Paksiw na Sapsap (Butterfish Stewed in Vinegar)

Days ago, I was craving for Paksiw na Sapsap (now i know the English name, it’s Butterfish) and today I cooked it.

Paksiw is the process of cooking in vinegar. It is often fish, boiled in water, vinegar, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. But my paksiw na sapsap is a bit different from the usual, since I don’t add any water . In a low fire, I allow the fish to seep all the vinegar and when it’s done a small amount of cooking oil is being poured.  Putting  onions and green chili pepper to the recipe will also add good taste and will lessen the “lansa”smell of “sapsap”.

For the list of complete ingredients and step by step cooking instructions please refer to the recipe below:

Paksiw na Sapsap

Paksiw na Sapsap


  • 3 pcs. butterfish (about half a pound each), cleaned and gills removed
  • 1 knob ginger, sliced and pounded
  • 6 cloves garlic, skin removed
  • 1 pc. medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 3 pieces green chili pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • a pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cooking oil
  • a pinch of msg.

Cooking Instructions

  • Rub the cleaned fish with salt. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan, arrange fish and put all the ingredients on top except for the cooking oil.
  • Cover and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes in a low fire or until  the vinegar sauce dries up. Then, pour the cooking oil and continue simmering for a minute. Remove from heat before the fish gets toasted.
  • Serve the dish with hot steamed or garlic rice.

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