Paksiw na Tulingan / Fish & Vegetable Stew with Vinegar


The crew is thrilled to have a palayok in the house. It must remind them of their home cooking and they gamely cooked up several dishes while I basically observed… This incredibly simple dish of slices of tulingan (a meaty, oilier fish) were thrown into a palayok along with slices of ginger, some peeled cloves of garlic, vinegar, salt, siling mahaba or finger chillies, some okra, eggplants and a little water. After coming to a boil with the top of the palayok open, a half tablespoon of vegetable oil was added. This final step was deemed necessary by the crew to enhance the flavor of the paksiw… to help “spread” it around… So simple. So delicious. Perfect with lots of rice. The flavor of this paksiw seemed more intense than if cooked in a metal pot. I am convinced that there are serious pluses as a result of cooking in a palayok. It may be my imagination, or not, but so far everything we have cooked in a palayok seems to taste better…



18 Responses

  1. How about sinaing na tulingan in a pot? My granny always cook sinaing and adobong Batangas using a pot. We still cook some dishes using palayok ‘coz like you concluded, we think palayok cooking makes a difference with the quality of the dish.

  2. Just like Tulip, we prepare sinaing na tulingan in a palayok. We also cook a similar dish with tanguinge and add pork fat which when done, becomes chicharon-like in texture. Really, really good with a big plate of steamed rice.

  3. Paksiw and sinaing na tulingan are the two dishes that I love but can never cook for myself in the States. Impossible to find tulingan, plus no palayok!

    Fried-neurons, have you tried crisp-fried sinaing na tulingan? You might change your mind. :-)

  4. I totally agreed with you, Tulip and Trish – palayok does great justice in paksiw and to add another layer of flavor in a fish paksiw the addition of one only one dice-cubed pork fat that will render its fat. To me paksiw is good the day after it’s cooked or least let it sit for six hours after cooking with lots of garlic sinangag to chase away the vats and vampires!

  5. back home in pampanga, if i see a palayok in the kitchen, it’s either paksiw or humba… both dish of which we cook only in palayok… i guess there is a chemical interaction between vinegar and any aluminum pots that is not there in a clay pot that makes food in the latter taste better… karen of the pilgrim pots and pan even cooked spaghetti sauce in a palayok…

  6. Trishlovesbread, Bonita is the common term for tulingan in the US. And they are really common in most Oriental seafood markets.

  7. Tulingan is famous in Batangas. I had seen alot of patients who had severe allergic reactions to this fish ( from difficulty of breathing to urticaria ( larger allergic lesions). Majority of them needed not only antihistaminic but also steroids.

    MM, its like you are always having a picnic in your household. I remember eating in Baguio using banana leaves and using barehands when we went there in the 80 ‘s. What a nice experience. Its also nice eating outdoors for a change.

  8. we use the smaller tulingans, we put a vertical slit in the middle where we put a generous amount of rock salt, then we flatten the fish with the palm of the hand and simmer with kamias and bits of pork fat. a-ah, e kasarap :)

  9. haha. this fish my husband can’t have anymore. he suddenly became allergic to it in a very bad way. he couldn’t breath and we had to bring him to the ER. that was our worst dinner experience. at that time, the culprit tulingan was swimming amongst boiled young langka/nangka in a sea of coconut milk. i don’t think it helped that bagoong was used in place of part of the salt called for. paksiw these days at home would be tuna and tanguigui. :) with or without veggies. with or without coconut milk. with or without taba ng baboy. yumminess!

  10. I stopped eating tulingan after I read an article in a foodie magazine about severe reactions to toxins present in the fish if it is prepared in the wrong way. We did not grow up eating this fish so no one in the house knows how to prepare it properly. I’d rather not play Russian roulette.

  11. to suzette: we prepare our tulingan the same way too except that a year ago, we decided to stop using pork fats. So now I use olive oil or any other vegetable oil when olive oil is not available. Sometimes when I am not feeling so lazy, I add minced garlic in the super hot oil then when its almost brown I just pour all it to the pot of newly-cooked sinaing na tulingan. Grabe, ang sarap na, ang bango pa. We also use dried kamias, I’ve never tried using fresh ones. Hmmnn… I should do that next time I find fresh kamias in the market.

  12. Thanks Ted! And about the nasty allergies–I heard that something in the tulingan’s tail area causes that. I guess fishmongers really have to know what they are doing. Can anyone say a little more about this toxin?

  13. ok, this post did it!.. you have convinced me to buy a palayok. I grew up eating sinaing na tulingan . Sometimes we ate it like this other times they would fry the sinaing until crisp and then we would dip it in mayonaisse and/or pickles..yum!

  14. this dish reminds me so much of my childhood — but it was very little appreciated back then by me. what i would give to have a palayok and tulingan — quite a challenge now that i’m based in europe!

    an enhanced version of this recipe is to add coconut milk, and keep it cooking on low heat until the sauce becomes thick, and the fishbones become so tender, you can practically eat everything. dried kamias, instead of okra, makes the dish just perfect!!! best done in a palayok, naturally.

  15. i grew up loving this dish, especially ginataan, prinito or just plain paksiw na tulingan…I even crave this more now that i’m pregnant but i can’t find any bonita here in canada…anyways,i was always told that you should always buy fresh tulingan, and clean it carefully, because wrong handling means it will be itchy when you eat it, AND the most important thing is, you should COOK IT PAKSIW style before you make it as prinito or guinataan.

  16. to all tulingan enthusiast ,i have discovered that we can use any slow cooker pot instead of PALAYOK it serves the same purpose and taste… yummy too….set to low for couple of hours and thats it…ala eh kainam… better if you buy with timer so you can leave while at work, then when come home you can put gata or prito mo…good for steam rice



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