Pesang Isda Recipe

Pesang Isda or Fish in Ginger Stew is one of the dishes that make me consume more steamed rice than the usual. This delightful dish involves cooking medium to large sized fish in a broth that are mainly composed of rice washing and ginger; vegetables such as bok choy or pechay are also included for added flavor and nutrition. It has been a common practice to use “dalag” (mudfish) for this recipe, but feel free to use any medium to large size fish that you desire. When skimming the recipe, you’ll notice that I first fried the fish before cooking it with the rest of the ingredients. This is not the traditional method in making Pesang Isda but rather a technique that I learned from my mom. This method makes the fish taste better and provides a more stable texture that prevents flaking when cooked in water for a long time. Rice washing, on the other hand, makes the soup richer and thicker. I usually add this to ginger stews such as this and Tinolang Manok. This dish would be better if you have Miso sauce by the side. I tried getting Miso from the nearby Oriental store but they ran out of stock. I’ll show you how to make it next time once I get a hold of one.

What fish do you usually use when cooking Pesang Isda?

Try this Pesang Isda recipe and let me know what you think.

Pesang Isda

Pesang Isda Recipe


  • 2 pieces medium to large fish, sliced
  • 2 bunches baby bok choy or pechay, cleaned and ends removed
  • 2 cups rice washing
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1/2 cup green onions or onion leeks, sliced
  • 1/4 cup ginger, sliced and pounded
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (patis)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorn
  • 8 tablespoons cooking oil

Watch the cooking video:

Cooking Procedure

  1. Rub salt on the fish and set aside.
  2. Heat a frying pan then pour-in 6 tablespoons of cooking oil.
  3. Fry the fish until the color of one side turns golden brown. Flip to fry the other side then turn off the heat and set the fish aside.
  4. Heat a cooking pot and pour-in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil.
  5. When the oil is hot enough, sauté garlic, ginger and onion.
  6. Put-in the fish sauce and whole peppercorn then stir.
  7. Pour-in the rice washing then let boil,
  8. Put-in the fried fish then simmer for 10 minutes in low heat.
  9. Add the chopped green onions and bok choy and simmer for 3 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a serving plate then serve.
  11. Share and enjoy!

Number of servings (yield): 4


  1. Arlyn says

    Hi kuya, thanks for this post. I agree with what you are saying about frying the fish before cooking. This is what I do when I cook fish sinigang. There is this unexplainable good flavor that comes out of the fried fish.

    You are awesome! Can’t wait to cook pesang isda. I still have some grouper in the freezer, I bet it will taste nice like the way you describe it. Ciao!

  2. mef1120 says

    Hi, I was wondering if I can use just regular tilapia fillet? I can’t seem to find a whole tilapia in my local grocer. THanks!

  3. rookie cook says

    thanks for this website. i just wish there’s portion for those who need to cook healthy food — as in no frying, or food for diabetics, hypertensive patients, those with kidney problems…tyvm

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