Lent brings out ‘Kasola’ stew in Malabon

MANILA -- Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in Malabon are never complete without the traditional "Kasola" served during lunch or dinner -- at least for long-time residents of this city.

"Kasola" is a simple stew made of dried, salted "labahita" (surgeonfish), fresh "upo" (calabash), tomatoes, onions, garlic, and green onions.

The dish, according to Eva Alejo, resident of Barangay Muzon, is cooked by sauteing first the onions, garlic and tomatoes and pouring a little "sabaw ng sinaing" (rice water).

It is left to boil for a while before the "labahita" strips, which must be soaked for a few hours to remove their saltiness, are added into the pot.

The dish must be simmered for half an hour in low fire before it is topped with green onions.

Alejo said she learned how to cook this stew from her mother, Remigia Fernandez, who made it a tradition to serve it during Lent.

"Kasola" is only dished up on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and is traditionally eaten with "tahong" (mussels) or "talaba" (oysters), as family members reunite to observe these days of prayer, fasting, moderation and self-denial as a form of sacrifice during the peak of the Lenten season. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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