Monday, February 23, 2009

Catfish Sinigang (Catfish in Sour Broth)

I haven't made this lately, but figured it would be a good one to archive here. This recipe is a rather modified version of the "Sinigang na Bangus" recipe in Filipino Cooking Here and Abroad.
  • 1-1/2 lbs. catfish fillets
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 4-5 medium Roma tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-4 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp. patis
  • salt for fish
  • 1 lb. green beans, cut into 2-3 in. lengths (all the better to fit into Mr. Bento's soup compartment)
  • 6 oz. spinach leaves (or more if you like), roughly chopped
  • 2-4 baby bok choy, chopped - separate stems and leaves (optional but yummy)
Cut fillets into serving or half-serving sized pieces, depending on your inclination. Salt them.

Put water, tomatoes and onions in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook till vegetables are getting tender (maybe 5-7 mins).

Add green beans (or blanch them first and reserve till you add the fish - I've never been fancy enough for that option) and baby bok choy stems, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 4-7 minutes more, till beans are softened but not quite done.

Add lemon juice and patis. Correct seasonings.

Add fish. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until fish is opaque.

Remove from heat, add spinach and baby bok choy leaves. Cover and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Serve with patis and lemon to pass around.


  1. John is making burgers with goat cheese and corn for tonight, but I'm making this for my bento tomorrow with garlic steamed rice and some baby bok choy. Added a few cloves of crushed garlic this time, too.

  2. Forgot to add banana peppers till the very end! Will simmer a couple of minutes more before adding baby bok choy leaves and removing from heat.

  3. This time, I sauteed the onions, garlic and tomatoes for a few minutes before proceeding with the recipe and added more liquid seasonings - maybe 4-1/2 tbsp. lemon juice and 3 tbsp. patis. The soup's flavor deepened appreciably.