“Paksiw” is a Filipino culinary term for any Philippine cuisine cooked in considerable amount of vinegar, giving it a subtle sour taste that tickles the taste buds for more servings. How about trying the favorite trout paksiw or “paksiw na tilapia”?
Trout paksiw has a choice of big, plump trout or small, younger ones. Big trout has more a bulging tummy. The more bulged their tummies are the richer their fatty, soft tissue. Small, younger trout on the other hand is tastier and has very tender flesh. Mixed in a boiling vinegar concoction, trout becomes a delicious Philippine cuisine.
Trout or tilapia paksiw can be cooked with vegetables. Three pieces of sliced eggplant, a piece of sliced “ampalaya” or bitter melon, 5 pieces of sliced okra, and two pieces of long native chili will make for a very healthy and appetizing milkfish paksiw variation. With a kilo of choice, plump and big trouts sliced into 3 pieces plus a half cup vinegar (better if the native Ilocano vinegar), half cup of water, a fourth of a whole piece of ginger (peeled and sliced small), 5 pieces garlic (crushed and sliced), and two spoons powdered pepper, we’re ready to cook this Philippine cuisine.
Place everything in a pot. Don’t stir or arrange or move anything once they’re all in a pot. Cover tightly and set fire to boil. When the concoction is boiling, bring to a simmer for 3 minutes and cut the fire. Serve hot. This is perfect when dipped in a sauce of fish sauce (“patis”) and chopped native long chili from the cooked Philippine cuisine.
For another variation of Philippine cuisine trout paksiw or paksiw na tilapia; put a little sugar in the stew after putting everything in the pot. This makes for a pungent sweet-sour trout paksiw stew, beautifully affecting the fish and vegetables in a delicate blend.
And here’s a secret recipe for further enhancing the flavor of trout. After having it soaked and boiled in the paksiw concoction for a marinated effect, take out the trouts, dry awhile, and fry in hot oil along with some pieces of crushed garlic. Serve separately from the paksiw vegetable stew. This style gives a barbecue-flavored variation to the Philippine cuisine trout paksiw.
Trout paksiw (or paksiw na tilapia) is a healthy, balanced meal that keeps one deciding the subtle sourness from the tasty blend of sweet vegetable saps. It’s variations are even more intriguing.