I guess Stingray or Pagi in Tagalog is one of the most underrated seafood around, some people even think Stingrays are not edible. But trust me its edible and it tastes good, the texture is similar to tuna but a bit more delicate when cooked.
There’s are a lot of recipes around South East Asia and even restaurants offer this in their menu like in Malaysia and Singapore where its usually charcoal barbecued with a lot of chillies (sambal) and placed over a banana leaf, it is really delicious and I tried it (a lot) when I used to live there. I remember a stall in Asia Cafe Food Court in SS15/8, Subang Jaya they barbecue it really good and fresh, they cook the fish as you wait. In Philippines it is barely used as well but in my moms province, Bicol where seafood is bountiful they use this fish a lot in thier cuisine and one of it is this recipe.
Cooking it is nearly similar to Bicol Express where it is cooked in coconut milk and lots of chillies, but there are two things that differentiate the two dishes apart and it is the use of stingray and lots of malungay leaves are added which is a really cheap vegetable but higly nutritious. According to Bureau of Plant Industry in the Philippines if you are comparing it by weight Malunggay leaves is equivalent to the following
Calcium from 4 glasses of milk
Vitamin C from 7 Oranges
Potassium from 3 Bananas
3x Iron from Spinach
4x Vitamin A from Carrots
2x Protein from Milk.
Wow, thats really healthy it can even replace Centrum or you can add that to your morning protein shakes.
Now for this recipe since we can’t buy malunggay here in New Zealand, I will be using red capsicums instead which gives it a more peppery flavour and better presentation, plus with the addition of finger chillies this dish will kick!
800g Stingray, Skinned, deboned and cubed
500 ml of coconut milk
2 large red capsicums, chopped and seeded
5 finger chillies, chopped with seeds
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onions, finely chopped
1 thumb sized ginger, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1. In a pot place stingrays and pour water until it barely covers everything, add 1 tsp of salt. Bring this to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
2. Using a colander, drain the stingrays. Set aside and let it cool.
3. Once cooled down, flake the stingrays. It will be easy as stingrays flacke easily.
4. Now on a wok, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute onions until soft and cooked.
5. Add garlic, ginger and chillies stir fry until fragrant.
6. Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil then add the flaked stingrays, make sure that the coconut milk is evenly mixed with the fish flakes.
7. Add the red capsicums, cover then simmer for 7 minutes.
8. Season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper.