How to cook the perfect inun unan paksiw: Visayas style recipe

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  June 11, 2022

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This inun-unan recipe is a version of paksiw from the Visayas region.

A very simple dish made of vinegar, ginger, peppercorns, and fish, this could be easily done by anyone who’s just craving something pungent and sour at the same time!

Inun-Unan Recipe ( Visayas Paksiw)

There are a lot of variations to this recipe; some would say that you should add water, and others would say that there shouldn’t be water.

Other sources would say that there shouldn’t be any vegetables like eggplants or bitter gourd in the dish, but some would still say that they’er included.

For this inun unan recipe, I’ll be using the bare-bones combination of vinegar, ginger, and fish.

Inun unan recipe, history, tips, and preparation

Traditionally, inun unan is cooked in a clay pot (palayok), as there’s something with this earthenware that lends its earthiness to whatever dish that’s put in there to cook.

People would say as well that having earthenware like palayok is a great investment, as it could be used in different dishes.

However, since not everyone has access to this pot, your good old casserole is more than enough.

Inun-Unan Recipe ( Visayas Paksiw)

For the sole sahog of the inun unan, you need to have fish. Bangus and tilapia are the first to come to mind. However, any fresh fish would fit this inun unan recipe.

Also, this recipe doesn’t include water, since in the absence of water, the fish would be able to absorb and maximize the taste coming from the vinegar.

If you really can’t help it though, and want some broth, go ahead and add some.

Add ginger to eliminate the odor of the fish and long green chilies for the perfect spice to mix with the vinegar.

Inun unan

Inun-Unan Recipe ( Visayas Paksiw)

Inun unan recipe (Visayas paksiw)

Joost Nusselder
This inun unan recipe is a version of paksiw from the Visayas region. This is a very simple dish made of vinegar, ginger, peppercorns, and fish.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4 people
Calories 452 kcal


  • Any local fish (scaled, gutted, sliced into halves, and seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • Any local vinegar (store-bought ones are okay too, but won’t smell as good)
  • Crushed garlic (lots and lots of it, i.e. for a dozen medium-sized fish, use 1 big head of garlic)
  • Sliced onions (lots and lots of it, maybe 2-3 bulbs)
  • Crushed ginger (lots and lots, like maybe a third of your palm)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper (crushed and corns)
  • 1 tbsp ginamos (fermented fish if available)
  • Cayenne peppers (siling espada, optional, or bird’s eye chilies if you want to increase the spiciness)
  • Young mango leaves (1 per piece)
  • Used cooking oil (oil used to fry pork is preferred)


  • Mix everything in a bowl, except for the fish, mango leaves, cayenne peppers, and used cooking oil.
  • Adjust the taste to your liking.
  • Add the fish and gently mix with your hand for 3 minutes or so.
  • Wrap each fish with mango leaves and place in a thick pan or clay pot (include some of the spices if you like).
  • Pour all the marinade on top, including the cayenne peppers.
  • Turn heat on medium and wait for it to boil uncovered.
  • When it starts to boil, lower the heat to its lowest and simmer away covered for at least 1 hour or until the marinade is almost gone.
  • Pour the used cooking oil before transferring the dish to a plate. Add some of the concentrated oily broth.
  • Drizzle more used cooking oil upon serving.
  • Enjoy with rice with the broth drizzled on it.


Calories: 452kcal
Keyword Fish, Paksiw, seafood
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

I couldn’t find ginamos out here, but you can get fresh mango leaves from here.

Inun unan Visayas

Partnered with bagoong isda or patis, this inun unan recipe is perfect during the summer season, as sour dishes can cool down the temperature of anyone who eats it (sinigang na baboy comes to mind).

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.