Inaloban a Isda is a Filipino Maranao dish prepared with grilled tilapia served in a spicy coconut gravy infused with ginger, chillies and a local type of onion called sibujing.
Our dish today is from the Maranao cosine where it can be found in the Mindanao on the lands surrounding Lake Lanao The flavours of this dish is quite unique if compared with the common Filipino dishes due the use of spices, where dishes in this cuisine is strongly influenced by neighbouring countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, where dishes are spicy, sometimes hot and richer in flavour compared to the Tagalog cuisine.
Dishes in the Maranao cuisine are commonly in vibrant yellow colour from turmeric where they believe that it has medicinal properties (which I agree) that help keep them healthy. Most dishes are grilled and cooked in coconut milk, apart from turmeric they also use a lot of palapa, a pounded paste made from sibujing, chillies and ginger. Also, since this cuisine is of Muslim origin dishes are Halal hence proteins of choice are usually seafood and chicken.
Today we will be making Inaloban a Isda and it perfectly embodies the Maranao cuisine, all of its qualities are present, like coconut milk, palapa, turmeric and grilling. It’s like the ginataang isda but better, good flavours with a nice spice!