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Crispy Fresh Water Sardines or "Tawilis" Recipe

Fresh Water Sardines or "Tawilis" which I'm sure you're pretty familiar with if you've been to Taal, Batangas is one hard fish to find fresh in Manila. A staple in Tagaytay/Taal local restaurants, the crispy fried Sardinella Tawilis is always a hit to their patrons which is why cooking it at home was our solution to getting our Tawilis fix (when available) without going to Batangas. Here is a step by step recipe inspired by Market Manila, thanks Marketman!

A landlubber being married to a certified island boy from Cebu certainly has its charms, having a great seafood shopper and cook is one of them. He's always on the look out for fresh quality fish available in our nearest local wet market, and one day, last Saturday to be exact, he hit the jackpot. Scored some fresh Tawilis from a fish vendor's stall he always frequents! Took home the beauties and got them prepped up for cooking.

Cleaning each individual sardine was indeed a bit time consuming but I was enjoying myself nonetheless since I'm one of those who actually love the experience of getting down and dirty with food. Give me a kilo of fresh anchovies and I'll be happy to behead, debone, gutt and fillet them with ease for my Mom's Kilawin recipe anytime. Handling sardines is a cinch compared to small anchovies, it was easy. You just need a really sharp pairing knife to make incisions along the belly of each fish and remove the guts. Rinse with cool salted water or brine, then drain to remove as much moisture as you can.



Now get your stainless steel pan ready over the stove on medium high heat. While that's heating up prepare the flour mixture, I just added freshly cracked black pepper, turmeric and celery seed powder to regular plain white flour. Didn't even measure anything, just eyeballed it. Mix them really well, and dredge your fish in it, a couple at a time since we're going to fry in batches. Add oil to your pan, just enough to coat the amount of fish per batch, make sure the oil comes up to temperature before putting in the fish or you'll end up with a soggy-greasy mess instead of the crispy goodness we're after. Fry the sardines for just a few minutes on each side until golden brown and crunchy crispy, it takes about 3-5 minutes tops. Transfer the cooked tawilis on paper towels to drain off excess oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately with heeps of rice (the Filipino way, of course) and your favorite side dish, in our case we chose my Pico De Gallo.

The verdict on our own take of Crispy Tawilis? Well, let's just say it was a very quiet meal, we were all too absorbed in devouring the contents of our respective plates and eyeing the serving platter of delicious sardines to utter a word to each other except for "Please pass the Tawilis" maybe. Haha!

Cooking great restaurant dish inspired meals at home instead of going out to eat will definitely stretch your peso. ;)

References:
http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/fried-tawilis-a-la-marketman
http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/tawilis-freshwater-sardines
http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/fried-tawilis-for-lunch
https://www.facebook.com/WowPhilippines2014/posts/247118792134046?stream_ref=10 


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Post a Comment

  1. This looks delicious!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Delicious and crunchy !

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow..Sounds very tasty.. loved this fish !

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gr8! looks tempting and crispy....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Crispy and crunchy sardine fries...looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is! As long as there's fresh tawilis in our local market we always cook it this way!

    ReplyDelete
  8. hmmm...it's different,the way it's preserved.good one..

    ReplyDelete

Article published on June 10, 2014

13 comments:

  1. This looks delicious!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Delicious and crunchy !

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow..Sounds very tasty.. loved this fish !

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gr8! looks tempting and crispy....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Crispy and crunchy sardine fries...looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is! As long as there's fresh tawilis in our local market we always cook it this way!

    ReplyDelete
  8. hmmm...it's different,the way it's preserved.good one..

    ReplyDelete

 
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