How to make Paksiw na Isda, known as piquant fish stew.

Paksiw na Isda
Resulta ng larawan para sa paksiw
The city of Dagupan in Pangasinan organizes a yearly festival to celebrate their production of milkfish, and this Paksiw dish is one of the popular dishes served at the festival. In the old days, freshly caught fish were immediately soaked in vinegar to preserve them; this recipe evolved from this method of preserving fish.

This is a slightly spicy version that I like to prepare for weekday meals (the leftovers keep well in the refrigerator). Any fresh fish will do, although milkfish and galunggong, a type of mackerel popular in the Philippines, are favorite choices.

Combine the water, vinegar, garlic, bitter gourd, if using, and ginger in a saucepan. Add the fish and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the fish sauce, salt and chili peppers. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until cooked.

Fish should flake easily with a fork.
Serve hot with steamed rice.

Serves 4 Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes

1 1/2 lbs (750 g) fish fillets (milkfish, rainbow trout, sea bass or mackerel)
1 cup (250 ml) water
2 cups (500 ml) Filipino cane vinegar (or white vinegar or cider vinegar diluted with water, page 13)
5 cloves garlic, crushed with the side of knife
1 bitter gourd (about 1 lb/500 g), cut in half lengthwise, deseeded and sliced into half-moons (optional)
One 2-in (5-cm) piece ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon salt
3 finger-length green chili peppers

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