Paksiw is a term used to refer to dishes cooked in vinegar and garlic. This could pertain to meats like pork (Paksiw na Pata and Lechon Paksiw are some of the examples) and seafood. Paksiw na Isda or Fish Cooked in Vinegar is a quick and easy seafood dish that is said to be one of the common everyday dishes prepared by Filipino families. Since the Philippines is composed of over 7,100 islands, fish is a staple particularly on the coastal areas. Bangus or Milkfish has been the regular fish variety for this dish (Paksiw na Bangus). However, due to availability, budget reasons, and personal preference, other fish varieties can be used.
2piecesfishabout half a pound each, cleaned and scales removed
1knob gingersliced and pounded
1small bitter gourdchopped (optional)
Heat a pan and cooking pot then pour-in vinegar and water.
Add salt and whole peppercorn then stir. Bring to a boil.
Arrange the fish in the pan along with the ginger, garlic, onion, bitter gourd, and finger chili. Cover and simmer in low to medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate.
Serve hot with steamed rice. Share and enjoy!
Note: You may substitute salt with 3/4 to 1 tablespoon fish sauce.
Balo balo, known better as burong hipon is a popular Kapampangan fare that is best paired with blanched bitter veggies and leaves like mustasa (mustard) and ampalaya (bitter gourd). With grilled fish, its a good alternative to soy sauce and in this case, the inihaw na hito was perfect.
5 cups cooked rice – boil rice with 10 cups of water till cooked; you come up with a soft kind of cooked rice; cool rice thoroughly
500 grams very fresh shrimps – alive if possible, the 2-inch long size; do not peel. In Sydney where you do not find shrimps that are alive, I use small, fresh prawns that are peeled and sliced in half – lengthwise. If you want to use fish, I use filleted fish and slice into 1/2-inch cubes or in small strips. In the Philippines, you can use whole small fresh gurami or tilapia, de-scale, debone and cut into finger sized strips. Do not use head of tilapia. Some even use the mud fish for this.
250 grams young, fresh bamboo shoots – sliced very thinly and blanched for 5 minutes in hot water and drain well and cool down
1/2 cup salt
Get a well washed, dry, 1 to 2 gallon glass jar.
Rinse the shrimps/fish with water and drain well. Pat dry to ensure dryness.
In a large bowl, place shrimps and sprinkle with the salt, and mix thoroughly.
Using rubber gloves, spread cool rice in a large bowl.
Mix the bamboo shoots with the shrimps.
Mix the shrimp/bamboo with rice using gloved hands.
Put the mixture inside the jar, in layers, packing well each layer. You want to avoid air pockets in the jar.
Cover the mouth of the jar with a clean sheet of plastic and close with lid.
Some times it is hard to find glass gallon jars and I use a glass bowl that has a lid.
Set aside in a cool place and let ferment for three days. In temperate countries, fermentation may take longer. What I do is on the third day, I smell the mixture and see if it’s smelly enough for me.
The smellier it is, the more sour the sauce becomes. So watch for it. Also, the whole tiny shrimp and fresh fish, ferments faster than peeled prawns or filleted fish.
If you want to cook the fermented shrimp mixture after three days, it will not be too smelly.
If you let another 2 days go, keep it in the refrigerator so that it does not ferment too fast.
How to cook the fermented mixture:
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 tablespoons finely crushed garlic
2 cups finely chopped onions
250 grams fresh tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 of the mixture
In a non-reactive (non-stick or ceramic or glass), heavy sauce pan, over low fire, pour in oil and saute garlic and onion till the garlic is a light golden tan and the onions are translucent.
Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes or till the tomatoes do not have a raw taste.
Constantly stir to prevent sticking to bottom of pan.
Add the mixture and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring continuously.
Taste the mixture and adjust to your liking. It must not be too salty.
Cool and serve.
When it is hot, it really smells! When it’s cooled, it does not smell too bad.
Serve with fried, or grilled fish and steam vegetables and hot rice.