Cebu Linarang: Is it better than Sinigang?
Linarang has been a staple sour fish soup dish around Metro Cebu. Cooked in large woks in Larangan (sidewalk cafeterias) all across the metro. When there’s a large wok of steamy larang displayed, you are guaranteed that people are lining up to order and indulge in this hearty bowl of fishy-goodness. I can safely say that Linarang is a native dish of Cebu. I never found anything like it across the country. Not in Luzon, and certainly not in Mindanao as well. It is undoubtedly a CEBUANO dish. Ok, I might be assuming here, so feel free to correct me. 😀
Another fascinating thing about this dish is how it is somewhat similar yet so different from the more famous Sinigang na Isda. Yes both are sour soup dish, but the Linarang if you ask me just has BOLDER flavor profile compared to the later. Maybe that’s also one reason that we rarely see Cebuano’s cook sinigang na isda. Instead, this sour-flavored soup in a bowl is a more frequent choice amongst Cebuanos.
So without further adieu, here’s how you can make this dish that serves 4.
1 medium size onion – chopped into chunks
3 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
2 thumbsize ginger – sliced in thin strips
Kamias (2 cups) – roughly sliced
Red tomatoes (1 cup) – sliced into large wedges
Green chilis /sili’ng haba (5 sticks) – cut into half
½ kilo white-meat fish (I’m using white marlin for this dish)
1 tablespoon blackbeans
1 tablespoon tomato paste (alternative is 2 tablespoons tomato sauce)
Salt to taste
1 ½ liter Water (separate ½ cup)
- Use a large wok or pot, drizzle a bout of the cooking oi. Then sautee a portion of the onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and kamias for 30 seconds to a minute over medium heat.
- Then add the black beans and tomato sauce. Sautee for a few seconds ‘til all ingredients are well mixed.
- Add ½ cup of water and let it cook for 2 minutes or until the spices are soft. Then mash the spices until the broth turns thick or paste like in texture.
- Add the remaining liter of water and allow to boil. This will probably take 5-7 minutes.
- Then add the remaining spices, then boil again for 3 minutes.
- Add the fish meat, and let it cook for a maximum of 5 minutes to retain the juicy and soft texture of the fish meat. Also scoop out the froth/bubbles that you see forming on the top part of the broth.
- Once the fish has been cooked, add the spring onions and just turn the stove off and allow the heat of the broth to cook the spring onions.
- Serve with a steamy plate of rice or mais na bigs.
Now, if you made this dish. Let me know, if this is better than Sinigang. If not, then at least, you now have a new sour soup dish as your kitchen arsenal.