Pinangat na Isda: Cooking fish the Filipino way

This is one of the many ways to cook fish here in the Philippines. I will show you a very simple and healthy recipe using a fish called “Babansi”, which, according to Google, is also known as fourlined terapon. This type of fish is very common in the Philippines and the best way to cook this is “Pangat”-style. There are various ways of cooking “pangat na isda”. It can be done using tomatoes, tamarind, and kamias (also known as Averrhoa bilimbi). Pangat is best cooked in a palayok (clay pot).


Palayok is made of a porous ceramic material, which allows steam from cooking to evaporate out of the pores in the material. Juices from the cooking food would not begin to burn until all the water has evaporated, after which the food is thoroughly cooked. Since ceramic does not transfer heat as much as metal, cooking in a palayok entails a longer time and a higher temperature that would normally be using metal cookware.

Source: Wikipedia

For this recipe, I used kamias because it is very much available in our area.


Here’s what you’ll need:

1 kilo of Babansi
3 medium tomatoes (quartered)
15-20 pcs kamias
2 tsp rock salt or just enough according to your taste

Here’s how:

Arrange all the ingredients in the clay pot in this order: fish, salt, kamias, tomatoes, and lastly, pour enough water to cover just half of the layers formed. Boil and cook for 20 minutes in low fire.


When I was younger, I am not used to eating this type of dish because I don’t enjoy its taste. But now, I am starting to like it. I realized that it’s delicious and it’s healthier compared to fried fish….or maybe I’m just getting older, trying to live a healthier life and trying to avoid meats as well.

I will make another post on another fish recipe using my palayok. For now, I have to research about Mesothelioma to help my cousin on her school assignment.



  1. I also use my claypot in cooking tinola, paksiw, etc…basta may sabaw. ibang-iab ang lasa. sarap!

  2. sinta

    any alternative for the kamias thats available in the US? =D I love pinangat na isda but i’ve never had it since I moved. =( HELP!

    • deuce

      I cooked pinangat with lemon ( substitute for tamarind and kamias very seldom in the US), kamatis , little olive oil or any kind of cooking oil, and toyo and a small amount of chicken knorr for a taste instead of msg. that’s how I cooked it since I was little recipe came from my mother.

  3. Bang

    Hi sinta! Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

    Oh, my! Tamarind will work too! 🙂

  4. Fishing is a nice sport and it is a good past time too. I enjoy fishing specially during weekends.”“

  5. oh i just love cooking and eating. i love to cook pasta recipes and the like.-“-

  6. me and my mom always love to cook and eat delicious recipes,;,

  7. my mother and i loves to do cooking and baking`-~

  1. 1 Pinangat na Isda Cooking fish the Filipino way | Cast Iron Cookware

    […] Pinangat na Isda Cooking fish the Filipino way Posted by root 17 hours ago ( Since ceramic does not transfer heat as much as metal cooking in a palayok entails a longer time theme bubblegum by thea espinosa powered by wordpress Discuss  |  Bury |  News | pinangat na isda cooking fish the filipino way […]

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