Talk about time flying fast. It seems as though we’ve just gotten over the Christmas season, and now Lent is upon us. Beginning Ash Wednesday (which falls on Feb. 13 this year), Catholics must abstain from eating meat every Friday throughout Lent. It’s supposed to be a way of doing penance, to atone for one’s sins.
For some Catholics, however, abstaining from eating meat is no deprivation at all, since they love seafood and vegetables anyway. Thus, they do other sacrifices such as refraining from eating chocolates or drinking wine, or, in the case of a dear relative, giving up her favorite French fries, not just on Fridays but also every day of Lent.
Still, I’m sure the Church has a good reason for making abstinence from meat a must during Lent. Besides, meat, like the forbidden fruit, seems most tempting when one is supposed to be avoiding it.
Without meaning to diminish anyone’s Lenten sacrifice, here’s a delicious seafood recipe that will make abstinence Fridays a little easier to bear.
Bangus Bellies in Soy-Calamansi Sauce
Wash bangus bellies and pat them dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper then dust lightly with cornstarch. In a large skillet, heat the oil to medium and sauté the onions until tender. Remove the onions from the skillet and set aside.
Reheat the oil in the skillet to medium and put in the bangus bellies, skin side down. Cook until the skin turns a light golden brown, around two minutes. In a bowl combine the sugar, calamansi juice, soy sauce and water. Pour over the bangus bellies. Simmer until bangus bellies are fully cooked. Add the sautéed onions and heat through. Serve warm with rice.
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While washing the bangus bellies, run your fingers through the fish to make sure there are no fish bones left.
You can also do this recipe using salmon bellies or tilapia fillets.