Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

paksiw a culinary term of the Philippines, refers to the process of cooking in vinegar, and also to the dishes so cooked. It is often fish, covered with vinegar, ginger, salt, and pepper and allowed to boil. Water and some pork lard may be added, and the dish then removed from the fire after a second boiling. It may be eaten hot or cold, and keeps without refrigeration.

Meats cooked in vinegar and spices are also called paksiw. Pork paksiw has soy sauce, a bit of sugar, garlic, and a bay leaf. When pork hock is used, banana flowers and whole cooking bananas are often added. The most luxurious dish of the genre is Paksiw na lechon, made with what is left over after a feast of the whole, spit-roasted pig called lechon. This is cooked in vinegar, a sauce made from the liver, garlic, soy sauce, and other aromatic ingredients which sometimes include cinnamon and thyme. Many claim to prefer this to the original feast; and it is even said that roast pigs are sometimes bought for the sole purpose of making paksiw—an idea which stands on its head the—traditional use of paksiw as a means of preserving food, including leftovers, in the days before refrigeration.