How to Cook Silver Fish Filipino Style


Paksiw is a quick, affordable and easy-to-prepare seafood dish typically served in a Filipino household. Silver fish is popularly used for this dish. As the Philippines is composed of dozens of provinces and thousands of islands, cooking styles and ingredients used in local dishes have certain variations. Yet, the basic recipe in a silver fish paksiw always uses fish, onion, garlic, ginger and vinegar as main ingredients -- regardless of regional style.

Things You'll Need

  • Stove
  • Pan
  • Stainless casserole, steel pot or traditional clay cooking pot
  • 1 lb. (.5 kg) silverfish (cleaned and scales removed)
  • 2 thumb-size pcs. of ginger sliced into slivers
  • 3 to 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1/2 piece of chopped small onion
  • 2 to 3 pcs. of green long chili
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt or fish sauce (locally called patis)
  • Pepper
  • Heat a cooking pot on low heat.

  • Pour vinegar and water to the cooking pot; let it simmer from low to medium heat for about 5 minutes.

  • Add the silver fish, garlic, onions, chilli and ginger to the pot and stir. Depending on your preferences, add a small amount of pepper, salt or fish sauce to season the mixture to taste. Keep the stove on medium heat, then reduce it to medium-low upon boiling.

  • Cover and simmer the paksiw for about 10 to 15 minutes more.

  • Turn off the stove and transfer the paksiw to a serving bowl.

  • Serve the paksiw with rice.

Tips & Warnings

  • Paksiw has many variations and can include other kinds of fish and meat such as milkfish, pork or chicken. Some variations also add coconut milk to make the dish milkier and tastier.
  • Depending on your taste, add water to the simmered dish if it gets too sour or salty. If too bland, you may add more pepper, fish sauce or salt until you get your desired taste.
  • Use other vegetables like okra, eggplant and bitter gourd in a paksiw to add more flavor.
  • For better taste, Filipinos generally use a traditional clay pot when cooking paksiw, compared to the modern stainless steel pot or casserole dish. Many Filipino restaurants prefer using traditional clay pots for cooking paksiw. However; most Filipino households don't have traditional clay pots in their sets of cooking utensils anymore.
  • Avoid overcooking the paksiw, especially if you add coconut milk, as this results in an unpleasant smell to the dish.

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