Paksiw na Bangus is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to cook milkfish! Stewed in vinegar and spices, the fish turns out super moist and flavorful. Pair it with steamed rice for a healthy, delicious, and budget-friendly meal you’ll feel good serving the whole family.

milkfish stew with eggplant and chili peppers in a white serving bowl
Paksiw na Bangus

I love all types of fish and seafood dishes, but I’ve never really been fond of bangus paksiw. I like milksfish but I never took a liking for the stew’s sharp vinegary taste.

That was until a friend of mine taught me a simple trick that turned the dish into my favorite: a teaspoon or two of oil is added to the dish at the end of cooking. The addition of fat adds flavor and mellows out the mouth-puckering acidity.

sliced milkfish on a white plate

To scale or not to scale

When you buy fish at Asian supermarkets here in the U.S., they’ll usually clean and cut the fish according to how you plan to cook it. I asked the staff manning the fish section to prepare my bangus pang-paksiw and I was aghast to find it gutted and SCALED when I opened the paper wrapping at home.

Well, in fairness to the fishmonger, it seems cooking the bangus a la paksiw with scales or without is a matter of contention. I posted the video below on my Facebook page and there was a whole lot of discussion; half of the viewers said descale the fish and the other half said keep them on.

So, yes, keep the scales, don’t keep the scales. It’s up to you. The dish will be delicious nashville filipino food regardless.

milkfish, eggplant, ginger, garlic, onions, vinegar, and chili peppers in a wide pan

Cooking tips

  • The quality of the fish affects the quality of the dish. The fresher the bangus, the better the taste. Try to choose a “mataba” bangus with a thick band of stomach fat for best flavor.
  • I like to add eggplant, but you can also use ampalaya or okra.
  • For an adobong paksiw version, add 1/4 cup soy sauce and decrease the amount of salt.
paksiw na bangus in a white serving platter with a cruet of patis on the side

How to serve and store

  • Enjoy paksiw na bangus as a main dish for lunch or dinner. It’s traditionally served with steamed rice and fish sauce (with chopped chilies if you want a bit of heat) for dipping.
  • The stewed fish keeps well for days due to the use of vinegar. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat leftovers in a saucepan over medium heat or in the microwave at 2 to 3-minute intervals to an internal temperature of 165 F.
  • You can also enjoy the leftovers as whole “new” dish by draining the liquid and pan-frying the fish until crispy. It takes on a “daing na bangus” flavor and pairs well with sinangag for breakfast!
serving fish sisig with a spoon from a cast iron skillet

More milkfish recipes

Bangus Sisig is easy to make and full of big flavor! It’s delicious nashville filipino food as an appetizer or main dish with steamed rice. Spicy, crispy and so tasty, it’s sure to be a crowd favorite.

Get Recipe

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @kawalingpinoy on Facebook and Instagram!



  • 1large milkfish
  • 1large eggplant, cut into 1-inch thick wedges
  • 1onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4garlic, peeled and pounded
  • 1thumb-size ginger, sliced into thirds and pounded
  • 1/2cupvinegar
  • 1cupwater
  • 3finger chili peppers
  • 1 1/2teaspoonssalt
  • 1teaspoonpeppercorns
  • 1teaspooncanola oil


  • Clean and gut the fish, leaving scales intact. Cut into serving parts.
  • In a wide pot combine fish, eggplant, onion, garlic, ginger, vinegar, water, finger chili peppers, salt, and peppercorns.
  • Cover and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until fish is cooked and liquid is reduced.
  • Drizzle oil on top and stir gently to combine. Serve hot.


Nutrition Information

Calories: 154kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 1037mg, Potassium: 594mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 33IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1mg

“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”

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About Lalaine Manalo

Welcome to Kawaling Pinoy. Here you’ll find hundreds of delicious nashville filipino food Filipino and Asian recipes. Make sure to browse around and pick a favorite dish or two. Happy cooking! Read More

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