25 Apr2009

Inun-unan na Dilis

by Marketman


The smell of inun-unan (paksiw) na isda is something I can identify blindfolded. My mom cooked this dish often and it was definitely a comfort food for her and my dad. I wasn’t a fan of the dish as a kid. Today, I appreciate the simple yet satisfying dish a lot more… and when the crew gets back from the fish market, they often prepare a simple late breakfast or early lunch with whatever they find at the market that was incredibly fresh… This morning that dish was inun-unan na dilis.


Rinse the fish and place it in a pot with vinegar, a little water, salt, ginger, garlic and chillies and let it boil gently until cooked. Some folks add a touch of fat or even patis. The one time we made a similar dish in a palayok, I thought it tasted even better than those cooked in stainless or aluminum pots (actually, don’t use aluminum pots if you are cooking with a lot of acid like vinegar). They also made a seaweed salad to have with the inun-unan/paksiw. Yum.




  1. reel & grill says:

    simple and easy but delicious and utterly satisfying with a lot of hot steamed rice…..and of course that salad on the side will make you consume even more…..

    Apr 25, 2009 | 2:23 pm


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  3. ing says:

    my parents and grandmother used to cook this at home, in cebu. and i missed it a lot now, especially the seaweeds like guso and lato. yummy…
    i can even smell it from here… hehehe…

    Apr 25, 2009 | 2:34 pm

  4. quiapo says:

    In Australia small fish known as whiting are about the same size as dilis, which I cook as Ukoy, but paksiw is a really good idea, which I’ll try next time.

    Apr 25, 2009 | 3:43 pm

  5. bernadette says:

    i really do not like paksiw or inun-unan (also the name in Bicol) but I love it when it gets fried after several days!

    Apr 25, 2009 | 3:57 pm

  6. quiapo says:

    the Austraian fish is known as whitebait, not whiting, my apologies.

    Apr 25, 2009 | 4:04 pm

  7. Sam says:

    I love it wrapped in banana leaves and cooked the same way, but like bernadette, I go crazy with the fried leftovers!!!! Yum!

    Apr 25, 2009 | 5:08 pm

  8. mrs lavendula says:

    fried dilis, especially when spicy is delicious!

    Apr 25, 2009 | 6:37 pm

  9. EbbaMyra says:

    On my last visit to Quezon Province last year, a passing fish vendor was adamant in showing me what she got in her basket, she knew I was a Balikbayan and that I would wanted a bigger fish than the Dilis she have. Well, I bought all of what she got and cooked it paksiw style, the way I remember my Nanay does it. Wrapped in Banana leaves, add fresh kamias, whole peppercorn, salt, and fresh coco vinegar. Cooked slow in palayok.. gosh, it was lunch & dinner. And the left over, next morning, fried and eaten with sinangag. It was heaven.

    Apr 25, 2009 | 10:29 pm

  10. Jun b says:

    This post reminds me of my father who likes kilawin na Dilis. He will soak a large dilis on a native vinegar till it was cooked then mixed with lots of ginger, spring onions, freshly ground pepper, and green sili. If God will give me another chance to spend a day with my parents. I will definitely spend a day cooking for them their favorite dish….Ahhh Food it always bring back happy memories.

    Apr 25, 2009 | 11:52 pm

  11. Maria says:

    THIS is the kind of inun-unan i’ve been craving for. I love this with lugaw! Thanks MM.

    Apr 26, 2009 | 5:52 am

  12. natie says:

    the best, MM!!!

    Apr 26, 2009 | 9:30 am

  13. Lizzy says:

    Yummy! When I was a kid growing up in Leyte, my mom would cook paksiw with the fish wrapped in young mango leaves (the soft ones). She’d make a cone with the leaf, then drop the dilis (bulinaw?) in and somehow end up with a triangular shaped package that she’d layer in an earthen pot (daba). Fragrant and delicious! Ah, the memories… :)

    Apr 26, 2009 | 9:42 am

  14. lee says:


    Apr 26, 2009 | 10:45 am

  15. Marketman says:

    lee, :) how do you maintain form for quips like that on a Sunday morning?

    Apr 26, 2009 | 11:07 am

  16. kaye says:

    i love this but i always put a dab of soy sauce to the boiling liquid, lessens the acidity for me.. simple and delicious.. now am hungry again..

    Apr 26, 2009 | 11:12 am

  17. sanojmd says:

    my mom used to add fresh kamias on this dish and it is so good even if its already 3 day old..she also wrapped this in banana leaves..we call this in the quezon province “sinaing”. i miss this dish.. cant do this here because its hard to find fresh anchovies here in the asian shops..

    Apr 26, 2009 | 2:53 pm

  18. dishesandplaces says:

    my mom does this around once a month using different fish – palayok and all. i do like the paksiw taste but not being a fish person, i usually just have a taste.

    what i love is eating the sili :) i soak my rice with the broth, dip the sili in patis and chow down

    Apr 26, 2009 | 3:15 pm

  19. paolo says:

    inun-unan! wow! talk about comfort food! here its called “pinamalhan”. are you from Cebu MarketMan?

    Apr 26, 2009 | 5:41 pm

  20. marilen rodriguez says:

    love all these comfort food! and the reminiscences that go with it. thank you, MM, for bringing such an electic choice to the table – one day, mozzarella and the next day, dilis.

    Apr 26, 2009 | 8:45 pm

  21. theknittymommy says:

    Love this dish. I grew up with this in my house as part of breakfast with scrambled eggs and steamed white rice. How I wish I could still replicate this dish here in the States. Where might I find fresh dilis here?

    Apr 26, 2009 | 10:05 pm

  22. lee says:

    browsing marketmanila before breakfast sharpens the brain and the appetite

    Apr 27, 2009 | 12:01 am

  23. Apicio says:

    Good thing I decided to give your malunggay pod post a once over to realize that I almost missed Joy’s comment and your reply.
    She needs to drop the letter j from her nom de porn. Oy is both succint and accurate.

    Apr 27, 2009 | 2:29 am

  24. natie says:

    ..lee is just a wordsmith–a word-wizard.

    Apr 27, 2009 | 4:18 am

  25. millet says:

    my mom-in-law would never eat breakfast without paksiw of some kind, but one of the versions i grew to love was paksiw na dilis wrapped in turmeric (luyang dilaw) leaves.

    Apr 27, 2009 | 6:58 am

  26. alicia says:

    Wow that looks delicious- reminds me of something my late grandmother would have made.

    Apr 27, 2009 | 8:09 am

  27. diday says:

    Like Lizzy’s mom, my mother used to wrap the ‘inun-unan bolinao’ in young mango leaves with ‘mantika sa baboy’ and chillies.

    Apr 27, 2009 | 11:26 am

  28. Gener says:

    Anchovies can be prepared in many ways and the most preffered for me is kinilaw..My first time of tasting it was in muscat,oman few years ago when one of my bisaya friend prepared it,(fortunately we just get it free and fresh from the fishermen on the beaches) it is very delicious with lemon,onion leaf, ginger and black pepper. it was so easy to prepare even removing its bones..taste is fantastic with minimal amount of salt and chilli…raw is the best after all…

    Apr 27, 2009 | 5:59 pm

  29. Ted says:

    theknittymommy, dilis (anchovies) are used for bait here in the U.S. so if you want to get them, try going to the bait and tackle shops, they probably have them in their freezer section. But if you have an oriental store (Seafood city or Ranch 99) in your area, it is available in their wet stalls as well.

    I love fried dilis on champorado.

    Apr 28, 2009 | 5:30 am

  30. ac says:

    seeing this makes me miss home…i had inun-unan just now but salmon inun-unan though…i love this but i usually eat leaving the bones..yes, i would paintakingly remove the meat from the bones…=P cheers!

    May 3, 2009 | 5:07 am

  31. Rcjavi says:

    I love this!!! I know we don’t use Dilis though, my yaya used to make this with Tawilis. I loved it fried too. Since my dad is from Taal, we always eat this fried with tsokolate(tablea), sinangag,and tomatoes for breakfast. I suddenly missed home, it’s crazy how food can just bring you back to the past like it was just yesterday.

    May 28, 2009 | 3:16 am

  32. Eden Claire says:

    my Papa served inun-unan to us always, when I was little….now, my niece is getting the same dish :) and is becoming her fave at age 1 yr old and 8 months!

    Aug 26, 2009 | 12:48 pm

  33. mba says:

    This reminds me of how my mother used to preapare a dish so similar to this…sometimes she uses dulong. The fish is wrapped in banana leaves and stacked on top of one another in a clay pot, with kamias (or sampalok) and/or tomatoes piled on top…and seasoned to cook in a slow lo heat.
    You have a great site and I just love reading through it and being transported to wonderful memories of yesteryears while reminding me of the lovely unique products that our country offers. I am still yearning to put up some kind of store or outlet to showcase these items/products that we/I do not see here in my state and can all be proud of.


    Oct 4, 2010 | 3:58 am

  34. henry says:

    Does anyone know where to buy large volume of dilis here in the Philippines?


    Jan 14, 2011 | 7:42 pm


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