Sinabawang Isda

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It’s about to rain and the sky is all grey and gloomy here…so instead of following my original plan of posting another homemade ice cream recipe today, I thought of sharing with you a comforting fish and vegetable soup. It’s called Sinabawang IsdaSinabawan came from the root word “sabaw” which means soup. It’s a dish I’ve first tried when I was in Davao, and is very similar to a dish I’ve featured before called PesaIn both dishes, fish is cooked in boiling rice water with ginger and an assortment of vegetables. The only difference I know is that Sinabawang Isda has no onions and has less ginger compared to pesa and there’s no sautéing involved.

Sinabawang Isda is a dish that’s very easy to prepare. Just put everything in a pot of boiling rice water (or plain water)…add some seasoning…wait for a few minutes and voila! You have a delicious, healthy and very comforting meal in no time!

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Sinabawang Isda


  • 1 big fish about 2 lbs., cut into serving pieces (I used red snapper)
  • 6 cups rice water
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
  • about 2 cups green papaya, cut into wedges
  • 10 pcs. okra, stems and tips removed
  • about 2 cups small pechay, washed and trimmed
  • 4 stalks green onions, cut into about 2 inches long
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sprinkle fish with salt. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. In a large saucepan, combine rice water, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add papaya. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add fish and okra. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until fish is cooked. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste.
  3. Add pechay and green onions. Simmer for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat. Serve with hot rice.


Other fish that can be used are tilapya, pompano and lapu-lapu(grouper) Other vegetables that can be used are sayote (pear squash), upo (bottled gourd), sigarilyas (winged beans), Napa cabbage, dahon ng sili (chili leaves), spinach and saluyot (jute leaves).

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For more mouth-watering recipes, please visit me at Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner.  Salamat– Mabuhay!

© 2012 – 2013, Tina a.k.a. PinayInTexas. All rights reserved.

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