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Paksiw: Cook And Simmer In Vinegar

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  October 21, 2022

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Paksiw means to cook and simmer in vinegar. Common dishes bearing the term, however, can vary substantially depending on what is being cooked.

Paksiw na isda is fish poached in a vinegar broth usually seasoned with fish sauce and spiced with siling mahaba and possibly containing vegetables.

What is paksiw

Paksiw na baboy is pork, usually hock or shank (paksiw na pata for pig’s trotters), cooked in ingredients similar to those in adobo but with the addition of sugar and banana blossoms to make it sweeter and water to keep the meat moist and to yield a rich sauce.

Paksiw na lechon is roasted pork lechon meat cooked in lechon sauce or its component ingredients of vinegar, garlic, onions, black pepper and ground liver or liver spread and some water.

The cooking reduces the sauce so that by the end the meat is almost being fried.

Paksiw na bangus is a variety among the family of Filpino dishes that are cooked with a traditional Filipino cooking method called “paksiw”, which translates to “to cook or simmer in vinegar.”

In that context, any Filipino meat dish cooked following the method mentioned above counts as a variety of paksiw, irrespective of the other ingredients. 

This dish variant is called “paksiw na bangus” because it uses a variety of fish known as bangus, or milkfish. The fish is simmered in vinegar and water, with other added ingredients like garlic, onions, ginger, pepper, eggplant, etc. 

Paksiw na bangus has a hearty flavor, with some tartness added by the vinegar, not to mention the depth that all the veggies and spices add to the dish. 

Paksiw na bangus originates from the Philippines.

As mentioned, this dish is among the many varieties cooked with the basic Filipino cooking method called paksiw.

Though the base method remains the same across all the varieties, the primary ingredients used in each can vary substantially. For example, some recipes might use fish, while the other ones use pork. 

Still, the basic flavoring ingredients remain the same among all varieties, which are vinegar, garlic, and salt. A good number of people also like to put peppers in the dish, but that’s optional. 

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Is paksiw and sinigang the same?

Both paksiw and sinigang are sour stews. Sinigang uses tamarind to get its sour broth while paksiw uses vinegar to get a similar but slightly different taste. Both paksiw and sinigang can be made with a lot of different ingredients like meats, fish, or vegetables.

What is the difference between adobo and paksiw?

Adobo comes from the Spanish “adobar”, or marinade. An adobo dish is meat, fish, or vegetables cooked in a marinade or sauce, usually a soy sauce based marinade. Paksiw means vinegar stew and has more liquid and a sour taste.

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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.