Isda Inun-unan Recipe (Fish Cooked in Vinegar)
Isda inun-unan is the Visayan version of paksiw na isda, a classic Filipino fish recipe in which the fish is cooked in vinegar, spices, and bits of vegetables. The dish is so delicious that you won’t notice you’ve consumed more rice than necessary. Good for your tummy—but probably bad for your diet.
Scroll down for video
You can use any kind of fish for the isda inun-unan recipe depending on your preference, but the budget-conscious prefer to make it with milkfish, galunggong, and other inexpensive yet equally good-tasting fish varieties. As for the vegetables, ampalaya (bitter gourd), which surprisingly doesn’t make the soup bitter at all, and eggplant frequently make the list of ingredients.
Rabbitfish, however, is used for this recipe as its flesh is soft and tasty. The only problem is you can’t eat the belly part of the rabbitfish as it tends to taste bitter if not properly cleaned. Bangus (milkfish), on the other hand, makes a great fish for this recipe, especially the head and belly part (not so much for the body and tail part as it’s full of bones). It tastes so good that it takes twice the amount of time to finish eating the upper half of the fish than usual because people love to savor its taste by sucking the meat (especially around the eyes and the brain) until only the bones are left.
Get ready to use your bare hands when eating isda inun-unan to fully enjoy the dish.
How to Cook Isda Inun-unan
- 1 kg fish of your choice, properly cleaned, innards removed
- 1 medium-size ampalaya, cleaned and sliced
- 1 medium-size Chinese eggplant, sliced
- 1 small-size onion, chopped
- 1 thumb ginger, sliced
- 5 pc long green chili
- 1 tsp whole peppercorn
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Salt to taste
- Put the water, vinegar, ginger, onion, fish, salt, and whole peppercorn in a cooking pot. Cover it and bring to a boil.
- Once it boils, adjust the heat to low and continue cooking for 15 minutes.
- Add the chili, ampalaya, and eggplant. Cover the pot again and continue cooking until the liquid is reduced, leaving a bit of thin soup.