Pasko Paksiw Pasko Paksiw Pasko Paksiw

I might be over with this Filipino tongue twister but absolutely not to the real taste of Paksiw any time of the year.

Paksiw is an authentic Filipino method of cooking meat in vinegar. This style originated from our early ancestors when the comfort of refrigerators don't exist yet. Thus, to prolong the life of dishes, they poached fishes in vinegar, the only natural preservative they can avail.

Vinegar has acetic acid that kills microbes and stalls food spoilage and so Filipinos use them a lot, and to no surprise, there comes paksiw na isda, paksiw na baboy and paksiw na lechon, paksiw paksiw paksiw. I nearly got sick of it but no Filipino household survives without paksiw.

Unfortunately kids these days rarely see the authentic paksiw na isda, or even smell the simmering blend of vinegar, fish and spices. In provinces, neighbours would usually know when someone is cooking paksiw because of its (nakakagutom, nakakalaway) salivating aroma.

I would admit I didn't like paksiw when I was young but it was a treasure being brought up from a home of hot bowl of rice and steaming paksiw on Saturday mornings.

It’s still quite vivid from my childhood how I hated the smell of paksiw whenever my father, Rodrigo, an Ilongo from Negros Occidental cooks a pot enough to last for three days. He loved his paksiw using sapsap (butterfish) in sukang tuba (coconut fermented vinegars) and a gracious amount of red onions, crushed garlic, and fresh ginger. He would carefully arrange the spices and fishes in his favourite pot and the smell would stick in his hand. He would try to cuddle me and my brother and we would run because we don’t like the smell of spices.

But it’s too late for me when I began to like paksiw especially that of bangus milkfish, Papa passed away when I began to love cooking. I had no chance to cook him his favourite paksiw.

But thanks to mama who fashioned me into loving the mess and joy of cooking .Whenever I cook paksiw I relish every memory I have with papa cooking paksiw na sapsap (butterfish) and the aroma that I once hated but now loved.

Writing this I thought, paksiw is indeed more than a method. To those who were before us, they left us a heritage, to dad, he left me a legacy I will promise to pass on even to my kids no matter how they whine.

So come and join me in this nostalgic traditional dish slowly replaced by hotdogs on weekend mornings.


2 pieces fish (I prefer bangus or milkfish), cleaned and scales removed

1 knob ginger, sliced and pounded

6 cloves garlic, skin removed

1 medium onion, sliced

1 small bitter gourd, chopped (optional)

3 medium eggplants (optional)

3 pieces finger chili

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon whole peppercorn

1/2 cup vinegar 

1 cup water


1.      Heat cooking pot then  pour-in vinegar and water.

2.      Add salt and whole peppercorn then stir. Bring to a boil.

3.      Arrange the fish in the pan along with the ginger, garlic, onion, bitter gourd, eggplants, and finger chili. 

4.      Cover and simmer in low to medium heat.

5.      Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate.

6.      Serve hot with steamed rice. 

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 Kare-kare is the epitome of Filipino comfort food.

There are a several stories about the origin of this all time Filipino favoritE, Kare Kare. First, it says the dish came from Pampanga, which is considered as the culinary center of the Philippines. Others believe that it is a noble dish served to Moro elite who once settled in Manila before the arrival of the Spaniards. Another origin states that this traditional dish is credited to the Indian curry introduced by Indians who lived in the area of Cainta, Rizal and it is also somewhat similar to the Indonesian dish called Gado-Gado. And the name Kare Kare is derived from the Japanese word Kare which might have been contributed by the Japanese while doing business in the Philippines during the pre-colonial times.

Wherever it may have came from, one thing is clear, kare-kare sums up what Filipino food is all about!

To start mastering this complex dish, be ready for the fun and mess! 

Below is the recipe:
Kare Kare Ingredients:

2 lbs ox tail or hocks
1 lb beef round or short ribs
Sea salt
2 large onions
8 cups water

Sauce and Vegetables

2 ½ cups whole peanuts
1/3 cup  rice
2 onions
4 tbsp annatto oil (please see note)
2 eggplants
¼ bundle string beans
1/2 bundle pechay
1 piece of banana bud/heart

To Serve

2 garlic cloves
1 onion
1/3 cup bagoong (fermented shrimp paste)



To cook the meat, heat a large deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Then season the meat on all sides with salt. Add the oil to the pan and brown the meat. While the meat is browning, peel and roughly chop the onions. When the meat has browned on both sides, transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the onions. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and brown. Once golden, add the seared beef back to the pan. Cover the ingredients with water enough to cover the meat. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 3 to 5 hours or until the meat are fork tender.

At this point, scoop out the meat and transfer them into a plate, then strain out the other ingredients. Cool down the stock and place them (stock and meat) in the fridge, covered, before proceeding with the recipe the following day.

To prepare the other ingredients, first remove the fat from the surface of the beef stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Next, toast the peanuts in a large pan, stirring occasionally until light golden brown. Allow the nuts to cool down and process them in a grinder  until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl. Next, grind the raw rice in a spice grinder and toast the in a pan until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a bowl with the ground nuts. Add enough of the hot stock to form a paste and set aside.

To prepare the vegetables, peel and chop the onion, slice the eggplants into 1-inch thick, snap each leaf of pechay from stalk, cut the string beans into 2-inch pieces and cut the banana bud half lengthwise, then into 1-inch pieces crosswise. Soak the cut banana heart in water with a little vinegar.

To prepare the bagoong, peel and thinly slice the garlic and the onions. Heat oil in pan over low heat and add the sliced garlic and onions, and cook until soft. Add the bagoong and cook until the mixture is fragrant. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

To cook the Kare Kare, heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan and sweat the onions, followed by the salt. Cook until the onions are soft. Add 5 cups of the simmering stock and peanut mixture, stirring with a whisk until combined. Then add the beef and let it simmer for 15 minutes until tender. Stir the mixture occasionally. Next, add the eggplant, string beans, banana heart and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add more water if the mixture is too thick then season with salt to  taste. Allow to simmer for another 2 minutes and take it off the heat.

To serve the Kare Kare, ladle the dish into a bowl and serve with plain steamed rice and bagoong.

If one is to describe paklay, 2 out of 10 might just disagree because it’s a different paklay they grew up with.

Paklay or pinaklay, where did it come from?

I’ve been diligently researching about this delectable exotic spicy dish from mamang's boxes of culinary books but I unfortunately found none.Yes, not even a single recipe.

No choice but to sit on my laptop and read the limited online sources. Googling, I learned three things.

One, Paklay is the generic term for something that is sliced thinly into strips

Second, It is not limited to bamboo shoots as Paklay is commonly termed as pinaklay na tambo (stripped bamboo shoots).

Third, it is original among Cebuanos and Ilongos.

The Paklay of Cebu and some parts of Mindanao is made up of beef, goat or pork innards usually tripe, liver and heart, sautéed and cooked with ginger and chilies.

My mom, though was not an Ilongga and a pure kapampangan cooks the best paklay in the world (which of course I know any other child would also claim).

So, let’s not take the bait and I’ll just share you this equally salty and sourly paklay recipe.


1/2 kilo beef tripe, cut into strips, boiled till tender, reserve broth
1/4 kilo beef liver (and heart in available), boiled, cut into strips
1/4 kilo beef tenderloin or sirloin, cut into strips
3 cups fresh young pineapple, cut into cubes
3 cups labong, bamboo shoot, sliced/cut into strips, boiled, drained
1 large size red or green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 large size onions, sliced
1 head garlic, chopped
2 thumb size ginger, cut into thin strips
3-4 pcs. siling haba, green chili, cut crosswise
2-3 pcs. siling labuyo, chopped
1-2 tbsp. sampalok sinigang mix, optional
1/4 cup patis, fish sauce
salt and pepper
cooking oil


In a saucepan sauté garlic, ginger and onion. Add in beef meat, beef tripe, liver (and heart if using), pineapple, bamboo shoot, and fish sauce stir cook for 3-5 minutes. Now add in 2 cups of broth (from boiling the beef tripe) and sampalok sinigang mix if using, bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until most of the broth has evaporated. Add in siling labuyo, siling haba, bell pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.

Buwad,bulad, daing, tuyo no matter how we call it this sun-dried fish really has this smell that when sautéed to a sweltering tomatoes can make you three times hungrier.

Dried fish is an all time-Filipino favourite. Aside from dipping it in sinamak (spiced vinegar) there are many other ways of eating tuyo and one of this is braising in a perfect amount of garlic, onions and tomatoes to make an awesome sarciadong tuyo.
Here’s how:


    200 grams meaty dried fish

    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

    2 pieces medium size onion, sliced into rings or chopped coarsely

    1-2 thumb size ginger, cut into strips

    3-4 pieces onion, chopped coarsely

    2 tbsp. chopped parsley, kinchay

    1/2 small size bell pepper, cut into strips

    red or green chili, sliced (optional)

    spring onion for garnishing

    cooking oil

    1 tsp. sugar


  1. Soaking the dried fish to 30 to 1 hour with water is the best but if you are in a hurry, you can just fry the dried fish directly. Batch by batch, fry all the 200 grams dried fish
  2. Set aside the fried dried fish and drain the oil from it
  3. Have another pan and pour 2 to 3 tbsp. of cooking oil. Heat the pan until smoke starts to come out.
  4. Try to add in the garlic, ginger followed by onion and the tomato.
  5. Now, stir cook for about half a minute until the tomatoes are wilted.
  6. Add 2/3 cup of water.
  7. Let it boil for a few seconds.
  8. This time, lay flat the fried dried fish together with the parsley, chili, sugar and the bell pepper.
  9. Lastly, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. You can see that the juice of the spices and water are about a half.
  10. Serve and enjoy eating but don't forget to spring with onion garnishing.

Serve best:

This is again a good match for your rice meal.

Reference: http://alphapx.hubpages.com

"I always love coconut and I always love crab. But how can I put these two fantastic flavors together?", I asked mom.
And my mom answered:
 “simple,do it in a ginataan way!"

Ginataan means cooked in coconut milk. Cooking seafood in coconut milk is common in Philippine Cuisine because Filipinos find it awesome when the flavor of crab is absorbed by the coconut milk which makes it perfect when eaten with rice.

  • 3 lbs blue crabs (Alimasag)
  • 2 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, minced
  • 1 knob ginger, cut into thin strips
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 6 pieces Thai chili

C O O K I N G   P R O C E D U R E
  1. In a large pot, sauté the garlic, onion, and ginger
  2. Add the ground black pepper and coconut milk then bring to a boil
  3. Put-in the shrimp paste and fish sauce and cook until the coconut milk’s texture is thick and natural oil comes out of it (approximately 20 ++ minutes)
  4. Add the Thai chili and simmer for 5 minutes
  5. Put the crabs in the pot and mix until evenly covered with coconut milk. Simmer for 5 to 20 minutes. (Note: If crabs were steamed prior to cooking, 5 to 8 minutes is enough)
  6. Add the spinach and simmer for 5 minutes
  7. Serve hot.
Don't you know that when you eat asparagus you also munch in your mouth a royal delicacy?

Asparagus has been revered since ancient times by Greeks and Romans as a prized delicacy. One of the oldest recorded vegetables, it is thought to have originated along the coastal regions of eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor areas.

Botanically this herbaceous perennial plant belongs to the Asparagaceae family. It is closely related to Liliaceae family members which includes onions, garlic, tulip and daffodil

Here are 10 THINGS you should know more about asparagus

  1. Asparagus can be green, white or purple.
  2. Peak season is April through late June.
  3. Choose bright green asparagus stalks with purple-tinged tips.
  4. Look for stalks that have a smooth skin, uniform in color and have a dry, compact tip. Avoid wilted or limp stalks. Shriveled stalks are a sign of age.
  5. To store asparagus, wrap the stem ends in damp paper towels for several days. To extend the life, refrigerate stalks, tips up in a cup of shallow water.
  6. To prepare, trim woody ends from asparagus spears. You can cook the spears as they are, or peel the skin (with a potato peeler) to make stalks more tender.
  7. Asparagus can be broiled, steamed, grilled, roasted or sautéed.
  8. Asparagus is high in fiber, folate and potassium.
  9. Asparagus contains bone-building vitamin K along with many antioxidants, including vitamins E, A and C.
  10. Each spear of asparagus has just 4 calories and contains no fat or cholesterol.

Reference: Farmflavor.com
PLATOPLATITO.COM SUGGESTS:  Garlic Roasted Asparagus


  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus spears, washed and ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place asparagus in large bowl and add in both olive and sesame oil and minced garlic; toss to combine. Arrange spears on large baking sheet and generously sprinkle with sesame seeds. Season with salt.
  3. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until spears reach desired consistency. They should still be a bit crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to serving plate to serve immediately.


    Plato is a collection of authentic Filipino dishes.


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