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Isdang Paksiw (Fish cooked in Vinegar)

Paksiw is a cooking method where meat or fish is cooked in a spicy vinegar and salt broth. The recipe featured here uses fish, which is one of the cheapest sources of protein for the average Filipino household. The cooking method is simple and results in a very flavorful dish of fish in a savory-sour sauce. Perfect for eating with a bowl of plain rice.

Paksiw is everyday fare and is usually cooked with optional vegetables. In this recipe, eggplants are added as extenders. They absorb the flavor of the sour broth well.

Isdang Paksiw (Fish cooked in Vinegar)

Isdang Paksiw (Fish cooked in Vinegar)

The preferred fish for paksiw is usually any type of bony salt-water fish like bangus (milkfish) or dalagang bukid (Yellow tail fusilier). Try to avoid oilier fish with dark meat like tuna, which are cooked in a different manner.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Good for: 2 -3 people


Salt Water Fish

Salt Water Fish

  • 500 grams (any type) white meat salt-water fish cleaned & de-scaled.
  • 100 grams onions, chopped
  • 50 grams garlic, crushed
  • 50 grams ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1 piece long green chili, small
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup vinegar, coconut vinegar is recommended
  • 1 cup water
  • 250 grams eggplant, sliced into 4cm diagonal strips
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 100 grams pork fat (optional)


Isdang Paksiw (Fish cooked in Vinegar)

Cooking Isdang Paksiw

Place sliced eggplant on the bottom of a thick pot.

Place chopped garlic and onions on top of eggplant slices. You may also place optional pork fat on this layer.

Place fish on top of garlic and onions. Add salt and green chili on top.

Pour vinegar into the pot. Avoid disturbing the arrangement of fish and eggplant.

Cover pot and set stove to lowest possible flame. Gently simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Check at the 10th and 15th minute to make sure there is enough liquid in the pot. Add water as needed. Try to avoid disturbing the arrangement of the fish and the eggplant.

On the 20th minute taste the sauce; if the vinegar taste is still very strong, let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Add water as needed to prevent the sauce from evaporating completely.

You may season with salt and pepper to the desired taste. Just remember that this dish is meant to be savory-sour. Putting too much salt will ruin the flavor.

Serve hot with a large plate of plain rice.


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