Fish Stew in Sweet Potato Leaves (Talbos ng Kamote) and Young Lady Fingers (Okra)
The Philippine cuisine has been greatly influenced by Spain that has ruled the Country for more than 300 years, until 1898. My featured dish today is similar to their traditional stew or Cocido, but we shall use tuna instead. This is a budget meal that won’t surely break your pocket, a common Filipino viand, well-loved by all, kids and adults alike, nutritious and organic. If you’ve been to the Philippines, you must have tasted this dish, if not, please be back and don’t forget about Fish Cocido. It’s best paired with steaming rice and fried or grilled fish. If you’re a Pinoy living abroad, I’m sure you miss our Fish Cocido.
The ingredients are simple: 3-4 pieces sliced Yellow Fin Tuna or any tuna variant, 10-15 pieces calamansi (if you don’t have, you may use lemons), 1 bunch of sweet potato leaves (you must use the leaves only), 10 pieces okra (young lady fingers), 1 medium size tomato, 1 small piece ginger, 1 medium red onion, 2-3 pieces red chili and salt to taste. If you can’t find sweet potato leaves, you may use pechay (Chinese cabbage) or kangkong (water spinach). When using sweet potato leaves in the Fish Cocido, you may see that the soup/broth turns pink when cooked. Other dishes with sweet potato leaves would include ensalada (blanched sweet potato leaves with sliced tomatoes and red onions), a nutritious appetizer.
For the cooking process, you need to boil at least 4 cups of water in a cooking pot, when it’s boiling, add the sliced tuna, ginger, onions, tomatoes and salt. Let it simmer until the fish and spices are well-cooked. Add Okra, cook for at least 1 minute, add the sweet potato leaves and chili, wait for another 1 minute. Add calamansi juice and taste with salt, as desired.
Sweet potato leaves are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, B-Carotene, B6, Thiamine, Niacin, Zinc, Riboflavin, Iron, Folic Acid, Calcium, and Protein. They have anti-diabetes properties and good for diet therapy.