Nanay Mila Gokim Tagle, the mother of His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, and his father, Tatay Manuel Tagle are both 88 years old. Both of them are still healthy and strong; walking without assistance; and are still very sharp. Their secret to long life? Simple, healthy food.
And Cardinal Tagle is definitely in on this secret. Especially because his favorite recipe from Nanay Mila’s kitchen is one of the simplest Filipino dishes around: Pinangat na Sapsap.
How simple is pinangat? You just put all the ingredients in the water and wait until they are cooked! How healthy is Nanay Mila’s pinangat? Unlike other pinangat recipes, Nanay Mila’s does not even use soy sauce or vinegar, just sea salt. Instead, she emphasizes that one must not forget to add ginger, which is what she uses to give extra color and flavor to her Pinangat na Sapsap.
Note, though, Cardinal Tagle’s exquisite taste even in the simplest of dishes: of all kinds of fish he could choose from, he specifically requests for sapsap (pony fish or slipmouth fish), a silver-skinned small and flat fish that is widely available but not common. His Eminence appreciates this dish with a bowl of nilagang gulay (boiled vegetables), in particular eggplant (small ones), which he appreciates with homemade bagoong (fermented fish paste) on the side.
Recreate Cardinal Tagle’s favorite dish with this recipe by Chef Jessie Sincioco as taught by Cardinal Tagle’s 88-year-old mother, Nanay Mila! Follow the instructions below: