This is first my contribution to Lasang Pinoy 20: Binalot, All-Wrapped Up! Binalot comes from balot, which means “to wrap”, while isda is Tagalog for “fish”. Simmering in tomatoes is referred to as pinangat, although in my family, it also meant sour broth. It was too hot for soup, so I decided to make this even more simple by wrapping the fish in parchment paper. I wanted something easy and quick, preferably using ingredients that didn’t require me going to the supermarket. I found everything I needed in the fridge and the herbs I wanted on my windowsill. Under half an hour, we were eating dinner. Shortly after, we were ready for bed.
In French, this is also known as poisson en papillote, or fish in paper.
1 bluefish, scaled and cleaned
a handful of white mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1/4 stick of butter, half of it melted
1. Preheat oven to 375Âº. Season the fish inside out with salt and pepper.
2. In a small pan, heat half of the butter. SautÃ© onions until translucent. SautÃ© tomatoes until mushy. Add mushrooms and cook until soft. Season with herbs and with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and set aside.
3. Lay parchment paper large enough to cover the fish on your working table. Brush one side with melted butter. Spoon half of the sautÃ©ed tomato mixture onto the paper. Put the fish on top. Stuff remaining tomato mixture inside the fish and spoon the rest on top. Fold the parchment paper over and seal all sides. Put on a baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes. Move to a large plate and unfold the sides of the paper in front of your guests.