The term ‘paksiw’ refers to stewing in any sour fruit or vinegar. The three viands most often cooked in the house I grew up in were paksiw na isda, paksiw na lechon and paksiw na pata. The latter being my top pick.
My late Ilongga lola ate her ‘paksho’ (or paksiw to us) like anything! My dad swore by her paksiw na isda. It had the precise proportioning of the vinegar, garlic, water, ginger, etc. On the other hand, I do worship mom’s paksiw na lechon and paksiw na pata! The sour and sweet just end up happily married!
In a recent trip to Fort Ilocandia, my husband Jake, brought home his loot bag of lechon baka from a grand party that served roasted calf. In other words, the sponsoring company gave away pa ‘take-out’! Haha. Now, the task: What to do with it?
I’m not a big fan of lechon baka. Baboy yes, baka, not really. The roasted calf emits a strange odor that kinda turns me off. The taste is nothing like the lechon baboy that’s succulent to the power of ten.
Given these concerns, I decided to give it a bit of a facelift and made it into a paksiw. Ahh, that one I like! It masked the odor and gave the calf a different taste that my palate so welcomed.
Saute 4 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 medium-sized chopped onion, 3/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, mix in a bottle of Mang Tomas sarsa (yes, it’s my only sarsa brand!), 1 laurel leaf and throw in 3/4 kilo lechon. Voila!
Paksiw in any language means great filipino comfort food. Easy, scrumptious and extremely satisfying, paksiw is just the food to eat when you want to feel good.