"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!

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Ginataang Hito (Catfish in Coconut Milk)

Catfish is one of the few fish variety that goes really really well with coconut milk cooked until creamy. I love it also grilled, because it's high fat content just makes it so ideal for grilling, and gives its yummy taste. Hubby never likes fatty fish, though.

My sons also love this ginataang hito. If not for the tedious task of removing fish bones, they would not really have anything against any fish dish I prepare. They love anything seafood.


2 catfish, cut into serving pieces
3 tbsp oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp sliced and mashed ginger
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cup unsalted (or barely salted) lobster broth (or water)
chunks of squash (I like mine with the skin still on; the amount depends on you; I put about 2 cups)
1 14-oz coconut milk (Premium; I use Thai brand)
1 bunch bok choy, cut at 1- to 2-inch intervals
salt and pepper to taste


Sautee garlic, ginger and onion. Add broth or water, let boil and add fish; season with salt and pepper. Simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and squash, simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add the bok choy, stems first then greens and let simmer covered another 5 minutes. If at the end of this period, the sauce is still watery and the veggies cooked fully, remove the fish, squash and veggies so as not to overcook and transfer to a bowl. Increase heat to evaporate some more liquid off the sauce then stop when creamy. Do not let it get into the oily stage. Adjust taste with salt and pepper. Pour onto the fish and veggies.


  1. this looks good.. too bad I don't like hito, though. maybe i'd substitute with another fish?

  2. Oh boy! Manang, fishing season is here and we will get to catch a lot of catfish, channel and whitecatfish. Waaaaaaaaa.... I will try this one Manang. Thank you so much.

    But you know, the more we catch catfish and get to see how Tim skinned it, for some reason, I don't like it that much anymore. hehehe... I do sometimes though.

  3. I love catfish but my husband is not a big fan - perhaps he ate too much of it when we were living in North Carolina and Georgia where it's more common. Now that we're in MN (walleye is the popular fish here - much more expensive) I'm craving some catfish! Maybe I can find some frozen filets at the grocery . . .

  4. Yay! Thanks for posting this recipe. Is a similar recipe added with a splash of vinegar be called anything else, or would it still be called ginataang?


  5. Jescel,
    If you like tilapia, you can substitute that, whether cooked directly or fried first.

    lucky you, your husband goes fishing. Mine does not! So I wait for my SIL to hand me some of their catch. Are channel and white catfish good eating? I have tried trout and they are good, too!

    Is walleye good eating? I don't think I have seen one around here.
    I got my catfish from the Asian store...a once to twice a week indulgence :)

  6. battleajah,
    I would think that would be called adobo sa gata.

  7. Hello Manang, we caught a lot of catfish the other day and I was looking for a recipe and I found yours... Thanks for posting this.

  8. Hi Hazel,
    You are welcome! I hope you like it!
    Now I am jealous that you can catch catfish. The only way I can get them is frozen :(

  9. Thank you for this recipe, I'll try it today, see how it goes. Thanks again, Ken

  10. That was delicious, thanks!

    Greetings from Switzerland


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