This is an everyday Filipino dish. It is very easy and simple, using only ingredients commonly found in the pantry (especially Asian’s). Traditionally, paksiw* is made with bangus (milkfish), but since I don’t like milkfish because it has so many tiny bones (although it is very tasty), I decided to settle for tilapia (my fave) but I think you can use any medium-sized fish that you prefer as long as they are fresh; I’ve also tried doing this with other fish like galunggong and tuna. I learned this recipe by just watching my mom do it; I used to turn my nose up on this dish as a child, my mother always pushes it on us. I prefer my fish fried and besides I hate the smell of vinegar but now, I like it, it’s actually healthy and low in calories and taste very good especially with soy sauce and hot steamed rice. I’m glad that unlike me before, my children actually liked it ( maybe because I cook it better than my mom? Nah..no way! I was just a picky eater.
The recipe below is just a guide, use as much or as little ingredient as you need/ prefer, the amount of spices and seasonings depend on the amount of fish you have and on your taste.
Try this and you may like it too!
2 pieces medium-sized Tilapia
vinegar, about half cup
ginger root, peeled, crushed and sliced
black pepper, crushed
1 laurel leaf (optional)
salt to taste
fish sauce (patis)
3 green chilis, cut off the tip (we want it really hot)
olive oil (optional, this is just me, you may add veg oil or not at all)
* paksiw normally has garlic, you may add some if you like (garlic), I just prefer mine without
First make sure that the fish is fresh when you buy it. Wash it again and cut each one in half or more if it’s too long. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Arrange pieces of fish in a saucepan, add in ginger root, laurel leaf, green chilis, garlic (if using) then pour some vinegar. Bring to a boil in medium-high heat, then simmer for 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Taste it, adjust the spices when necessary, bring to boil again then turn off heat when you’re satisfied with the taste, add a little oil then cover. Let stand a few minutes before serving. That’s it, get your rice and have a fun time eating! Serve it with soy sauce on the side and some steamed vegetables like okra or kangkong leaves.