During the first week or so of the family visit, I did most of the cooking since there were many things my aunt had never tried. She took over the last few days though, and I was certainly not going to say no, because she is a very notable cook. In addition to what is shown above, she also made a wonderfully tasty sesame ginger soup with rice wine and bits of pork. And another night she made milkfish ball soup with bits of cilantro. I was made to promise to never add scallions to fish ball soup because the flavors are apparently incompatible (it tastes ok to me though...).
I made a special request for whole pan-fried fish as it is not something I know how to cook myself and she gladly obliged. We had to go to Fubonn market to acquire such fish since American grocery stores tend to only have filets, but it was well worth the trip. I only wish we had bought more so I could have a stash in my freezer. It turns out that frying such fish is not difficult if the fish is fairly small, as these were. I don't know the name of this type of fish, but it had very few bones and was tender and tasty. Once I finish the food in my fridge, I will definitely be taking another trip out there for fish.
Pan Fried Fish
1 whole cleaned fish
Cut two slits on each side of the fish (as shown above). Rub a generous quantity of salt onto each side and let the fish rest for 15-30 min. Swirl some oil into a skillet large enough to fit fish and heat with medium flame until you see wavy lines in the oil. Quickly give the fish a few swipes with a paper towel to get rid of extra salt and to dry fish and add to the pan. Immediately clap a lid over the pan and turn the flame down to low. Take a peek at the fish once in a while - when the flesh in the slit have turned white, the fish is ready to flip. Using a metal spatula, flip fish and re-cover. Cook for a few minutes more and serve!
I apologize for the hazy directions, maybe once I've cooked this myself I can update with more exact quantities and times.