Paksiw na Tambakol sa Gata Recipe (Tuna in Coconut Milk)

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Bicolanos love anything cooked with coconut milk.  It’s their tradition that if they want to have a dish with a little touch of sauce, coconut milk is the most perfect ingredient. May it be for fish or veggies, coconut milk always make the food so delicious.

In Bicol region (Southern part of Luzon), there are huge areas of coconut plantation that made them very popular when it comes to coconut milk. They use it in almost all of  their dishes, including Ginataang Tambakol.


  • 1 whole regular sized Tambakol (about 1kg) or half of a big size Tuna
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. palm vinegar
  • 3 pcs green chilis
  • 1 pc. chopped red hot chili (optional if you want it extra hot)
  • ginger (about an inch), sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste (pepper must be the whole grain but ground a bit)
  • some veggies (okra or eggplant etc)


  1. Clean fish by removing its gills and guts then slice to serving pieces. Season with salt.
  2. Cook the fish by steaming them with vinegar (paksiw). In a cooking pan add the fish, garlic, ginger, onion, and vinegar, bring to boil in medium heat and continue cooking the fish in low heat for about 5 minutes until the meat is soft and fragrant.
  3. Adjust the heat to high and add the coconut milk (don’t stir too much – so that the fish will not break apart). Bring to boil, Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Adjust thickness of sauce by slowly adding water up to desired consistency. Drop the whole green chilies and the chopped hot chili. Adjust taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer into a serving plate and serve with hot rice and enjoy!

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