I don't know what the English term for paksiw is, and I did not really know whether what I was doing was really "paksiw" nor do I know if there is an accurate recipe for making paksiw.
Well, put simply, any fish cooked with crush garlic and ginger, drizzle of vinegar, some salt and freshly milled black pepper, and (as my father taught me when I was a child) a little bit of oil, can be aptly called paksiw.
Now, ever since I have been attempting to cook this, I never really measured. Everything is approximation. A friend suggested I try to taste the mixture first without the fish, but I haven't done so, mainly because of habit (well, my father's habit, that is) that you put all solid ingredients in the pan first (except salt and pepper), with the fish cuts placed as a single layer on top of ginger and garlic, then approximately sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with some vinegar (to cover with thin layer every piece of fish you have on the pan) and about 1 tbsp of oil to top. Cover and cook on low heat for about 20-30 minutes. (Do not mix, or the vinegar won't cook!)
Well, the photo here shows tomatoes...Where are the tomatoes in the procedure I described above???
My friend Fe visited me several weeks ago with lots of tomatoes from her garden (I had processed/canned mine so I had no fresh tomatoes by that time) and suggested we add those to the paksiw. She also brought filleted salmon which she and her husband caught from the seas of Alaska, frozen right there. So, about three big tomatoes cut into chunks were placed on top of the fish cuts, and I added some more salt to approximate how much it would take to neutralize the acidity/sourness of the tomatoes. What resulted was the best-tasting paksiw I (we) have ever had!
Approximate amounts of ingredients to serve as some sort of a guide(try at your own risk!):
4 cloves garlic crushed
2-thumbs size of ginger, pelled and crushed then cut to chunks
2 lb salmon fillet cut into serving portions
1/4 cup of vinegar (this really is a big guess, maybe 1/2 cup???)
1-2 tsp salt (I am guessing here, but actually salt to taste, depending on your taste buds)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (I used the pepper mill)
1 tbsp of oil
3 big red tomatoes cut into chunks
Goodluck to anyone who will try this recipe!
"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister
A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!