Paksiw na Isda Recipe

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.

I grew-up ignoring this dish. When my mom serves this for lunch or dinner, I would go straight to the pantry and open a can of ma-ling (a brand of Chinese luncheon meat) or corned beef for myself. I guess that my taste buds are configured for fried meat and sweet foods when I was a kid; I’m sure that most of you can relate.

As time passed-by, I learned to appreciate simple dishes; fish and vegetables slowly became part of my regular diet. I guess all I needed was enough time to adjust. It’s about time or else I wouldn’t have had experienced the pleasures in trying different Filipino Food.

Try Paksiw na Isda recipe and let me know what you think.

Paksiw na Isda Recipe


  • 2 pieces fish (about half a pound each), cleaned and scales removed
  • 1 knob ginger, sliced and pounded
  • 6 cloves garlic, skin removed
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 small bitter gourd, chopped (optional)
  • 3 pieces finger chili
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorn

Cooking Procedure

  1. Heat a pan and cooking pot then pour-in vinegar and water.
  2. Add salt and whole peppercorn then stir. Bring to a boil.
  3. 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.
  4. Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate.
  5. Serve hot with steamed rice. Share and enjoy!

Note: You may substitute salt with 3/4 to 1 tablespoon fish sauce.

Number of servings (yield): 2

Watch the cooking video:


  1. Christian says:

    This is the first time that i cook fish with sabaw and i nailed it! My wife loves it:) Thank you

  2. Krisna says:

    10/10 :)

  3. I use salmon for my paksiw and it’s really good! H Mart sells salmon head and trims and they’re inexpensive! I add okra or eggplant! Try it!

  4. by the way, how long would it take if i’d use milkfish instead?

  5. happy to learn how to cook this recipe :) but i don’t have hasa-hasa at home, could i use milk fish instead? thank you :)

  6. Sidney Aquino says:

    …please don’t use Salmon with this dish! Salmon’s flavor is too strong and can clash with the ingredients: I suggest you use these first, in order from tastiest:
    1. Pampano
    2. Sea Bass
    3. Tilapia

  7. Sidney Aquino says:

    My favorite filipino fish dish! I add slices of eggplant, bokchoy and lemon grass powder to add more veggies while the lemon grass combines with the vinegar well. I also don’t like bitter melon so I omit that. My favorite fish to use with this dish is PAMPANO, because I love the texture and the bonelessness! YUMMY!

  8. aaroncalgary says:

    This is a personal favorite of mine. My girlfriend approved so I am pleased. She’s pinoy

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