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 their 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 highly 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, that’s 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!