My Canned Mackerel Recipe In Thai Red Curry With Tomatoes and Mustard Greens was inspired by a recipe of “Ginataang Tuligan” or in English “skipjack tuna cooked in coconut milk”. This recipe, Ginataang Tuligan, sounds simple but it is actually cooked in two parts.
The first part is where my mother perfected the cooking method. This is where you need to cook the skipjack tuna or tulingan with bilimbi, a fruit with very high in acidic content. You soak it in water and then braise it slowly in a closed cooking clay pot for few hours. The goal is to remove the fishy taste and make sure every fish bone is very soft and edible. Once you have achieved that, the second part of cooking takes place.
This is where you take the cooked skijack tuna and cook it again in coconut milk along with mustard greens, eggplants and seasonings. These two distinct parts of cooking are the reason why Ginataang Tuligan is so delicious. Once you have tasted it, you will want to make it again and again. This is the reason why I created my Canned Mackerel Recipe In Thai Red Curry With Tomatoes and Mustard Greens because I am was missing the “Ginataang Tuligan” I knew from my past.
Every time I start missing my mother’s cooking which is mostly fish dishes, I use the canned mackerel to recreate the food that I am missing. Why? Because canned mackerel is a fish available in the grocery store that somewhat similar to the fish that I used to eat in the Philippines. This is the reason why I made Baked Chickpeas and Mackerel Patties which was to recreate the fish omelette that my mother likes to cook. It’s also the reason that I created this Canned Mackerel Recipe In Thai Red Curry With Tomatoes and Mustard Greens. My whole goal was to recreate the “Ginataang Tuligan”.
I decided to use the canned mackerel in this recipe because I think it is the closest type of fish I could find to represent the braised skipjack tuna. In my recipe, I added a Thai Red Curry to add some spice and to give another layer of flavor to the dish. I am not really a fan of curry dishes until I discovered this Thai Red Curry Paste. I was watching the cooking show, The Kitchen“, and I noticed that they used this red curry paste quite a few times in their recipes and they speak highly of it. Because of that, I decided to give this Thai red curry paste a chance and since then it has become part of my pantry staple must haves. I also added fresh tomatoes to this recipe because our friendly neighbor was generous enough to share his home grown tomatoes in his garden. I think tomatoes and coconut milk are a good combination to make a good tasting curry dish.
Although my canned mackerel recipe was inspired by the Ginataang Tuligan, it consists only of one cooking method and is a very easy meal to prepare. First you need to remove the large bones from the center of the mackerel and then marinate it with soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil for at least 15 minutes. The lemon juice, soy sauce and sesame oil are great ingredients to help you reduce the fishy taste of the fish, that is why I always use these 3 ingredients when I am cooking canned sardines and any type of canned fish.
The next step is to heat up a large skillet with olive oil and saute onion, garlic and ginger. Then add fresh tomatoes and jalapeño along with seasonings and cook until the tomatoes have completely disintegrated. Stir in the red curry paste and coconut milk, cover and cook for 10 minutes. After this, you need to carefully add the mackerel into the mixture to prevent it from falling apart. Cover and let it cook for an additional 10 minutes. Put the mustard greens in last and cook it until they are wilted.
The coconut sauce with red curry paste and tomatoes are delicious dish. However, if you are not fan of canned mackerel you can substitute it with fresh shrimp, crab legs, or even fresh tilapia fillet. This is the reason why you need to try my canned mackerel recipe!
Canned Mackerel Recipe In Thai Red Curry With Tomatoes and Mustard Greens
- 2 15 oz. cans Mackerel removed the large bones from the center of mackerel
- 1 14 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
- 10 pcs. Roma tomatoes sliced into bite size or medium cubes
- 1/2 bunch mustard greens washed and removed the large and tough stems1
- 1/2 whole large red onion thinly sliced
- 4 pcs, garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 1 pc. jalapeño seeded and sliced into cubes
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 whole lemon juice from the 1/2 of lemon
- 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, marinate mackerel with soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil for at least 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate.
- In a big pan add the oil and red onion, garlic and ginger over medium high heat and saute it for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, jalapeño and season with salt, pepper and fish sauce. Stir fry for another 2 minutes.
- Add the red curry paste and saute until the tomatoes has completely broken down, for approximately 4 to 6 minutes.
- Turn the heat into medium. Stir in the sugar and coconut milk. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Uncover, stir in the marinated mackerel into the mixture carefully to prevent the mackerel from falling apart. Cover and simmer for additional 10 minutes.
- Uncover, then carefully add the mustard greens on top of the mixture. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes or until the mustard greens have wilted. Stir the mustard greens into the mixture carefully and cook for addtional 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Best serve with steamed rice.