I like jam. I like jam so much that there were periods in our two-decade marriage when jars of jam were lined up in the fridge. We experimented with different brands and fruit bases. We compared prices and tried to determine if the pricey imported brands were really so far superior to the cheaper ones to justify their prices.
I like jam but not to spread on bread or crackers. I like jam to make fruit-based sauces and salad dressings with. I like diluting jam to make pancake syrup, to smother crepes with and to pour over ice cream.
In short, I have more uses for jam than as a bread spread.
When we were in Baguio in March, I discovered mango jam at the Good Shepherd convent. This is how I used the last three tablespoonfuls of the delicious mango jam.
- 800 grams fleshy fish (I used seabream -- and, yes, in Asia we like whole fish, head and all)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 cup cooking oil for deep frying
- 3 tablespoons mango jam
- 1/2 teaspoon kalamansi (or lime or lemon) juice
- honey to taste
- fresh mint and Thai basil leaves
- Slash the fish on both sides. Rub inside and out with salt and pepper. Dredge in corn starch.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan until wisps of smoke float on the surface.
- Deep fry the fish until golden and crisp outside (you may need to flip it for even cooking), about four minutes per side.
- While the fish cooks, make the sauce by mixing together the mango jam, kalamansi juice and enough honey to make the mixture pourable. Taste and add salt, if needed.
- Scoop out the fish and lay on a serving platter. Pour the sauce over the fish. Garnish with fresh mint and Thai basil leaves.
- Serve at once.