot rice and enjoy!
Paano Magluto ng Pocherong Isda (Fish Pochero Recipe Tagalog)
- 1 kilo tilapia
- 3 hanggang 4 piraso ng semi-ripe banana
- 2 piraso ng patatas
- 15 piraso ng green beans
- 2 tasa ng tomato sauce
- 2 ½ tasa ng tubig
- 2 kutsara ng patis
- 1 kutsarita ng paminta
- 1 tasa ng pork n’ beans
- 1 buong napa cabbage
- 1 malaking sibuyas (hiniwa ng maliliit)
- 4 butil ng bawang (hiniwa ng maliliit)
- mantika (pangprito)
- Linisin ang tilapia at alisin ang kaliskis. Hatiin ito sa serving pieces. Pahiran ng asin ang bawat piraso.
- Magpainit ng mantika at iprito ang mga hiniwang saging hanggang maging light brown. Ilipat sa isang strainer at isangtabi.
- Sunod na iprito ang mga patatas hanggang maging light brown. Ilipat sa isang strainer at isangtabi.
- Iprito ang mga piraso ng tilapia hanggang maging golden brown ang parehong sides. Ilipat sa isang strainer at isangtabi.
- Sa parehong kawali, mag-gisa ng sibuyas at bawang hanggang maging light brown. Ilagay ang green beans at igisa ng ilang minuto.
- Ilagay ang stems ng napa cabbage at igisa ng ilang minute.
- Ilagay ang tomato sauce at konting tubig. Haluin ito ng mabuti at hayaan kumulo gamit ang katamtamang apoy.
- Kapag kumukulo na, lagyan ng patis, paminta at asin. Haluin ng mabuti.
- Tikman at iadjust ang lasa gamit ang asukal. Haluin ng mabuti hanggang matunaw ang asukal.
- Ilagay ang pork n beans at ang dahon ng napa cabbage. Takpan ang kawali at hayaan itong maluto ng 2 hanggang 3 minuto.
- Ilagay ang pinritong isda, saging at patatas. Haluin ng dahan dahan hanggang malagyan ng sauce ang bawat piraso.
- Patayin ang apoy at ilipat ang fish pochero sa isang serving plate.
- Ihain kasama ang mainit na kanin at enjoy!