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Paksiw na Isda (Fish in Vinegar)

Filipino paksiw dishes are cooked in vinegar and garlic. Paksiw na Isda is a dish of fish cooked in vinegar. In the Philippines, this dish is most commonly made with bangus, also called milkfish, but any variety of fish can be used. Filipino food is becoming more common in the United States in the 2000s, particularly in urban areas like New York City, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. Paksiw na isda is an easy way to replicate traditional Filipino flavors at home.

Recipe Servings: 2

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 2 pieces of fish, about ½ lb each, cleaned with scales removed
  • 1 eggplant, quartered (optional)
  • 3 pieces of okra, top end trimmed (optional)
  • 2 long chili peppers (siling haba) or red chilies
  • 1 ginger root, sliced and crushed
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, crushed then peeled
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • Fish sauce or salt, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Steamed rice, as needed for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, put half of each: garlic, onion, ginger, and peppercorns, and heat over medium heat.
  2. Arrange the fish on top, then add the remaining garlic, onion, peppercorns, and ginger.
  3. Add the water, vinegar, oil, and fish sauce.
  4. Simmer, covered, for 12–15 minutes.
  5. Add the okra, eggplant, and siling haba, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Season with fish sauce and sugar to taste.
  7. Serve with steamed rice.

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