Lately I have been lucky at the nearby wet market to come across very fresh dilis (small, anchovy like fish). These small fish deserve to be eaten whole merely dipped for a few minutes in organic coconut vinegar or by adding some small slices of ginger and onions, a dish we call “kinilaw”.
“Kinilaw” means “kinain ng hilaw” or “eaten raw”. It is chemically cooked, really. You let the organic coconut vinegar, in our case, Lola Conching’s Vinegar turn the dilis fish from transparent to a little white. Then you will know the fish is ready to eat. This takes around 5 to 10 minutes. Some people add lots of calamansi, a philippine citrus which acts like a lemon, but tastes better.
So at the meal I just photographed, our cook prepared a batch of dilis where she painstakingly removed the head and the bones so all you have left is meat. And I asked for another batch which just used the whole fish. I tasted both batches. Guess which got scraped, finished off to the last fish? The batch with the whole fish, eaten with bones and head! I just found the tummy bitter to I remove the tummy intestines before I eat the fish though.
In my view, the batch without the head and the fish bones taste too acidic. It’s like I can’t eat more than a few bites of them. The dilis fish without the head and bones seems unbalanced. But with the fish head and the bones, it had just the right crunch, and I could eat a lot of it, yummy.
My mother in law says it is because of the calcium in the bones. I also think it could be that much fish fat and bones are also in the head. Maybe this is what Dr. Hulda Clark is saying when Weston Price observed the healthy tribes living beside the sea had almost perfect teeth because of eating a lot of organic calcium from fish. This is how you eat calcium from the fish, eat small fish whole! What a great discovery.