A day after I cooked this soup for lunch, I finally did what I had been promising myself for a long time — plant a malunggay tree in my own garden. So, let’s just say that this fish and malunggay soup is a celebration.
It’s nothing fancy, really. I cooked a fish soup in much the same way that I cook tahong (mussels) and malunggay. If you want to make something similar, go buy your favorite fleshy fish and remember that the soup requires ginger — the more, the merrier.
Fish and malunggay soup
- 1 kilogram your favorite firm fleshy fish cleaned and gutted
- 3 thumb-sized pieces ginger
- half a head of garlic
- 1 onion or 2 shallots
- 2 to 3 cups malunggay leaves stripped from the stems
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil for sautéing
- patis fish sauce for seasoning
- Cut each fish into two to three pieces, depending on the size. As a practical guideline, each piece should sit comfortably in an individual soup bowl along with the broth and vegetables.
- Peel the ginger and slice thinly.
- Crush, peel and mince the garlic.
- Peel and finely slice the onion or shallots.
- Heat the cooking oil in a large pot.
- Saute the ginger, garlic and onion for about 3 minutes.
- Add the fish to the pot and pour enough water to cover. Season with patis.
- When the water begins to boil, add the malunggay leaves, pushing them down into the liquid. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the fish, until the fish and malunggay are both cooked through.
- Season with more patis, if necessary, before serving.