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4 Healthy Fish and Gulay Recipes Perfect for Lenten Season

March 28, 2022 12:39 pm

Lenten season is just around the corner! Since the Philippines is a pre-dominantly Christian country, this holiday is strictly observed by many Filipinos. During Holy Week or locally known as Semana Santa, many Filipinos practice religious traditions such as waving of palm leaves or palaspas, reading of the Passion of Christ or pasyon, joining processions, and of course, fasting from food or abstaining from eating meet.

Symbolically, abstinence from eating pork or beef is done to honor the sacrifices of Jesus Christ. This is a demonstration of self-control and surrendering desires of the flesh to draw closer to God and have better spiritual health.

But aside from better spiritual health, this practice can also result to a better physical well-being. For heavy pork and beef eaters, this is the chance to add variety to your usual menu and get your protein needs from plant sources such as beans and legumes. With AJI-GINISA®, vegetable dishes this Lenten season will taste meaty and tasty.

Here, we share four healthy gulay and pinoy fish recipes you can prepare for the entire family this Lenten season.


Although people abstain from meat during Lenten season, fish and seafood are usually acceptable. If you have left-over fried, grilled, or smoked fish, why not make a hearty soup by preparing Dinengdeng.

How to do it? In a casserole, combine ampalaya, squash, okra, sitaw, bagoong isda and water, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. After letting it simmer, add dahon ng saluyot, alugbati, and left-over fish.

Here’s a cooking tip just for you: you can add the green leafy vegetables just before you turn off the heat to maintain their bright green color and nutrients.

Season with AJI-GINISA® then mix well for that delicious gisa flavor then simmer for another minute and, voila! Your Dinengdeng is ready to serve. This dish is a good source of Vitamins and Minerals as well as Dietary Fiber, an essential nutrient that supports healthy gut.

Sinanglay na Tilapia

Looking for another fish recipe? Instead of the usual fried fish that is high in fat content, try a healthier and more delicious alternative by cooking Sinanglay na Tilapia!

First, simply sprinkle and massage salt inside and outside the tilapia and let it rest for 15 minutes. Did you know that tilapia is a good source of Selenium? This nutrient aids in boosting immunity and supports thyroid health!

After sprinkling salt on the fish, in a separate bowl, combine onions, tomatoes, and ginger then fill the tilapia’s cavity (don’t forget the head!) with the mixture. Next, wrap it with enough pechay to cover its body then on a cold pan, place the stuffed tilapia and lemongrass.

Pour coconut milk and vinegar. Vinegar helps to prevent premature spoilage of the dish. Cover the pan then let it simmer for 20-30 minutes or until fish is cooked.

Season with AJI-GINISA® for a more meaty and gisa taste then mix gently. Add the remaining pechay and simmer for a minute before transferring to a serving platter. Serve and enjoy while hot!


Ginisang Ampalaya

Let’s face it, ampalaya is not the most popular vegetable but it doesn’t have to be that way. We just need to give it a little more love.

Before cooking, soak ampalaya in water and salt mixture for at least 30 minutes to reduce its bitter taste. Once the bitter taste is reduced, drain and wash ampalaya in clean water to reduce the salt. In a pan, heat oil then sauté onion, garlic, and tomato until tomatoes are soft. Add in the ampalaya and continue cooking for 3 minutes before adding water and simmer for another 3 minutes. Next, add beaten eggs and mix until the eggs are cooked.

Sprinkle some love with AJI-GINISA® for a meatier and savory taste even without meat! Stir then cook for another minute and serve for the entire family to enjoy.

With AJI-GINISA®, you can enjoy its “gisa” taste and without noticing the bitter aftertaste because of its overall rounded taste. This ampalaya dish is also very healthy because of it is rich in Fiber content plus some micronutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Potassium that are essential in maintaining optimal health.

Shrimp in Corn Soup

Aside from fish and vegetable dishes, you can also serve this Shrimp in Corn Soup recipe made more umami-licious with AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning! This low sodium recipe is the perfect healthy alternative for people who want to reduce their risk for hypertension.

To make this recipe, heat oil in a pan then sauté garlic until fragrant. Add in your shrimps and bell peppers then sauté for a few minutes. Next, put in corn kernels and water then mix well.

Just a quick tip when buying fresh corn, make sure that the husks look bright green and wrapped tightly against the corn and it should be slightly damp. But you can also use canned corn kernels for this recipe. Corn kernels are high in fiber, which helps the body avoid digestive problems or illnesses including constipation, hemorrhoids, and colorectal cancer.

Sprinkle 1 pack of AJI-NO-MOTO® for the umami goodness of your dish then add ginger, carrots, and spinach. Cook for a few minutes before adding fish sauce and pepper. Mix well then turn off fire. Serve and enjoy the refreshing and flavorful taste of shrimp rich in delicious umami.

Shrimp in Corn Soup (LSR)

During Lenten season, we contemplate the sacrifices Jesus Christ made for us by abstaining from certain foods. We can choose to sacrifice certain food cravings that are unhealthy like dishes with excessive salt, sugar, fats, and cholesterol.

Add AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning to your dishes to help reduce sodium content without compromising taste. Whether it’s Lenten season or any usual day, it is always possible to choose and prepare a healthy and delicious meal for you and your family.

Learn more recipes and read exciting blogs by visiting our website! Come visit and follow our Facebook Page, Cookmunity® by Ajinomoto Philippines for the latest updates on recipes and blogs.