After a long and harsh winter, seeing the first signs of spring gives one a certain sense of joy. Other than experiencing the obvious sights and sounds of spring (read: green leaves, blooming flowers, birds chirping, longer days), the local markets are also teeming with life; things like more fresh fish, more choice of veggies and less people stocking up on food! 😀 This is why when I noticed I saw the red juicy tomatoes and green English cucumbers at the market, I had a ‘eureka moment.’ I thought of combining all these ingredients to match our fried tilapia; an obvious attempt to find an alternative to the green mangoes and bagoong (shrimp paste) that I missed. Cucumber when mixed with tomatoes (or even roasted eggplant) then added with lemon juice makes a good substitute for the more expensive and least-likely-to-be-available green mango. ;-D
Being Pinoy, my kids have never forgotten the taste of this dipping sauce (which they call salsa) and coupled with any seafood; like boiled shrimps, fried or broiled fish, or any shellfish. Interestingly, the thought of combining English cucumber and Roma tomatoes with bagoong is also a clear sign that our world is indeed multicultural. But in truth, it’s our ingenious attempt to adapt to whatever available ingredients we have just to have a sawsawan. Harharhar… 😀
ENGLISH CUCUMBER AND ROMA TOMATOES WITH BAGOONG
1 pc. English cucumber, diced
2 pcs. Roma tomatoes, diced/ 1 pc eggplant, roasted and peeled
2 tbsp. bagoong (shrimp paste)
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Pepper to taste
1. Mix all the vegetables. Add pepper and lemon juice then toss.
2. Finally, add the bagoong, 1 tbsp at a time. Toss then add the final tbsp. of bagoong.
3. Serve with fried fish.
* A multicultural dip