Pass the banana leaf over fire (the stovetop, in our case) to wilt it.
Wipe the tuna collars dry with a kitchen towel.
Wrap a collar in a piece of banana leaf then wrap the package in a larger piece of banana leaf.
Tie the parcel with kitchen twine.
Repeat with the other tuna collar.
Grill the banana leaf-wrapped tuna collars over hot charcoal for 10 minutes per side.
Cut the banana leaf wrappers with kitchen shears.
Serve the inihaw na panga ng tuna as an appetizer or as a main course.
Use large tuna collars for grilling. You just won't get a lot of flesh from small tuna collars. The collar you see in the photos is one of two with a total weight of 1.5 kilos.The grilling time specified above is not absolute. It depends on how large the tuna collars are and how thick the flesh is. If you have three collars, even if the total weight is also 1.5 kilos, the grilling time should be shorter.Please avoid overcooking the fish. The point in wrapping the collars in banana leaves is to prevent the flesh from drying out. Overcooking will still dry out the flesh even if you triple wrap the collars.How hot should the grill be? Very hot. Place the rack at least six inches above the glowing charcoal.Seasoning the tuna prior to grilling is optional. The fish flesh is naturally briny when fresh and adding salt will just draw out juices that you want to be retained in the flesh.If, however, you want a little spice in the fish, pepper, grated ginger and a few pinches of chili flakes will do the trick. To retain the natural flavor of the tuna, underseason rather than overseason. Whatever saltiness it lacks after grilling, you can always make up for with a dipping sauce.Suggested dipping sauce: equal amounts of soy sauce and kalamansi (or lemon or lime) juice with finely sliced bird's eye chilies.Finally, I consider it a terrible crime to smother fish with barbecue sauce before, during or after grilling.
Inihaw na Panga ng Tuna (Grilled Tuna Collar) printed from for personal use only. Not for republication nor distribution.