“Inun-unan” is a bisaya version of “paksiw.” In my food journey, as far as I know, inun-unan is different from paksiw because the former uses only vinegar while the latter has an addition of soy sauce in it. Sometimes having this type of dish on our table for a meal is sort of refreshing, letting us reminisce our native origin as mga bisaya. According to my Lola ,”inun-unan” is a bisaya term meaning, to compress or “i-un-un” because inun-unan is literally a vinegar dish compressed inside the leaves of popular plants like mango and banana. So to start,
1 kilogram medium-sized Bolinao
2 cups pure coconut vinegar or “suka tuba nga waay tungog”
8 pieces sili espada
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 ginger, thinly sliced
1 onion, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons honey or “dugos”
1 teaspoon whole pepper corns or “pamintang liso”
3 tablespoons of pure calamansi juice
1 teaspoon salt
1. Wash and clean the fish in running water. Then let it drain. Wash also the mango leaves and set aside.
2. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients including the spices. Now try to taste and adjust it according to your preference.
3. Add the Bolinao in the bowl of mixed spices and combine well by using your hand.
4. Place a sufficient amount of the mixture over a mango leaf, roll it and lock the roll by piercing the tip into the leaf.
5. After you finish doing the rolls. Place all the rolls in the pot, pour in the liquid mixture and the chillies. Cover the pot and let it cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. After cooking, remove it from heat. The whole fish is completely edible because the bones are already soft and cooked through. Serve it while hot.
Now serve it with a hot steamed rice. Inun-unan, as the elders used to say, becomes more delicious in time, even when served the day after tomorrow.